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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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October 8, 2021

Indonesia at Melbourne - October 8, 2021

Yogi Bratajaya and Yassar Aulia – Late last month, Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan launched legal action against human rights activists Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti, alleging that comments they made in an online video amounted to defamation.

Tempo - October 8, 2021

Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Sustainable Nature Foundation (ASRI) volunteer and health consultant Alvi Muldani on Thursday said Jakarta's air quality was considered poor as the city's average 2.5 particulate matter concentration reached 26.9 ug/m3, which is five times worse than the latest limit set by the World Health Organization (WHO) on September 22.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 8, 2021

Indonesia's Health Ministry says people shouldn't worry about the security of their personal data now that screening features of the government's PeduliLindungi app have been integrated into 15 major apps.

"The partners don't get to keep any data from PeduliLindungi," the ministry's Digital Transformation Office Chief Setiaji said today.

Tempo - October 8, 2021

Amelia Rahima Sari, Jakarta – Internet rumors about foreign workers in Indonesia's workforce once sparked public outrage after a large number of them reportedly arrived in Indonesia amid the pandemic mobility restriction. However, how many foreign workers actually are there and which country did they hail from?

The Conversation - October 8, 2021

Carolyn Hoyle and Parvais Jabbar – Indonesia, like its regional neighbours in Southeast Asia, has supported capital punishments for decades, particularly for drug-related offences.

This firm stance has been justified by evidence from national polls indicating the public supports the death penalty.

Fulcrum - October 8, 2021

Burhanuddin Muhtadi – The Islamic Defenders Front, a hardline group which was banned by the Indonesian government last year, has relaunched itself under a new guise. Not many are convinced that the proverbial apple has fallen far from the tree.

Tabloid JUBI - October 8, 2021

Yance Wenda, Sentani – Papuan People Assembly's (MRP) member of the Women Workgroup Orpa Nari has warned security forces not to restrict Papuan women from selling noken – Papua's multifunctional woven bag – and other accessories with the Morning Star design in the 20th National Games (PON XX) venue in Papua.

Jakarta Globe - October 8, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The UK government recently announced it would recognize Indonesia's proof of Covid-19 vaccination starting next week.

Tempo - October 8, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) on Thursday suspected dozens of companies were involved in an alleged graft case of gold smuggling at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Jakarta Post - October 8, 2021

Josa Lukman – Indonesia has around 3.36 million hectares of mangrove ecosystem, and the largest mangrove in the world. Of the lot, approximately 1.5 million hectares of Indonesian mangroves are located in the Papua and West Papua provinces.

UCA News - October 8, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – An Indonesian public journalism initiative, Project Multatuli, was digitally attacked and its website brought down within hours of publishing a report on alleged police inaction in a case of child sexual abuse involving a civil servant and his three children.

October 7, 2021

Tempo - October 7, 2021

Caesar Akbar, Jakarta – Senior economist and Rector of Paramadina University, Didik Junaidi Rachbini, asked the authorities to investigate the findings of the Pandora Papers. He opined that the leaked financial reports and business deals revealing the ownership of assets and shell companies in tax haven countries was a scandal.

Straits Times - October 7, 2021

Petungkriyono Forest, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesian officials and researchers are working to preserve a small pocket of forest on the heavily populated island of Java as the habitat of the Javan gibbon, which they say is endangered by climate change and human encroachment.Also known as the silvery gibbon, the primate is unique to central and western Java, where it plays a role in

Al Jazeera - October 7, 2021

An elephant park in Bali left more than a dozen elephants to starve, and staff without pay after plummeting ticket sales forced it to close when COVID-19 spread around the world and borders were closed.

Mongabay - October 7, 2021

Luh De Suriyani, Denpasar, Indonesia – An elected official in Bali surrendered a baby gibbon to conservation authorities last month after a social media post showing him playing with the animal at home caused outrage among animal rights advocates and conservationists, the latest in a long line of similar incidents in the mega biodiverse country.

The Guardian - October 7, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Former Timor-Leste president Xanana Gusmao says the continuing prosecution of Bernard Collaery is an "insult" to his country and has urged Australia to drop the case in the wake of this week's decision to overturn a secrecy order.

