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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 23, 2024

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Han Revanda Putra, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi called to avoid personal attacks during the presidential debate series. The Executive Director of Voxpol Center Research and Consulting Pangi Syarwi Chaniago said that his call had been violated by his own son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Leonard AL Cahyoputra, Karawang – Despite an increase in the number of producers and production capacity, Indonesia's annual auto sales have remained stagnant at around 1 million over the past decade, trailing behind Thailand. Industry insiders attribute the sluggish sales to an unfavorable tax regime.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Vinnilya, Jakarta – Indonesian miners are grappling with the decreasing nickel prices, approaching their lowest level since 2021.

According to Stockbit data, as of Jan. 22, 2024, nickel prices have dropped by 44.64 percent year on year, reaching $15,799 (Rp 247.52 million) per ton.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Priyo Budi Santoso, Wonosobo – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo shared an interesting insight into a conversation he had with the Prime Minister of Australia. The President disclosed that the Australian Prime Minister admitted feeling "incapable" of managing Indonesia, emphasizing the complexity of the task.

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Sultan Abdurrahman, Jakarta – The permit for Anies Baswedan's Desak Anies event slated this afternoon at Museum Diponegoro Sasana Wiratama in Yogyakarta has been unilaterally revoked. The venue management asked event organizers to empty the building a day before the event.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Alfida Rizky Febrianna, Jakarta – Leisure service providers won't obey the recent tax hikes until the Constitutional Court issues a ruling over a legal motion challenging the government's decision, prominent industry players said on Monday.

S&P Global - January 23, 2024

Indonesia's coal production hit a record high of 775.2 million mt in 2023, exceeding the target of 694 million mt set earlier by the government, according to MINERBA One Data (MODI) made public Jan. 19, amid an increase in demand for global seaborne coal.

Jakarta Post Editorial - January 23, 2024

Jakarta – After experiencing slow times during the pandemic, which resulted in a revenue surplus, the Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) slipped back into financial distress again last year.

South China Morning Post - January 23, 2024

Asma Khalid – On January 21, Indonesia held its fourth presidential election debate. The vice-presidential hopefuls, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Muhaimin Iskandar and Mahfud MD, focused on policy issues related to Indonesia's green energy transition, sustainable development and strict environmental regulations.

Tabloid Jubi - January 23, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – Menuel John Magal, the Director of the Amungme Indigenous Peoples Community Institution (LEMASA), has stated that in June 2023, they wrote a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Directorate General of Forestry and Environmental Planning, and the Directorate of Prevention of Environmental Impact from Business and Activities in Jakarta.

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Indonesian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Malaysia Hermono responded to the allegation of intelligence involvement during the 2024 general elections in Kuala Lumpur.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – Former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Chairman Firli Bahuri has once again filed a pretrial motion at the South Jakarta District Court in response to his designation as a suspect by the Jakarta Police. This marks the second attempt at pretrial proceedings by Firli after the initial effort ended in a dismissal.

The Guardian - January 23, 2024

Christopher Knaus – The Indonesian fisher who led the challenge against Australia's unlawful detention of hundreds of children found on people-smuggling boats has urged the government to help quash all remaining convictions linked to the scandal.

Vatican News - January 23, 2024

Pope Francis met on Monday with East Timorese president Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

Following the papal audience, President Ramos-Horta met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations.'Cordial discussions'

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Melynda Dwi Puspita, Andika Dwi, Jakarta – The Indonesian Defense Ministry has recently been in hot water for its post on X (formerly Twitter) that promotes presidential candidate pair Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka. On Sunday, January 21, the ministry uploaded photos of houses for the Indonesian Military soldiers on X with hashtags including #PrabowoGibran2024.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Novie Fauziah, Jakarta – Indonesian celebrity and presenter, Ivan Gunawan, known as Igun, has announced his decision to leave Indonesia after being reprimanded by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) for being "too feminine".

Human Rights Watch News Release - January 23, 2024

Andreas Harsono – In a step forward for freedom of religion and belief in Indonesia, citizens from smaller religious groups are now permitted to change the religious identity on their identity cards, with the introduction of a new category, kepercayaan (belief), alongside the six recognized religions.

