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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 3, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The government is set to change the mechanism for several social safety net (SSN) programs because of the poor disbursement of aid.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Indonesia saw another daily record in confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities on Thursday, recording 3,622 new infections and 134 deaths linked to the disease.

The increase brings the country's tally to 184,268 COVID-19 cases, with 7,750 fatalities and 132,055 recoveries.

Indonesia at Melbourne - September 3, 2020

Simon Butt – On 1 September, Indonesia's national legislature (DPR) passed amendments to the Constitutional Court Law. This statute, which has now been amended three times since its enactment in 2003, covers many aspects of the functioning of this Court, including its jurisdiction and the appointment and dismissal of its judges.

Kompas.com - September 3, 2020

Palupi Annisa Auliani (editor) – The threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic has distracted public attention. In the mist of the panic among the public, many strategic decisions on public policies have been taken without public involvement or participation.

Tempo - September 3, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – The Environment and Forestry Ministry's observation of the ambient air quality shows that Bekasi City's average air particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) from January to August 2020 has exceeded Jakarta.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Gemma Holliani Cahya and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – As Indonesia enters its sixth month since COVID-19 first reached it shores, the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo continues to struggle to get on top of the public health crisis, as indicated by the resurgence of spikes in new cases, while other countries in the region, like Thailand and the Philippines, have

Jakarta Globe - September 3, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa & Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan's plan to ban self-isolation for Covid-19 patients regardless of their symptom severity has divided opinions, with many sharing concerns on overcapacity at hospitals.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Jakarta will host the annual National Press Day celebration on Feb. 9 next year, Governor Anies Baswedan announced on Wednesday.

The decision came shortly after the governor conducted a meeting with the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) and showed a positive attitude toward the matter.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – In a country battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of economics and public health, the government appears to be pinning its hopes on vaccine development, as new cases and deaths continue to soar in what experts have deemed as a never-ending first wave.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The executive director of the government's COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Committee, Erick Thohir, has apologized on behalf of the government for the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that has struck many sectors and impacted the lives of people across the country.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has named NasDem politician Andi Irfan Jaya a new suspect in a bribery case implicating prosecutor Pinangki Sirna Malasari and detained him at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detention facility as part of coordination between the two legal forces.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – The National COVID-19 task force has called on the Jakarta administration to evaluate the odd-even license plate policy currently in force, as it has caused a spike in the number of public transportation passengers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 3, 2020

Andra Nasrie – Indonesia has taken its obsession with deathly elements in its fight against COVID-19 to another level after Jakarta introduced a new punishment for mask violators.

Yesterday, public order officials in East Jakarta's Kalisari sub-district, Pasar Rebo had several violators go into an open casket coffin and told them to contemplate their wrongdoing.

Tempo - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – Two members of the House of Representatives intervene in an investigation into the smuggling of textiles being carried out by the Attorney General's Office. This is the ugly face of our legislators.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration has collected around Rp 4 billion (US$271,000) in fines from residents violating COVID-19 health protocols under Gubernatorial Regulation No. 51/2020, which entered into force on June 4.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Galih Gumelar, Jakarta – The government, the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police need to make a serious effort to settle years of rivalry between the security and law and order apparatuses to prevent persistent tensions from triggering conflict and endangering the lives of civilians, observers have warned.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – Recent research has shown that many members of the public in Jakarta and East Java assume they are immune to COVID-19 or even doubt there is a pandemic at all, COVID-19 task force chief Doni Monardo has said.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government has ordered state-owned electricity company PLN to lower the electricity rates for all homes and certain businesses to boost the pandemic-hit economy amid low fuel prices.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has nominated Surabaya Development Planning Board head Eri Cahyadi and East Java Representative Council (DPRD) member Armudji to run for Surabaya mayor and deputy mayor respectively in the upcoming election.

Jakarta Post - September 3, 2020

Jakarta – Authorities have named 29 Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel suspects over an attack on the Ciracas Police Station in East Jakarta and the destruction of public property on Saturday morning.

Military police commander Lt. Gen. Dodik Wijonarko said the 29 soldiers would be arrested to account for their actions.

September 2, 2020

Tempo - September 2, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesia's Task Force for COVID-19 Response has revealed that the country has recorded a 32.9-percent increase in weekly coronavirus cases, with five provinces accounting for most of the new infections.

The five provinces are – West Java, Central Java, East Kalimantan, DKI Jakarta, and East Java.

The Guardian - September 2, 2020

Christopher Knaus – The former Timor-Leste president Jose Ramos-Horta has urged Australia to show wisdom, honesty and compassion by stopping the unfair prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, a case he described as "political" and one that had "profoundly shocked" the Timorese people.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – For the first time in Indonesia, a court has sentenced an illegal miner to multiple crimes in an attempt to create a deterrent effect to curb environmental and forestry crimes.

