President Joko Widodo has called for a more selective approach in the enforcement of Indonesia's Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE), possibly planting the seeds for a much-needed revision to the controversial law.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 16, 2021
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – A human rights group in Indonesia has called for changes to provisions in the criminal code dealing with detaining suspects following more than 100 reported cases of police abuses including torture against prisoners in custody.
Zuhdiar L, Rahmad Nasution, Jakarta – The Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) has appealed to the Defence Ministry, National Defence Forces, and Police to seek effective measures to crush armed Papuan groups responsible for acts of terror in the province.
Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says revisions to the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law must be done immediately.
Kontras legal division staff member Andi Rezaldi said that he hopes that the talk on revisions will not just be a discourse for the sake of saving the government's reputation.
Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Indonesia has made coronavirus vaccination for citizens compulsory and is set to allow the private sector to help inoculate the population to reach herd immunity faster.
Shotaro Tani, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday named the head of a domestic bank to lead the country's planned $15 billion sovereign wealth fund.
The head of Indonesia's COVID-19 task force has set an ambitious deadline by which Indonesia is to completely be rid of the coronavirus, with the targeted date falling on the country's Independence Day.
A wave of rejections against Jakarta's plan to establish new provinces in West Papua has emerged in Papua Land. Papuan students outside their home have also risen to the occasion and rejected the plan.
Jakarta – Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Chairperson Asfinawati has responded to plans to revise the Information and Electronic Transaction (ITE) Law.
Asfinawati said that revisions to the ITE Law are indeed much needed but this is not enough to guarantee freedom of expression.
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stated he would ask the House of Representatives (DPR) to revise the Information and Electronic Transaction Law or ITE Law. He said the revision was aimed at removing vague articles that potentially cause multiple interpretations.
Indonesian police say they are looking into a bizarre claim made by a young widow in Cianjur, West Java, who has become the subject of widespread ridicule for saying she miraculously became pregnant without sexual intercourse.
Koya Jibiki and Erwida Maulia, Jakarta – Indonesian state energy company Pertamina has committed to palm oil biofuel as it follows the global shift away from fossil fuels, but high costs and international pressure over the industry's deforestation show this approach carries its own risks.
February 15, 2021
Lani Diana Wijaya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has made suggestions in response to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan's plan to turn the capital into a Climate-Resilient City by 2030.
Maria Fatima Bona, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will start the second round of mass vaccination against coronavirus targeting priority groups other than medical workers on Wednesday.
A contract teacher in Bone, South Sulawesi was reportedly fired for posting about her relatively small pay on social media, her case drawing sympathy for non-permanent educators from many in Indonesia.
Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Conflicts over land flared up across Indonesia in 2020, as Indigenous and rural communities tried to hold off pulpwood, palm oil and logging companies ramping up their expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Sunday reported that a major landslide had happened in an East Java village in the province's area of Nganjuk which caused 14 injuries and reportedly 20 people have gone missing.
Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – It is not just the restaurants. Grab's motorcycle taxis, or GrabBike, drivers also benefit from food delivery service GrabFood.
Inaya Rakhmani, Evi Eliyanah and Zulfa Sakhiyya – COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented crisis to universities around the world. But female academics in Indonesian universities are facing additional constraints.
Women do not hold the highest-level executive positions in Indonesian universities. This results in gender biases in university policy-making.
Millions of Indonesians fell into poverty during the pandemic, new data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) showed, pushing the country's poverty rate above 10 percent.
BPS' latest poverty data showed that as of September 2020, 27.55 million Indonesians live below the national poverty line, which represents a 2.76 million or 0.97 percent year-on-year increase.
Konradus EpaKonradus Epa, Jakarta – More than 5,000 people including 3,000 Catholics have fled their homes in Indonesia's Papua region following clashes between security forces and a separatist group, according to a church official.
Antara, Jakarta – The Health Ministry appealed to local governments to accelerate the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program for health workers over concerns about the vaccines' expiration date, which was only six months.
Jayapura, Jubi – Another armed conflict between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) occurred in Intan Jaya Regency in Papua, this time killing an Indonesian soldier.
The armed altercation was the second reported incident since Feb. 12, when an armed civilian shot and injured a TNI soldier.
Hendartyo Hanggi, Jakarta – Statistics Indonesia (BPS) on Monday reported that Indonesia's January 2021 trade balance saw a surplus up to US$1.96 billion which was boosted by larger figures of exports compared to January 2020.
Meleva Thorn, Perth – After a year of bushfires, floods, and drought, the Australian agricultural industry is on the road to recovery. One of the countries that will play a major role in helping heal this industry is Australia's biggest neighbor, Indonesia.
