The problem of sexual violence in Indonesia has reached crisis proportions, with an increasing number of cases reported each year. A bill has been introduced to tackle the issue. Unfortunately, it has become a political battleground for women's and LGBT rights, and pro-democracy movements fighting the influence of rising religious conservatism.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
January 28, 2020
Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – Parameter Politik Indonesia highlighted the performance of Vice President Ma'ruf Amin during his 100 days in the office along with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The pollster executive director Adi Prayitno assessed that the VP had not shown significant performance yet in the government.
January 27, 2020
Jakarta – The government's plan to scrap the environmental impact assessment (Amdal) requirement imposed on investors intending to set up a business has been met with strong opposition from local environmental advisory groups.
Jakarta – Social media users have been outraged after discovering that the NasDem Party has reportedly been using a photo of Dede Luthfi Alfiandi, a protestor who is currently in prison, for advertising purposes.
Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prosecutors plan to appeal a sentence handed down to graft convict and former United Development Party (PPP) chairman Muhammad "Romy" Romahurmuziy, deeming the punishment too light in comparison to the severity of his crimes.
Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – The Trade Ministry is coordinating with the Health Ministry on whether to impose import restrictions on goods from China, Indonesia's largest trading partner, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus responsible for a rising death toll in China into Indonesia.
Luthfi T Dzulfikar, Jakarta – In December last year, Indonesia's Minister of Education Nadiem Makarim announced sweeping changes to the education sector through four priority reforms. One of them is the abolition of the country's annual national exams.
Jakarta – West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno has drawn criticism from netizens after amateur video recordings of him welcoming Chinese visitors in a ceremonious fashion, with a large crowd, at the Minangkabau International Airport in Padang recently went viral on Twitter, amid concerns over a domestic coronavirus outbreak.
Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's stock market took a tumble on Monday as world shares took a hit from investor concerns over the economic impact of China's spreading coronavirus.
The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), the Indonesia Stock Exchange's (IDX) main gauge, fell 1.78 percent on Monday to 6,133.21 on trading close.
Jakarta – Finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government would establish an agency that would back up insurance policies to ensure payouts after financial issues at some local insurers have tarnished the industry.
The 2014 Insurance Law requires the establishment of a policy guarantee agency (LPP) by 2017.
Shashank Bengali, Singapore – American journalist Philip Jacobson was released from prison in Indonesia and would be deported "as soon as possible" for a visa violation, authorities said.
Jakarta – Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto has called on the public to remain calm in the face of the possible spread of the novel coronavirus, advising people to keep their body and mind pure so as to maintain immunity to avoid being infected with the fast-spreading virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.
Jakarta – The panel of judges has rejected a demurrer or note of objection by Surya Anta and five other Papuan activists charged with treason. The ruling was read out by presiding judge Agustinus Setya Wahyu Triwiranto at the Central Jakarta District Court on Monday January 27.
Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Jakarta, Indonesia – Described by British prosecutors as "the worst-known sex offender in the country's history," Indonesian exchange student Reynhard Sinaga drugged and sexually assaulted nearly 200 men in Manchester over several years.
But Sinaga, who was sentenced to life earlier this month, is not the only one being punished for his crimes.
Asni Ovier, Jakarta – Indonesian film "Lima" has been invited to the 16th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in the Russian Federation state of Tatarstan scheduled for September.
Film director Lola Amaria received the invitation from Tatarstan Culture Minister Irada Ayupova.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings announced on Friday that it affirmed Indonesia's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default rating at "BBB with a stable outlook".
Eliza Borrello, Ari Wu and Phil Hemingway in Sulawesi – Arriving at Pulisan Beach, on the eastern tip of North Sulawesi, the sand is white and the water is warm. It is a picturesque cove, home to coral reefs and tropical fish.
Malcolm Barnes's family has been guiding tourists around this part of the world for almost two decades.
January 26, 2020
Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – A video made by students of SD Samudrajaya 04 state elementary school in Samudrajaya village, Tarumajaya district, Bekasi regency, West Java, in which they publicly requested the help of officials to have their school repaired, has gone viral on social media.
Wulan Danoekoesoemo, Jakarta – Guess which Southeast Asian city has been ranked one of the most dangerous places for women?
According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation's 2017 poll, Jakarta makes the top 10 of this list, coming in at seventh most dangerous city in terms of the risk of sexual violence against women.
Abid A. Adonis – "We don't see these people as Muslim refugees. We consider them Muslim invaders," Viktor Orban, Hungarian Prime Minister.
If the aforementioned interview quote from Bild was well-known among Indonesians and wide-spread among bapak-bapak's Whatsapp groups, Viktor Orban would have been welcomed differently in his latest three days visit to Indonesia.
January 25, 2020
Jakarta – Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD plans to deport award-winning journalist Philip Jacobson, who allegedly violated his visa restrictions.
"I will contact the National Police and the Law and Human Rights Ministry's Immigration Directorate General to deport him as soon as possible," Mahfud said on Friday.
Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – The Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Riau) is putting GPS collars on a herd of wild elephants in Riau for the first time in an effort to reduce conflict between animals and humans.
Jakarta – Muhammadiyah has declared electronic cigarettes and vaping as haram in a fatwa issued recently by the second biggest Muslim organization in the country.
The organization's central executive board's tarjih (lawmaking) and tadjid (reform) council outlined the fatwa in a decree on e-cigarettes issued on Jan. 14 in Yogyakarta.
Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – State-owned port operator Pelindo I has denied selling illegal fuel to Singapore boats through ship-to-ship transfer in the waters off the coast of Nipah Island, Riau Islands.
James Massola and Karuni Rompies, Jakarta – The streaming company doesn't want to talk about it. The head of the fatwa board denies it. The mobile phone company is quibbling over it – even as the ministry confirms it.
And meanwhile, local users are infuriated by it.
Michael Koziol – The acting director of the War Memorial has promised its trouble-plagued official history of Australia's deployment to East Timor is back on track after an intervention from Foreign Minister Marise Payne.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – State-owned Bank Mandiri booked almost 10 percent profit growth in 2019, although the figure was lower than in 2018 due to slowing loan growth.
Panca Nugraha, Mataram – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is opposing the administration's plan to construct a cable car facility around Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on all ministers and state officials to be more careful about making statements in public.
January 24, 2020
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The government is set to conduct a population census, which are done every 10 years, next month to update data on the country's demographics.
Antara, Jakarta – The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) have agreed to continue the legal process of one of Indonesia's worst human rights violations cases known as the first and the second Semanggi tragedies.
Halida Bung, Jakarta – Acting spokesman of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Ali Fikri said an issue on the obstruction of justice allegedly committed by Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly in the graft case of Harun Masiku needed to be explored.
Kevin Ng – When I first saw AksiKamisan (Act of Thursday), it was quite surprising. How come a group of people, gathering around in front of the presidential palace every Thursday demanding clarity from the government on serious human rights violation cases? The attendees are the victim's families, students, and people who care about the truth.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government expects four smelters with a combined annual input capacity of 2.07 million tons and output capacity of 200,923 tons to begin operations this year.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Indonesia and Hungary have vowed to strengthen bilateral relations, particularly at the people-to-people level, as well as the two countries' economic ties following Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday.
Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Friday questioned the secretary-general of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Hasto Kristiyanto over an alleged bribery case that has implicated some of the party's members.
Agus Pabika, Jayapura – The Provincial Government of Papua would attempt to address problems facing the exodus students who continue to stay in Jayapura City, Papua.
Papua Provincial Secretary Herry Dosinaen told hundreds of exodus students who wish to meet Papua Governor Lukas Enembe in a meeting facilitated by the Papuan People's Assembly.
Erin Cook – If 2019 was the Year of Living Excitedly, with the world's biggest-ever one-day polls returning President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to his post, 2020 will be the Year of Quietly Getting on With It. After securing a broad mandate, the government has virtually a clear path to institute reforms and launch its ambitious plan to move the seat of government to Kalimantan.
Andita Rahma, Halida Bunga, Dio Suhenda, Jakarta – Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) is pressing President Joko Widodo or Jokowi to remove Yasonna Laoly from his position as Minister of Law and Human Rights (Menkumham).
Diana Mariska, Jakarta – The Indonesian government has decided to extend the service of anti-illegal fishing task force Satgas 115 following an evaluation by related ministries and state agencies.
Jakarta – Land and forest fires have hit at least seven areas in North Penajam Paser regency in East Kalimantan – the region that is to host part of Indonesia's new capital – over the past two days, according to local authorities.
Jakarta – Flooding has occurred in parts of Jakarta on as a result of heavy rain in the early hours of Friday morning, according to data from the Jakarta Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).
The BPBD recorded 54 inundated areas across the capital, of which 28 are located in North Jakarta.
Jakarta – The Jakarta Police on Wednesday named an East Jakarta resident a suspect of hate speech after he threatened to expel "the Chinese" from the neighborhood.
The chairman of the Betawi Islam Movement (Goib), Andy M. Saleh, was arrested in his house in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.
Police in Pringsewu regency in Lampung province recently arrested a 40-year-old man for raping his 15-year-old stepdaughter, with a neighbor also suspected of raping the underage girl on numerous occasions.
Apriadi Gunawan and Ardila Syakriah, Medan, North Sumatra – Many Indonesians are preparing to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which falls on Saturday, with religious rituals and festive attractions.
In Medan, North Sumatra, Buddhists are visiting temples to perform prayers for their ancestors ahead of the Chinese New Year, locally known as Imlek.
Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – The fires that raze vast swaths of Indonesian Borneo every year are having a lasting health impact on the region's critically endangered orangutans that threatens them with extinction, a new study has found.
Jakarta – If only President Joko Widodo and the House of Representatives (DPR) had not blunted the spearhead of Indonesia's anti-corruption agency, this embarrassing drama would not have happened.
Whisnu Bagus Prasetyo, Jakarta – Top executives from Americans technology giants Qualcomm and Amazon met with Minister of Communication and Information Technology Johnny G. Plate on Thursday to convey their interest in investing in Indonesia.
Jakarta – A joint team of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police shot dead an apparent member of an Intan Jaya-based armed criminal group (KKB) for allegedly resisting arrest in Nabire regency, Papua on Monday. The deceased has been identified only as NM, 35.
Wahyoe Boediwardhana, Surabaya – The head and all the staffers of community unit (RW) 03 at Bangkingan village in Surabaya, East Java made a public apology on Tuesday after issuing a circular that contained racist sentiments.
The circular issued on Jan. 12 went viral on social media on Tuesday and received a backlash from people condemning the racial statements.