Tempo - October 7, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The government will require additional revenue of up to Rp700 trillion to keep the state budget deficit below three percent of the GDP (gross domestic product), the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) said.

Jakarta Globe - October 7, 2021

Stefani Wijaya and Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Jakarta's strong desire for hosting its first-ever Formula E race meets another hurdle after it appears the area surrounding the National Monument, or Monas, cannot be used as a street circuit as initially planned.

Reuters - October 7, 2021

Gayatri Suroyo, Fransiska Nangoy, Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament approved a law on Thursday for one of the country's most ambitious tax overhauls, including raising the value added tax rate next year, a new carbon tax and cancelling a planned corporate tax cut.

Tempo - October 7, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Institute of Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) criticized the police for revealing the identity of a woman who reported that her children had been raped. The police revealed the woman's name when clarifying news about the rape of three minors in East Luwu.

Brisbane Times - October 7, 2021

Kieran Pender – The sorry saga of the prosecution of Bernard Collaery, an eminent Canberra lawyer, has seen a number of unhappy chapters. His prosecution, for Collaery's alleged role in exposing Australia's espionage against friendly neighbours Timor-Leste, is profoundly unjust.

Antara News - October 7, 2021

Boyke LW, Fardah, Jakarta – A survey by the Indonesia Elections and Strategic (indEX) Research uncovered that the public lauded the government's handling of the spread of COVID-19.

October 6, 2021

Asia Pacific Report - October 6, 2021

The interim president of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) has accused Indonesia of holding its 20th National Games "on the bones of my people".

"While we mourn for three years of Indonesian military operations, these games are a dance on top of our graves, on top of our suffering, on top of our cries," Benny Wenda said today in a statement.

Jakarta Globe - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – The Ministry of Transportation has removed the maximum limit of 90 international flight passengers through Soekarno Hatta Airport. Arriving passengers still need to carry out the mandatory eight-day isolation following their arrival.

Tempo - October 6, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Air passenger traffic in 15 airports under state-run airport operator Angkasa Pura I (AP I) jumped by 88 percent in September 2021, reaching 1.94 million people, compared to the previous month at around 1.03 million people, the company reported.

The Guardian - October 6, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Former Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery says a ruling that lifts secrecy over significant parts of his trial is a "victory for justice" and a testament to the legal profession, which has banded together to support him through his prosecution.

Liputan 6 - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – An Indonesian military (TNI) officer who had same-sex relations with another officer has been found guilty of committing deviant acts by a military tribunal in Surabaya, East Java. As a result, the officer has been dishonorably discharged and jailed.

Rest of the World - October 6, 2021

Indonesians spend over eight hours on the internet per day, and new users are coming online at three times the global rate. Paired with Indonesia's consumer habits and hype for online shopping, the country's influencer economy is booming.

WA Today - October 6, 2021

Anthony Galloway – Sensitive details surrounding Australia's alleged bugging operation of East Timor will be heard in public after the ACT Court of Appeal ruled that requiring large parts of the case against Bernard Collaery to be held behind closed doors created a real risk of damaging public confidence in the legal system.

Sydney Morning Herald Editorial - October 6, 2021

The ACT Court of Appeal has struck an important blow for transparency and the public's right to know in a judgment on Tuesday in the case of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer who blew the whistle on Australia's illegal spying operation against East Timor.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 6, 2021

It's fair to say at this point that the Pandora Papers scandal hasn't had as much of an explosive impact in Indonesia as it has abroad, but all eyes are now on two of the country's top cabinet ministers after they were reportedly named in the leak.

Tempo - October 6, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Indonesia) urges the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government to dismiss problematic articles that threaten press freedom and freedom of expression in the Criminal Code bill (RUU KUHP) and the ITE bill (RUU ITE).

Jakarta Globe - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – The criminal case against two policemen charged with the murder of four Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members has been handed over to the court, the Attorney General's Office said on Tuesday.

