We're just about to enter September, and already weather experts are urging Indonesians to prepare their umbrellas as this year's rainy season may come early.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
August 27, 2021
Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested and charged a Muslim cleric with blasphemy for allegedly insulting Christians.
The arrest comes three days after a Muslim convert to Christianity was arrested for allegedly insulting Islam.
New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that officials have raised concern with Indonesia over the case of a West Papuan political prisoner.
But a West Papua solidarity group in New Zealand says merely raising the matter is not enough, and that the human rights problems in Papua demand more action.
Jayapura – At the second court hearing which was to hear the reading out of the charges against West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor Yeimo on Thursday August 26, the panel of judges ordered the prosecution to prioritise the defendant's health.
Banda Aceh, Indonesia – Three critically endangered Sumatran tigers, including two cubs, were found dead in a conservation area on Indonesia's Sumatra island after being caught in traps apparently set by a poacher, authorities said Friday.
Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) cited a study from Australia that highlighted the minimum requirement for a vaccinated population to reach herd immunity based on Covid-19 vaccines with various degrees of efficacy.
Jakarta – Indonesian drug authority has issued an emergency use authorization for the Russia-made Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik-V, early this week, as the country seeks to increase supply to accelerate its vaccination drive.
Resty Woro Yuniar (South China Morning Post) – Isabella was left perplexed when her appointment for a free dose of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine was suddenly cancelled last week.
The Argentine national, who has been living in Indonesia for 15 years, was told there was now a charge for foreigners looking to get vaccinated.
Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore – Security forces in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim majority nation, will step up an anti-terror crackdown after the deadly attacks in Kabul claimed by an Islamic State affiliate.
There was strong condemnation from Muslim nations on Friday of the blasts that killed at least 95 Afghans and 13 US servicemen.
Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that the government has been excessive in dealing with the emergence of murals with a critical tone drawn by the public.
Jakarta – Indonesia on Friday recorded the lowest daily death toll in the Covid-19 outbreak since July 6 although it still has the highest fatality numbers in the world at the current stage of the pandemic.
There have been 599 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 130,781, according to Health Ministry data.
Jakarta – Indonesian authorities have seized 5.3 million sqm (530 hectares) of land and property assets in several cities, as part of efforts to recoup unpaid state loans given to banks during the Asian financial crisis in 1998, a minister said.
Aila Slisco – A former Catholic priest was indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., for the alleged sexual abuse of children at a "shelter home" he founded abroad.
Zacharias Wuragil, Jakarta – Global warming has pushed the rainy season to come earlier in Indonesia this year. Almost 50 percent of the country's total 342 seasonal zones (ZOM) will experience the wet season starting between September-October.
Johannes Nugroho – On 13 August, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, granted an audience to Bambang Soesatyo, Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), to discuss how to advance some "limited" constitutional amendments.
Joao da Cruz Cardoso – On June 18 of this year, Timor-Leste abstained from a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the military regime in Myanmar.
Indonesia has found itself on the top of a very disturbing list after it was ranked first as a source for online animal cruelty content in a new research published this week, with thousands of videos traced back to the Southeast Asian country.
August 26, 2021
Iris Zeng, Singapore – Prioritizing digital trade is crucial to Indonesia's economic recovery and growth especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to experts from a recent webinar.
Andrea Christiani and Haeril Halim, Jakarta – "William" is refusing to take a coronavirus vaccine because he fears Indonesia's military will use the country's inoculation program to poison him and wipe out his fellow Papuans.
Those who are unvaccinated make up the majority of COVID-19 deaths in Bali, the province's Health Agency said, as efforts continue to curb coronavirus transmissions on the island.
Lenny Tristia Tambun, Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The total number of beds occupied in hospitals across Indonesia has dropped significantly amid an ease in the Delta variant outbreak, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday.
Jakarta – The government is ramping up the Covid-19 vaccine rollout for students to prepare for limited in-person classes in areas with less restrictive curbs.
Indonesia kicked off its vaccine rollout for adolescents aged between 12 and 17 in July. For this age group, the country seeks to vaccinate 26,705,490 adolescents.
Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo's approval rating has fallen to the lowest level in five years on the back of a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections, a survey released on Wednesday (Aug 25) showed.
Cassie Freund – Fishing is integral to millions of Indonesians' livelihoods and identities, with an estimated 2.5 million households involved in small-scale (non-industrial) fishing and aquaculture.
Jakarta – The Supreme Court has upheld the convictions and life sentences of two key defendants in a major corruption scandal at state-run insurance company Jiwasraya, the Attorney General's Office confirmed on Wednesday.
Jakarta – Indonesia is taking its vaccination drive to the sea as the world's biggest archipelago nation ramps up a bid to innoculate its huge population.
The Indonesian Navy has deployed 60 boats and warships to scour thousands of kilometres of coastline in the hunt for unvaccinated fishermen, from westernmost Sumatra to holiday island Bali and remote Papua.
