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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 4, 2021

Sydney Morning Herald - June 4, 2021

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – Indonesian troops on a manhunt for rebels in the strife-torn region of West Papua have been given carte blanche to shoot anyone, a local priest warns, after the government labelled armed separatists "terrorists".

East Asia Forum - June 4, 2021

Adhi Priamarizki – The separation of the Indonesian police from the military in the early 2000s was supposed to establish a line between internal security and external defence. Two decades later, the distinction between these roles is still blurred.

Tempo - June 4, 2021

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform criticized the government's plan to modernize the primary weapons defense system or Alutsista with a budget of more than Rp1,700 trillion through a debt scheme. The budget was considered excessive and inappropriate at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - June 4, 2021

Vincent Fabian Thomas, Jakarta – Discounts on electricity bills for people living in small homes will end within weeks as the government terminates the financial aid on the grounds that the economic recovery from the pandemic has begun.

Reuters - June 4, 2021

Using a snorkel and protective gloves, Pariama Hutasoit dives down into the clear waters off the Indonesian island of Bali to pull away plastic from a "reef star" installed by her conservation group to encourage new coral growth.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 4, 2021

Jakarta's odd-even traffic rule may soon return to ease the capital's increasingly busy roads after it was suspended for months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Tempo - June 4, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The head of the Socio-politics Department of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Arya Fernandes, said Friday the country lacked any significant military figure that would become an alternative presidential candidate for the 2024 presidential election.

Straits Times - June 4, 2021

Jakarta – That Indonesia, among the largest archipelagic states in the world with a huge population and rich in natural resources, needs strong armed forces is beyond question.

Antara News - June 4, 2021

Genta TM, Rahmad Nasution, Jakarta – The XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command is striving to improve the welfare of soldiers stationed in West Papua by providing flats to them.

The flats, built on a total area of 780 square meters inside the military command compound's complex in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua Province, was inaugurated on June 2.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 4, 2021

A lot of us joked that the showrunners of a controversial sinetron (Indonesian soap opera) would use a trite storytelling device to replace a teen actress. Imagine our amusement when they actually did.

June 3, 2021

Deutsche Welle (DW) - June 3, 2021

The China-backed project has been designed so recklessly that it would condemn local villages to a catastrophic fate if approved, engineers say.

A few hundred meters from the village of Sopokomil in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, work is set to begin on a tailings dam for a zinc mine that experts say is a recipe for disaster.

ABC News - June 3, 2021

Love it or loathe it, a trip to Bali is a rite of passage for many Australians. And now, it's among a handful of Indonesian destinations slated to reopen to international tourists within weeks.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 3, 2021

Could this be the scheme that finally brings order to Indonesia's chaotic roads? We're not holding our breath, but the traffic police certainly think a demerit points system is the way forward.

The National Police has issued new regulations on driver's licenses (SIM), which would see the imminent enforcement of a demerit points system.

The Conversation - June 3, 2021

Jacob Phelps – In a court in rural Indonesia, an environmental group recently filed a lawsuit of global importance. Their case is against a zoo in North Sumatra that it's alleged illegally exhibited threatened species, including Komodo dragons and critically endangered Sumatran orangutans.

Tempo - June 3, 2021

Friski Riana, Jakarta – LGBT rights group Suara Kita Head Hartoyo said transgenders had so far found difficulties in accessing public services because they did not own identity cards or E-KTP. Thus, he appreciated the Directorate General of Population and Civil Registration for issuing a policy on identity cards for transgenders.

Jakarta Globe - June 3, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesian prosecutors on Thursday recommended a sentence of six years' imprisonment for controversial cleric Rizieq Syihab for allegedly lying about his Covid-19 test.

The case was part of a series of criminal trials he has been facing since returning from Saudi Arabia last November.

Straits Times - June 3, 2021

Lim Min Zhang, Singapore – Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto spoke on the phone on Thursday (June 3), reaffirming the close and longstanding bilateral defence relationship between the two countries, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

UCA News - June 3, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – An Indonesian archbishop in Christian-majority Papua says he was twice targeted this year by Islamic terrorists who planned to meet with him and blow themselves up.

Sacred Heart Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi said the terrorists planned to kill him at his residence and at the cathedral in Merauke, the country's easternmost city.

Tempo - June 3, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – A number of survey institutions have commenced observing potential candidates for the 2024 Presidential Election (Pilpres).

The Conversation - June 3, 2021

Tim Lindsey and Max Walden – No one really knows the true state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, and that means it is unpredictable. But there are good reasons to worry about what will happen next.

Mongabay - June 3, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Palm oil licenses covering concessions twice the size of Los Angeles have been rescinded by the local government in Indonesia's West Papua province due to violations by the license holders.

Straits Times - June 3, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesia has cancelled the haj pilgrimage for people in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation for a second year in a row due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, the religious affairs minister said on Thursday (June 3).

Tempo - June 3, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders refused to revoke the commission's decree (SK) No. 652 of 2021 concerning the results of the civic knowledge test or known as TWK.

The commission's Deputy Chairman Alexander Marwata revealed reasons for rejecting the objection letter submitted by seven of the 75 employees who failed the test.

June 2, 2021

The Interpreter - June 2, 2021

Bec Strating – Recent media reports suggest that different perspectives on maritime boundaries are creating tensions between Australia and Indonesia. An Indonesian border negotiator told The Australian Financial Review last month that talks between Australia and Indonesia on maritime boundaries had restarted in December 2019 but stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Radio New Zealand - June 2, 2021

Continuing telecommunications outages in Indonesia's Papua region have created a media blind spot by blocking the flow of information about ongoing conflict in its central highlands.

