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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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July 19, 2019

Jakarta Post - July 19, 2019

Jakarta – The Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) welcomes the government's plan to revise Energy and Mineral Resources Ministerial Decree No. 27/2006 to allow investors to access Indonesia's oil and gas data for free.

Jakarta Post - July 19, 2019

Jakarta – The Garuda Indonesia Workers Union [Sekarga] has revoked a police report it filed against YouTube content creators Rius Vernandes and Elwiyana Monica for posting a photo of a flight menu written on a piece of paper in an Instagram Story.

They were reported to the police for allegedly defaming the national flag carrier.

Reuters - July 19, 2019

Jakarta – Thousands of people in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua have been displaced by fighting between soldiers and separatists, and at least 139 of them have died from malnutrition and disease, an aid group said on Thursday.

But the Indonesian military disputed the figures for deaths and displaced issued by the Solidarity Team for Nduga aid group.

Star Observer - July 19, 2019

Andrew M Potts – East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, has celebrated LGBTQI pride for a third year in a row, with a Pride March taking place in the capital, Dili, on July 12.

An estimated 3,000 people took part in the "Marsa Diversidade" (Diversity March), six times the number of people who took part in the first East Timor Pride Parade in 2017.

Radio New Zealand - July 19, 2019

Indonesia has condemned the Oxford City Council for its recognition of West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda.

Mr Wenda was given the Honorary Freedom of the City during a ceremony at the Oxford Town Hall on Wednesday.

The chairman of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua was granted political asylum in the UK in 2002.

Jakarta Globe - July 19, 2019

Jakarta – Indonesia must pass the new land bill into law to give investors legal certainty and avoid conflict with indigenous communities, experts say.

Deliberations on the land bill may be delayed indefinitely after the special committee in the House of Representatives tasked with drafting it signaled that there are various complex issues that must be accommodated.

July 18, 2019

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – The Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency's acting head, Subejo, has said the capital needs more fire stations, considering the significant number of fires in the capital.

The agency recorded that last month alone, there were 159 fires in the capital. The number is relatively high compared to May, which recorded 137 cases, while April saw 122 cases and 133 in March.

Kumparan - July 18, 2019

The Oxford City Council in Britain has awarded United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) chairperson Benny Wenda the Honorary Freedom of the City accolade for his fight for West Papuan self-determination. The Indonesian government has slammed the award.

CNN Indonesia - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has officially signed Presidential Regulation Number 42/2019 on Two Revisions to Presidential Regulation Number 10/2010 on the Organisational Structure of the Indonesian Military (TNI). The presidential regulation (perpres) was signed and came into force on July 3.

Human Rights Watch Dispatches - July 18, 2019

Andreas Harsono – Indonesian police last week senselessly detained and charged a woman with a mental health condition with blasphemy after she entered a mosque in Bogor, a Jakarta suburb, wearing shoes and accompanied by her dog.

Tempo - July 18, 2019

Jakarta (Antara) – A West Sumatra University fisheries and mainland fisheries academic announced that a number of fish species endemic to Indonesia are swimming to the verge of extinction due to environmental pollution.

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Four people died while seven others were injured in a bloody clash in Mesuji, Lampung, the local police said on Thursday.

Mesuji Police chief Sr. Comm. Edi Purnomo said the clash happened at 2 p.m. in the Register 45 plantation area, which belongs to the Mekar Jaya Abadi Group.

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator Novel Baswedan has expressed his deep disappointment with the results of a fact-finding team that failed to solve the acid attack on him that occurred more than two years ago, the KPK workers' union has said.

CNN Indonesia - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – National Movement to Safeguard the Ulama Fatwa (GNPF) leader Yusuf Muhammad Martak has said that they plan to hold the 4th Ijtimak Ulama meeting of ulama (Islamic clerics) and national figures soon.

The meeting was planned not long after President elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo met with losing presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto.

The Guardian - July 18, 2019

Kate Lamb – Activists have warned of an "epidemic" of sexual harassment and violence against women in Indonesia, in the wake of two recent cases of horrific domestic abuse.

