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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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August 11, 2023

Radio New Zealand - August 11, 2023
Kelvin Anthony – News media in Indonesia act as "government loudspeakers" by advancing a one-sided narrative regarding the conflict in West Papua, a new study reveals.

The human rights abuses against indigenous Papuans, who have been under military occupation of the Indonesian armed forces since 1962-63 and their fight for independence from Jakarta, remains a sticking point for the I

Tempo - August 11, 2023

Desty Luthfiani, Jakarta – Acting Governor of Jakarta Heru Budi Hartono said that transportations are currently the biggest contributor to the worsening air quality in Jakarta.

"Around 50% (of air pollution) is caused by transportation," said Heru Budi after his performance evaluation in the Ministry for Home Affairs, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, August 10, 2023.

August 10, 2023

Jakarta Globe - August 10, 2023

Ichsan Ali, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo expressed his hope on Thursday for his future successor to be a courageous leader who is willing to make crucial decisions when they are most needed.

Agence-France Presse - August 10, 2023

Jakarta – Jakarta has become the world's most polluted major city, according to air quality monitoring firm IQAir, topping global charts for days as authorities fail to grapple with a spike in toxic smog.

Reuters - August 10, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia'a Attorney General Office (AGO) has arrested a former top mining ministry official accused of facilitating unlawful mining of nickel that caused a loss of 5.7 trillion rupiah ($375.25 million) in state revenue.

Jakarta Post - August 10, 2023

Radhiyya Indra, Jakarta – At the tail end of his master's degree course in Singapore, 24-year-old Bagas from South Tangerang, Banten, ponders if he should stay to work there or return home.

Jakarta Globe - August 10, 2023

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Thursday that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has offered a positive response to Indonesia's application for membership. His remarks followed a meeting he hosted with OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann at his office in Jakarta.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

Ohan, Jakarta – Greenpeace Indonesia, the climate and energy activism group, regrets the decision of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his ministries to submit for cassation to the Supreme Court concerning the case of air pollution in Jakarta. Previously, Jakarta High Court denied the president's appeal to the case.

Reuters - August 10, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's capital Jakarta topped the list as the world's most polluted city on Wednesday, having consistently ranked among the 10 most polluted cities globally since May, according to data by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

Martha Warta Silaban, Jakarta – Ministry for Public Works and Housing through Indonesia's new capital city Nusantara (IKN) Infrastructure Development Task Force revealed that the government will start the development of 47 apartment towers for civil servants in IKN, East Kalimantan in August 2023.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

Andika Dwi, Jakarta – The Nusantara State Capital (IKN) will be governed by a special provincial-level authority. IKN Authority's Deputy of Development Controller Thomas Umbu said that IKN will have a special government in charge of the administration in IKN.

Jakarta Globe - August 10, 2023

Rio Abadi, Jakarta – The freshly launched mining association Aspeti said on Thursday that it sought to promote better use of Indonesia's natural resources, while also helping small miners.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

Advist Khoirunikmah, Jakarta – Workers were protesting in Central Jakarta today, August 10, bringing four demands; the repeal of the Job Creation Law, the Health Law, the Development and Strengthening of Financial Sector Law, and the realization of a universal social security system.

Mongabay - August 10, 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Indonesia is on a spree of building coal-fired power plants for industry, which will keep the country addicted to the fossil fuel for the foreseeable future, regardless of its climate commitments, experts warn.

Jakarta Globe - August 10, 2023

Leonard AL Cahyoputra, Jakarta – The annual and largest vehicle exhibition in Indonesia, known as the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), commenced on Thursday with participation from 49 multinational automotive companies, fueled by strong sales figures.

Jakarta Post - August 10, 2023

Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – Indonesia has become slightly more unequal over the past three years, even as more people have been lifted out of poverty, a fact that experts attribute to economic development policy choices in recent years.

Jakarta Globe - August 10, 2023

Ichsan Ali, Jakarta – The government will subsidize fares for the new railway systems, including the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Train, as part of its strategy to incentivize vehicle owners to shift to public transportation, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo or Jokowi responded to criticism voiced by a senior economist from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), Faisal Basri, that the country's downstream nickel policy only benefits China. He argued that Faisal's logic was not correct.

