Jakarta – The corruption trial of suspended Aceh governor Irwandi Yusuf began to unfold like a soap opera after his close companion, Steffy Burase, was grilled on the stand about allegedly receiving a portion of the money the former had allegedly embezzled.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
February 5, 2019
Paulina Quintao – The Chief of Suku of the Suku of Kaikoli, in the administrative post of Vera Cruz, Dili municipality, Hipolito Marques, said drains are full of rubbish because the government has not created a proper rubbish control and management system.
Jakarta – A panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced on Monday former member of the House of Representatives Amin Santoso to eight years in prison and a fine of Rp 300 million (US$21,497) for bribery.
February 4, 2019
Surabaya – A grouping of civil society organisations calling themselves the "Surabaya Solidarity Society Against Remission for the Murderer of Journalist AA Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa" have sent a letter to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
The team was formed from KPU's suspicion on numerous attempts to delegitimize the general election organizers and corrode public trust.
Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appears to have gone on the offensive against his challenger in the upcoming presidential election Prabowo Subianto as the second presidential debate draws nearer.
Jakarta – The government has said 10 new airports started operations in 2018, but it recorded a decrease in the number of airplane passengers.
Jakarta – Indonesian bureaucrats may soon face tighter competition to reach the top rungs of the career ladder, with the government planning to allow active military officers to take up positions in ministries and government institutions.
The Indonesian campaign season is really heating up now, with incumbent President Joko Widodo hitting back at attacks that he's a puppet of foreign powers by insinuating that his challenger, Prabowo Subianto, is employing foreign political consultants to implement Russian-style propaganda attacks.
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ombudsman has urged the government to maintain a strict policy on the import of rice, corn, sugar and salt – four staple commodities, whose imports often spark controversy – ahead of the presidential and legislative elections in April.
Bangkok – A highway under construction in Indonesia's Papua province is hurting the environment and stoking conflict by threatening indigenous land rights, analysts and activists said.
The Trans Papua highway is part of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's plan to develop the impoverished eastern province, and open up access to its abundant natural resources.
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobyeva said she objected to the use of the term "Russian Propaganda" by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in the latter's recent statement.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – State electricity firm PLN hopes its customers will use more electricity this year through incentive measures amid the ongoing construction of mega power plant projects, which have been criticized as unnecessary as consumption growth has been slowing.
Jakarta – After gaining control of 51.23 percent shares of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia, the government is eyeing to gain a 20 percent stake in publicly listed nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia (INCO).
Marguerite Afra Sapiie and Agnes Anya, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ruffled some feathers by suggesting that his challenger in the 2019 presidential election employed a foreign political consultant to support his campaign.
Havana, Cuba – Loro Horta, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of East Timor to Cuba, participated in this capital in a martial arts exhibition, which aimed to further strengthen relations of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of both countries.
Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decided to evaluate its security standard procedure after two of its investigators became victim to an assault taking place early this morning at 02:00 AM local time.
"We will evaluate the existing security procedure," said KPK Deputy Chief Saut Situmorang in a text message on today.
Suherdjoko, Semarang – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the country needed at least 40,000 additional agriculture instructors to boost production and reduce food imports.
He said the country had around 17,000 of such instructors currently, and they had managed to help farmers improve productivity of various commodities, including corn.
Norman Harsono, Jakarta – Accenture, a Fortune 500 business consultancy, has estimated that Indonesia's e-commerce market may grow from US$27 billion last year to $300 billion by 2025, if the country's digital ecosystem can leapfrog into a fully integrated "quantum commerce" environment.
Premesha Saha – A new military base was inaugurated by the Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander, Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto on 18 December 2018 in Natuna Besar, a disputed territory between Indonesia and China in the South China Sea. The two countries have conflicting interests and rights on this island, which is the largest in the southern peripheral of the South China Sea.
Kate Lamb – Hundreds of musicians in Indonesia have lashed out against what they say is a ludicrous draft bill that could "destroy" freedom of expression.
Among the most contentious aspects of the draft is Article 5, which outlaws "negative foreign influences" as well as blasphemous or pornographic content, punishable by imprisonment or a fine.
February 3, 2019
Arya Dipa, Bandung and Jakarta – The latest case of obesity in Karawang, West Java, has yet again shed light on Indonesia's rising obesity problem.
Sunarti, 39, used to be around 75 kilograms, but with her unhealthy eating habit, she is now 148 kg.
Timor-Leste's Press Council (TLPC) has strongly condemned political interference in the country's public broadcasting service (RTTL) newsroom where political-appointed advisers for the president of RTTL have interfered in its coverage.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – Vice-presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno has promised that if elected, his government will revise the controversial 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, but political opponents and civil society activists have cast doubt on the sincerity of the pledge.
Jakarta – In April last year, Kennedy Jennifer, a filmmaker, started receiving calls and messages on her smartphone asking for a "massage service".
