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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 19, 2022

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2022

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Indonesian government announced on Wednesday that it had secured 400,000 tablets of the Covid-19 antiviral drug Molnupiravir, while also reporting that the country's total tally of the Omicron variant had jumped to 882 cases.

January 18, 2022

New Mandala - January 18, 2022

Quah Say Jye – Southeast Asia is especially exposed to the deluge of consequences that climate change brings. The region is already experiencing unnatural weather patterns, as devastating floods in Malaysia and the Philippines show.

Tempo - January 18, 2022

Indri Maulidar, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) on Tuesday has finally proposed the draft bill on sexual violence criminal offences (RUU TPKS) in a plenary meeting led by House Speaker Puan Maharani.

The draft law had been intensively discussed in the House's legislation body since 2016 and underwent name changes.

Jakarta Post - January 18, 2022

Agencies, Jakarta – The House of Representatives has approved a bill to relocate the nation's capital from Jakarta to a jungled area of East Kalimantan, the head of National Planning Agency (Bappenas) said on Tuesday.

Tabloid JUBI - January 18, 2022

Alexander Loen, Jayapura, Jubi – A crossfire between armed groups and the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police occurred again in Kiwirok District, Bintang Mountains Regency, Papua on Monday, January 17, 2022.

A member of Mobile Brigade, First Agent Bachtiar, was evacuated to Jayapura City because he was shot in the back.

Jakarta Globe - January 18, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia has administered more than 300 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19 since the campaign began last year, a Health Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The figures represent 72 percent of the targeted 416.4 million doses the government expects to create "population immunity" against the highly contagious disease.

Kompas.com - January 18, 2022

Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Deputy Coordinator Rivanlee Anandar believes that the police's attempt to forcibly bring activists Fatia Maulidiyanti and Haris Azhar in for questioning shows that the police are a tool of those in power and was designed to frighten the public.

Indonesia at Melbourne - January 18, 2022

Alexander R Arifianto – On 24 December 2021, Indonesia's largest Islamic organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, concluded its 34th national congress (muktamar) in Lampung. Congress delegates elected Yahya Cholil Staquf, the former general secretary (katib aam) of the organisation, as its next leader. He handily defeated his immediate predecessor, Said Aqil Siradj, 337 votes to 210.

Tempo - January 18, 2022

Indri Maulidar, Jakarta – A number of factions in the House of Representatives (DPR) wanted the bill on sexual violence crime (RUU TPKS) to also regulate adultery and LGBT – which they considered sexual deviations. The majority of them, however, approved the bill as an initiative of the DPR.

The Interpreter - January 18, 2022

Kyle Springer – Indonesia suffers from some of the highest food prices in Southeast Asia. Over the past decade, government policies focussed on food self-sufficiency have contributed to this problem.

Jakarta Globe - January 18, 2022

Jakarta – Businessman Heru Hidayat was convicted for corruption and money laundering related to a bad investment scandal at military insurer Asabri on Tuesday but the court refused to deliver the death sentence demanded by prosecutors.

His trial has marked the first time that capital punishment was recommended in a corruption case.

CNN Indonesia - January 18, 2022

Jakarta – The Metro Jaya regional police summons for two human rights activists, Lokataru Foundation Executive Director Haris Azhar and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti to appear for questioning, appears to be rushed and gives the impression of being pushed through.

The Guardian - January 18, 2022

Christopher Knaus – The federal government has been accused of making a "disgraceful" attempt to cast secrecy over a case relating to Australia's negotiations with Timor-Leste in the years prior to the controversial bugging operation revealed by Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

The Guardian - January 18, 2022

Rebecca Ratcliffe – Indonesia plans to name its new capital Nusantara, which translates as "archipelago", when government offices are relocated to the province of East Kalimantan from Jakarta, on the island of Java.

Reuters - January 18, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia is considering "limited restrictions" on palm oil exports and is also hiking cooking oil subsidies as part of attempts to contain surging domestic cooking oil prices and control inflation pressures, senior officials said on Tuesday.

January 17, 2022

CNN Indonesia - January 17, 2022

Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) recorded 1,182 cases of violence in Papua committed either by the TNI (Indonesian military), Polri (Indonesian police) or the OPM/KKB (Free Papua Movement/Armed Criminal Groups) in 2020-2021. The majority of cases or 41.31 percent of the violence related to the work of the Indonesian police.

