Many have urged a thorough investigation into the explosive allegation that former Jakarta Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno paid IDR500 billion (US$35 million) each to political parties PAN and PKS to secure his nomination as Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto's running mate in next year's election.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
August 31, 2018
Ganug Nugroho Adi, Surakarta – Civil society groups based in Surakarta, Central Java, the hometown of the President and former mayor of the city, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, have rejected a planned event that they believe will be used to campaign against Jokowi.
Jakarta – Police say a Polish man detained in Indonesia's troubled Papua region on suspicion of links to separatists will be tried there instead of being deported.
Jakarta – State-owned electricity company PLN has announced losses of Rp 5.35 trillion (US$363 million) in the first half of 2018, mainly because of increasing costs, kontan.co.id reports.
Syafiul Hadi, Jakarta – The Federation of United Indonesia (Fiber) has slammed the Election Supervisory Agency's (Bawslu) decision to stop its investigation into the case of political dowry allegedly committed by vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno for the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
Jakarta – The Elections Supervisory Agency's (Bawaslu) decision to allow five former graft convicts to run in the 2019 legislative elections has been harshly criticized by the public, including anticorruption non-governmental organization Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
James Massola & Karuni Rompies, Bogor – The Australia-Indonesia free trade deal will be a "massive win-win" for both nations, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, as it will bring the two nations closer together, deepen strategic ties and strengthen economic growth.
Pacific Island civil society says the Pacific Island Forum leaders must support Vanuatu's effort to take the issue of West Papua to the UN.
Thor Kerr and Theo Kartawijaya – On August 21 2009 an offshore oil well in the Timor Sea blew up. This caused at least 40 millions litres of crude oil to spill into the ocean between Indonesia and Australia.
Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – In a bid to counter intolerance and radicalism that are reportedly on the rise at universities lately, a group of University of Indonesia (UI) alumni formed the Alliance for Tolerance which will, among other measures, monitor intolerant and radical activities on campus.
Sheany, Jakarta – Xpedisi Feminis, an initiative to explore diverse perspectives on feminism through travel, was launched on Saturday (25/08) with a visit to Cirebon, West Java, where participants sought to learn more about feminism in Islam.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has said three recently elected regional leaders have been named graft suspects.
The ICW said Biak Numfor deputy regent-elect Nehemia Wospakrik was first declared a suspect in 2011 by the Biak Numfor Police in Papua.
Adinda Normala, Jakarta – The Asian Games had an immediate impact on the economies of the two host cities, in the form of increased retail sales, a tourism boost and improved public infrastructure.
Shotaro Tani, Jakarta – The Indonesian rupiah fell to its lowest mark against the U.S. dollar in 20 years as investors grow increasingly weary of holding emerging market assets after another plunge in the Argentine peso.
The currency hit 14,840 rupiah to the greenback on midnight Friday, its lowest against the dollar since July 1998 following the Asian financial crisis.
August 30, 2018
Elaine Pearson – Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting Indonesia this week on his first international trip as Australia's leader. The two governments will announce a new trade deal and Australia is keen to show this as a deepening of ties between the two nations.
Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate and businessman Sandiaga Uno admitted that he had no clue what the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) was talking about when it portrayed him as a santri di era pos-Islamisme (a pious Muslim in the era of post-Islamism).
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim has expressed hopes for Indonesia and Malaysia to further strengthen bilateral relations during his cordial meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at Bogor Palace on Thursday.
Four West Papuan students were arrested on Tuesday for showing the Morning Star flag, as Indonesian universities crack down on pro-independence displays.
Antara News reported the students in Jayapura were carrying bags on campus displaying the symbol.
Asher Hirsch – This week, home affairs minister Peter Dutton again reiterated the false claim that "there are 14,000 people in Indonesia waiting to get on to boats now".
Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has denied accusations that the significant jump in the allocation of social assistance to poor households was a political motive ahead of the presidential and legislative elections next year.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – Democratic Party deputy secretary-general Andi Arief is once again in the spotlight after accusing the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) of poaching Democratic members for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's reelection campaign team.
A New Zealand-based West Papua advocacy group has appealed to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other leaders meeting at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru next week to support Vanuatu's United Nations initiative.
Jakarta – The Taxation Directorate General will spy on people's activities through social media in trying to boost tax revenue, an official has said.
August 29, 2018
Jon Afrizal, Jambi – A landmark ruling by the Jambi High Court has exonerated a 15-year-old rape victim of all criminal charges, but it will be some time before she can return home.
Firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab, founder of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), played a pivotal role in the 2017 Jakarta governor's race, but has done little politically in the lead up to the 2019 presidential election.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – In a rare moment in the lead up to the 2019 presidential election, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and his political nemesis, Prabowo Subianto, ended up having a group hug while celebrating the victory of a pencak silat athlete during the Asian Games in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Jakarta – The city administration has eliminated 10 programs in the revised 2018 budget through the general regional budget amendment policy (KUPA) and temporary regional budget priority and ceiling amendment (PPAS), with an eye to increasing the draft budget to Rp 83.2 trillion, an official has stated.