Nganjuk, Indonesia – Torrential rains triggered a landslide on Indonesia's main island of Java, killing at least four people and leaving 14 others missing, as emergency personnel digging with their bare hands and farm tools desperately sought to unearth more victims on Monday (Feb 15), officials said.
February 14, 2021
Devina Halim, Jakarta – The family of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani who was killed in Intan Jaya, Papua, on September 19 last year, has agreed to an autopsy being conducted with certain conditions.
Arlina Arshad, Jakarta – A grassroots movement in one of Indonesia's worst-hit regions for Covid-19 has emerged to ease a crisis in healthcare in the country with hospitals unable to cope as patient numbers surge.
Dicky Agung Prihanto, Jakarta – The Depok city Education Offices has issued a circular banning students from celebrating Valentine's Day, which falls on February 14.
By Raghu Gururaj
Linda Morris – A haunting video art installation acknowledging the murderous history of anti-communist purges in Bali has won this year's Blake Prize.
February 13, 2021
Laurens Ikinia, Auckland – Indigenous Papuan students who are currently studying in New Zealand and Australia have formed an educational association, choosing Waitangi Day to mark the occasion of their inaugural virtual conference.
Wishnu Bagus Prasetyo, Jakarta – The government has decided to assign MNC Lido City, a resort megaproject owned by MNC Land, a Jakarta-listed property company controlled by media tycoon Hary Tanoesoedibjo, special economic zones, or SEZ for tourism, a status that came with various tax incentives and special tax facilities for any business involved in the project.
February 12, 2021
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – Environmental organizations including church groups have warned that deforestation in Indonesia's natural forests is reaching a critical level, especially in Papua where the clearance rate has increased significantly in the last two decades.
Kyunghoon Kim, KCL – Indonesia is establishing a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) in the coming weeks. While details are still lacking, it seems that the entity – tentatively referred to as Lembaga Pengelola Investasi (Investment Management Authority, or LPI) – will not look like an ordinary SWF.
Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – The National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) Governor Agus Widjojo on Thursday said that the results of the 2020 simultaneous regional head elections (Pilkada) show the growth of political dynasty.
Shweta Sharma – A wedding planning company in Indonesia has come under fire for encouraging child marriages of girls as young as twelve years old, sparking outrage in the country.
A criminal investigation has been launched against the wedding planner, Aisha Weddings, after a complaint was lodged by the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI).
Victor Mambor, Jayapura – On Aug. 1, 2019, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) held a large meeting, called "Reunification and Declaration of Unity of TPNPB-Free Papua Organization" in Ilaga, Puncak Regency. The meeting in the neighboring regency ushered in a new period of conflict in Intan Jaya.
February 11, 2021
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) criticized the statement President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made on Monday where he called for the public to be more actively engaged in criticizing the government, arguing that the current situation has shown civil freedom under threat.
Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko acknowledged that the growth of palm oil plantations presented a dilemma. Indonesia was caught between its impact on the welfare of farmers and the environment.
Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi," Widodo said on Thursday that the government would start administering Covid-19 vaccination next week to public servants and workers in service industries, two weeks ahead of schedule, ramping up its effort to protect Indonesia's population from the pandemic.
Jeffrey Hutton, Jakarta – In Indonesia, it can cost twice as much to transport a refrigerated container of oranges from Jakarta to Jayapura, in Papua, a distance of more than 4,300km, than it does to import it from Shanghai, which is similar in distance.
Shipping can be tricky in the world's largest archipelago.
Benny Mawel, Jayapura – Papuan People's Assembly (MRP) announced they rejected the central government and the House of Representatives plan to revise special autonomy (otsus) law without consulting MRP. The decision was made after MRP held a plenary meeting on Feb. 9 in Jayapura.
Gisela Swaragita, Jakarta – Over the past few weeks, Indonesia's language agency Badan Bahasa has managed to irk gender and women activists alike by refusing to remove derogatory definitions for "perempuan" (woman) in the Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language (KBBI), the primary reference book on the national language.
Jakarta – The Indonesian Monitoring Coalition says that deforestation in Papua has increased under the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The Coalition is made up of 11 non-government organisations (NGOs).
Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian government is committed to extending US$2.3 million in aid to support Palestine's struggle for independence, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.
M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan appealed to people who tested positive for Covid-19 to carry out self-isolation in government facilities, such as Wisma Atlet or the athlete's dorm and hotels.
Bisnis.Com, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo stated that the enforcement of a large-scale lockdown would be highly detrimental to the economy of the affected regions whereas a local one would be proper.
Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Indonesian police are investigating a wedding organiser that has promoted controversial child marriage as well as unregistered marriages.
Aisha Weddings encourages girls to marry early, at the age from 12, as their duty is "to serve their husbands".
M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Thursday, Feb. 11, claimed that over one million Indonesian healthcare workers had received the Covid-19 vaccine injections.