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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 10, 2024

Tempo - July 10, 2024

Eka Yudha Saputra, Jakarta – At least 50 alumni of the Australian National University (ANU) in Indonesia are disputing a statement made by Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet), the speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), regarding research publication at ANU.

Jakarta Globe - July 10, 2024

Muhammad Aulia Rahman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Tuesday detained three suspects accused of inflating the price of a power plant component procured by the state-owned electricity company PLN.

Tempo - July 10, 2024

Jakarta – Early today, approximately 100 Satpol PP (municipal police) personnel, supported by dozens of police and military officers, conducted an eviction at the PKBI (Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia) office in South Jakarta.

Jakarta Post Editorial - July 10, 2024

Jakarta – It would be unwise to assume that the decline in the poverty rate in Indonesia, which reached a historic low of 9.03 percent in March according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), is indicative of a major improvement in the country's socioeconomic front.

Human Rights Monitor - July 10, 2024

Members of the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) have been accused of intimidating journalists while covering activities in Jalan Bubara, Klaligi Village, Sorong City, on 9 July 2024.

Jakarta Globe - July 10, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo does not want Indonesia's regents to spend the hard-earned government money on imports.

Mongabay - July 10, 2024

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – NGOs working with Indonesian smallholder farmers have developed a set of guidelines aimed at helping oil palm farmers prove that their products are deforestation-free, allowing them a foothold in markets increasingly demanding sustainably produced goods.

Tempo Editorial - July 10, 2024

Jakarta – Military personnel are suspected of involvement in the murder of Rico Sempurna Pasaribu, a local journalist who wrote about gambling. The perpetrator must be tried in a civil court.

Jakarta Globe - July 10, 2024

Muhammad Aulia Rahman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has uncovered allegations of extortion by locals towards tourists in Raja Ampat, Southwest Papua, with suspected amounts reaching staggering figures.

Jakarta Globe - July 10, 2024

Muhammad Ghafur Fadillah, Vinnilya, Jakarta – The financial downturn globally, exacerbated by recent elections, has dampened fundraising activities in Indonesia's capital market, with total funds raised amounting to Rp 100 trillion ($6.16 billion) as of July 5.

Jakarta Post - July 10, 2024

Jakarta – Security forces in Papua reported that a civilian turbine engine aircraft was shot by members of an armed criminal group upon landing at the Sinak Airport in Puncak regency, Central Papua, on Monday.

Jakarta Post - July 10, 2024

Apriadi Gunawan, Karo – The North Sumatra Police arrested two suspects and are pursuing another person allegedly involved in an arson case that killed a journalist and his family in Karo regency in the province.

Jakarta Post - July 10, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – Indonesia's antitrust agency, the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU), has accused e-commerce firm Shopee and tech giant Google of engaging in monopoly practices. Shopee, accused of monopolizing its courier services, has since closed its case by agreeing to make changes to its services.

July 9, 2024

Reuters - July 9, 2024

Marc Jones, London – The US has agreed to forgive $35 million of Indonesian debt over the next nine years, the US Treasury said on Monday, in return for the Southeast Asian country restoring and preserving coral reefs in what experts estimate is the world's most biodiverse patch of ocean.

Jakarta Globe - July 9, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia is set to grant visa-free visits to 20 countries by October, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. The proposal is now in its final stages.

Reuters - July 9, 2024

Jakarta – An Indonesian court has acquitted a former government official accused of human trafficking after people were found in cages near his palm oil plantation, a ruling the country's rights body said on Tuesday signalled impunity for state actors.

Jakarta Globe - July 9, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Online gambling is so rampant in Indonesia that the country's lawmakers are also among the players, and calls are mounting for some firm action against these law-breaking legislators.

Jakarta Post - July 9, 2024

Suherdjoko, Batang, Central Java – A total of 240 houses were damaged after a magnitude 4.4 earthquake hit Batang regency and Pekalongan city in Central Java on Sunday. While no deaths were reported, 13 people were injured in the incident.

The Batang regency administration has declared a seven-day emergency response period following the disaster.

Mongabay - July 9, 2024

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Allegations of illegal activity and land-grabbing against Indonesia's second-largest palm oil company continue to mount as a new report reveals the firm's violations appear to be more extensive than initially documented.

Jubi Papua - July 9, 2024

Jayapura – Zakarias Talaty, the sole judge at the Jayapura District Court, has rejected a pretrial motion on behalf of senior Papuan journalist Victor Mambor against an Order to Stop Investigation (SP3) issued by the North Jayapura Sectoral Police (Polsek) on the grounds that the SP3 was legitimate due to the lack of witnesses who saw the bomb attack on Mambor's home in March 2023.

Jakarta Post Editorial - July 9, 2024

Jakarta – What an anticlimactic end to the hyped cyberattack on Indonesia's frail data system. Brain Cypher, the hacker group that claimed responsibility for hacking a temporary national data center recently, apologized for its action and handed over encryption keys to the government for free on July 3, after previously demanding a ransom of US$8 million.

Jakarta Globe - July 9, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is supposed to start working from the new capital Nusantara starting this month. Still, the outgoing leader recently revealed that he would move to the yet-to-be-built city once the water infrastructure is ready.

Reuters - July 9, 2024

Jakarta – At least 10 people had died and 40 were missing after torrential rain caused a landslide at a gold mine in Sulawesi's Gorontalo province at the weekend, officials said on Monday, with bad weather hampering rescue efforts.

Macao News - July 9, 2024

Timor-Leste and Mozambique signed a series of cooperation agreements last Friday in Maputo as part of Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta's working visit to the African country.

Tempo - July 9, 2024

Riri Rahayu, Ilona Estherina, Jakarta – Indonesia's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arifin Tasrif said that nuclear energy is part of the country's renewable energy mix plan.