Suara Papua - October 6, 2021

Agus Pabika, Jayapura – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's visit to Papua to officially open the National Games (PON XX) and officiate a number of infrastructure projects are ceremonial and will not provide any benefits to the ordinary Papuan people when cases of human rights violations are left unresolved.

Straits Times - October 6, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has agreed to pardon an academic jailed last month for defamation under a controversial internet law, a minister said, following an outcry from human rights groups who say the law risks curtailing free speech.

Fulcrum - October 6, 2021

Made Supriatma – PAN's entry into Jokowi's ruling coalition has cemented the President's strong grip over Indonesia's legislative assemblies and could make passing constitutional amendments even easier.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 6, 2021

An Indonesian soldier has been sent to prison for having gay sex with multiple men, it has been reported, after documents from his appeal became public recently.

Tempo - October 6, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Youth and Sports Minister (Menpora), Zainudin Amali, asserted that the XX Papua National Sports Week (PON Papua) will continue to run as scheduled albeit a number of athletes and officials tested positive for COVID-19.

Jakarta Globe - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – State-owned oil company Pertamina successfully tested a new jet fuel product with a tiny blend of biofuel in a short-distance flight from Jakarta to Bandung on Wednesday.

A CN-235 propeller aircraft manufactured by Dirgantara Indonesia functioned as a testbed aircraft to fly using Pertamina's aviation biofuel product.

CNN Indonesia - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) Director Gufron Mabruri says the Indonesian military (TNI) is increasingly becoming involved in civilian affairs as it marks its 76th anniversary today on Tuesday October 5, and that reform of the TNI has gone backwards.

Straits Times - October 6, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia has reached the 150 million mark in Covid-19 vaccine shots administered, overtaking Japan as the country with the fifth highest number of jabs in a global ranking.

Crikey - October 6, 2021

Bernard Keane – In a significant defeat for the federal government and former attorney-general Christian Porter, the Supreme Court of the ACT has overturned secrecy orders demanded by Porter in his prosecution of Bernard Collaery, which would have ensured much of the trial was conducted in complete secrecy and evidence would have been hidden not merely from the public but from Colla

UCA News - October 6, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – At least six people were killed and thousands forced to flee during clashes between two indigenous groups in Indonesia's Papua province sparked by allegations of witchcraft, police said Oct. 6.

Violence flared between members of the Kimyal and Yali tribes in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo district, on Oct. 3.

October 5, 2021

Tempo - October 5, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The city government of Yogyakarta has said that it is optimistic of reaching its COVID-19 vaccination target on the city's 265th anniversary, which falls on October 7, 2021.

Mongabay - October 5, 2021

Carolyn Cowan – Biologists often refer to the Wallacea region of Indonesia as a "living laboratory" for the study of evolution. Spanning 1,680 of Indonesia's central islands, including the Malukus, Nusa Tenggara and the expansive arms of Sulawesi, it is the transition zone where the biota of Asia and Australasia collide.

UCA News - October 5, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste's cabinet ministers are personally spearheading a renewed mass vaccination campaign targeting more than 80 percent of the population in a bid to overcome widespread doubts over vaccines.

Coconuts Jakarta - October 5, 2021

An Islamic education website's unironic call to ditch bras in the name of modesty has garnered controversy in Indonesia, prompting the nation's highest clerical body to wade in on the perky issue.

Mongabay - October 5, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Sorong, West Papua – With its lush rainforests and long stretches of beaches, Waimon, a coastal village in Indonesia's West Papua province, seems like an idyllic place.

But some residents consider it a hostile, almost inhospitable place due to its remoteness and the heavy rains that can make traveling by boat a deadly prospect.

Tempo - October 5, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo delivered a speech during the celebration ceremony of the Indonesian Military or TNI's 76th anniversary which was held in the courtyard of the Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta, Tuesday, October 5.

In his speech, the President reminded all that Indonesia is still under threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UCA News - October 5, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Four people including a Protestant pastor have been arrested in Indonesia's West Kalimantan province for alleged corruption in a church construction project.

The pastor was arrested on Oct. 4 in Sepauk district along with the other three who included a civil servant and two members of the local assembly in Sintang Regency.