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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 16, 2021

Jakarta Globe - March 16, 2021

Jakarta – Astra International, Indonesia's largest car distributor, has seen its car production picks up pace this year in line with rising demand, giving the company hope for a recovery this year, the company said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - March 16, 2021

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – The touristy Bali and Riau Islands have become more attractive locations for tech companies, challenging the dominance of Java, as Indonesia's provinces compete to capture a bigger slice of Southeast Asia's largest digital economy.

East Asia Forum - March 16, 2021

Jeremy Mulholland and Zainal Arifin Mochtar – Indonesia's once formidable Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is now metamorphosed into an impaired government agency.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 16, 2021

Indonesia's newly-launched Virtual Police has all but proved its critics right after it shut down a man for his criticism of President Joko Widodo's son and Solo Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Jakarta Globe - March 16, 2021

Jakarta – The much-anticipated trial of firebrand Muslim cleric Rizieq Syihab was postponed on Tuesday after judges at the East Jakarta District Court encountered internet connection problems that made them unable to communicate with the defendant during the virtual hearing.

Mongabay - March 16, 2021

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Fires have flared up in at least 10 provinces in Indonesia, with some of the burning occurring in peatlands.

New Mandala - March 16, 2021

Aristyo Rizka Darmawan – In early 2020 last year, dozens of people, mostly from fisher's associations, gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta. With a huge white loud-speaker truck, they screamed and protested China's moves in the North Natuna Sea.

Tempo - March 16, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Epidemiologist from Griffith University Dicky Budiman doubted that the national Covid-19 vaccination program has decreased the trend in new positive cases. He argued that the number of people who have been inoculated has not affected virus transmission yet.

Jakarta Globe - March 16, 2021

Jakarta – More than 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the global procurement scheme Covax arrived in Indonesia last week.

UCA News - March 16, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Two state agencies in Indonesia have accused police in West Java of dragging their feet in a sexual abuse case involving a "Catholic brother".

The case was first reported to local police in September 2019 by three boys living at the Kencana Bejana Rohani orphanage in the city of Depok.

Asia Pacific Report - March 16, 2021
Theo Hesegem, Wamena, Papua – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has repeatedly made trips to two of Melanesian provinces, Papua and West Papua, in the easternmost part of Indonesia.

However, the working visits made by the head of state to the land of Papua have actually not produced the results expected by indigenous Papuans.

CNN Indonesia - March 16, 2021

Jakarta – The cyber crimes division at the national police's criminal investigations directorate will give out rewards in the form of badges or pins to members of the public who actively report alleged crimes on social media.

Tempo - March 16, 2021

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – The Jakarta Ombudsman was set to summon the city's Health Agency over the implementation of Covid-19 vaccination for the family members of the Regional Legislative Council (DPRD).

Straits Times - March 16, 2021

Arlina Arshad, Singapore – A new policy that exempts Indonesian migrant workers in 10 job sectors from hefty placement fees which keep them in debt for months, and which was supposed to come into effect on Jan 15, will now be enacted on July 15 by the Indonesian government.

Tempo - March 16, 2021

Antara, Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Head of the Ilaga Airport, Herman Sujito, said that flights to Wangbe in the Puncak Regency, Papua, is currently still closed after a the pilots and three passengers of a Susi Air commercial flight was briefly held hostage by a local Papuan armed criminal group (KKB) in Friday last week.

Tempo - March 16, 2021

Bisnis, Francisca Christy, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo planned to gradually reopen the economic sector, especially tourism in Bali once the spread of Covid-19 started to slow down and be fully contained.

Agence France-Presse - March 16, 2021
Jakarta – Indonesia will delay the rollout of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 jab pending a review by the World Health Organization (WHO) into blood clot fears, the Southeast Asian nation's health minister said Monday.

"To be conservative, (Indonesian health regulators) are delaying the implementation of AstraZeneca while waiting for confirmation from WHO," Budi Gunadi Sadikin told lawmakers

Nikkei Asia - March 16, 2021

Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Indonesia's multiparty political system is at risk of splintering further after an apparent coup in a former ruling party.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 16, 2021

The Transportation Ministry today said it will not ban the annual homecoming exodus tradition known locally as mudik this year despite the ongoing pandemic.

March 15, 2021

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Friski Riana, Koran Tempo, Jakarta – Head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo on Monday made a statement following a report conducted by Tempo Magazine's investigation team, Investigative Journalist Club, and the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) which found alleged mishandling and issues related to the procurement of Covid-19 equipment.

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) deputy speaker Ahmad Basarah – and member of PDIP which is the Party of the current president – claims that the Party does indeed intend to present change in the 1945 Constitution (UUD) but is unrelated to extend the president's term of office.

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2021

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali recently announced the pandemic-delayed 20th National Sports Week, or PON XX, will be held from October 2-15 in Papua.

UCA News - March 15, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The superior of the Society of the Divine Word congregation in Timor-Leste has moved to scotch rumors that ex-priest and self-confessed pedophile Richard Daschbach, who is currently on trial for sexual abuse, will be reinstated.

CNN Indonesia - March 15, 2021

Jakarta – The Surakarta (Solo) Virtual Police team has arrested a resident of Slawi, AM, who wrote a comment deemed to be a hoax about President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo eldest son Solo Deputy Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Majalah Tempo, Jakarta – Politics, Law, and Security Coordinating Minister Mahfud MD on March 12 said that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had summoned himself and Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly to be briefed about the Democrat Party polemic.

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Deputy Speaker Hidayat Nur Wahid confirmed there was no agenda to propose an amendment to the 1945 Constitution (UUD 1945) to allow a third presidential term.

