Jakarta – The Bali administration is set to legalize traditional Balinese arak (liquor made from tuak, a sweet drink from coconut palm flower) with the hope that it will serve as a new trademark of Indonesia's main tourist destination, said Bali Governor Wayan Koster.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 12, 2019
Paulina Quintao – The Chief of the Surgery Department at the National Hospital of Guido Valadares (HNGV), in Dili, Surgeon Alito Soares said many patients of cancer, with broken legs and arms chose to leave the hospital early in favour of doing traditional treatments.
Dion Bisara, Jakarta – A planned increase in the rates of online-based motorcycle taxis may reduce demand for ride-hailing services by more than two-thirds, potentially paring drivers' incomes and prompting more people to use private vehicles, exacerbating traffic problems, a recent study showed.
Muh. Syaifullah, Jakarta – The chairperson of Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) Grace Natalie suggested revocation of the joint ministerial decree or SKB regulating the establishment of houses of worship as it violated the 1945 Constitution Article 28e and Article 29.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – In an attempt to reject the much-debated Draft Music Bill (RUU Permusikan), Musician Kaka Slank plans to meet legislative member Anang Hermansyah form the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission X.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – As public attention has focused on the increasingly heated presidential election campaign, it is easy to forget tens of thousands of candidates vying for seats at national and local legislatures.
Jakarta – The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) has called on the government to continue tackling the gap between the rich and poor by providing more beneficial social service programs in a new report that shows the country's social gap index improved last year.
Jakarta – The Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) will reconsider its political stance in this year's presidential election amid "uncertainties" surrounding the indigenous peoples bill.
Jakarta – Some 10 percent of toddlers in West Jakarta suffer from health problems, most of which are related to nutrition, the municipality has announced.
West Jakarta assistant of administration and public welfare Yunus Burhan said that the administration had taken actions to address the issue.
Indonesia's Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) says it has sent an official letter to Instagram demanding they block an account by a user posting self-drawn comic strips depicting gay Muslim characters in Indonesia.
An American missionary who was a hero in Timor-Leste for founding children's shelters that have operated for more than two decades has been expelled from his Catholic congregation after admitting to sexual abuse of minors.
February 11, 2019
Arya Dipa, Bandung – Chandra Kristianto, 41, has never witnessed a flood like the one on Saturday night in the eight years he has lived in Jatiendah, Bandung, West Java.
Jakarta – The rupiah continued to weaken on Monday, falling to Rp 14,005 per United States dollar at 10 a.m. on the spot market as quoted by Bloomberg, a 0.35 percent depreciation after closing at Rp 13,955 per US dollar on Friday evening.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The government believes the manufacturing sector will be the new engine of economic growth for Indonesia and will, therefore, focus on its development in the next five years.
Indonesian police have acknowledged officers terrorised a Papuan man with a snake after a video of the incident circulated online showing the man screaming in fear while his interrogator laughed.
Sausan Atika and A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Monday that Jakarta would gradually take over tap water management from private operators Aetra and Palyja despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that approved the continuation of water privatization.
Gisela Swaragita, Jakarta – A video of an angry South Tangerang man trying to dismantle his motorcycle after being ticketed by a police officer went viral last week. Some people deem the video unsettling, while others may find it amusing.
Jakarta – Environmentalists have called on the government to fulfill its promise to strictly regulate crude palm oil (CPO) production to assure that the major export commodity is developed based on principals of sustainability.
Jakarta – State-owned energy holding company Pertamina lowered the prices of its subsidized and non-subsidized gasoline by up to Rp 800 (6 US cents) per liter on Sunday, a move some consider political ahead of the presidential election in April.
The head of the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), Slamet Maarif, once helped lead the mass protests that helped put Basuki "BTP" Tjahaja Purnama (the former Jakarta governor formerly known as "Ahok") behind bars on a heavily politicized charge of blasphemy.
Rio Apinino – Incumbent presidential candidate President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and running mate Ma'ruf Amin's have indeed made many sweet promises about protecting and upholding human rights (HAM).
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The Arun Lhokseumawe Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Aceh, which houses one of the country's natural gas facilities, could be the latest example of the use of underutilized assets to boost local economies, said the State Asset Management Agency (LMAN).
Jakarta – An association representing four industries, namely ceramic tile, glass, glove and oleochemical, have demanded that the government fulfill its promise to lower gas prices and help them become more competitive both in the domestic and international markets.
Indonesian entertainers have rallied against a draft law that seeks to ban blasphemous and "pornographic" music content, which critics say could be used to clamp down on freedom of expression in the Muslim-majority nation.
Ganug Nugroho Adi, Surakarta – The police have named the chairman of the 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), Slamet Ma'arif, a suspect for violating campaign rules.
February 10, 2019
Jakarta – Supreme assembly member and deputy chairperson of Tommy Suharto's Working Party, retired Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono has decided to support the presidential ticket of incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and running mate Amin Ma'ruf.
