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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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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.

Jakarta Globe - August 8, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence handed earlier to former police general Ferdy Sambo to a life sentence for murdering a subordinate, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

The panel of Supreme Court justices voted to commute the sentence 3:2 although they all agreed to uphold the premeditated murder conviction.

CNN Indonesia - August 8, 2023

Jakarta – The recent actions by members of the TNI (Indonesian military) arriving at the offices of law enforcement institutions raises questions about the authority that is actually held by the military.

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.

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.

Tempo - August 8, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, has responded to the Ministry of Trade's plan to prohibit the sale of imported goods valued lower than US$100 or approximately Rp1.5 million on marketplaces. Sandiaga stated that the policy will help to safeguard micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Tempo - August 8, 2023

Amelia Rahima Sari, Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for Living Environment (Walhi), an environmental group, lamented President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's statement about resolving pollution. The president mentioned that the solution to air pollution in Jakarta is by relocating to Nusantara New Capital (IKN).

Jakarta Globe - August 8, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono has issued an order for the Military Police to initiate an investigation into a soldier who recently visited a police station in Medan, seeking the release of his relative who was being detained on charges of document forgery.

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.

August 7, 2023

Jakarta Globe - August 7, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Timor Leste will "ideally" become a full-fledged ASEAN member in 2025 even though the country remains open to other time frames recommended by other Southeast Asian leaders, according to its president, Jose Ramos-Horta.

Reuters - August 7, 2023

Stefanno Sulaiman and Gayatri Suroyo, Jakarta – Indonesia's economic growth in the second quarter accelerated unexpectedly to its highest rate in three quarters, shored up by strong household and government spending, even as exports weakened with falling commodity prices.

Tempo - August 7, 2023

Naufal Ridhwan, Jakarta – Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan opposed the EU's Anti-Deforestation Law (EUDR), claiming the bill to be discriminatory and a hinder to trade. On its rejection of the bill, Zulkifli Hasan claimed Indonesia has taken several measures, especially through multilateral forums.

Tabloid Jubi - August 7, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – In the two years following the attack by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on the Military Post in Maybrat Regency's Kisor, that resulted in the reported deaths of four Indonesian Military (TNI) members, a significant number of individuals who had evacuated from five districts within Maybrat ever since the incident continued to opt for staying in multi

Channel News Asia - August 7, 2023

Denpasar, Bali – Indonesia's resort island of Bali has deported more foreigners in the first seven months of this year than the whole of last year, with an expert noting that the immigration policy is likely to deter those who come to Bali to work illegally.

Jakarta Globe - August 7, 2023

Hendro D Situmorang, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo officially inaugurated Indonesia's largest indoor stadium on Monday, just three weeks before the opening of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which Indonesia is co-hosting with Japan and the Philippines.

Tempo - August 7, 2023

Antara. Jakarta – The Regency Government of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara issued an emergency alert for drought and forest fire caused by the effects of El Nino throughout August, from August 1 to August 31, 2023.

The alert was provided in the Regent's Decision No. 311/KEP/HK/2023 on July 31, 2023, and received in Kupang on Monday, August 7, 2023.

Jakarta Globe - August 7, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia's democracy index falls behind that of its close neighbor Malaysia. However, a senior minister on Monday attributed Malaysia's higher scores to its population size which is significantly smaller compared to Indonesia.

Jakarta Post Editorial - August 7, 2023

Jakarta – If you can, make time to see the photo exhibition organized for the 40th anniversary of The Jakarta Post, which will run through the second week of August. And make sure that after viewing all the photos on display, as you are leaving the exhibition area, you turn back to look at the arch that stands in the hall.

Jakarta Post - August 7, 2023

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – The resistance of the Indonesian Military (TNI) toward the arrest of its high-ranking officer and his aide by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in relation to an alleged graft case at the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has reignited a debate over the military's long-standing culture of impunity.

Kompas.com - August 7, 2023

Syakirun Niam, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) says that a national police official who has revealed that corruption suspect Harun Masiku is currently in Indonesia reinforces suspicions that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is protecting the fugitive politician.