In one incident, a man in Jakarta reportedly slashed his wife's throat with a machete after she refused to have sex with him, an act witnessed by their two children, aged seven and 14.

Antara News - July 18, 2019

Yashinta Difa/Azis Kurmala, Jakarta – Indonesia has strongly condemned the Oxford City Council's decision to award Benny Wenda, a member of the West Papua movement separatist group, the Freedom of the City.

Indonesia at Melbourne - July 18, 2019

Indonesia's Information and Electronic Transactions Law (the ITE Law) has all too frequently led to victims being charged, rather than perpetrators. The latest is Baiq Nuril Maknun (sometimes also known as "Makmun").

Tempo - July 18, 2019

Fikri Arigi, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia strongly suggests President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo take proactive action and form an independent fact-finding joint team (TGPF).

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister has revived a discussion about relaxing the negative investment list (DNI) following a recent speech in which President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stressed the need to attract more investment to the country.

The list restricts or limits foreign investment in certain business sectors.

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – The Jakarta High Court has increased the prison sentence of Golkar Party politician and former social affairs minister Idrus Marham to five years' imprisonment, months after he was found guilty of accepting bribes from a businessman to finance his failed bid to become the party's leader.

CNN Indonesia - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) plans to form a political party, the Indonesian Green Party, and make the issue of the environment its main political agenda.

Kabar 24 - July 18, 2019

Rustam Agus, Palu (Bisnis) – The Central Sulawesi branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has declared that pushing for the formation of an alternative political party, namely the Indonesia Green Party, is a move that arose out of an idea and an effort to maximise the protection of the environment and the country's natural resources.

Tempo - July 18, 2019

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – Hendardi, a member of the fact-finding team (TGPF) assigned to uncover Novel Baswedan's attacker said the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) senior investigator had demanded unfulfillable requirements as he was asked for leads to the case.

Jakarta Globe - July 18, 2019

Jakarta – Bank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.75 percent on Thursday in anticipation of expected policy easing by the United States and other developed countries.

Jakarta Post - July 18, 2019

Bambang Nurbianto, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati says the slow growth of tax revenues in the first half of 2019 was caused by the implementation of a tax refund acceleration policy that required the government to spend much more money.

July 17, 2019

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani says the government has allocated Rp 10.3 trillion (US$737.51 million) for preemployment cards as part of a program designed to aid job seekers in accessing skills training.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – Select Cabinet positions in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's new government will be distributed among ruling coalition parties according to how many seats they gained at the House of Representatives, a United Development Party (PPP) politician said on Tuesday.According to PPP secretary-general Arsul Sani, the number of ministerial posts allocated to each political party w

BBC News - July 17, 2019

The exiled leader of an Indonesian separatist group has been awarded the freedom of the city of Oxford.

City councillors honoured West Papua independence leader Benny Wenda, who was granted UK asylum in 2002.

S&P Global - July 17, 2019

Hui Min Lee Fred Wang, Singapore – The fate of seven major Indonesian thermal coal producers is hanging in the balance amid government regulation uncertainties after a mining contract for one of the miners was revoked, stoking fears of a similar rejection for other contracts coming up for renewal in the next couple of years.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – After six months of work, a fact-finding team formed by National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has failed to identify any suspects behind an acid attack against top Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.

Tempo - July 17, 2019

Fira Prameswari, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Kurnia Ramadhana says that the Corruption Eradication Commission leadership selection committee or Pansel Capim KPK is not supporting the eradication of corruption.

Jakarta Globe - July 17, 2019

Harso Kurniawan, Jakarta – Domestic car sales have dropped 13 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period a year ago. Weak commodity prices have put the brakes on commercial car sales as continued political uncertainty surrounding April's elections scared off retail and corporate consumers enough to delay purchases.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Victor Mambor, Jayapura – The Papua administration has requested that the central government assist it in bolstering the trade network with neighboring countries in the Pacific, as the province seeks to promote itself as a regional trading hub.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesian netizens are poking fun at the Depok city administration in West Java for its unorthodox plan to play traditional Indonesian music at traffic lights to ease the stress of being stuck in congestion for motorists.