UCA News - June 2, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta has called on Indonesians to commit to the country's secular ideology to build unity and respect differences as the world's most populous Muslim marked the anniversary of its inception on June 1.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 2, 2021

Indonesians are calling for severe sanctions toward a TV network after it aired some extremely disturbing content in a soap opera pertaining to the sexualization of a child.

Jakarta Post - June 2, 2021

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesia's inflation rate picked up in May both on an annual and monthly basis as prices of food commodities and transportation services rose during the country's peak spending period of Ramadan and Idul Fitri.

Reuters - June 2, 2021

Indonesia's navy has officially ended its efforts to salvage the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, which sank in April in waters off Bali island, leading to the deaths of all 53 on board, a navy spokesman said on Wednesday.

Radio New Zealand - June 2, 2021

Twelve people have been arrested over an alleged terrorist plot to attack an archbishop and police stations in the Indonesian province of Papua, local police officials said.

June 1, 2021

Kabar 24 - June 1, 2021

Aprianus Doni Tolok, Jakarta – Today, a new political party will be declared in Indonesia. The new party is called the People's Justice and Prosperity Party or Prima.

Tempo - June 1, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Chief of Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK, Firli Bahuri, has inaugurated its 1,271 employees as State Civil Apparatur (ASN) on Tuesday, June 1, at KPK office building.

ABC Pacific Beat - June 1, 2021

Hellena Souisa – Tensions have been rising in the past month, between pro-independence campaigners and the military in Indonesia's eastern most provinces of West Papua and Papua that share a border with Papua New Guinea.

During that time they have been frequent internet blackouts, making it hard to get up to date information out of the contested region.

Jakarta Globe - June 1, 2021

Fana Suparman & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, on Tuesday gathered 1,271 employees to take an oath of allegiance as civil servants to follow a new law which has met resistance from an element of its investigators.

Kompas.com - June 1, 2021

Deti Mega Purnamasari, Jakarta – The People's Justice and Prosperity Party (Prima) was officially declared as a new party on the evening of Tuesday June 1.

The party was declared by several ex-central leaders of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) at the Usmar Ismail Film Centre in Jakarta.

Jakarta Globe - June 1, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia welcomed another shipment of 8 million Covid-19 vaccines in bulk from the Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac on Monday.

Mlex - June 1, 2021

Jet Damazo-Santos – In Jakarta today, almost 1,300 employees of Indonesia's anticorruption agency are being inaugurated as official members of the civil service. But some of the agency's most senior investigators and officials won't be part of them, after failing to pass a highly controversial exam that supposedly tests their nationalism or loyalty to the nation.

Tempo - June 1, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi attended the commemoration ceremony of state ideology Pancasila Day on June 1, that held virtually, from Bogor Palace, West Java. During his speech, Widodo reminded the existence of transnational ideology in Indonesia.

UCA News - June 1, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – An Indonesian priest has issued an apology after remarks he made on same-sex marriage sparked protests from within the Catholic community, including church leaders and fellow priests.

May 31, 2021

East Asia Forum - May 31, 2021

Roland Rajah – Indonesia's new 'Omnibus Law on Job Creation' was marred by the public controversy that surrounded its passage late last year. The government nonetheless hailed the law as a major regulatory overhaul that would attract foreign investment and create jobs.

Tempo - May 31, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stated that Indonesia would oppose all practices of trade protectionism in the guise of a campaign to protect the environment committed by other countries or groups. According to him, each country needs to strengthen ties in realizing green development at the global level.

Jakarta Post - May 31, 2021

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government is planning to postpone the launch of an online platform that aims to make it easier for investors to submit documents and secure licenses.

Coconuts Jakarta - May 31, 2021

Indonesia may soon be without a flag carrier, as Garuda Indonesia's woes continue to deepen amid the pandemic and with bankruptcy a very real possibility for the airline.

Jakarta Globe - May 31, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia will have the largest green industrial area in the world, according to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

The head of state showed off the ambitious plan at the Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030 (P4G) summit on Monday. Located in North Kalimantan, the industrial estate will provide an impetus for green growth.

Straits Times - May 31, 2021

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – A small, sleepy regency on Indonesia's main Java island has worried those fighting Covid-19.

Kudus regency in central Java has registered a sevenfold increase in cases since the Hari Raya holidays and officials are now investigating if a more transmissible variant of the coronavirus is responsible for the surge.

Tempo - May 31, 2021

Istiqomatul Hayati, Jakarta – Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno is campaigning for the Back to Movie Theaters and Watch National Films movement. He invited families and the ministry's employees to watch the restored national film Tjoet Nja 'Dhien at Plaza Senayan Cinema XXI, Jakarta, on Sunday, May 30.

Antara News - May 31, 2021

Yudi Abdullah, Fardah, Palembang, South Sumatra – Activists of the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) chapter in South Sumatra reported about hundreds of hotspots with the potential to trigger forest fires in several districts in the province over the course of last month.

CNN Indonesia - May 31, 2021

Jakarta – A draft list of the "red" indicators used for employee assessment for transforming Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees into state civil servants has been circulating.

Tempo - May 31, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – A number of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees who passed the Civic Knowledge Test (TWK) wrote to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, asking him to cancel the test results which threatened 75 of their colleagues with dismissal.

Tempo - May 31, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Fadli Zon, deputy chairman of the Gerindra Party's Board of Trustees, tested positively for Covid-19. The party's deputy chief, Habiburokhman, confirmed the report and said that Fadli is currently being treated at a hospital in Jakarta.