Tempo - August 10, 2023

I Gusti Ayu Putu Puspasari, Jakarta – Labor Movement together with People (GEBRAK) is staging a mass protest and taking it to the streets today on Thursday, August 10, 2023, to demand the annulment of the Job Creation Act. The protest will be joined by university students.

Jakarta Post Editorial - August 10, 2023

Jakarta – The current petition with the Constitutional Court challenging the age minimum for presidential candidates is a case of doing the right thing at the wrong place and time.

CNN Indonesia - August 10, 2023

Thousands of workers from the Confederation of the All-Indonesian Workers Union (KSPSI) and the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance Confederation (KASBI) rallied in front of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) building on Jalan MH Thamrin in Central Jakarta on Thursday August 10.

August 9, 2023

Radio New Zealand - August 9, 2023

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has called again for the immediate release of Phillip Mehrtens, who has now been held hostage in West Papua for six months.

Speaking in Auckland, Hipkins said Mehrtens – a pilot who was helping provide air links to remote communities in Papua – is a much-loved husband, brother, father and son.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Muhammad Ghafur Fadillah, Tangerang – Terang Dunia Internusa, the proprietor of the United bicycle and electric scooter brand, on Wednesday announced an investment of Rp 250 billion ($16 million) in a newly established assembly plant in Curug, Tangerang Regency.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The formation of a joint task force on the European Union's anti-deforestation law gave Indonesia some hope that it would be able to conclude its overdue trade deal with the 27-member bloc, according to a senior minister.

Jakarta Post - August 9, 2023

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – The Indonesian government's subsidy program for electric motorcycles has faced a slow uptake since it was first introduced on March 20. It is a blow to what was aimed to speed up the mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Now, the government is looking to revise the program's scheme to get it back on track.

Reuters - August 9, 2023

Jakarta – Six contestants of a Miss Universe Indonesia pageant have filed complaints with police accusing organizers of sexual harassment after they alleged they were subjected to topless "body checks", their lawyer said on Tuesday.

Police confirmed contestants had filed a report that would be investigated.

Tempo - August 9, 2023

Sultan Abdurrahman, Jakarta – The Labor Party along with several worker's unions will stage a protest in Constitutional Court and State Palace today, Wednesday, August 9, 2023. The protest is set to start at 10:00 a.m. with a gathering point in Tugu Tani Statue, Menteng.

Tempo - August 9, 2023

Moh. Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi explained the ministry's measures to eradicate online gambling, specifically slot gambling. In addition to taking down the application and website of online gambling, the ministry also blocks gambling accounts.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Dion Bisara – Amid the sprawling islands and diverse cultures of Indonesia, there's a burgeoning interest in the property from overseas buyers. Yet, despite relaxed regulations aimed at attracting foreign homeowners, the uptake remains surprisingly muted.

Tempo - August 9, 2023

Supriyanto Khafid, Jakarta – Forest fire occurred in the valley of Mount Rinjani, as part of the Mount Rinjani National Park (MRNP) on Friday, August 4, 2023. The fire was located around 4-5 hours from Aik Berik, Central Lombok Regency, and adjacent to the trekking entry Joben Titi Batu, East Lombok Regency.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Rangga Prakoso, Jakarta – The state revenue generated from mineral and coal mining has surged to Rp 111.65 trillion ($7.3 billion) year-to-date, surpassing the full-year target by an impressive 130.98 percent, according to data released by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Jakarta Post - August 9, 2023

Jakarta – To commemorate its 40th anniversary, The Jakarta Post is holding an exhibition called "Portraits of a Nation: Indonesia's Journey of Change and Resilience", which recounts key stories from the country's recent past through photographs taken by the newspaper's photojournalists.

Reuters - August 9, 2023

Budi Purwanto and Johan Purnomo, Karanganyar, Indonesia – It's been four, long, hot months since Sunardi's village has seen any rainfall as an El Nino-induced drought parches Indonesia, so the tobacco farmer does the only thing he can do to get water: dig up a dry river bed.