The Independent - August 7, 2023

Craig Harris – How do you get world attention for a cause to help save your culture? The freedom fighters of West Papua are asking that very question.

On February 7, 2023, 37-year-old Phil Mehrtens, a New Zealand pilot, was kidnapped by the West Papua Liberation Army, the military wing of the Free Papua Organization.

August 6, 2023

Mirage News - August 6, 2023

Budiarti Putri (Greenpeace) – It was not until I went on a field trip to the traditional lands of the Auyu People (also written as Awyu in the Indonesian language) last June that I appreciated just how remote many of their settlements are, deep in the territory known internationally as West Papua, just across from the border with Papua New Guinea.

Jakarta Globe - August 6, 2023

Panji Satrio, Medan – A suspect involved in document fraud was released from the Medan Metropolitan Police's detention facility after a group of soldiers, including his relative, visited the police office on Saturday to discuss the legal case.

Tempo - August 6, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The European Union (EU), Malaysia, and Indonesia have agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Joint Task Force (JTF) on the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR).

The kick-off meeting of the Ad Hoc JTF was conducted on August 4 in Jakarta.

Jakarta Globe - August 6, 2023

Indah Handayani, Jakarta – The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) witnessed a decrease in its market capitalization, dipping below the Rp 10,000 trillion ($658.5 billion) threshold during the previous week, as the composite share price index also experienced a 0.7 percent decline.

Tempo - August 6, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Indonesian House Speaker Puan Maharani signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on inter-parliamentary cooperation to strengthen relations between both nations.

August 5, 2023

Jakarta Globe - August 5, 2023

BeritaSatu, Tangerang – The government is assuming management responsibility for all schools under the Al Zaytun foundation after its founder and leader, Panji Gumilang, was named a blasphemy suspect.

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said on Saturday that the takeover primarily pertains to the education system and does not include the foundation's assets.

The Diplomat - August 5, 2023

Abdul Rahman Yaacob – Indonesia is strategically located in Southeast Asia, with a vast archipelago stretching between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its location makes it a critical maritime hub, connecting major shipping routes between Europe, East Asia and Australia.

Tempo - August 5, 2023

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said the country needs a total investment of up to US$1 trillion by 2060 in order to transition into a country of new and renewable energy. Therefore, Arifin opens wide investment opportunities and cooperation with international partners.

Tempo - August 5, 2023

Eka Yudha Saputra, Jakarta – The Chairman of Papua's Commission on Human Rights Frits Ramandey said that the leader of OPM (Free Papua Movement) Egianus Kogoya has guaranteed the safety of Susi Air Pilot Captain Phillips Max Mehrtens during the hostage situation. The captain has been held hostage by OPM for eight months from February this year.

Jakarta Post Editorial - August 5, 2023

Jakarta – In Papua, which is known for its abundant natural resources, around 7,500 people of the outlying districts of Agandugume and Lambewi in Puncak regency, Central Papua have been scrambling for food for months. A mix of drought and cold weather in June caused the key crops of yam and taro to fail or rot, forcing locals to eat spoiled tubers.

Tempo - August 5, 2023

Layla Aisyah, Jakarta – Director of Strategy, Portfolio, and Business Development of Pertamina, A. Salyadi Saputra, said that PT Pertamina is planning to expand its business into the Nusantara New Capital (IKN). Pertamina will develop various integral infrastructures such as a hospital, a hotel, and a campus through its related subsidiaries.

Tempo - August 5, 2023

Ananda Bintang Purwaramdhona, Jakarta – The wife of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Iriana Jokowi, reportedly would be granted the Bintang RI Adipradana award, as stated by Chairman of the Board of Honors (GTK) Mahfud MD.

Asia Pacific Report - August 5, 2023

A new documentary and human rights report have documented savage attacks in 2021 by Indonesian security forces on a remote West Papuan village close to the Papua New Guinea border as part of an ongoing crackdown against growing calls for independence.