Tempo - September 2, 2020

Jakarta – Not every netizen who openly supports government policy is a 'buzzer' – social media propagandists. Supporting President Joko Widodo on social media is not a crime that should be concealed. In fact, support – and also criticism – is a part of public participation in open political discussion.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Jakarta – The House of Representatives plans to conclude deliberations on the personal data protection bill in November, a delay from its initial target of finishing it in October.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta administration is hoping to recruit 1,800 medical workers by next week to address the COVID-19 crisis in the capital.

"We are recruiting now and by next week, there will be 1,800 medical workers ready," Jakarta health agency head Widyawati told journalists on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has sacked members who have refused to support the nomination of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son-in-law, Bobby Afif Nasution, for mayor of Medan, North Sumatra.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Indonesia's manufacturing activity has shown signs of improvement for the first time since February, but risks remain as new COVID-19 clusters emerge in factories and industrial areas and as household spending remains weak.

Mongabay - September 2, 2020

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Indigenous rights activists have welcomed the cancellation of an oil palm plantation permit on Indigenous land in Indonesia's Papua region. They say the case is a prime example of the need to officially recognize Indigenous land rights.

Kompas.com - September 2, 2020

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito has conceded that the positivity rate in Indonesia has continued to rise over time. The positivity rate is the ratio of positive cases compared with the number of tests conducted.

Tempo - September 2, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – The Jakarta Legislative Council (DPRD) Commission B Speaker, Abdul Aziz, argues that Governor Anies Baswedan should already "pull the emergency brake" policy by stopping the transitional large-scale social restriction (PSBB) as he deems the current COVID-19 condition is already critical.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – Experts have expressed skepticism about whether the curfews imposed in Bogor and Depok in West Java will be effective in curbing the rapid transmission of COVID-19 in the two cities.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Ardila Syakriah and Sausan Atika, Jakarta – COVID-19 patients are crowding hospitals as bone-tired medical workers continue to bear the brunt of rising case figures, with at least 183 of them having reportedly died of the virus.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Norman Harsono and Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Indonesian natural resource exporters are waiting to see what Bank Indonesia's (BI) recently announced plan to require the companies to convert their foreign currency earnings into rupiah will entail. The central bank hopes the policy will help stabilize the rupiah.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Jakarta – With 15 of 18 districts in Yogyakarta's Gunungkidul regency hit by drought, authorities estimate that more than 120,000 residents will experience a shortage of water.

"We have received requests for clean water supplies from 11 affected districts," Gunungkidul Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) acting head Edy Basuki said on Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government will probably fail to meet its tax collection target, because economic activity slowed more than expected amid the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati says.

Sri Mulyani said Wednesday that the government expected a greater tax shortfall this year following a change in its economic growth estimate.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The rupiah exchange rate fell significantly on Wednesday as investors worry about the independence of Bank Indonesia (BI) following a proposed bill that would give the government the authority to intervene in monetary policymaking.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Health authorities have placed the Darussalam Blokagung Banyuwangi Islamic Boarding School in East Java under quarantine after nearly 100 students test positive for COVID-19.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has given his condolences for the deaths of frontline medical professionals working to address the country's COVID-19 crisis.

Jakarta Post - September 2, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration is set to issue a policy that will require COVID-19 patients in the capital to be quarantined at coronavirus referral centers, including the emergency hospital at the Kemayoran former athletes village in Central Jakarta.

The Interpreter - September 2, 2020

Book Review: Ben Bland, Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the struggle to remake Indonesia (Penguin, Lowy Institute, 2020)

September 1, 2020

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's economy faces a "near-certain recession" in the third quarter this year, economists say, as a robust economic recovery will depend on whether the government can control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and stimulate people's purchasing power.

Jakarta Globe - September 1, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The number of coronavirus cases continued to surge in Indonesia on Tuesday after the country saw the highest single-month rise in August, with Jakarta remaining the biggest contributor in newly confirmed cases.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry and the Public Works and Housing Ministry, in charge of infrastructure projects, have spent less than 50 percent of their respective budgets as of Monday, top officials reported, amid calls to expedite government spending during the pandemic.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Private television stations RCTI and iNews TV have recently come under fire for submitting a petition to the Constitutional Court calling for a judicial review of the Broadcasting Law to establish a "level playing field" for both broadcasting media and over-the-top (OTT) digital content and service providers.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Jakarta – The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry has said female civil servants are prohibited from practicing polyandry – taking more than one husband – after minister Tjahjo Kumolo claimed the practice had become a "new trend".

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo claimed on Tuesday that COVID-19 mitigation in Indonesia has remained relatively "under control" compared to several other countries around the globe.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The State Palace has defended the use of social media influencers to promote public policies, claiming the opinion leaders spearheaded the country's digital transformation and democracy.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – The government's plan to fund schoolchildren's access to the internet in support of online-based learning has spotlighted the social gaps that children living in poverty and in remote areas must face, experts have said.

Jakarta Post - September 1, 2020

Jakarta – The South Tangerang administration announced that a new COVID-19 cluster has emerged after a number of staff members and teachers in one school in the city tested positive for the disease.