Tempo - January 17, 2022

Maya Ayu Puspitasari, Jakarta – The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction said it would approve the sexual violence crime bill or RUU TPKS on conditions that the bill is ratified along with the criminal code (KUHP) bill.

Jakarta Post Editorial - January 17, 2022

Jakarta – Slowly but surely, the country has seen its COVID-19 caseload rise over the past few weeks as a result of the Omicron variant. As booster vaccine doses are administered to high-risk groups, more stringent measures are needed to mitigate the impacts of a potentially large-scale outbreak.

UCA News - January 17, 2022

Konradus Epa and Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Sexual violence committed against children in Indonesia almost tripled in 2021, but true figures remain elusive because of a tendency not to report such crimes and cover them up, according to an agency dedicated to protecting victims.

Tempo - January 17, 2022

Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – State-energy firm Pertamina on Monday announced that its Sumatra upstream subholding successfully discovered a new oil reserve within the Jambi field located at the Muaro Jambi Regency.

Tempo - January 17, 2022

Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Employers Association of Jakarta (Apindo Jakarta) has officially filed a lawsuit against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan over the revision of the 2022 provincial minimum wage (UMP).

Antara News - January 17, 2022

M Razi Rahman, Sri Haryati, Jakarta – The Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has pledged to impose legal sanction against those using "cantrang" fishing gear in the Indonesian waters to ensure the implementation of sustainable fishing.

UCA News - January 17, 2022

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Timor-Leste President Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres has officially declared that he will be making a bid to retain power at the elections due in March.

Guterres, chairman of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor Party (Fretilin), announced his candidacy at the historic St. Mary Church in Ermera municipality on Jan. 16.

Jakarta Globe - January 17, 2022

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is adamant about stopping the exports of raw materials – a practice which can be traced back to the Dutch colonial era – in an effort to bring added value to the Indonesian economy.

Tempo - January 17, 2022

Bisnis.Com, Jakarta – National Development Planning Minister or Bappenas Head Suharso Monoarfa said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Friday last week, Jan. 14, decided to name Nusantara for the new capital city in East Kalimantan.

Jakarta Globe - January 17, 2022

Jakarta – President Joko Widodo has agreed to extend luxury tax exemption on low-cost cars until the end of this quarter, a senior minister said over the weekend.

Band new cars priced at Rp 200 million or less are exempt from the 3 percent luxury tax for the next three months, chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto said.

East Asia Forum - January 17, 2022

Editorial Board, ANU – Ahead of the Rome G20 Summit in October 2021, the G20 looked like it was in danger of losing the plot. What a relief, then, to see Indonesia bring the G20 back to its bread-and-butter global policy challenges as it takes over as its chair for 2022.

Fulcrum - January 17, 2022

Norshahril Saat, Syafiq Hasyim – Newly elected NU Chairman Yahya Cholil Staquf campaigned on a platform to depoliticise NU in the run-up to the next elections. But NU's new leadership line-up suggests otherwise.

January 16, 2022

Australian Financial Review - January 16, 2022

Haryo Aswicahyono and Hal HillContributor – It takes a serious crisis to reveal a country's fundamental strengths and vulnerabilities.

Straits Times - January 16, 2022

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Bolstered by the commodities boom, Indonesia's economy appears set for a rapid growth rebound in 2022 as a significant decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths prompts easing of social restrictions and the reopening of borders.

Tempo - January 16, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – An epidemiologist from Sriwijaya University urged authorities in Indonesia to ensure that all children aged 6 to 11 must get vaccinated before allowing them to join a physical return to school at full capacity.

Channel News Asia - January 16, 2022

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – For most people, graveyards are places to avoid as they are often associated with spirits or spooky things best left to the otherworld.

But there are others like Ruri Hargiyono, who finds solace in them and enjoys spending her free time visiting cemeteries.

Radar Tegal - January 16, 2022

Jakarta – A circular requiring students from the Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar) to follow a public lecture by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday January 17 has gone viral on social media. Unpar rector Mangadar Situmorang has finally responded to the controversy.

Kompas.com - January 16, 2022

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – National Network for Domestic Worker Advocacy (Jala PRT) National Coordinator Lita Anggraini says that the number of domestic works (PRT) in Indonesia is quite large, yet the legal protections afforded to them are still lacking.

