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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 6, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – The government must provide accessible health care for health workers and their families as the battle against COVID-19 seems far from over, the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) has said.

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Jakarta – As many as 54,194 people have been affected by a drought in Bogor, West Java, the Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD Bogor) has said.

"The number was calculated [based on the population] of 31 villages that were affected by the drought across nine districts," BPBD Bogor Emergency Department Head M. Adam Hamdani said on Friday as quoted by tempo.co.

Jakarta Globe - September 6, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia is entering its worst period yet in the coronavirus outbreak with new cases averaging over 3,200 since the start of the month and the total number of Covid-19 deaths exceeding 8,000 on Sunday.

The country reported 3,444 new cases, the second highest daily rise after a record 3,622 cases only three days ago, to take its total to 194,109.

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Jakarta – Voter turnout in the upcoming regional elections may decrease 20 to 60 percent amid coronavirus concerns, the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) said.

LSI executive director Djayadi Hanan said many voters were likely to be hesitant to visit the polling stations in their respective communities on Dec. 9 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

September 5, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has claimed that the administration in doing well in tackling COVID-19 in the capital city, despite a spike in new confirmed cases.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Civil groups have criticized the Jakarta Police over the criminalization of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community following a recent raid on a private party in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

Deutsche Welle (DW) - September 5, 2020

When Dian heard that the coronavirus had arrived in Indonesia at the end of March, she stocked her kitchen with ginger, turmeric and lemongrass.

However, the 37-year-old mother of two wasn't using the spices for cooking. Instead, she boiled them down into a traditional herbal drink called "jamu."

Kompas.com - September 5, 2020

Tsarina Maharani, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Politics, Security and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has responded to the polemic about political dynasties in the 2020 election of regional heads (Pilkada).

According to Mahfud, there are no laws which stipulate that a family member of a public official is not allowed to run as a candidate regional head.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The country's emerging millennial farmers are striving to weather the COVID-19 outbreak that has impacted the agriculture sector, with many relying on innovations in technology.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – As Indonesia strives to get on top of the ever-climbing number of COVID-19 cases, 82 percent of physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers across the country have been suffering from moderate levels of burnout and chronic mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress, a recent survey has revealed.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Lawmakers will push for the House of Representatives to endorse the indigenous peoples bill during the next plenary meeting in order to speed up the bill's deliberation.

House Legislation Body (Baleg) deputy chairman Willy Aditya of the NasDem Party said the bill's working committee he leads had held meetings to deliberate the bill since April.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung, West Java – As new clusters of COVID-19 transmission continue to emerge in industrial areas in Bekasi regency, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has urged factory workers to report their daily activities in a bid to reduce the transmission risk.

Jakarta Globe - September 5, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia added 3,128 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 190,665, including 7,940 deaths.

It's the fourth day in a row that the daily total has exceeded 3,000 and if this trend continues the country will pass 200,000 cases early next week.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Jakarta – Local authorities in Buton regency, Southeast Sulawesi, are investigating how the province's Pendek Island ended up for sale online, following a report filed by the heirs of former islanders.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Jakarta – East Jakarta's Pondok Ranggon cemetery expects to run out of space for COVID-19 graves in October because of the recent increase in the number of burials.

Nadi, the cemetery's management officer, said there was only space left for another 1,100 burials in the cemetery's southern area of 7,000 square meters.

Tempo - September 5, 2020

Laila Afifa, Jakarta – The safety of environmental defenders and indigenous communities are increasingly under threat. It is not enough to show concern merely by wearing traditional costumes.

Channel News Asia - September 5, 2020

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – The sun was already setting when Dr Yakub and his team of contact tracers were deployed to a densely populated neighbourhood in South Jakarta.

An elderly man had just died at his home and there were signs that he had contracted COVID-19.

Kompas.com - September 5, 2020

Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD says that democracy, which has developed rapidly in the public realm, has resulted in the government feeling that it is wrong whatever it does.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The General Elections Commission (KPU) has announced that only 70 independent candidates are eligible to officially register to compete in the 2020 regional elections, fewer than many had initially anticipated.

Jakarta Post - September 5, 2020

Police in Bali will hold a disciplinary hearing for two officers who allegedly extorted Rp 1 million (US$67.93) from a Japanese man over a minor traffic violation in 2019.

Jembrana Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ketut Gede Adi Wibawa said the Bali provincial police's internal affairs division (Propam) had launched an investigation against the two officers.

September 4, 2020

Gay Times - September 4, 2020

Matt Moore – Jakarta Police have arrested over 50 men at an apartment in Kuningan, South Jakarta, after raiding an alleged 'gay party'. The event itself was billed as a "gathering of men to promote independence" and people had to pay a fee of between $10 to $20 to attend.

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Wintang Warastri, Jakarta – Public defender Azas Tigor Nainggolan criticized the social punishment handed to COVID-19 health protocol violators – which involves placing a person inside a coffin – amidst the transitional period of social restriction shows the Jakarta Administration's lack of seriousness in imposing punishments.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

The East Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) will stop imposing the sanction of forcing any residents caught not wearing face masks in public to lie in a fake coffin.

Agency head Budhy Novian said the punishment was not in line with the gubernatorial regulation that stipulates a list of punishments for people found to be violating strict health protocols.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Indonesia's highly-anticipated One Map Policy is inching toward completion with most datasets successfully compiled by the government, but observers are wary of the project's lack of transparency and inclusiveness and whether the rights of indigenous communities are honored.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration plans to add 11 COVID-19 reference hospitals as cases continue to rise in the capital.

