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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 5, 2024

Benar News - June 5, 2024

Victor Mambor, Jayapura, Indonesia – Indonesia is going ahead with a project to convert millions of acres in Papua into a gigantic sugarcane plantation so the restive region can become self-sufficient in sugar and its related liquid fuel, bioethanol.

Agence France-Presse - June 5, 2024

A campaign seeking to drive support for Indigenous tribes fighting palm oil plantations in eastern Indonesia is spreading widely online after taking inspiration from an AI-generated image of Gaza.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 5, 2024

Jakarta – The news about the country's youth is by no means good, not only because the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Ministry has proposed higher university tuition fees, but also due to the finding that almost 10 million people aged 15 to 24, known as Gen Z, are unemployed.

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Antara, Bekasi – Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/Head of the National Land Agency (ATR/BPN), Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, has assured that the government will not harm local communities in Papua's development projects.

This includes plans for the conversion of traditional forest lands of the Awyu tribe in South Papua and the Moi tribe in Sorong, West Papua.

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Salman M. Vermonte, Jakarta – Among the pro-Palestine protesters who flocked to the United States embassy in Jakarta over the weekend was Mahmoud A., a Palestinian citizen who has lived in Indonesia for the past twelve years.

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 5, 2024

Muhammad Beni Saputra – The Indonesian public has been taken aback by two proposed changes to Indonesia's media landscape.

The first is a proposed revision to the Broadcasting Law that would impose a controversial ban on investigative journalism. The bill triggered widespread demonstrations across the country, prompting legislators to postpone the bill for now.

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Jakarta – A senior Gerindra Party politician has acknowledged that Kaesang Pangarep is eligible to run in the regional head elections, though he skirted the idea of Prabowo Subianto's political vehicle endorsing a potential bid by the brother of vice president-elect Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia's tourism industry is in dire need of investment in its supporting infrastructures as investors today mainly favor putting their money in hotels and restaurants, according to Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno.

Tempo - June 5, 2024
Rachel Farahdiba R, Riri Rahayu, Sultan Abdurrahman, Ricky Juliansyah, Jakarta – Minister of State Secretary Pratikno announced the resignation of IKN Authority (OIKN) chief Bambang Susantono and his deputy Dhony Rahajoe on June 3.
Tempo - June 5, 2024

Novali Panji Nugroho, Jakarta – Executive Director of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development or INFID, Iwan Misthohizzaman, stated that clearing customary forests in Papua by abusing state permits is an act of ecocide and a violation of human rights.

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Nur Janti, Jakarta – Former Kampung Bayam residents who were evicted from their homes to make way for the development of the Jakarta International Stadium (JIS) in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, agreed to move to a new apartment complex that will be built by the city administration soon.

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Fuad Iqbal Abdullah, Nusantara, East Kalimantan – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo inaugurated a dam on Tuesday that will supply potable water to the future national capital, Nusantara, in East Kalimantan.

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Jakarta – The government's decision to grant state-owned mine concessions to religious groups has been met with criticism from former chairman of Muhammadiyah Din Syamsudin, who claimed the move caused more harm, especially to the environment, than benefit.

Tempo - June 5, 2024

Han Revanda Putra, Jakarta – Muhammadiyah, one of the country's largest Muslim organizations, responded to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's decision to grant coal mining concessions to religious organizations.

Jakarta Globe - June 5, 2024

Sevianto Pakiding, Timika – Authorities have arrested an army deserter and a civilian for allegedly selling firearms to rebel groups in Papua, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – President-elect Prabowo Subianto is exploring alternative protein sources to dairy milk for his signature free school lunch program. He is also redefining the program by adopting a more flexible approach while remaining true to its core essence and objectives.

Tempo - June 5, 2024

Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is still in doubt over what political direction to take after the presidential election. The party finds itself at a crossroads: join the Prabowo Subianto administration formed as a result of an election with many flaws, or follow the straight path of democracy.

June 4, 2024

Mongabay - June 4, 2024

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – A dispute simmering for years has erupted into conflict between villagers and a palm oil company on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi over the latter's failure to abide by a profit-sharing scheme.

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Defara Dhanya Paramitha, Jakarta – Amid the recent 'All Eyes on Rafah' campaign, a similar movement 'All Eyes on Papua' gains momentum on social media, calling for Indonesian people's attention to Papua. The hashtag #AllEyesOnPapua is widely used as a form of support for the Papuans who are struggling to reject the oil palm plantation project in the province

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Ilona Estherina, Jakarta – The government has officially extended the relaxation of the retail price ceiling (HET) for rice. Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas), Arief Prasetyo Adi, said this was a strategic move to ensure the stability of the supply and price of rice in traditional markets and modern retailers throughout Indonesia.

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Yohanes Maharso, Ricky Juliansyah, Jakarta – Jakarta Metro Police questioned PDI-P Perjuangan (PDIP) Secretary General Hasto Kristiyanto at 10:00 a.m. today, June 4. Hasto will be asked to provide explanations concerning his statement on national TV about elections fraud.

Mongabay - June 4, 2024

Fathul Rakhman, Wahyu Chandra, Takalar/East Lombok/Jakarta, Indonesia – Mustam Daeng Beta exhaled slowly before he began describing his time as a young fisherman many years ago.

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Han Revanda Putra, Jakarta – The Trade Ministry has implemented export relaxation for a number of mining products until December 31, 2024. The commodities include laterite iron concentrate, copper concentrate, zinc concentrate, lead concentrate, and anode slime.

Jakarta Post - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – A group of lawyers reported to the Judicial Commission on Monday three Supreme Court justices for alleged ethics violations over the court's decision to change the age of candidacy for the regional head elections in November.