ABC News - January 23, 2024

Vonia Vieira, Dili – Joaquim Fonseca's daily life depends on the internet. So the IT professional, based in Timor-Leste's capital Dili, has a problem.

"Every day, somehow, the internet fails," he told the ABC. "Downloading small files is difficult. Even downloading a page to read the news [is hard]."

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Ikhsan Reliubun, Jakarta – Presidential candidate number 2 Prabowo Subianto will be reported to the General Elections Supervisory Agency or Bawaslu today. Coalition for Clean General Elections will report Prabowo on grounds of election violations today at around 02:00 p.m. local time.

Jakarta Post - January 23, 2024

Jakarta – Gerindra Party presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto told a public event on Monday night that violence would tear the country apart and that no one should resort to violent means to attain political power.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Mohammad Said, Jakarta – Indonesia's state-owned shipbuilding company, PAL, has secured a monumental $900 million project to repair and refurbish 41 naval warships, marking the largest such initiative in the country's history, the company announced on Monday.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Celvin Moniaga Sipahutar, Jakarta – The government has earmarked Rp 4.8 trillion ($305.86 million) in 2024 to enroll 1.2 million participants in the Kartu Prakerja (pre-employment card) program, with a target of reaching a total of 19 million participants this year.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – China and India will boost Indonesia's coal production in 2024, even beyond the target set this year, according to the Indonesia Mining and Energy Forum (IMEF).

Tempo - January 23, 2024

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – A researcher from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) Dhenny Yuartha said green inflation is yet to become a relevant issue in Indonesia. According to him, the yellow vest protest brought up by Gibran Rakabuming Raka during the vice presidential debate was irrelevant.

Jakarta Globe - January 23, 2024

Jakarta – A recent gathering of US alumni had taken presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto down memory lane.

Prabowo attended Monday the high-profile gathering of Erick Thohir's supporters who used to study in the US. This group of people called themselves by the acronym ETAS. The ETAS event had picked the 80s-90s as its theme, thus songs from those years were playing.

Jakarta Post - January 23, 2024

Apriadi Gunawan, Jakarta – Ahead of the February general election, the General Elections Commission (KPU) regional offices have recruited workers to sort and fold millions of ballots, creating a new source of income for many.

January 22, 2024

New Mandala - January 22, 2024

Alexander R. Arifianto & Aisah Putri Budiatri – In Indonesia's 2019 presidential election, the flow of support from Islamic groups to the two presidential tickets was distinctly polarised.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – Sunday's vice presidential debate saw candidate Gibran Rakabuming apologizing to his rival Mahfud MD.

"Thank you, Prof. Mahfud for the evaluation. Sorry if I said anything wrong," Gibran said.

Gibran was asking Mahfud MD on what he had in mind to address green inflation. In the previous debate, Gibran also asked about carbon capture and storage (CSS).

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming asked rival Muhaimin Iskandar if he was "anti-nickel" during the debate on Sunday evening after the latter's team reportedly claimed that the metal was losing popularity to lithium ferro-phosphate (LFP) batteries in the global electric vehicle (EV) market.

Tempo - January 22, 2024

Ikhsan Reliubun, Jakarta – A senior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Deni Friawan, responded to vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka's statement during the fourth election debate on January 21, 2024.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Vice-presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka called on his rivals to cease employing narrative techniques that spread fear about the government's decision to import food commodities during a debate in Jakarta on Sunday evening.

Jakarta Post Editorial - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – On Jan. 10, Defense Minister Prabowo and his allies in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration put forward the idea of fast-tracking the construction of a giant seawall (GSW) along Java's northern coastline.

New York Times - January 22, 2024

Carol Rosenberg, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – When a jury of military officers is assembled this week at Guantanamo Bay, it will be asked to choose a sentence in the 20- to 25-year range for two Malaysian prisoners who admitted to conspiring with an affiliate of Al Qaeda that carried out a deadly bombing in Indonesia two decades ago.

National Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Statement - January 22, 2024

A meeting held today (22nd January 2024) at the European Parliament called for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to urgently be allowed to investigate the human rights situation in occupied West Papua.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Alfi Dinilhaq, Cilegon – The hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) compound released from the smokestack of the Chandra Asri Pacific plant on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, has been declared safe. The statement was made by the National Police's Forensic Laboratory Team (Puslabfor) after investigating the flaring location in Cilegon, Banten, on Sunday.

Jakarta Post - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – A senior aide to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called on civil servants working at the Defense Ministry to maintain a neutral stance in the lead-up to the Feb. 14 presidential election following the use of a hashtag supporting the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka ticket on the official X account of the ministry.

Jakarta Post - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo left Jakarta on Monday for an official trip to Central Java where he was scheduled to take part in several events, from handing out land certificates to leading mass prayers.

Jokowi left the Halim Perdanakusumah air base in East Jakarta on Monday morning on the presidential aircraft, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.

CNN Indonesia - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – Greenpeace Indonesia says it regrets that the vice presidential debate on Sunday January 21 did not show any commitment on the part of the three presidential tickets running in the 2024 elections to overcome the climate crisis.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto recently handed over some assistance to entrepreneurs who were part of the Mekar Digital Sejahtera (MDS) Coop.

This assistance is expected to help the entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Alfina Damayanti was a Subang entrepreneur who sold salted eggs for a living.

Tempo - January 22, 2024

Daniel A. Fajri, Majalah Tempo, Adil Al Hasan, Jakarta – The State Palace denied reports circulating that President Joko Widodo, or Jokowi, asked to meet with Megawati Sukarnoputri, the chairperson of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), to join forces again in the 2024 elections.

Jakarta Post - January 22, 2024

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – In the high-stakes arena of Indonesian politics, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka seem to have made strategic and calculated attempts to secure victory after one round in next month's election.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Mita Amalia Hapsari, Jakarta – Presidential Staff Office Coordinator Ari Dwipayana has refuted statements made by vice-presidential candidates Mohammad Mahfud MD and Muhaimin Iskandar, who labeled the government's food estate policy as a failed program.

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming wants farmers to live better lives as he promised affordable fertilizers should he win the election.

"To improve farmer's welfare, we will work towards providing easier access to affordable fertilizers and seeds," Gibran said at the vice presidential debate in Jakarta on Sunday.

Benar News - January 22, 2024

Pizaro Gozali Idrus, Jakarta – Social media users on Monday criticized Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the Indonesian president's eldest son and a vice-presidential hopeful, for coming across as "disrespectful and arrogant" through his comments and gestures during the latest televised debate among VP candidates.

Fulcrum - January 22, 2024

Julia Lau, Maria Monica Wihardja – A nationwide survey finds that many Indonesian voters supporting a party in the legislative election might not support the party's chosen presidential candidate. The three presidential candidates are liked more for their personality traits than policy stances. In short, personality still outweighs policy.

Harvard International Review - January 22, 2024

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the world in the 21st century. It has also been identified as a threat to global security by organizations such as the U.S Department of Defense.

Gulf News - January 22, 2024

Yogyakarta, Indonesia – Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted Sunday, spreading searing gas clouds and avalanches of lava down its slopes as other active volcanoes flared up across the country, forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Arah Juang - January 22, 2024

In order to respond to the attacks carried out by Israel against Palestine in October, a number of democratic, progressive and socialist organisations in Indonesia came together in solidarity with Palestine and formed an alliance called the People's Movement for Palestinian Independence (GERAK Palestine).

Jakarta Globe - January 22, 2024

Celvin Moniaga Sipahutar, Jakarta – Special school buses for students with disabilities have officially started operating in Jakarta on Monday.

The Head of the Jakarta Transportation Agency, Syafrin Liputo, said that the buses can accommodate seven passengers with wheelchairs, ten seated passengers, and 19 standing passengers.

Tempo - January 22, 2024

Novali Panji Nugroho, Jakarta – Three people were killed when the wall of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina's gas station in Tebet, South Jakarta collapsed on Sunday, January 21. The wall, which was 30 meters long and 6 meters high, collapsed onto a residential street where a kiosk owned by the victims was located.