Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – In a speech made at the Gerindra Party National Conference in Bogor, West Java, on Monday, Gerindra chairman and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto told thousands of his party members that Indonesia could go "extinct" if he did not prevail over President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the upcoming election.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
December 19, 2018
Veronica Koman, Jakarta – While we mourn for the more than a dozen lives lost in the Papuan regency of Nduga recently, we should spare a thought for the thousands of other lives lost in the natural resources-rich territory since this conflict began. We should ask why it is one of the world's longest-running struggles and what can bring it to a close.
Muslimin – A survey by the Denny JA Indonesia Survey Circle (LSI) has concluded that Islamic ormas (mass organisations) are beginning to abandon the Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno presidential ticket following the 212 Reunion rally in Jakarta on December 2.
Firebrand cleric Habib Bahar bin Smith, who has recently been the subject of huge controversy after he made sexist, racist and transphobic remarks about President Joko Widodo, was arrested yesterday by the West Java Police for physically assaulting two minors, aged 17 and 18.
Indonesia this week opened a military base with more than 1,000 personnel on the southern tip of the disputed South China Sea, where the territorial claims of China and several other countries overlap.
Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators have apprehended several officials of the Youth and Sports Ministry during an operation in Jakarta on Tuesday night, as they reportedly received kickbacks related to a grant from the ministry to the National Sports Committee (KONI).
Yen Tzu-Chien – I first encountered Habib Bahar bin Smith at a demonstration near the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta in September 2017. From a distance, I noticed a group of young men wearing black military-like uniforms, pushing through the crowd in a VIP protection formation.
Kevin O'Rourke – While U.S.-China relations dominated attention at the recent G-20 Summit, a little-noticed aspect was that Indonesia President Joko Widodo did not even bother to attend. Vice President Jusuf Kalla represented him instead.
Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, Indonesia – Indonesian human rights lawyer Ranto Sibarani is trying to remain optimistic.
Meaghan Tobin – Last week, a delegation from India arrived in Jakarta to discuss the sale of raw sugar to Indonesia. The negotiation followed President Joko Widodo's announcement last month that he would raise Indonesia's sugar import quotas to stabilise prices.
December 18, 2018
Bandung – A panel of judges at the Bandung Corruption Court sentenced former West Bandung regent Abu Bakar to five years and six months in prison for corruption. He was found guilty of asking money from a number of West Bandung administration officials, including agency heads, to fund the political campaign of his wife, Elin Suharliah, who ran for the local election in June.
Yogyakarta – Villagers of Purbayan in Kotagede, Yogyakarta, have cut off the cross on a Christian's grave, saying the religious symbol was not welcome in the village.
"This is community consensus. He could be buried here, but there should be no Christian symbol," Bejo Mulyono, a local figure, told reporters on Tuesday.
Hamish McDonald – When Australia and East Timor settled maritime boundary dispute in March, guided by conciliators from The Hague, it seemed the way was now clear to develop the big Greater Sunrise petroleum field under the Timor Sea and thus sustain the new state for decades.
Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Tri Puspital's life changed dramatically when mining firm Freeport McMoRan Indonesia "fired" him and 8,000 other workers from its Grasberg mine in Timika, Papua, more than a year ago.
Jakarta – Even as liquor producers are still struggling to recover from the impact of the market limitation that has been enforced since 2015, they question the government policy to increase the excise tax for the products, which they fear would further burden the industry.
Benny Mawel, Jayapura – The president of Papua Baptism Churches Dr Socrates Sofyan Yoman said the Indonesian Government's reaction on the murder of 16 people in Nduga Regency on 2 December is truly explicit and unfair.
Richard Chauvel – The killing of 16 workers on Indonesian President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's trans-Papua road project shortly after demonstrations and mass detentions that marked the 1 December anniversary of Papua's 'independence day' reminds us that Indonesia's last regional conflict remains intractable.
Senator the Hon Marise Payne
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6100
Senate, Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
18 December 2018
Dear Foreign Minister,
Jakarta – Police in Gowa, South Sulawesi, have arrested 10 people for allegedly beating a man to death on Dec. 10 in the country's latest case of deadly mob violence.
The victim, identified as 23-year-old student Muhammad Khaidir, was attacked by a mob inside a mosque after he was falsely accused of being a thief.
Jakarta – The government's attempt to accelerate infrastructure development is facing a financial shortfall of Rp 187.5 trillion (US$12.92 billion), the Indonesian Infrastructure Society (MII) has said.
December 17, 2018
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – Indonesia's trade deficit reached US$2.05 billion in November, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.
The figure is higher than the $2.03 billion recorded in July, which was then the highest deficit in the last five years.
Jakarta (Antara) – Cholil Nafis, Chairman of the Da'wah Commission of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said that the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) spoke carelessly about the issue of polygamy.
Bishops from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) have expressed their "deep disappointment" at what they say is the continued suppression of the first people of West Papua.
Yohanes Sulaiman – Four months out from Indonesia's presidential election, recent surveys by various respected pollsters indicate that incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will win.
A Polish man who faces a 15-year prison sentence if convicted for alleged links to Papuan separatists is scheduled to appear in court Monday for the start of his trial, an Indonesian official said.
Jakub Fabian Skrzypski was detained and charged in August for intending to film an arms deal between rebels in Indonesia's restive province of Papua, a prosecutor said.