Tangguh Chairil – On July 29, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia's Coordinating Maritime and Investment Minister, made a comment that many would view as stating the obvious: "Now we understand that tracing is important in handling COVID-19," he said to journalists during his visit to a medical oxygen supply facility in East Jakarta.
August 25, 2021
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin on Wednesday presented the country's vaccination performance before members of the Commission IX House of Representatives (DPR), saying that it is still far from perfect.
Erwida Maulia and Ismi Damayanti, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday said the government will proceed with its $32 billion plan to relocate Indonesia's capital city from Jakarta to the island of Borneo, while the strongest candidate to succeed him so far assured he supports the move.
Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The health system in Catholic-majority Timor-Leste is "in danger of collapsing" following a recent spike in Covid-19 cases, while many health workers have also been infected, the government says.
Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Officials and activists in Indonesia are calling for the renewal of a ban on issuing new licenses for oil palm plantations, with the moratorium set to expire in September.
Jakarta – The National Mandate Party, or PAN, has joined the coalition of political parties supporting the Joko "Jokowi" Widodo government, an aide of the president said on Wednesday.
The news came shortly after leaders of political parties met at the State Palace at the invitation of the president, according to Information Technology Minister Johnny G. Plate.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Indonesia's Covid-19 mortality rate was still at 3.2 percent or higher than the global average of 2.09 percent, said the Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito.
PeduliLindungi will be essential at all ports, terminals, and stations starting Aug. 28, as passengers must use the integrated health/mobility tracking app to comply with health and administrative requirements for domestic travel.
A local resident has come forward to offer his side of the story following a viral video showing uniformed military officers assaulting two civilians in Bali's Buleleng regency, claiming that he wasn't resisting when the abuse took place.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Irma Hidayana, founder of independent data initiative LaporCOVID-19, deplores claims by a number of officials saying they have received third doses of Covid-19. According to Irma, the officials violated the regulations by getting vaccine boosters now.
Johnny Blades – The trial of West Papuan political prisoner Victor Yeimo has begun in an Indonesian court in Jayapura.
Yeimo, who is a spokesman for the pro-independence West Papua National Committee (KNPB), is charged with treason and incitement over his alleged role in anti-racism protests that turned into riots in 2019.
Muhammad Z, Suharto, Jakarta – Cases of violence against women have spiked significantly in Indonesia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Commission on Anti-Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) has said.
Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested a Christian YouTuber after a series of complaints were filed by Muslims accusing him of blasphemy.
Muhammad Kace, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, is accused of insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad by claiming the prophet was "surrounded by devils and liars."
Jakarta – A number of murals and graffiti with a critical tone on walls in busy locations have been removed recently. The aggressive removal of the critical murals has largely been done by regional officials and police in their respective areas.
August 24, 2021
Victor Mambor, Jayapura, Jubi – The past three years have seen an unending illegal deployment of Indonesian military forces in the central highlands of Papua, internationally known as West Papua, which has triggered an escalated armed conflict between the military and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), as well as violence against civilians.
Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia expects to receive 80.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine through government purchase and multilateral donations next month, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Tuesday.
Chris Barrett, Singapore – Afghan refugees in Jakarta defied lockdown restrictions and fought with police as they protested against falling humanitarian intakes by Australia and other countries.
Jakarta – Indonesia passed 4 million Covid-19 cases on Tuesday after recording 19,106 new cases in the past 24 hours, government figures show. Southeast Asia's biggest nation now has a total of 4,008,166 cases.
A further 1,038 Covid-19 deaths have been registered in the one-day period, bringing the total death toll to 128,252.
Francisca Christy Rosana, Jakarta – The government issued a new regulation regarding the enforcement of four-tiered public mobility restrictions (PPKM) on August 24-30, 2021.
The rule is noted in the Instruction of the Home Affairs Ministerial No. 35 of 2021 concerning Level 4, 3, and 2 PPKM in the Java-Bali region.
Rifki Nurfajri, Jakarta – The government has pledged to take care of thousands of children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic, amid revelations of inadequate data collection preventing this growing social problem from being properly addressed.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Jakarta was named among cities with bad urban planning by an architecture publication, prompting an expected, if somewhat defensive, response from the capital's vice governor.
Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that so far 90 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been injected into Indonesian citizens. According to Budi, this makes Indonesia ranks 9th in the world for the number of injections.
Indonesia is reopening restaurants, malls and places of worship in some areas including the capital, Jakarta, after new coronavirus cases fell sharply from their peak and vaccinations rose.
President Joko Widodo said restaurants and places of worship in parts of the country would be able to operate at 25 per cent capacity and shopping malls at 50 per cent from today.
Rome wasn't built in a day, but you can bet your Samarinda yellow rice that all the potholes can be filled up in no time whenever the president comes to town.
President Joko Widodo visited Samarinda today to inspect the mass vaccination program in the East Kalimantan capital.