She responded by saying that she offered no such services. The calls and chats intensified that night, with callers demanding that she perform the service because she had "asked" for the money.
Devina Halim, Jakarta – Syahrul Fitria, a researcher with the non-government organisation (NGO) Auriga, believes that the criminalisation of environmental activists has yet to be taken up as an issue by either of the two presidential election campaign tickets.
Jakarta – A former University of Indonesia (UI) philosophy lecturer who was accused of blasphemy for referring to holy books as "fiction" faced five hours of questioning on Friday during which he was asked to explain the meaning of "fiction".
Rachmadea Aisyah, Jakarta – The financial services sector has yet to become a main engine for economic growth, but it has the potential to do so, according to joint research from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and Parahyangan University.
Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Unidentified assailants assaulted two on-duty Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigators in Jakarta on Saturday midnight, the antigraft body has revealed.
February 2, 2019
Kizzy Kalsakau and Jason Abel – The Government of Indonesia has criticized Vanuatu for including a West Papuan leader and the United Liberal Movement for the people of West Papua (ULMWP) chairman, Benny Wenda in its delegation to a meeting with U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has named East Kotawaringin Regent Supian Hadi a suspect of graft in a case that may have caused more than US$415 million in state losses.
Jakarta – A respected Muslim cleric is in the spotlight after a video of him mistakenly praying for Prabowo Subianto to become "a leader" during an event attended by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo went viral on the web.
February 1, 2019
Indonesian Flat Earth Research (IFER), a community that rejects the objective reality that the Earth is round, is planning to hold its first national conference in Jakarta in October.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Speaking to investors at a seminar in Jakarta recently, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati felt compelled to mention each of the business sectors eligible to apply for a tax holiday.
Muhammad Hendartyo, Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto said that his institution would establish psychological and territorial operations in Papua in a bid to engage the locals to be familiar and have no fear of the TNI officers.
M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Legal and Human Rights Ministry is currently reviewing the remission granted to I Nyoman Susrama, a murderer of the daily Radar Bali journalist AA Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa.
"It's being discussed," said the ministry's Director General of Correctional Services Sri Puguh Budi Utami in Jakarta, Friday, February 1.
Ruslan Sangadji, Palu – The Central Sulawesi administration will need at least three years to rehabilitate areas most affected by recent natural disasters, including Palu, Sigi, Donggala and Parigi Moutong, an official has said.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – The Youth and Sports Ministry withdrew on Friday a circular that was issued to encourage cinemas to play the national anthem before screening movies, only two days after Minister Imam Nahrawi signed the draft.
Jakarta – Facebook has shut down hundreds of accounts and pages linked to an Indonesian group accused of spreading hate speech and fake news, the company said Friday.
The world's biggest social network said cyber group Saracen engaged in "coordinated abuse of the platform" by operating a network of hoax accounts that mislead online readers about who was behind them.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – The Pantau Foundation, a Jakarta-based journalism research and training organization, gave the 2019 Oktovianus Pogau award on Thursday to two Gadjah Mada University (UGM) students, Citra Maudy Mahanani, 20, and Thovan Sugandi, 22.
The Free West Papua Movement, or OPM, has called for United Nations intervention over conflict in Papua's Nduga regency.
The Highlands regency is the current focal point of armed conflict between Indonesian security forces and the West Papua Liberation Army.
Ryan Dwiky Anggriawan, Jakarta – The Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) commander, Maj. Gen. I Nyoman Cantasia, commented on the recent attacks by a civilian armed group (KKSB) in Papua. He said the group mainly comprised young criminals seeking attention.
Vanuatu's foreign minister has dismissed criticism from the Indonesian government for including the United Liberation Movement (ULMWP) for West Papua in its meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
Ryan Dwiky Anggriawan, Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno pledged to revise Law of Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE Law) should he and Prabowo Subianto winning the 2019 Election.
Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – Gerindra's legislative contender Mohamad Taufik said the General Election Commission' (KPU) was overacting when it decided to announce the names of former graft convicts running for parliament.
Riska Rahman and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – The rupiah may have overcome its toughest period last year, but a problem still persisted in the current account deficit, which could haunt the exchange rate if it were not managed this year, an analyst has said.
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – The passing of a bill on sexual violence, which has been deliberated on by the House of Representatives since 2016, is at risk of being delayed again, this time by those who consider it to be "pro-adultery" and "pro-LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender]" by omission.
Riska Rahman, Jakarta – A total of 15.81 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia throughout 2018, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), falling short of the government's target of attracting 17 million tourists.
Diella Yasmine, Jakarta – Eva Susanty Hanafi Bande, a women's rights activist, environmentalist and land rights defender, became the talk of the nation when newly elected president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo granted her clemency in 2014.
Euan McKirdy – Two 18-year-olds were publicly flogged Thursday in the conservative Indonesian state of Aceh for displaying affection.
The college student and her boyfriend each received 17 lashes for publicly cuddling, which is a violation of the state's strict interpretation of Sharia law, according to a government spokesman.