Jakarta (Antara) – Some 320 children from Nduga district in Papua province have fled to the neighboring Jayawijaya district along with their parents or on their own, as firefights are ongoing between the armed criminal group and security personnel.
Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – For centuries, mosques have served as places where Muslims deepen their knowledge of Islamic teachings. The influence of mosques, however, is waning as a result of social media-based preaching.
Jakarta – State energy holding company Pertamina announced on Sunday that it would lower the prices of non-subsidized gasoline by up to Rp 800 (6 US cents) per liter, following a drop in the global crude oil price and the rupiah strengthening against the US dollar.
Pipit Maulidiya, Surabaya – Scores of musicians in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya visited the grave of national hero WR Supratman where they gathered in a circle beside the grave and sent a prayer to heaven.
Adhi Indra Prasetya, Jakarta – After recently obtaining support from the United Jakarta Senior High School Alumni, incumbent presidential candidate President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has now received support from retired TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (national police) officers.
Jakarta – Antigraft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) has released a report that details cases of corruption within local administrations in 2018, revealing that there has been a decrease in such cases over the past four years.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – The camp of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has expressed the wish to cut the use of coal and to revamp the 35,000 megawatt (MW) electricity program if Prabowo and running mate Sandiaga Uno are elected in the April election.
Rizki Mauludi, Bogor – Hundreds of artists, street musicians and music activists in the West Java city of Bogor held a peaceful action against the Draft Law on Music (RUU Permusikan) on Sunday February 10.
Jakarta (Antara) – This week, the name of Saracen Group, an online syndicate that the Indonesian police had investigated in 2017 for allegedly proliferating hoaxes in cyber network, has again attracted public attention.
Arya Dipa, Bandung – Heavy rains in Bandung, West Java and its surrounding areas on Saturday night caused the dam holding the Cinambo River in Pasar Jati, Bandung regency to burst, resulting in flooding that claimed three lives.
Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Being far from home, the Indonesian diaspora continues to be the disengaged electorate, especially ahead of the legislative election. According to a recent survey, many of them admitted to not being aware of who the legislative candidates were, let alone who they were going to vote for in the upcoming election.
February 9, 2019
Aman Rochman and Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) – the largest Islamic group in the country which is now leading the war against religious extremism – was once considered a "radical" organization for its nonconformist attitude toward colonialism.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – Indonesian social media activist Permadi Arya has threatened to file a Rp 1 trillion (US$71.68 million) lawsuit against Facebook after the tech giant shut down his account in a crackdown on fake news in Indonesia.
Dieqy Hasbi Widhana – National Press Day, which falls on February 9, is a day to remember the murder of Radar Bali journalists Anak Agung Gede Prabangsa in 2009.
On paper, Indonesia's commitment to human rights is stronger than almost all other countries in the region.
Jakarta – For exactly four days scores of former PT Freeport Indonesia employees have been camped out opposite the State Palace in Central Jakarta. Sleeping under tents made from tarpaulin, the employees who were sacked by the Freeport gold-and-copper mine in 2017 are sleeping over making use of whatever supplies they have available.
Theresia Sufa, Bogor – A woman in Ciwaringin, Central Bogor, West Java, was found dead of an apparent suicide in her bedroom on Thursday, raising concerns over mental health and suicide prevention in the region.
Jakarta – Political bickering between the Gerindra Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) over who should replace Sandiaga Uno as Jakarta deputy governor is apparently far from over with Gerindra politicians having questioned the quality of the candidates offered by the Islamist party.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Surabaya – After mounting public protests, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reversed the decision to commute the life sentence of I Nyoman Susrama, who was convicted of the murder of Radar Bali daily journalist Anak Agung Gede Narendra Prabangsa, to 20 years' imprisonment.
A Polish man on trial for treason in Indonesia after meeting with Papuan independence supporters said that visitors to his prison assaulted him and threatened to kill him as guards watched. The development has once again spotlighted the issue of Papua, one of several challenges Jakarta has faced on the democracy and human rights front.
John Martinkus – There is a new war on Australia's doorstep. After 57 years of sporadic fighting, military crackdowns, killings and detentions by the Indonesian authorities against the West Papuans, the Free West Papua Movement (OPM) last week declared war on the Indonesian government.
Bambang Muryanto and Evi Mariani, Yogyakarta – The survivor of an alleged sexual assault at a respected university in Indonesia finds herself on a long journey battling victim-blaming in a paternalistic society.
Bogor – Bogor regency launched on Friday in Cibinong a Quran recitation program called Bogor Ngaos for public school students in all districts.
The program will be held every Friday morning, 30 minutes before school begins, a regulation stipulates.
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Surabaya – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has received a Press Freedom Award for his administration's commitment to protect the freedom of the press at the peak of an event in celebration of the 2019 National Press Day in Surabaya on Saturday.