Arya Dipa, Bandung, West Java – Convicted murderer of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, was finally declared a free man from the Class I Bandung Correctional Center in West Java on Wednesday morning after finishing his parole.
Jakarta – It never occurred to 23-year-old Devina Heriyanto that she would be sexually harassed in a neighborhood near her office – an area she had long considered safe.
Jessica Jaganathan, Wilda Asmarini, Singapore/Jakarta – Indonesia is pushing to nationalise more of its oil and gas assets as it tries to reduce imports and boost government revenue amid emerging market turbulence that has staggered Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
Nethy Dharma Somba, Jayapura – A Polish citizen is currently in custody with police in Papua over his alleged attempt to film what the Indonesian Military (TNI) claims was a planned "ammunition trade" between two armed groups in the restive province.
Kharishar Kahfi, Apriadi Gunawan and Arya Dipa, Jakarta, Medan and Bandung – A judge at the Medan District Court in North Sumatra, Wahyu Prasetyo Wibowo, was recently under the spotlight when he presided over the controversial blasphemy trial of Meiliana, a Buddhist resident of Tanjung Balai.
Jakarta – Islamic convenience store chain 212 Mart had opened 192 branches since its May 2017 establishment, Ahmad Juwaini, the executive director of the 212 Islamic Cooperative that founded the chain store, said on Tuesday in Jakarta.
Lisa Martin – Australian universities are expected to get the green light to start setting up campuses in Indonesia under a new free trade deal.
August 28, 2018
Ian Morse – The people of East Timor (also known as Timor-Leste) join the world in mourning the death of international diplomat Kofi Annan who died in Switzerland at the age of 80 on August 18, 2018.
Rosie Perper – Indonesian political actors are paying social media influencers to spread propaganda ahead of the country's 2019 elections, in a growing practice that many believe has strengthened political and religious divides in the country.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – The Supreme Court has received a cassation appeal filed by the government against a Palangkaraya High Court ruling that found President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo liable in the disastrous forest fires in Central Kalimantan.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo has pledged to tackle Indonesia's widening current account deficit, which is seen to reach about US$25 billion (S$34 billion) this year, by chasing tourism dollars and increasing the use of local biodiesel to help reduce overall fuel imports, a statement posted on the Cabinet secretary website revealed.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Winston Peters says his country recognizes West Papua as a part of Indonesia.
He made this comment when asked about New Zealand's stand on the West Papua issue where Vanuatu is spearheading efforts in support of West Papua, during his recent visit to Port Vila.
Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – The Golkar Party has denied allegations that the party had received money connected with a graft case in a coal-powered power plant (PLTU) project in Riau.
Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) is advising the Bandung city administration to refrain from continuing a plan to build row houses in Balubur village, Bandung Wetan city, Bandung, West Java, before having a proper mediation with residents.
Ahmad Faiz Ibnu Sani, Jakarta – The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) spokesman Guntur Romli said the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab was not an ideal ulema for the young generation.
Thus, PSI was grateful the vice presidential candidate Ma'ruf Amin did not meet Rizieq when he was performing Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Fanny Potkin, Jakarta – Athletes competing in the Asian Games in Indonesia have been banned from consuming alcohol in their accommodation in the host cities of Jakarta and South Sumatra's Palembang, officials said on Monday (28/08).
Adinda Normala, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo may import 2 million tons of rice this year, falling short of fulfilling his 2014 presidential campaign promise of rice self-sufficiency.
Taufiq Siddiq, Jakarta – Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) are praised as the two most trusted national institutions according to a poll conducted by Charta Politika and Asumsi.
"TNI and KPK still top the list," said Charta Politika researcher Muslimin in South Jakarta on Tuesday, August 28.
Jakarta – Nickel miner Laman Mining is suspected of illegal bauxite mining operations, disrupting orangutan habitat in West Kalimantan's Tulak River forest.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry raided the company's sites in Puring and Kempapakon on Aug. 20, finding seven heavy-duty vehicles for excavation.
Jakarta – The Mimika Police in Papua have arrested AY, a worker at gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, for making a video that police have described as "hate speech against Indonesia" and distributing it on social media.
The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to access to justice in late May when it ruled that paralegals are no longer permitted to provide direct legal assistance in Indonesian courts.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Golkar Party Chairman Airlangga Hartarto denied that the support for Joko Widodo or Jokowi in the 2019 presidential election had split in Golkar's internal.
The indication emerged after Jokowi chose Ma'ruf Amin as his vice presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election.
Steve Cannane – The lawyer who helped expose an Australian spying operation on its ally Timor-Leste was given a chilling warning by the Federal Government, just months before charges were filed against him for breaches of the Intelligence Services Act.