Jakarta Post Editorial - March 15, 2021

Jakarta – When a conflict happens, an outsider's view of the dispute and how to solve it tends to be free from any bias.

Fulcrum - March 15, 2021

Max Lane – On 2 February, Agus H Yudhoyono (AHY), the Chairman of the Democrat Party (PD), publicly accused President Joko Widodo's Chief of Staff, retired General Moeldoko, of plotting to organise an Extraordinary Congress (KLB) of the PD to seize the leadership of the opposition party. Moeldoko, not a PD member, denied the accusations.

Channel News Asia - March 15, 2021

Kiki Siregar, Singapore – Indonesia has postponed the implementation of a new policy that could make it more expensive for employers here to hire its citizens as foreign domestic workers.

Suara Papua - March 15, 2021

Nabire – Intan Jaya has started Lent with bitter sorrow after losing three young Papuan men alleged to have been shot and brutally tortured to death by the Indonesian military in a local health centre.

TNI (Indonesia National Army) beat and tortured three youths to death at the Bilogai Health Center, Intan Jaya.

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) firmly believes that the government's decision to no longer deem coal fly ash and bottom ash (FABA) as B3 hazardous waste benefits the interests of investors.

Tempo - March 15, 2021

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin confirmed the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Indonesia had shown a downward trend in the last one to two months. He said this condition followed a global downward trend.

Reuters - March 15, 2021

Jakarta – Indonesia expects to receive 20.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna Inc and China's Sinopharm from the second quarter to use in a private vaccination scheme, the head of a state pharmaceutical firm said on Monday.

March 14, 2021

Tempo - March 14, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Deputy Chief of House Commission IV, G. Budisatrio Djiwandono, has urged the government to review its plan to import 1 million tons of rice as that could depress the price of unhusked rice in the country.

Arah Juang - March 14, 2021

The following is a statement by the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (KASBI) in response to a police summons for KASBI General Chairperson Nining Elitos over alleged health protocol violations during the commemorations of International Women's Day (IWD) in Jakarta on March 8.

Viva solidarity!

Tempo - March 14, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – The Jakarta authorities reopened four parks in Central Jakarta to the public, albeit enforcing Micro-Scale Activity Restriction (PPKM) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parks were reopened since Saturday (Mar. 13) under the supervision of several officers to ensure that visitors comply with the health protocols.

Kompas.com - March 14, 2021

Nicholas Ryan Aditya, Jakarta – Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) political desk head, Khalisa Khalid, says that they were concerned from the start that the enactment of the Job Creation Law would impact on environmental protection.

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2021

Heru Andriyanto & Maria Fatima Bona, Jakarta – Indonesia has administered 5.48 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine since the campaign began on January 13, with 4.02 million people having received at least one shot, according to Health Ministry data released on Sunday.

Suara Papua - March 14, 2021

Arnold Belau, Nabire – Victor Yeimo, international spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), has revealed that over the last three years the state has sent 21,369 Indonesian troops to the land of Papua.

ABC News - March 14, 2021

Matt Brann – There have been all kinds of records broken in Australia's beef industry this year, including the price for cattle getting exported to Indonesia.

Feeder steers exported via Darwin Port have been fetching about $4.30 a kilogram this month, up 65 per cent on where the price was in April last year.

March 13, 2021

Tempo - March 13, 2021

Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria stated that the capital city government has inoculated the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine to 483,492 people. They are the healthcare workers, public service workers, and the elderlies.

Tempo - March 13, 2021

Jakarta – Askrindo has been undermined by alleged embezzlement totaling up to Rp200 billion. The payment of claims was overstated so the directors could benefit.

Straits Times - March 13, 2021

Jakarta (Bloomberg) – Indonesia is pursuing another attempt at increasing government influence in the decision-making and operations of its central bank, as well as expanding its ability to fund public debt, according to a draft legislation to be discussed in parliament.

Channel News Asia - March 13, 2021

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Dete Aliah has been involved in deradicalisation efforts for almost a decade in her capacity as the executive director of Society Against Radicalism and Violent Extremism (SeRVE), a not-for-profit organisation in Indonesia.

One particular inmate by the name of Siti (not her real name) has been on her mind a lot lately.

Tempo - March 13, 2021

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian Police's virtual police feature will now monitor hate speech contents on the WhatsApp messenger app. The police chief of the public relations division, Senior Commissioner Ahmad Ramadhan, said it had received a report on one WhatsApp content.

March 12, 2021

CNN Indonesia - March 12, 2021

Jakarta – The environmental non-government organisation (NGO) Trend Asia has criticised the government's decision to remove coal ash from the category of hazardous and toxic wastes (B3). According to the group, the move will only benefit business and elite groups.

Tempo - March 12, 2021

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said many jobs will no longer be needed and exist in the future, creating a drastic change in labor market. It is, moreover, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tabloid JUBI - March 12, 2021

Benny Mawel, Jayapura – Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) lawyer, Michael Himan, said the National Police chief Gen. Listyo Prabowo must fire Malang Police chief Sr. Come. Leonardus Simarmata after the latter reportedly threatened to shoot Papuan students on March 8, 2021.

Jakarta Globe - March 12, 2021

Herman, Jakarta – Japanese automotive giants Honda, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi Motors have pledged a combined investment of at least $1.2 billion in Indonesia over the next few years to expand their production capacity and make electric vehicles in the country, the companies told Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita during his visit to Japan this week.

The Conversation - March 12, 2021

Endah Triastuti – As the country with the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia has no national law against homosexuality other than the 1974 Marriage Law. This law states that the only legally acknowledged marriage is between heterosexual couples.

However, wider discrimination against LGBTQ people happens.