Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Incumbent Joko Widodo will face his only challenger for the Indonesian presidency, former Army general Prabowo Subianto, on Thursday in the first televised debate ahead of elections on April 17.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
January 17, 2019
The topic of how long Indonesia could last in a hypothetical war has been a hot one in the country after presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto recently made the claim that Indonesia only has enough bullets to defend itself from a hostile country for three days.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said he is ready for the first 2019 presidential debate that will focus on legal, human rights, terrorism and corruption issues.
He added that he would explain why gross human rights violation cases have yet to be resolved by his administration.
Agnes Anya, Jakarta – Indonesia will kick off its campaign in February to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2020-2022 period.
The move follows Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi's announcement earlier this month that Jakarta would nominate itself for a spot on the top human rights body, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Papuan civilians in troubled Nduga regency are returning to their villages after recent conflict in the area, according to Indonesia's military.
Since late last year, a large joint operation by military and police has been underway in this Highlands region in pursuit of the West Papua Liberation Army.
The office of an NGO focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in the city of Pekanbaru in Riau is facing closure by authorities after members of a hardline Islamist group, along with local residents and police, conducted a raid on the building, allegedly based on suspicions that LGBT "activities" were taking place inside.
Nelson Da Cruz, Dili – East Timor's president has approved a decree allowing use of the country's petroleum fund for a $650 million buyout of Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips' holdings in the Greater Sunrise gas project, a proposal he had vetoed in December but which subsequently won overwhelming parliamentary backing.
Jakarta – The police have claimed that a misunderstanding was behind the rejection of a new church in Jagakarsa, South Jakarta.
According to South Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Indra Jafar, the dispute was settled on Friday and the seven banners that were placed in front of the church by protestors have been removed.
Panca Nugraha, Mataram – Mataram Police have caught two officials of the Religious Affairs Ministry's West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) office red-handed for allegedly demanding and accepting illegal levies from two earthquake-affected mosques in Batulayar and Lingsar districts, West Lombok.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – A bill on oil and gas has been nearly a decade in the hands of the House of Representatives, but there has been no significant progress on its deliberation. While the terms of the current President and lawmakers are nearly coming to an end, they are still trying to resolve their differences about the bill.
John McBeth, Jakarta – Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has come under a fresh round of harassment in the middle of a presidential and legislative election campaign where fighting graft is not, and never has been, a real issue.
President Jokowi chose not to spend political capital by undoing discriminatory regulations or protecting minorities from abuse. – Elaine Pearson, Australia Director
Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration took few steps in 2018 to protect the rights of marginalized groups in Indonesia, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.
January 16, 2019
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – The 2019 presidential race appears to have overshadowed the legislative election in the past few months, leaving in the shade the battle among political parties to win seats in the House of Representatives.
In Indonesia, the act of prostitution, specifically the transaction between sex worker and client, is not a crime, as the law only states that pimping or the facilitation of prostitution are punishable by law.
Jakarta – Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) chairman Ari Askhara has called on the government to provide protection to national aviation companies from the inflow of foreign airlines, as many domestic airlines are in a critical condition.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) must regard the Anti-Soccer Mafia task force set up by the National Police as encouragement for the association to strive to root out corruption in the sport, the Youth and Sports Minister has said.
Jakarta – An ambitious scheme to replant about a fifth of the land under palm oil in Indonesia is running far behind schedule, marking a blow to efforts by the world's top producer to lift yields and fend off attacks on the sustainability of the crop.
Hal Hill – Indonesia has achieved almost 20 years of continuous economic growth.
Jakarta – The East Java Police have named a soap opera star, identified as VA, a suspect in a prostitution case after reportedly discovering nude photos and videos of her and tracking them down to an alleged pimp.
"We will call her for questioning next Monday," East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said as quoted by tribunnews.com.
An organization that promotes in HIV/AIDS prevention and sex worker rights may be the latest casualty in Indonesia's ongoing LGBT moral panic after a raid on one of their offices, by a local hardline Islamic organization, in Riau's capital city of Pekanbaru.
Jakarta – Attacking each other, slander and the use of SARA (sectarian and identity politics) being accentuated by the presidential election candidates is disappointing the millennial generation. They are now threatening that if the situation does not improve, they will golput (abstain from voting) in the April 17 general elections.
Kharisar Kahfi, Jakarta – The University of Indonesia (UI) once again leads the nation in the list of the most influential universities in emerging-economy countries, as the university is included in the top-100 in a ranking released by Times Higher Education (THE), the magazine behind the world's most influential university rankings.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – State-owned electricity firm PLN is set to acquire coal mines as part of its plan to secure 40 percent of the coal demand for its power grid – which last year absorbed 95 million tons of coal – by 2023.
Amnesty International is calling on Indonesia to drop treason charges against three Papuan political activists.
Yanto Awerkion, Sem Asso and Edo Dogopia were among six members of the West Papua National Committee arrested in December, when police and military took over the group's secretariat in Timika.
James Massola & Karuni Rompies, Jakarta – Terrorism, human rights, legal affairs and corruption will take centre stage when President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his opponent Prabowo Subianto square off in the first presidential debate of 2019.
