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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 8, 2020

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2020

Carlos Roy Fajarta, Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Jakarta – More than 42,000 Indonesian migrant workers have arrived in Greater Jakarta via Soekarno-Hatta Airport and Tanjung Priok Port as of Wednesday, with 11 percent of them being placed under quarantine for precaution during the coronavirus outbreak.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Jakarta – The Australian government will provide A$2.2 million (Rp 22.1 billion) for the disaster management agencies of Indonesia's largest Muslim organizations, Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tempo - July 8, 2020

Jakarta – The decision by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo opening the door to exports of lobster larvae is a grave error.

Not only will it cause the state to potentially lose foreign exchange revenue from this lucrative sector, but it is also fair to suspect that it will only benefit a small number of people who happen to be close to the minister.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Jakarta – A top official at the National Police's internal affairs division revealed that a large number of East Java Police officers had been reported for marital infidelity.

Sr. Comr. Budi P. said that the East Java Police had recorded the highest number of infidelity cases in the country.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Indonesia will benefit from the diversification of the global supply chain as multinational companies are looking into ways to reduce reliance on China to manufacture their supplies following the outbreak of COVID-19, Southeast Asia's largest bank DBS has said.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry is drafting a regulation to protect the safety of bicyclists as the activity becomes increasingly popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry's land transportation director general, Budi Setiyadi, said his office had been in touch with cycling communities, particularly those in Jakarta, to discuss the plan, according to tempo.co.

Nikkei Asian Review - July 8, 2020

Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Indonesia is becoming a hot spot for global technology companies keen to get into one of Asia's fastest-growing data markets, where e-commerce and food delivery services are rapidly expanding due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trend toward data localization is also drawing the tech titans to the world's fourth most populous country.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's retail sales index contracted by 20.6 percent in May, the biggest dive since 2008, dragged by plunging clothes sales, as well as cultural and recreational spending, a Bank Indonesia (BI) survey released on Wednesday has shown.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The Health Ministry has issued a circular setting a price ceiling of Rp 150,000 (US$10.41) for COVID-19 rapid tests, following numerous complaints over the high prices of such tests.

Jakarta Globe - July 8, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Dramatic footages of grieving families snatching the bodies of Covid-19 patients continued to appear on news broadcasts, painting a grim picture of the country's struggle against the pandemic that so far has killed more than 3,300 people.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Indonesian consumers remain anxious about embarking on the so-called "new normal" as shown in a continued reluctance to go out despite the easing of travel restrictions, resulting in a sustained home-based economy, consumer research firms have reported.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Businesses that manage large quantities of the public's data have asked the House of Representatives not to regulate anonymized data in the personal data protection bill, saying that it could hamper their business development.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Indonesian tourism hotspots Jakarta and Bali are preparing to welcome meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) events as part of the provinces' tourism rebound strategy despite the rising COVID-19 cases in both provinces.

Straits Times - July 8, 2020

Jakarta (Bloomberg) – Indonesia's bureaucratic red tape is preventing almost US$50 billion (S$69.8 billion) in fiscal support from being disbursed to virus-hit businesses and healthcare workers, risking a deeper economic slump amid a surge in cases.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – Everyone has the right to an education, they say, but if you are a transwoman student, living in Indonesia, going to college can be a difficult and painful journey, because of discrimination, stigma and economic issues.

In most of her classes during her college years, Nabillah Saputri, 27, remembers no one wanting to sit with her.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Indonesia announced 1,853 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day increase since the emergence of its first cases in early March, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 68,079.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Almost 15,000 workers have been laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tangerang, Banten, Tangerang Regent Ahmed Zaki Iskandar has stated.

Ahmed added that 9,386 workers had been furloughed as a result of the pandemic. The workers who have been laid off or furloughed were in 13 companies that declared bankruptcy.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – The Education and Culture Ministry and Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry have released joint guidelines for the cultural and creative industries as they resume activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has called on the government to reassess the controversial omnibus bill on job creation, particularly in regard to provisions regulating halal certification and the employment of foreign workers.

Jakarta Post - July 8, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan's advocacy team has urged the National Police to investigate an alleged professional ethics violation by the legal team representing two police officers accused of attacking Novel with acid.

July 7, 2020

Tempo - July 7, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said the government has started to consider the removal of state institutions or commissions in order to cut out bureaucracy that is considered excessive thus far.

Jakarta Globe - July 7, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta began to trial its first electric buses on the city's busiest route between City Hall and the Blok M business center on Monday.

The electric buses are operated by municipally-owned land transportation company Transjakarta in collaboration with Bakrie Autoparts, the sole distributor of electric buses from Chinese automaker BYD Auto in Indonesia.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Sausan Atika and Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – The emergence of new COVID-19 cases in Jakarta, the first national epicenter of the outbreak, is showing no signs of slowing down despite claims that the capital was far more prepared for the disease thanks to improvements in its healthcare system.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government and Bank Indonesia (BI) agreed to a burden-sharing scheme worth Rp 574.59 trillion (US$39.7 billion) on Monday to finance the nation's COVID-19 response and bolster economic recovery efforts.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Jakarta – Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has said the government will not be opening recruitment for regular civil servant candidates (CPNS) in 2020 and 2021.

"There will be no CPNS recruitment for two years," Tjahjo said Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.

Kompas.com - July 7, 2020

Raja Umar, Banda Aceh – Pictures of a group of women cyclists wearing tight clothing and no headscarfs riding around the Acehnese provincial capital of Banda Aceh has gone viral on social media.