Benar News - July 9, 2024

Pizaro Gozali Idrus, Jakarta – Indonesian human rights groups on Tuesday condemned the acquittal of an ex-regent charged with slavery and torture after dozens of people were found caged on his plantation, saying the ruling showed that state officials still enjoy impunity for serious crimes.

Jakarta Post - July 9, 2024

Jakarta – The death toll from a landslide near an illegal gold mine in Gorontalo had risen to 23 people, while 35 others are still missing, an official said Tuesday.

Unlicensed mines are common across Indonesia, where abandoned sites attract locals who hunt for leftover gold ore without proper safety equipment.

Tempo - July 9, 2024

Nabiha Shahab – The impacts of climate change are increasingly undeniable, weaving into the fabric of our daily lives. From erratic weather patterns to rising seas threatening coastal cities, the climate crisis is a reality we can no longer ignore.

Jakarta Post - July 9, 2024

Jakarta – Authorities are scrambling to respond to a spate of disasters that has swept the country, including a deadly landslide in Sulawesi and flooding across several regions in Java that they believe has been precipitated by weather anomalies at the height of the dry season.

Jakarta Post - July 9, 2024

Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – The central government's fiscal deficit this year is projected to be much larger than planned as the state is set to spend more but collect less in tax than laid out in the budget for this year.

July 8, 2024

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – Surveys may put former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan as the most popular figure if he runs for reelection for the same job in November, but he will not win it, and may not even be able to contest it, if President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has anything to do with it.

Reuters - July 8, 2024

Jakarta – At least 12 people died and 18 are missing after a torrential rain caused a landslide in an illegal gold mine over the weekend in Gorontalo, officials said on Monday.

The landslide on Sunday morning in Sumawa district killed miners and residents living near the illegal mine, said Heriyanto, head of the local rescue agency (Basarnas).

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has proposed office daycare facilities amid controversy over extended maternity leave policies. The new law mandates up to six months of maternity leave, up from three months previously, raising concerns among employers about workforce productivity and women's employment.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Emmanuel Kure, Jakarta – A former employee of Lintasarta, a subsidiary of cellular operator Indosat, is alleged to have breached the second backup server of the national data center in Surabaya.

Angola Press Agency - July 8, 2024

Luanda – Angola and East Timor signed three agreements on Monday to strengthen bilateral cooperation, in a ceremony attended by the presidents of the two countries, Joao Lourenco and Jose Ramos Horta in Luanda.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2024

Jakarta – Defense Minister and president-elect Prabowo Subianto on Monday pledged that he would promote good governance in the management of the state budget while in office.

Prabowo made the statement before holding a private meeting with outgoing President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

Reuters - July 8, 2024

Jakarta – Indonesia's budget deficit this year is estimated at 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product, higher than the government's 2.29 per cent target, as state spending is expected to increase due to the rupiah's depreciation, its finance minister said on Monday (Jul 8).

Tempo - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian food distribution state-owned corporation Bulog claimed to have been the victim of "marking up" allegations on rice imports from Vietnam, which was reported to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Tempo - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian state-owned port operation company PT Pelabuhan Indonesia or Pelindo is expanding autogate implementation at 29 ports across the country by 2024 to prevent illegal levies.

"Gate automation will shift the payment system from case to cashless," said Pelindo Managing Director Putut Sri Muljanto in Jakarta, on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

Tempo - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Head of Indonesia's National Population and Family Planning Agency or BKKBN, Hasto Wardoyo, sought to clarify his previous statement about each woman having one daughter, which was misinterpreted and sparked a stir.

Fulcrum - July 8, 2024

Iim Halimatusa'diyah, Endi Aulia Garadian – Nahdlatul Ulama's venture into the mining business might send the wrong signal for Indonesia's emerging green Islam movement.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Juan Ardya Guardiola, Johnny Johan Sompotan, Jakarta – With the 2024 Regional Elections approaching in November, political parties are actively seeking the endorsement of celebrity couple Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina, who command a massive following of 76 million on Instagram.

Raffi Ahmad disclosed that he has yet to decide whether to enter the upcoming election.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Aep Sopandi, Bandung – A judge in the Bandung District Court on Monday ordered the immediate release of Pegi Setiawan after declaring that police had violated procedures in naming him a suspect in the 2016 murder of a couple in Cirebon, West Java.

Tempo - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The population of Sumatran tigers in the Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS), which spans four provinces including Bengkulu, South Sumatra, Jambi, and West Sumatra, is estimated to be above 150 tigers, according to an official.

South China Morning Post - July 8, 2024

Johannes Nugroho – The gruesome deaths of Indonesian TV journalist Rico Sempurna Pasaribu and three of his family members have raised concerns about the rule of law and low wages of reporters in the country as initial investigations point to foul play linked to corruption.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Muhammad Aulia Rahman, Jakarta – Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian criticized provincial and municipal governments on Monday for inefficient budget management, stating that they spend more on meetings and travel allowances than on concrete public service programs.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2024

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – The political parties backing president-elect Prabowo Subianto face a bumpy road to agree on joint nominations for the November regional elections in several key regions after some of them insisted on nominating their own preferred candidates.

Tempo - July 8, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia braces for the Flash Thunder Iron 2024-Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) between its navy's elite Frogmen Command (Kopaska) personnel and the United States Navy SEALs.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia revealed Monday that consumers were still quite upbeat about the country's overall economic conditions as of June, but data showed that Indonesians were not as confident as they used to be.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The Finance Ministry reported a budget deficit of Rp 77.3 trillion, or 0.34 percent of GDP, in the first half of 2024. This came alongside an 11.3 percent increase in government spending and a 6.2 percent decline in state revenue.