Rizal Bomantama, Jakarta – Indonesian military (TNI) commander Air Martial Hadi Tjahjanto says that the TNI's new Special Operational Command (Koopsus) will be involved in combating terrorism and play a direct role in surveillance and close-quarter observation.
Irwan Rismawan, Jakarta – The lawyer representing Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan, Saor Siagian, believes that there are parties which are intentionally taking advantage of the 2017 acid attack against his client as a commodity for their political campaigns.
Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – Rizky Amelia, who reported her former boss Syafri Adnan Baharuddin over alleged sexual harassment, visited the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) Tuesday, January 15.
Ruslan Sangadji, Marguerite Afra Sapiie and Karina M. Tehusijarana, Palu and Jakarta – The Tinombala police-military operation to hunt down the remaining members of the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) terrorist group in Poso, Central Sulawesi, has been extended once again, as authorities suspect the group had recruited new members.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia (BI) is expected to hold their policy interest rate amid the positive domestic sentiment, so it still had room to increase the rate should volatility return, analysts have said.
Jakarta – The West Jakarta Police have prepared additional security measures at the West Jakarta District Court for the first trial of a case against Hercules Rosario Marshal and his 11 subordinates.
"We have prepared around 150 police personnel for security," West Jakarta Police head of operations Sr. Adj. Comr. Prio Utomo said on Wednesday, kompas.com reported.
Sophie Raynor – There used to be thousands of them – the children of the children of the first Chinese people to migrate to Timor-Leste in the 1800s and their indigenous Timorese husbands and wives.
January 15, 2019
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian's recent announcement that police officers' allowances would be increased by up to 70 percent raised the question of whether higher pay may help fix Indonesia's graft problem.
Jakarta – The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has lowered its investment target in the downstream oil and gas business – pipeline projects, manufacturing facilities and fuel-storage facilities – this year as the ministry failed to achieve its target in the last two years.
Jakarta – Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Central Leadership Board Chairperson Desmond J Mahesa is convinced that presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto will not shy away from solving the 1997-98 abductions of pro-democracy activists if he is elected as president.
Jakarta – The growing trade in cattle and crops following trade agreements with several economies has increased the risk of diseases spreading across country borders.
In anticipation of potential contagion, the Agriculture Ministry's Quarantine Agency said it had tightened its inspections of horticultural commodities for the sake of consumer protection.
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – Indonesia has maintained a single-digit poverty rate as it posted a 9.66 percent rate as of September 2018, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported on Tuesday, with the number of poor people standing at 25.67 million.
Ahmad Novindri Aji Sukma – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has revealed that after several years of delay, Indonesia and Switzerland will soon ratify a Mutual Legal Assistance agreement. This is a positive development.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Marguerite Afra Sapiie, and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta – Gerindra Party chairman and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto detailed a multitude of ills plaguing Indonesia in his campaign speech on Monday evening, citing problems ranging from an overburdened national healthcare system to a struggling economy.
Jakarta (Antara) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will monitor a joint fact-finding team (TGPF) in investigating the case of Novel Baswedan, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator, who lost left eye's vision after acid attack by unknown persons.
Jakarta – The Jakarta Police force is to deploy up to 2,000 officers to secure the first presidential debate at the Bidakara Hotel in South Jakarta, which is scheduled for Thursday.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – A string of deadly tsunamis and earthquakes that devastated Indonesia last year has served as a wake-up call for the government to go the extra mile in improving risk management and early warning systems in the disaster-prone country.
Jakarta – The Defense Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to issue a regulation to exempt Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel from needing a referral to be treated at military hospitals under the national healthcare scheme (JKN).
Alexander R Arifianto – Prabowo Subianto enters the 2019 Indonesian presidential election with lukewarm elite support as well as lack of financial resources to fund his campaign.
Contrary to what his campaign chairman hinted, Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto did not announce his withdrawal from the presidential race during a televised address yesterday evening. He did, however, predict much doom and gloom for the country as he outlined his reasons for wanting to lead the country.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – The presidential election debate can influence undecided voters, but it is unlikely to change the minds of those who have thrown support behind Joko "Jokowi" Widodo or Prabowo Subianto, an analyst with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) suggests.
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – Smoking has long been a habit in Indonesia that does not only involve adults but also affects minors, including elementary school students, and has led to swelling healthcare spending for smoking-related diseases. However, policy makers are reluctant to address the issue and are defending the cigarette business, critics say.
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – Indonesia's full-year trade balance hit a deep deficit of US$8.57 billion in 2018.
The figure was the largest deficit recorded since 1975 and a stark contrast to the results in 2017 and 2016, when the trade balance recorded surpluses of $11.84 billion and $9.48 billion, respectively, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) said on Tuesday.
Jakarta – The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the General Elections Commission (KPU) are set to coordinate with the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) to evaluate potential violations of election regulations over televised speeches by the two competing presidential candidates.
Febriana Firdaus – A Polish man accused of plotting a coup with a pro-independence Papuan armed group has become the first foreigner to be charged with treason in Indonesia.