Straits Times - June 4, 2024

Hariz Baharudin and Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo has travelled to East Kalimantan and reassured the public that Indonesia's planned new capital there is on track.

This comes just a day after the bombshell announcement that the leaders of the body overseeing the project had resigned.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Air quality in Jakarta plummeted to unhealthy levels on Tuesday morning, earning the city the title of being the world's most polluted.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Ichsan Ali, Balikpapan – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo urged mayors across Indonesia to avoid excessive concrete development in urban areas and instead promote the establishment of green city spaces that are welcoming to pedestrians, individuals with disabilities, cyclists, children, and women.

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Defara Dhanya, Jakarta – The regional police chief of Papua, Mathius Derek Fakhiri, warned investors not to violate the rights of Papua's indigenous people. Fakhiri hopes the problems faced by indigenous people, including the lawsuits of the Awyu Tribe in Boven Digoel, South Papua, and the Moi Tribe in Sorong, Southwest Papua, can be resolved soon.

CNN Indonesia - June 4, 2024

Makassar – The South Sulawesi Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has spoken out on the government's plan to grant mining concessions to religious social or mass organisations (ormas) which they see as having the potential to create conflicts with communities.

Benar News - June 4, 2024

Pizaro Gozali Idrus – Indonesia's plan to build a new capital is in trouble after its two top officials resigned without explanation Monday, a development that may signal to investors the U.S. $32 billion project is facing serious problems, analysts said.

CNN Indonesia - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – The Labour Movement with the People (GEBRAK) is asking that workers in their respective regions hold protests to reject the Public Housing Savings Program (Tapera).

Channel News Asia - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo plans to move to the country's new capital, Nusantara (IKN), as early as the end of June, ahead of the anticipated inauguration of the city during the Independence Day celebrations on Aug 17.

Agence France-Presse - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – A new law allowing the Indonesian government to grant permits to religious organizations to operate mines has outraged environmentalists in the world's leading nickel producer.

Outgoing President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, signed a decree on May 30, opening the path for religious groups to manage concessions to "improve social welfare."

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has approved the extension of the social assistance program in the form of 10-kilogram rice. This program is aimed at benefiting 22 million recipient families (KPM) across the archipelago.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has decided that the state budget deficit for 2025 should not be more than 2.82 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Jakarta Post - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has voiced disagreement with the Public Housing Savings (Tapera) program, which has sparked public opposition since becoming mandatory for private and independent workers after previously being reserved for civil servants.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia still has not reached a national consensus to ratify the Genocide Convention, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Tempo - June 4, 2024

Tempo.Co, Jakarta – Said Iqbal, president of the Indonesian Confederation of Trade Unions (KSPI), said thousands of workers would demonstrate in front of the palace on Thursday, June 6. They plan to protest the government's mandatory premiums for the public housing savings or Tapera program.

Bloomberg News - June 4, 2024

Norman Harsono – Indonesia plans to give its diaspora similar rights as its citizens as part of efforts to bring back overseas talent.

The government plans to grant former citizens the same rights as citizens, except for political rights such as the right to vote or run for public office, said Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly in a statement.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 4, 2024

Jakarta – In democracies, social media is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is riddled with fake news and hate speech that often fuel acts of violence or even insurrection, as happened in the United States on Jan. 6, 2020. On the other hand, it can keep governments with repressive tendencies in check.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Roy Adriansyah, Jakarta – Zulkifli Hasan, the chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN), revealed that he had proposed Kaesang Pangarep, chairman of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), as a potential candidate for deputy governor of Jakarta to his father, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, about a year ago. However, Jokowi turned down the suggestion.

Jakarta Globe - June 4, 2024

Prisma Ardianto, Jakarta – The hotly debated mandatory housing savings policy Tapera is expected to cut hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to economic think-tank Celios.

June 3, 2024

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said Monday that Israel and its allies had been trying to get Muslim countries to normalize ties.

Jakarta Post - June 3, 2024

Jakarta – The National Police have arrested one of Thailand's "most wanted" fugitives who was on the run after escaping custody in Thailand last year, a senior police official said Sunday.

Chaowalit Thongduang, 37, was arrested in Bali on Thursday, said Sr. Comr. Wahyu Widada, the head of police criminal investigation unit.

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Vinnilya, Jakarta – The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported a deflation of 0.03 percent in May 2024, marking the first deflation since August 2023.

Meanwhile, the year-on-year inflation stood at 2.84 percent, and the year-to-date inflation was at 1.16 percent, within the government's target range between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent.

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia has attracted almost 4.1 million foreign tourists so far in 2024 as of April, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

This marks the highest cumulative foreign tourist arrivals Indonesia has recorded in the January-April period over the past four years since the Covid-hit 2020.

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Rino Fajar, Bekasi – The Criminal Investigation Unit of Bekasi City Police revisited the residence of DS in Ciketing Udik Village, Bantargebang District, Bekasi City on Sunday, following the discovery of the body of a 9-year-old girl identified as GH inside a sack.

The police's visit aimed to ascertain if there were any other victims besides GH at DS's residence.

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2024

Mita Amalia Hapsari, Bella Evanglista, Jakarta – Bambang Susantono, the head of the Nusantara Capital Authority Body (OIKN), and his deputy, Dhony Rahajoe, have resigned from their positions just two months before the inauguration of Indonesia's future capital.

Jakarta Post Editorial - June 3, 2024

Jakarta – Just a week ago, we celebrated the overturning of a planned tuition fee hike for state universities, an effort led by incensed student bodies and amplified by social media.

Jakarta Post - June 3, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – While Indonesians have become more religiously conservative, most of them shunned Islamism in the February general election, as indicated by the failure of the United Development Party (PPP), the country's oldest Islamist political party, to win any seats in the national legislature for the first time in its 51-year history.