Kompas.com - August 9, 2023

Jakarta – The Labour Party held a mass rally at the Arjuna Wijaya or Horse Statue in Central Jakarta on Wednesday August 9 involving four trade union confederations, 60 national labour federations, the Indonesian Farmers Union (SPI), the Urban Consortium, the National Network for Domestic Workers Advocacy (Jala PRT), migrant workers and women's organisations.

Agence France-Presse - August 9, 2023

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has called for the release of a Kiwi pilot kidnapped six months ago by separatists in Indonesia's Papua region.

New Zealander Phillip Mehrtens was working for Indonesian airline Susi Air when he was snatched by rebels at Nduga airport in February.

Tabloid Jubi - August 9, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Three students were found guilty of treason and subsequently given a 10-month prison term by the panel of judges at the Jayapura District Court on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.

Jakarta Post Editorial - August 9, 2023

Jakarta – Postponing the operation of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway is the right decision made by its operator, PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC). The truth is, the project is far from ready for its soft launch set later this month and the public is not supposed to ride the brand-new train while its system is not yet finished.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Medikantyo Adhikresna, Jakarta – Former Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi underwent interrogation at the Attorney General's Office (AGO) in Jakarta on Wednesday morning as a witness in the investigation into illegal exports of crude palm oil (CPO).

Upon his arrival at the AGO around 8.55 a.m., Lutfi did not provide any statements to the awaiting journalists.

Jakarta Globe - August 9, 2023

Ichsan Ali, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Wednesday called the new capital city Nusantara, which lies in the province of East Kalimantan, the world's largest project.

Mongabay - August 9, 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – A new foundation has been established to support Indonesian farmers in protecting forests and selling their sustainably produced products to the global market.

August 8, 2023

Mongabay - August 8, 2023

A. Asnawi, Lamongan, Indonesia – The Brondong Fisheries Port in Indonesia's East Java province was busy on a Friday morning in February as workers worked as swiftly as possible to unload the catches. Among the landed crates of fish, there were sharks and rays that appeared to be different types.

Indonesia at Melbourne - August 8, 2023

Helen Pausacker – In the three elections since Indonesia has been holding direct presidential elections – 2009, 2014 and 2019 – there have been only two candidates for the top job. But when registration opens on 19 October 2023, is it likely we will see three people vying for the top job: Prabowo Subianto, Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan.

Tabloid Jubi - August 8, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri has reported that Philip Mark Mehrtens, the Susi Air Pilot of New Zealand who has been held captive by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) since February 7, 2023, remains in good health.

Tempo - August 8, 2023

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi has spoken up about calls for the government to immediately revise Law No. 5 of 1986 on Military Justice. The demand came after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested two active-duty members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) for alleged corruption at the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas).

Tempo - August 8, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The Head of Papua Regional Police Department Inspector General of Police Mathius Fakhiri said that the location of Susi Air's pilot who was held hostage is situated in a nearly inaccessible area.

Tempo - August 8, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – Senior Economist from the University of Indonesia Faisal Basri again criticized President Joko Widodo or Jokowi's downstream mining policy, especially nickel. He said most of the benefits from the policy were going to China.

CNN Indonesia - August 8, 2023

Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has recorded that as many as 967 people have been arrested for articulating their views in the public domain.

Kontras said that this data was obtained between January 2022 and June 2023 and covered a total of 183 cases related to violations against freedom of opinion.

Reuters - August 8, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's state energy company PT Pertamina said on Tuesday it will develop a fuel storage facility in north Jakarta, following a deadly fire that broke out at a terminal earlier this year and spread into a densely populated residential area.

Tabloid Jubi - August 8, 2023

Timika, Jubi – Since 1972, PT Freeport Indonesia's mining operations in Mimika, Central Papua have transformed mountains into giant ravines, pulverizing mineral-rich rocks and depositing the resulting waste, known as tailings, into rivers.

Counter Punch - August 8, 2023

Julie Wark – A West Papuan friend has just sent me a new documentary (please watch it, reader). It's called Paradise Bombed and it's about what happened when burning metal death rained down on Kiwirok, one of the most remote places on earth in October 2021.