The photos and videos of the women wearing sexy pink tops invited criticism from netizens.

Straits Times - July 7, 2020

Jakarta – Activists have criticised the lack of progress of a historic Jakarta air pollution lawsuit, which remains unresolved a year after it was first filed on July 4, 2019.

The lawsuit, directed at seven state officials including Indonesian President Joko Widodo, initially received a positive response from the Jakarta administration.

The Guardian - July 7, 2020

Rebecca Ratcliffe – Indonesia's agriculture minister has been condemned by health experts for claiming that a necklace made from eucalyptus can help prevent transmission of Covid-19.

Tempo - July 7, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – University of Indonesia epidemiologist Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono suggested Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan take the courageous decision to stop the transitional PSBB protocol if the spread of COVID-19 does not show any improvements.

Tempo - July 7, 2020

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Garuda Indonesia (IDX: GIAA) CEO Irfan Setiaputra reported that at least 300 employees have taken early retirement as of today, July 7. The state airliner offered the option in a bid to reduce its financial burden amid the ongoing pandemic.

Jakarta Globe - July 7, 2020

Chairul Fikri, Jakarta – An Indonesian migrant worker on death row for murder conviction in Saudi Arabia was released after she paid Rp 15.5 billion ($1 million) in blood money to the kinfolk of the victim.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Jakarta – A 14-year-old rape survivor from Way Jepara, East Lampung regency, Lampung was allegedly raped and sexually abused multiple times by the head of a women's shelter run by the regency's Integrated Care Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A).

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Hengky Ola Sura, Sikka, East Nusa Tenggara – Award-winning author Felix K. Nesi has said he will continue his fight against sexual abuse despite being recently named as a suspect in a vandalism case.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The government is speeding up efforts to issue a regulation on carbon trading as part of Indonesia's commitment to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The government has spent the last year preparing the emission-trading system for the future domestic carbon market, the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said.

Reuters - July 7, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia imposed a 10% value-added tax on sales by technology firms including Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and Google on Tuesday, as spending patterns shift with increased remote working as a result of the coronavirus crisis, which has hit state finances.

Foreign Correspondent - July 7, 2020

Anne Barker – In the shadow of the whitewashed Catholic church in Ainaro, Timor-Leste, Kalistru walked down the steps onto the dusty road. He was just a boy, eight years old. He couldn't have known he would never see his mother or father again after that day.

Tempo - July 7, 2020

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian National Police's Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) announced the arrest of "ADC" which police said was responsible for hacking more than 1,300 government and non-government websites and internet accounts. Police nabbed the hacker on July 2 in Yogyakarta.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign exchange (forex) reserves increased to US$131.7 billion in June following the government's move to issue global sukuk (sharia compliant bonds) in the month, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) central executive board has recommended Rahayu "Sara" Saraswati Djojohadikusumo, the niece of Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto, to be its nominee for deputy mayor in the upcoming 2020 South Tangerang mayoral election in Banten.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The Indonesian government and industry players are gearing up to boost export of key products to neighboring Australia, amid slowing trade during the ongoing health crisis, as the trade pact between the two countries took effect on July 5.

Jakarta Post - July 7, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Sixteen groups in Papua have voiced opposition over the potential continuation of its special autonomy (Otsus) status, with the transfer of Otsus funds from the central government set to end next year.

Protesting under a movement called Petisi Rakyat Papua (Petition by Papuans), the groups also demanded a referendum to determine their own fate.

Mongabay - July 7, 2020

Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – An investigative report has revealed the political links between Indonesia's fisheries minister and a slew of companies recently awarded permits for a controversial lobster export program that experts say is unsustainable.

Indonesia at Melbourne - July 7, 2020

Ihsan Ali Fauzi – The Religious Affairs Ministry must immediately reconsider plans to involve the Indonesian Military (TNI) in managing religious harmony.

Tempo - July 7, 2020

Hendartyo Hanggi, Jakarta (Bisnis) – Following the controversy surrounding the decision to open the lobster seeds export, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Minister Edhy Prabowo firmly announced that he is prepared to be audited.

July 6, 2020

Jakarta Post - July 6, 2020

Riska Rahman and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Transferring the Financial Services Authority's (OJK) supervision over banking back to Bank Indonesia (BI) could cause investors to lose confidence in the country, experts have warned.

Jakarta Post - July 6, 2020

Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta – Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia are battling with challenges ranging from an unstable internet connection and logistics disruptions to financing difficulties and weakening purchasing power as they cope with the COVID-19 crisis, a recent survey shows.

Bloomberg - July 6, 2020

Harry Suhartono and Arys Aditya – Bali, Indonesia's most-popular holiday destination, will welcome back visitors from the end of this month even after the resort island reported a four-fold increase in virus cases in June as pressure mounts on authorities to rescue the battered tourism industry.

Coconuts Jakarta - July 6, 2020

A 14-year-old rape victim in Lampung province became the victim of another alleged sexual assault at the hands of an official who was supposed to provide her counseling and protection, a case of which has incited rage from the Indonesian public.

Jakarta Globe - July 6, 2020

Thresa Sandra Desfika, Jakarta – Lion Air Group, Indonesia's largest airline group by fleet size, has decided to slash 8.9 percent of its workforce to keep the group afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company spokesman said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - July 6, 2020

Jakarta – Banyuwangi regency in East Java has begun to reopen tourist destinations under "new normal" policies to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, regent Abdullah Azwar Anas has said.