January 15, 2022

Channel News Asia - January 15, 2022

Nivell Rayda, Bogor, Indonesia – In between roaming about a dog shelter – her new home since she was rescued from a truck bound for a slaughterhouse – Sasha occasionally checked out her newborn puppies sleeping soundly in a pet bed.

Lying on a white and turquoise blanket, the five puppies were only a few weeks old, still unable to open their eyes, let alone walk.

Jakarta Post - January 15, 2022

A Muh Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Hundreds of buildings, including houses, places of worships and community health centers (Puskesmas), were damaged in a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck the western parts of Java Island on Friday.

The Guardian - January 15, 2022

Ben Doherty – The oil came without warning. One morning in September 2009 it was there, coating Daniel Sanda's modest seaweed farm on the Indonesian island of Rote: a dark sheen across the water, waxy yellow-grey blocks floating in the sea.

Within days, the crop his family depended on for its livelihood turned white and died. It has still not fully recovered.

Tempo - January 15, 2022

Arrijal Rachman, Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) director of investigations Febrie Adriansyah said that the state losses caused by the satellite procurement case involving the East Longitude 123 orbital slot could likely exceed IDR 500 billion.

Jakarta Post Editorial - January 15, 2022

Jakarta – What a sad twist of political career for Rahmat Effendi, who as Bekasi mayor earned an iconic status as a true defender of freedom of religion. It was reduced to almost nothing after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested him for allegedly accepting bribes during a sting operation on Jan. 5.

Reuters - January 15, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia reported 1,054 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the highest daily increase in three months, as the government braces for a new wave of coronavirus infections driven by the spread of the Omicron variant.

The world's fourth most populous country grappled with a devastating second wave of infections in July, driven by the spread of the Delta variant.

January 14, 2022

ABC News - January 14, 2022

Hellena Souisa – After stalling for almost a decade, Indonesia's House of Representatives is expected to debate a bill on sexual violence next Tuesday.

Last week, President Joko Widodo called for the bill to be ratified immediately so that there would be maximum protection for victims of sexual violence.

Tempo - January 14, 2022

Mirza Bagaskara, Jakarta – A number of experts believe President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has only focused on economic growth in his second term in office. Indikator Politik Indonesia director Burhanuddin Muhtadi on Thursday said there are a number of issues that are put aside because of this economy-centric mindset.

Reuters - January 14, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia's state utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) said on Friday that together with the energy ministry it was strengthening a coal delivery monitoring system to ensure enforcement of domestic sales rules and energy security.

Tempo - January 14, 2022

Antara, Jakarta – The Confederation of Indonesian Workers Trade Union (KSPI) president Said Iqbal on Friday declared thousands of laborers, farmers, fishermen, migrant workers, and domestic workers will rally demanding House of Representatives (DPR) to repeal the Omnibus Job Creation Law (UU Cipta Kerja).

Jakarta Globe - January 14, 2022

Jakarta – The Indonesian government has decided to reopen borders for all international visitors by lifting the remaining entry ban for 14 countries imposed in the wake of the Omicron outbreak, a spokesman said on Friday.

Suara Papua - January 14, 2022

Jayapura – The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) says that a persuasive approach which the state will apply though the security forces in the land of Papua is a tired old tune which is being played again with the start of the new year.

Jakarta Post Editorial - January 14, 2022

Jakarta – Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and as such, is not obliged to take on the boatloads of asylum seekers that have been arriving in large numbers to avoid persecution in their countries.

Channel News Asia - January 14, 2022

Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – Thousands of fish have died in the past few weeks in Indonesia's Lake Maninjau, West Sumatra, highlighting both the environmental as well as human factors in contributing to the decade-old problem.

Tempo - January 14, 2022

Pribadi Wicaksono (Contributor), Yogyakarta – Yogyakarta Administration on Thursday, January 13, started to intensify the booster vaccination in an effort to anticipate the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant. As one of Indonesia's popular destinations, the city expects to be able to prevent the case surge, unlike when the Delta variant hit the region in mid-2021.

Malay Mail - January 14, 2022

Anne Grace Savitha, Petaling Jaya – An Indonesian couple from Central Java have shocked social media after keeping the corpse of their daughter in their house in hopes that she would rise from the dead.

Tribun Jakarta reported that the parents kept the corpse in the house for over two months and believed she would come back alive after following some rituals.