The Governor of Papua New Guinea's national capital has called for the government to review its policy on West Papua.
The newspaper The National reported that Powes Parkop wants PNG to push for a legitimate independence referendum for West Papuans
Paulina Quintao – The President for the Special Olympics, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, said people with disabilities, including intellectual, vision, and hearing, and with other physical disabilities and impairments, need special attention and conditions to move and to be able to actively participate in society so there is a need for a National Council for People with Disabilitie
The Supreme Court's decision to send an Indonesian high school teacher named Baiq Nuril to prison for six months for recording audio of her principal making explicit and inappropriate sexual remarks towards her has been decried as a grave injustice.
Jakarta – Lion Air announced Monday it was funding a multi-million dollar search effort using a Dutch company for the second black box and missing victims from doomed flight JT-610.
James Massola, Amilia Rosa & Karuni Rompies, Jakarta – He's a controversial former army general, multi-millionaire businessman and failed presidential and vice-presidential candidate.
For decades Prabowo Subianto has been a household name in Indonesia and in 2019, once more, he is seeking the presidency.
Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Vice President Jusuf Kalla has reiterated that Indonesia would not interfere in China's handling of Uighur Muslims amid pressure from the nation's ulema council for the government to step in.
The government is maintaining its security focused approach as it hunts down members of an armed rebel group believed to have been responsible for the killing of dozens of construction workers on Dec. 1 in Nduga Regency, Papua, despite local figures' plea for the government to end the armed conflict in the easternmost province.
A new app called Smart Pakem was released by the Indonesian Attorney General's Office (AGO) late last month. Available for public download, the app provides a way to report, list and monitor religious groups deemed to deviate from the teachings of the six religions officially recognised by the state.
National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop is renewing his call on the government to review its position on West Papua.
He wants it to support a legally supervised referendum for local Papuans to decide to remain part of Indonesia or become an independent state.
Zunita Putri, Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto's Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) has welcomed a suggestion by the Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) for next year's 212 reunion to be held at the State Palace. Gerindra is also proposing that the date December 2 become a "day of solidarity".
The Gerindra Party's Jakarta chapter has expressed doubt that Jakartans will soon have a new deputy governor, following a prolonged dispute between the party and its long-time ally the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) on the matter.
Gerindra and the PKS have yet to meet, let alone agree on the mechanism to select candidates to be proposed to City Council.
Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – The Pekanbaru Police have named two individuals, identified as KS and MW, as suspects of vandalizing campaign material belonging to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in the capital of Riau province.
Jakarta – National Police Chief Tito Karnavian demanded all officials of public relations unit settle negative issues related to the police. According to him, this measure is required to raise public trust towards the institution.
December 16, 2018
On December 16 President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo attended a gathering of TNI (Indonesian military) village supervisory non-commissioned officers (Babinsa) from throughout Sumatra at the Balariung Pinang Masak, Jambi University, in Central Sumatra.
Jakarta – At least 300 villagers are hiding in a forest in Indonesia's Papua province on Friday after they fled fighting between soldiers and separatists who killed a group of workers building a bridge in the area this month.
They are cold and hungry after 11 days in the forest, Pastor Benny Giay, the head of Papua's Gospel Tabernacle Church, told Reuters by telephone.
Isal Mawardi, Jakarta – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has opened the 2018 National Defense Run in Jakarta, an event which was attended by around 3,000 participants representing various stakeholders.
The National Defense Run (Bela Negara Run) 2018, which began at 6am, is being held in concert with National Defense Day (Hari Bela Negara) which falls on December 19.
December 15, 2018
Banda Aceh Mayor Aminullah Usman says he will revoke the business licenses of hotels in Banda Aceh that provide facilities for people to celebrate New Year.
The Indonesian Military (TNI) has asked the public to report any involvement of its members in the ransacking of a house that belonged to the parents of a man accused of assaulting two military personnel earlier this week.
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta – Dozens of Democratic Party (PD) flags and banners were found ripped off and torn in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Saturday, just as chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's (SBY) is visiting the city.
Most of the torn flags were found near Pangeran Hotel, where the country's former president is staying with his wife and several other party leaders.
Ainur Rohmah – At her age of 51, Yuni Shara has to worry about her safety in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, all because she is transgender.
In the past months, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual (LGBTI) community in the country has seen an increased number of attacks.
Devina Heriyanto – The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) has again ruffled some feathers after announcing its strong stance against polygamy, saying the practice – which is allowed, if not encouraged, in Islam – was not fair to women and children.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Pekanbaru – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo handed over about 6,000 land certificates to residents during his working visit to Pekanbaru, Riau, on Saturday, as part of efforts to fulfill his administration's ambitious agrarian reform program.
Reports of children being raped and sexually abused are unfortunately not too rare in Indonesia, but the case of one girl, who was allegedly repeatedly violated by her own uncle over the course of four years, has been highlighted by activists who say the police only acted to investigate her case after being pressured, deepening the girl's severe trauma.
December 14, 2018
Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesian groups pushing for an increase in the minimum age for girls to marry, from 16, said it was encouraged by a Constitutional Court order on Thursday (Dec 13) that legislators should work on a change.
Jakarta – Setara Institute for Democracy chairperson Hendardi believes that the statement by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Deputy Secretary General Ahmad Basarah, who referred to former president Suharto as the "teacher of corruption in Indonesia", should be used as momentum for the government to expose the corruption and humanitarian crimes which took p