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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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October 27, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 27, 2020

Jakarta – An image depicting a text message reportedly sent by a senior high school teacher in East Jakarta has gone viral on social media for what many consider its discriminatory content.

Jakarta Globe - October 27, 2020

Yudha Baskoro – Bali is among the hardest hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has put global travels to a halt since March.

Jakarta Post - October 27, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry has allocated Rp 20 billion (US$1.36 million) to fund a subsidized land transport program focused on the outermost regions of Riau Islands and Papua to push down the price disparity in staple goods.

Jakarta Post - October 27, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – High-ranking officials in Jakarta have called on schools and teachers to give additional courses to students to prevent them from joining protests against the controversial Job Creation Law.

October 26, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara, Jakarta – Business consultancy owner John, 55, who is from the United States but has been running his business in Indonesia for the past 10 years, has said he would consider employing foreign workers if his business grows. However, he said that employing foreigners in Indonesia was a relatively unattractive option given its high cost barriers.

Tempo - October 26, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Citing the latest finding from pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia, the Indonesian National Police HQ (Mabes Polri) on Monday strongly denies police personnel have been cracking down on those with different opinions.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has sought to defend the passing of the highly controversial Job Creation Law, arguing the law is necessary to make Indonesia more economically competitive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Civil liberties in the world's third largest democracy are in jeopardy, according to the latest study by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia, amid public concerns over the government's authoritarian posturing in response to criticisms over its policymaking methods in recent months.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – Police have arrested Muslim preacher Sugi Nur Raharja, better known as Gus Nur, and named him as a suspect of a hate speech case for allegedly insulting the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia's largest Muslim organization.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – At least 56 journalists experienced violence or intimidation, allegedly perpetrated by members of the police, during nationwide protests against the Job Creation Law, according to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the economy, resulting in increased unemployment rates.

Data released by the Manpower Ministry in April showed that over 1.2 million workers from 74,439 companies in both the formal and informal sectors had either been told to stay home or laid off.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Belseran Christ, Ambon – Three activists in Maluku were sentenced to up to three years in prison after having been convicted of treason on Friday for raising the flag of the South Maluku Republic (RMS) separatist movement in April.

Jakarta Globe - October 26, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Newly cases of coronavirus in Indonesia have been trending down in the past two weeks, with 3,222 new cases on Monday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 14, to take the country's total to 392,934.

However, daily numbers are typically lower on Mondays due to reduced laboratory capacity in the weekend.

The Conversation - October 26, 2020

Alexandre Pelletier – After Indonesia's democratic transition of 1998, dozens of small yet vocal Islamist groups sprung up throughout the world's most populous Muslim majority country.

Reuters - October 26, 2020

Michael Taylor (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Offering affordable healthcare to villagers and indigenous communities living near forests could help reduce illegal logging and fight climate change, researchers said on Monday.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry has agreed to provide the aviation industry with a stimulus package worth Rp 216.5 billion (US$14.75 million) as part of a plan that includes a passenger service charge exemption and a subsidy aimed at cutting costs and boosting demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – Health clubs have cautiously restarted operations to keep themselves up and running.

Despite another period of social restrictions that will be imposed until Nov. 8 in Jakarta, gyms have reopened their doors to health enthusiasts.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Jakarta – The Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has warned the public to avoid Mount Sinabung in Karo regency, North Sumatra, and has evacuated nearby settlements as the volcano spews hot ash.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – Workers united under the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) have planned to continue staging protests against the controversial Job Creation Law until Nov. 10, longer than what was previously predicted by the government.

KSPI president Said Iqbal assured the public that the planned rallies would be nonviolent in nature.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Dian Septiari, Jakarta – Amid the increasingly aggressive rivalry between the United States and China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to Jakarta next week may further consolidate efforts to antagonize Beijing and test Indonesia's free and active foreign policy.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – Eka Mulyana, a member of the mitigation team for the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), has said the association has recorded a growing number of COVID-19 fatalities among healthcare workers over the last since months since the pandemic began.

As of Sunday, the IDI has seen a total of 253 lives of healthcare workers taken by the coronavirus.

Jakarta Globe - October 26, 2020

Fana Suparman & Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Renowned stockbroker Benny Tjokrosaputro was sentenced to life by the Jakarta Anticorruption Court on Monday evening for his role in a major graft scandal in state insurer Jiwasraya that rang the alarm of the country's financial system in the wake of the case.

Mongabay - October 26, 2020

Junaidi Hanafiah, Banda Aceh, Indonesia – Conservationists are calling for a Sumatran rhino habitat at the northern tip of the Indonesian island to be fully protected from planned road-construction projects.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – Regions across the archipelago are gearing to welcome tourists for a long weekend at the end of the month while keeping the coronavirus at bay.

Thanks to public holidays, many people will have five days off, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, and not all will stay at home.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Jakarta – A survey conducted by Indikator Politik Indonesia has shown that most respondents want regional leader candidates who have violated COVID-19 health protocols to be disqualified from the December elections.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 24 to 30, involving 1,200 respondents from across the nation.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Nina Loasana, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo swore in 12 new ambassadors at the State Palace on Monday under strict health protocols.