Jakarta currently has 67 COVID-19 referral hospitals and 170 hospitals providing services for COVID-19 patients. However, the city has recently been grappling with a rising number of hospitalizations among COVID-19 patients.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has asserted that Indonesia will not be the military base for any foreign country, including China, following a report from the United States' Department of Defense that states China is planning to build an overseas military logistics facility in Indonesia.

Pink News - September 4, 2020

Emma Powys Maurice – Nine men in Indonesia are facing fines and up to 15 years in jail after police raided a "gay party" in a Jakarta hotel.

Jakarta police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said nine people suspected of organising the party on Saturday (August 29) were arrested, and 47 others who participated were released.

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Jakarta – A number of state-owned companies have moved into the app-based logistics business. This is at odds with the Business Competition Law.

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Friski Riana, Jakarta – The Jakarta State University (UNJ) lecturers alliance on Friday demands for campus officials to cancel granting the honorary title to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin and State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) minister Erick Thohir.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

More than 139,000 people in Jakarta have been sanctioned for not wearing masks in public during transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) from June to September, the city administration announced on Friday.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government will need to increase its budget for health care next year if it wants to provide a coronavirus vaccine for all Indonesians, with vaccinations expected to help stimulate an economy reeling from the pandemic, a senior economist has said.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

A group of lecturers at Jakarta State University (UNJ) have voiced their opposition to the university's plan to award honorary doctorates to Vice President Ma'ruf Amin and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, citing fears of political motives that could threaten academic freedom.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – State-owned electricity giant PLN estimates that Indonesia needs more than 31,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030 to reach government goals.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Education and Culture Ministry is proposing a budget of Rp 1.49 trillion (US$100 million) for school digitalization programs in a bid to reduce technological discrepancies by improving digital access to education.

Gay Star News - September 4, 2020

Tris Reid-Smith – Indonesian police arrested 56 men in a raid on a 'gay' party and have charged nine of them under pornography laws.

Officers have released the remaining 47 men. But the nine men they claim organized the party may face up to 15 years in prison and a fine.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 4, 2020

Authorities in West Sumatra are investigating a video in which a woman was stripped and paraded by a mob in Pasaman regency this week.

Asia Times - September 4, 2020

John McBeth, Jakarta – Retired general turned businessman and politician, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Panjaitan may cut a controversial profile, but he is single-minded in his determination to use Indonesia's vast natural resources to make the country part of the global supply chain.

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – A resident of West Kalimantan, Badau District – located in the border of Indonesia and Malaysia – had grabbed public attention after the mid 40s man took selfie photos with positive COVID-19 patients without implementing the proper health protocols.

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The leading expert at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Donny Gahral Adian, strongly denies rumors suggesting that the Presidential Palace had organized 'buzzers' to amplify the government's achievements.

Donny argues the buzzers conduct their work independently which does not enable the government from 'controlling their actions.'

Jakarta Globe - September 4, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The surge in coronavirus cases has reached a new level in Indonesia with daily rises averaging over 3,000 as the country is heading into what seems to be the toughest month so far in the outbreak.

It reported 3,269 new cases on Friday – the third day in a row that daily total has exceeded 3,000 – for a total of 187,537 cases.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Medan District Court in North Sumatra has been declared a COVID-19 cluster after 38 staff members and judges, including the head of the court, Sutio Jumagi Akhirno, tested positive for the coronavirus.

One of the judges, Somadi, has reportedly died of the disease and was buried under COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday evening.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Jakarta – The Executive Office of the President has denied using so-called "buzzers" to support the government and its policies, claiming that it only hires social media influencers to help educate the public on certain policies.

Jakarta Post - September 4, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The World Health Organization (WHO) Indonesia Office stated that the agency did not recommend the COVID-19 rapid antibody test as a requirement to travel, citing the test's low accuracy level and fearing that a nonreactive result could provide a false sense of security.

September 3, 2020

CNN Indonesia - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – Arif Susanto, a political analyst from the think tank Exposit Strategic, has criticised Presidential Chief of Staff Expert Donny Gahral Adian who said recently that buzzers are an unavoidable part of democracy.

Tempo - September 3, 2020

Friski Riana, Jakarta – The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) spokesman, Handi Risza, resented the statement made by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) chairperson Puan Maharani as she gave an official recommendation to the West Sumatera governor and deputy candidates Mulyadi – Ali Mukhni.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Graft watchdog Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has called for the Health Ministry to improve the transparency of its procurement of medical equipment and other materials during the coronavirus pandemic following the discovery of what the group deemed as irregularities.

Jakarta Globe - September 3, 2020

Heru Andriyanto & Carlos Roy Fajarta, Jakarta – Indonesia reported a dramatic surge in confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, with 3,622 new infections to take the country's total to 184,268. Today's number broke the previous record of 3,308 cases only five days ago.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – The police will suspend any criminal investigations involving potential or registered candidates running in the 2020 regional elections in December, according to a telegram issued by National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti and Ardilla Syakriah, Jakarta – Indonesia is reportedly among the countries with the highest COVID-19 death rate among children, surpassing the United States, the world's worst-hit country by the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – A protected Sumatran tiger was found rotting last week in a forest in Siak regency, Riau. A wire snare was found around its neck.