The idea was expressed by Depok Mayor Mohammad Idris, who has lent his singing voice to one of the songs.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – The Finance Ministry has projected a revenue shortfall of Rp 140 trillion (US$10.02 billion) from the revenue forecast of Rp 1.58 quadrillion in the 2019 state budget, and thus expects to collect Rp 1.44 quadrillion in revenue by the end of the year.

The government recorded a revenue shortfall of Rp 108.10 trillion last year.

CNN Indonesia - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) says that the narrative of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's "Vision Indonesia" speech in which he sated he would pursue those obstructing investment in Indonesia has the potential to increase the number of people being criminalised for fighting to protect the environment.

Sydney Morning Herald - July 17, 2019

James Massola, Jakarta – Garuda Indonesia's response to a critical video review has turned into an omnishambles. Now, two bloggers could be charged.

It all started when a pair video of bloggers, Rius Vernandes and Elwiyana Monica, used their YouTube channel to criticise the national airline's business class service aboard a Sydney-Denpasar flight.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jon Afrizal, Jambi – The Piyungan River in Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, has been polluted with chromium from waste disposed by four nearby leather tanning factories, a study has revealed.

CNN Indonesia - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – The lawyer representing senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan, Arif Maulana, believes that the Joint Fact Finding Team (TPGF) established by Indonesian police (Polri) chief General Tito Karnavian has totally failed to properly investigate the 2017 acid attack against his client.

Tempo - July 17, 2019

Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – Jakarta Council's head of Democrat Party faction Taufiqurrahman reminded the Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) to avert from spreading disinformation regarding PSI's suspicion of money politics happening in the process of electing Jakarta's vacant deputy governor position.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – The wealth disparity between Indonesians living in urban and rural areas remains even as the country's poverty rate decreased to 9.41 percent in March from 9.66 percent in September 2018 and 9.82 percent in March 2018, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – The administration of West Java's Depok is planning to increase its groundwater tax from the current Rp 500 to Rp 4,000 (2 US cents) per cubic meter to push customers into using piped water provided by the city-owned water utility.

South China Morning Post - July 17, 2019

Resty Woro Yuniar – An Indonesian woman who received a six-month jail sentence for recording a lewd phone call from her boss has been given a reprieve by President Joko Widodo, in a case that has highlighted how women in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation struggle with legal recourse when they are sexually harassed.

Jakarta Post - July 17, 2019

Jakarta – On May 16, 2012, the Constitutional Court restored the rights of indigenous peoples over customary forests. This decision has had wide implications. It is a correction to the decades of state domination over customary forests belonging to indigenous peoples.

July 16, 2019

Tempo - July 16, 2019

Friski Riana, Jakarta – Head of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Dwikorita Karnawati predicts Indonesia will endure the peak drought period in August.

"August will [be the peak] of the drought," said Dwikorita at the Presidential Office on Monday, July 15.

Tempo - July 16, 2019

Fikri Arigi, Egi Adyatama and Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The recent speech delivered by president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo entitled "Visi Indonesia" garnered a number of criticism from human rights activists after the speech that was broadcasted nationwide did not mention human rights enforcement and the solving of past human rights violations.

Jakarta Globe - July 16, 2019

Jakarta – Indonesia's economy will be unable to grow at more than 5.5 percent in the short term if structural problems hampering productivity are not resolved, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Tuesday.

Tempo - July 16, 2019

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – National Mandate Party (PAN) Deputy Bara Hasibuan said that Amien Rais recent tendency to soften up to president-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is a gesture that should be appreciated.

"Isn't that how it should be? The losing party to give a chance to the winner," Bara said today at the Senayan parliamentary complex.

Jakarta Post - July 16, 2019

Jakarta – Acting Aceh governor Nova Iriansyah has lashed out at the notion that oil palm plantations in the province contributed to environmental degradation, saying it was impossible for Acehnese farmers to harm the environment.

Jakarta Post - July 16, 2019

Jakarta – Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has blamed uncertainty in the global economy for the poor performance of Indonesian exports, which declined 20.6 percent in just one month.