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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 8, 2020

Mongabay - September 8, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – A U.N. fund has approved a $103.8 million payment to Indonesia for preventing deforestation-based carbon emissions – its biggest payout yet, and one that critics say can't be justified.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The House of Representatives and the government have agreed to revise the 2007 Disaster Mitigation Law in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Asip Hasani, Kediri, East Java – The road to the top administrator's seat in Kediri regency, East Java, looks to be clear for Hanindhito Himawan Pramana, the son of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has established a national team to accelerate the development of a possible COVID-19 vaccine and to improve the country's resilience in responding to the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The nation's tourist industry is facing a catch-22 as a rise in COVID-19 cases hampers its recovery, while strict closures will also severely impact businesses, experts and a business group have said.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has doubled down on his message for election organizers to enforce strict health protocols in the lead-up to and on the day of simultaneous regional elections in December so as to avoid COVID-19 transmission during the major political event.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has emphasized the importance of bureaucratic flexibility in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country, while maintaining government integrity amid the inherent challenges of the ongoing emergency.

Al Jazeera - September 8, 2020

Jakarta, Indonesia – Medical experts have linked a surge in coronavirus cases on Bali to the inaccurate, low-cost rapid antibody test kits that are being used to screen domestic visitors to the Indonesian resort island.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi has found himself in hot water again as lawmakers question him over his controversial remarks on radicalism and the ministry's preacher certification program.

Tempo - September 8, 2020

Caesar Akbar, Jakarta - At least 59 countries have restricted entry of Indonesian citizens over concerns of the high number of Covid-19 positive cases in the archipelago.

As of Monday, September 7, 2020, Indonesia recorded 196,989 confirmed cases. Of which, 140,652 people have made recovery, and 8,130 patients succumbed to the new coronavirus disease.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – The Indonesian stock market is likely to endure a selling spree by foreign investors until year-end as the global economic and political situations remain unfavorable for the country's assets amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, analysts have said.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – Representatives from various human rights groups in the country said on Monday that they would immediately hand a legal opinion to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) on the assassination of prominent human rights defender Munir Said Thalib on Sept. 7, 2004, which has yet to be resolved completely.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Jakarta – The National Police have named Benny Tjokrosaputro, the president director of publicly listed property firm PT Hanson International, a prime suspect in a money laundering case involving a shell bank.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate has said the government enjoyed a "swift and dynamic" session with lawmakers at the House of Representatives while deliberating the data protection bill.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta, Indonesia surpassed 200,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, after consistently detecting record numbers of new infections in the past several weeks.

Jakarta Post - September 8, 2020

Jakarta – Prominent Muhammadiyah figure Abdul Malik Fadjar passed away at 7:00 p.m. on Monday at Mayapada Hospital in Kuningan, South Jakarta. He was 81 years old.

The news of his death was announced by Muhammadiyah Malang University, where Abdul served as the head of the daily advisory board.

SBS News - September 8, 2020

The Indonesian government has been urged to urgently investigate a police raid on a so-called "gay party" that resulted in the arrests of nine men.

One human rights group said the incident sent a terrifying message to LGBTIQ+ people in the country.

Jakarta Globe - September 8, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa – Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo urged regional leader candidates to abide by health protocols after receiving countless reports on non-compliance.

Coconuts Bali - September 8, 2020

Over 100 people marched down the streets of Renon, Denpasar today to protest criminal charges against Balinese musician I Gede Ari Astana aka Jerinx, the latest in a series of community support for the controversial figure.

September 7, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign exchange (forex) reserves soared to a record high in August mainly due to the government's foreign borrowing, proceeds from oil and gas, as well as tax collection, Bank Indonesia has announced.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Hidayatullah Tahjuddin and Poppy McPherson Reuters Lhokseumawe, Indonesia/Bangkok, Thailand – Almost 300 Rohingya refugees believed to have been at sea for six months landed in Indonesia's Aceh province early on Monday, Indonesian authorities said.

South China Morning Post - September 7, 2020

Randy Mulyanto – Indonesian-Chinese mum Shinta Lie, 33, has been trying to make ends meet by selling fish crackers and facial tissues for about US$1 in Jakarta, with her husband and three young children in tow.

The Guardian - September 7, 2020

Reuters in Lhokseumawe – Almost 300 Rohingya refugees believed to have been at sea for six months landed on a beach in Aceh province, Indonesia, early on Monday, Indonesian authorities have said.

Kompas.com - September 7, 2020

Haryanti Puspa Sari, Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti says that based on Kontras' records, there were 256 attacks against human rights defenders between January and July 2020.

Tempo - September 7, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Antara, Jakarta – Jakarta Ombudsman Head Teguh Nugroho demanded the Jakarta administration stop the additional sanction for Covid-19 health protocols violators which forces them to lay in a fake coffin. He opined the punitive measure was inappropriate.

Jakarta Globe - September 7, 2020

Robertus Wardi & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The General Election Commission, or KPU, confirmed on Monday at least 37 of 687 candidates for the upcoming regional leader election have tested positive for coronavirus.