The new envoys' inauguration was stipulated in Presidential Decree No.106/P/2020 issued on Oct. 16.

Jakarta Post - October 26, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya and Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The government has reaffirmed its plans to issue a presidential regulation (Perpres) on renewable energy this year as it seeks to boost the development of clean energy and reach its energy mix target.

October 25, 2020

Kompas.com - October 25, 2020

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – As many as 36 percent of respondents say that Indonesia has become less democratic according to the results of a national survey by Indonesian Political Indicator (IPI) conducted between September 24 and 30.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry has ordered random checks on vehicles heading out of Jakarta to ensure every public transportation operator, including buses and private car users, adhere to health protocols.

The extra preparation is made ahead of the extended public holiday from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 to prevent a major increase in COVID-19 cases.

Organisation for World Peace (OWP) - October 25, 2020

Pasepa Katia – West Papua, a Melanesian island bordering Papua New Guinea in the Pacific, has struggled for decades to achieve independence.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – Members of the North Sumatra COVID-19 task force were attacked by an unidentified group while conducting a raid to enforce the mandatory face-mask policy in a suspected gambling den in Labuhan Deli district, Deli Serdang regency, early on Thursday.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – The public has been encouraged not to leave town for the upcoming long weekend on Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the safest ways to spend the holiday is taking a virtual tour from the comfort of your own home.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – The Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) has demanded that players of the highly popular online game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) and other games depicting violence be subjected to public flogging.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – In May, two months after Indonesia reported its first COVID-19 cases in Greater Jakarta, more than 1000 kilometers away, a doctor was tending to an unconscious 50-year-old woman with a swollen belly. Her skin and eyes were turning yellow due to liver failure.

Tempo - October 25, 2020

Antara, Jakarta – The North Jakarta District Court scheduled the first trial of PT Freeport Indonesia security officer Ivan Sambom, alias Indius Sambom, who is accused of involvement in an armed criminal group in Papua on October 27.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – The grand imam of Jakarta's Istiqlal Mosque, Nasaruddin Umar, said santri (students of Islamic boarding schools) had to play an active role in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

He pointed to the role of santri in Indonesia's struggle for independence as an example.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – The national COVID-19 task force has urged the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) and the country's top soccer leagues, Liga 1 and Liga 2, to weigh the risks of virus transmission prior to restarting competition.

The leagues are currently on hold due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – More than 100 inmates at Kerobokan Prison in Badung regency, Bali, tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday.

Of the 106 infected prisoners, 84 are men. All of them are currently being isolated in the Kuta block of the penitentiary.

Jakarta Globe - October 25, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia has added 102,704 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the month, bringing the total number of cases to 389,712. The country has been averaging 4,108 cases since Oct. 1, but the weekly trend is slightly declining.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – Some regional leaders in Central Java are deliberately refraining from conducting COVID-19 tracking and testing in order to maintain the "green zone" status of their areas, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has said.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Jakarta – Candidates in the upcoming regional elections found to be violating COVID-19 health protocols during their campaigns will be subject to various sanctions, including three-day bans on holding campaign events, the West Java Elections Supervisory Agency has warned.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Regional administrations are considering issuing bylaws as a legal avenue to sanction people who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said he had instructed his staff to review the legal aspects of such a bylaw.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has signed a government regulation that requires regional administrations to have a disability service unit (ULD) on manpower that provides support for the employment of people with disabilities.

Jakarta Post - October 25, 2020

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – More than 100 tons of carp and tilapia in Lake Toba, Samosir regency, North Sumatra were found dead on Thursday, possibly due to extreme weather, local officials have said.

Samosir Agriculture and Fisheries Agency head Viktor Sitinjak said the losses had set the local administration back at least Rp 2 billion (US$135,663).

October 24, 2020

Jakarta Post - October 24, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – Indonesia's doctors have warned the government not to rush its COVID-19 vaccination programs and patiently wait instead for the results of ongoing trials to be published, as the state pushes for the emergency use authorization of vaccine candidates currently being developed in China.

Jakarta Post - October 24, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) is planning to stage more protests against the recently passed Job Creation Law, or omnibus law, throughout November if President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo decides to sign the law.

Jakarta Post - October 24, 2020

Nina Loasana, Jakarta – The State Secretariat has completed the review of the Job Creation Law handed over by the House of Representatives and it is ready to be signed by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, an official has said.

Jakarta Post - October 24, 2020

Jon Afrizal, Jambi – The police sealed a coal mining area in Hajran village in Batang Hari regency, Jambi, on Thursday over a dispute between coal miner PT Kurnia Alam Investama (KAI) and mining service company PT Pelabuhan Universal Sumatra (PUS).

Reuters - October 24, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia's workers will stage further mass protests across the country if President Joko Widodo signs new jobs measures into law next week, the head of the main labour group said on Saturday.

Jakarta Globe - October 24, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The total number of coronavirus cases in Jakarta passed the 100,000 mark on Saturday as newly cases have been spiraling beyond control since late August.

Latest report from the Health Ministry shows that the grim milestone is reached after another 1,062 new infections in the capital, taking its total to 100,220, including 2,146 deaths.