Tempo - August 5, 2023

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – The Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif said the government targeted Masela Block to start its operation in December 2029 at the latest. Previously on July 25, 2023, Pertamina and Petronas have taken over Masela Block from Shell.

The Saturday Paper - August 5, 2023

John Martinkus – As anyone who has ever visited West Papua knows, you can barely leave the airport before someone starts talking about independence.

It could be the guy at customs, the cab driver, the bloke who sells you a coffee.

August 4, 2023

Jakarta Post - August 4, 2023

Aditya Hadi, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has pointed out that there is no need to rush the opening of the Greater Jakarta light rail transit (LRT) system to the general public, citing that safety must be a priority.

CNN Indonesia - August 4, 2023

Jakarta – Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) President Said Iqbal is furious with a member of Anies Baswedan's Team 8 election campaign team, Sudirman Said, for meddling (mengobok-obok – to ruin, upset, tip over, turn upside down) in the KSPI.

Iqbal claims to have received a report from his members about Sudirman disrupting the KSPI.

Jakarta Post - August 4, 2023

Dio Suhenda, Jakarta – Aid has been arriving in Central Papua's mountainous Puncak regency to help residents endure the effects of months of drought, but bad weather and limited infrastructure have held back distribution efforts.

The Diplomat - August 4, 2023

Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Yeta Purnama – Recently, Project Multatuli, an independent media organization in Indonesia, published a detailed report examining the conditions faced by Indonesian and Chinese workers at nickel processing plants owned by the Chinese firm Jiangsu Delong, including PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (PT GNI) and PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry in Sulawesi.

Jakarta Globe - August 4, 2023

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made it clear on Friday that he had no part in a legal initiative aimed at reducing the minimum age requirement for a presidential candidate and running mate to 35 years and asserted that he would not interfere in any way with the proceedings at the Constitutional Court.

Jakarta Post - August 4, 2023

Aditya Hadi, Jakarta – Homegrown online delivery company Anteraja, which saw a significant drop in revenue in the first half of the year, has placed the blame squarely on e-commerce firms for causing a decline in demand for delivery services by increasing the take rates they collected from merchant sales.

Jakarta Globe - August 4, 2023

Thresa Sandra Desfika, Jakarta – Indonesia's national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia (GIAA), has reported a reduced net loss of $76.4 million as of June 30, marking a 30.6 percent improvement from the $110 million loss recorded in the first quarter of the year.

Jakarta Globe - August 4, 2023

Faisal Maliki Baskoro, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has joined forces with a consortium led by South Korean multinational electronics company LG to fast-track the establishment of a factory for manufacturing electric vehicle (EV) battery cells and associated facilities, entailing a substantial investment of $9.8 billion.

Jakarta Post Editorial - August 4, 2023

Jakarta – The principle of "free and active" foreign policy has been at the core of Indonesia's political ethos since the country's earliest days, although there have been ups and downs in its implementation as geopolitical and economic realities have changed.

Jakarta Post - August 4, 2023

Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – The government has pointed to high airfares as one reason for the sluggish recovery of the tourist industry from the pandemic-induced downturn.

Channel News Asia - August 4, 2023

Jakarta – Following the discovery of several issues with Indonesia's Greater Jakarta Light Rail Transit (LRT), the launch of the long-awaited megaproject has been pushed back to the end of the month, with authorities citing the need to prioritise safety.

The LRT was supposed to be launched on Aug 18, after many prior delays.

Reuters - August 4, 2023

Jakarta – Mining giant Freeport has obtained a license to ship copper concentrate from its Indonesian operation until May 2024, but may contest new government rules on export duties.

August 3, 2023

Tempo - August 3, 2023

Ade Ridwan Yandwiputra, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi responded to the statement voiced by Deputy SOE Minister Kartika Wirjoatmodjo that the LRT Jabodebek's curved long-span bridge connecting Jalan Gatot Subroto and Kuningan is poorly designed.

Tempo - August 3, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The government planned to build food estate in Puncak District, Central Papua, in an effort to anticipate famine caused by drought and periodic frost phenomena in the region.