The shocking announcement came a day after a candidate in North Sumatra died from coronavirus-related disease.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The Public Works and Housing (PUPR) Ministry is seeking a budget of Rp 149.8 trillion (US$10.1 billion) for 2021 – a 42.7 percent increase from this year's allocation – in part to fund infrastructure projects to support the nation's economic recovery.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Jakarta – Bali will start imposing fines of Rp 100,000 (US$6.77) on residents seen out without a face mask during the pandemic, which has taken a toll on the resort island's tourism.

The policy, stipulated in Gubernatorial Decree No. 46/2020, takes effect Monday.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartanto announced that the government had earmarked Rp 3.8 trillion for the down payment for purchasing COVID-19 vaccine.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reminded his aides to prioritize health and COVID-19 mitigation to ensure the survival of all facets of the nation's development, including the country's economy, which has been battered by the global pandemic.

Indonesia at Melbourne - September 7, 2020

Usman Hamid – "Islam is a religion of civilisation. Extremism and intolerance destroy civilisation. This is in contrast with the function of religion, which is to improve human life."

Coconuts Jakarta - September 7, 2020

Having had a female president and with a woman as the current speaker at its House of Representatives (DPR), one would think that much progress has been made for women in Indonesian politics. Unfortunately, as a recent sexism scandal has shown, women are still belittled and harassed over their physical appearance by their male counterparts in politics.

Jakarta Post Editorial - September 7, 2020

Jakarta – Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck early in March, for 13 successive years, without any break, a number of people rallied outside the State Palace every Thursday to demand justice for their sons, friends and other victims of human rights violations plaguing the country's history.

Kompas.com - September 7, 2020

Haryanti Puspa Sari, Jakarta – Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Arif Maulana says that the government has two more years left to solve the assassination of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib before the case expires.

Tempo - September 7, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – An epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, Tri Yunis Miko Wahyono, suggested Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan immediately impose the emergency brake policy to stop the Transitional Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB).

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Six months into the pandemic, Indonesian workers are not only at risk of massive layoffs but also of infections at their workplaces, as virus clusters have emerged in factories, prompting calls for tighter government supervision and better compliance of health protocols from companies.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia has granted entry to 450 Chinese workers employed by PT Bintan Alumina Indonesia (PT BAI), an aluminum producer based in the Galang Batang special economic zone in Bintan regency, Riau Islands.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – The government is seeking to expand its business assistance program to around 3 million more small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak by reallocating funds from other programs within the government's stimulus plan.

Irish Independent - September 7, 2020

Helena Horton – A newly discovered orangutan species is being driven to extinction by a UK firm's Indonesian gold mine, a wildlife charity has claimed.

The Tapanuli orangutan, the rarest great ape in the world, was discovered by scientists in 2017, the first to be identified in a century.

Sydney Morning Herald - September 7, 2020

James Massola and Karuni Rompies – Indonesian epidemiologists have warned the national government is too focused on pursuing a vaccine to defeat COVID-19 and is neglecting the public health system, while tougher enforcement of mask-wearing and better contact tracing is also needed.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Ivany Atina Arbi, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has proposed Sept. 7 to be designated as national human rights defenders day, coinciding with the date of the assassination of prominent human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Indria Fernida, Jakarta – Today, 16 years ago, Munir Said Thailb, a defender of human rights, was murdered with arsenic poison aboard a Garuda plane on his way to the Netherlands to pursue his postgraduate studies. An official independent joint investigation team later concluded it was a premeditated murder.

Kompas.com - September 7, 2020

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – Amnesty International Executive Director Usman Hamid has again called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to keep his pledge to solve the 2004 assassination of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – The pandemic's grip has forced death – a topic many would rather avoid – to the forefront of the country's consciousness. Virus statistics creep ever upward on screens, stoking debates and blame games for some and stigma for others.

But it is grief – including for the bereaved families and friends of medical workers – that stings the most.

Jakarta Post - September 7, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – While critics have slammed him for prioritizing prevention over law enforcement, recent data show that Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Firli Bahuri has led the agency to arrest more graft suspects compared to his predecessors.

September 6, 2020

Straits Times - September 6, 2020

Jeffrey Hutton, Jakarta – Make no mistake: the name helps. For Ms Rahayu Saraswati Djojohadikusomo, or Sara to her friends, it's one of the biggest names in Indonesian politics.

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Jakarta – The House of Representatives is mulling over changing the current open-list proportional representation electoral system and raising the 4 percent minimum parliamentary threshold in a proposed revision to Law No. 7/2017 on general elections.

Tabloid JUBI - September 6, 2020

Jayapura, Jubi – Freeport Indonesia workers held a protest for the second time in Mile 72 that connecting Tembagapura and Freeport mining area on Wednesday (2/9/2020) demanding the corporate to pay additional incentive for those who keep working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Jakarta – In response to controversy surrounding the candidacy of incumbents' and political elites' relatives in the upcoming regional elections, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD has said that the nepotism is not against the law, nor is it inherently contradictory to the country's democracy.

Tabloid JUBI - September 6, 2020

Semarang, Jubi – Adriana Elizabeth, a senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Coordinator for the Papua Peace Network in Jakarta, said Jubi always be the first in reporting the updated situation of Papua. Further, she said that she has been familiar with Jubi and followed the news on Jubi since 2004 when doing her research in Manokwari.