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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 22, 2024

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 Globe - January 22, 2024

Heru Andriyanto & Prisma Ardianto, Jakarta – Vice-presidential candidate Mohammad Mahfud MD raised concerns about the continuous increase in fertilizer subsidies by the government while the landscape of agriculture-based businesses is shrinking, as he criticized the government during a debate in Jakarta on Sunday evening.

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.

South China Morning Post - January 22, 2024

Maria Siow – Defence ties between Indonesia and the Philippines have grown steadily under the radar over the past decade, but Jakarta's offer to sell anti-submarine aircraft to Manila has shone the spotlight on the former's burgeoning defence industry and regional solidarity amid the South China Sea row.

January 21, 2024

New York Times - January 21, 2024

Sui-Lee Wee, Jakarta, Indonesia – He hoped to succeed Indonesia's longtime dictator. He ordered the kidnappings of pro-democracy activists. He was accused of atrocities during the ruthless military occupation of East Timor. He has said elections run counter to his country's culture.

Gulf News - January 21, 2024

Sajjad Ashraf – With less than a month to go before the Indonesian general elections on 14 February, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, of the Gerindra party, is leading against his two opponents, Ganjar Pranowo and Anies Baswedan.

Tempo - January 21, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – The government is currently mulling to expand the use of endowment fund schemes of the Finance Ministry's Education Endowment Fund Management Agency (LPDP) to cover a broader range of necessities beyond scholarships in education.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate Mohammad Mahfud expressed his gratitude to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, describing him as a leader deeply concerned about the welfare of the people.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Maria Gabrielle, Jakarta – Prabowo Subianto's campaign team has formally lodged 41 reports with the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu), detailing purported efforts to undermine Prabowo's candidacy in the 2024 Presidential Election.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto recently pledged to help fishermen and farmers live a more prosperous life.

South China Morning Post - January 21, 2024

Amy Sood – As the campaign for Indonesia's coming presidential election heats up, incumbent leader Joko Widodo is facing mounting criticism for his perceived favouritism towards front runner Prabowo Subianto, a factor some analysts said could hold his poll numbers down and lead to a run-off scenario.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Budi Said, a businessman from Surabaya in East Java, orchestrated a fraudulent gold transaction scheme, deceiving the state-owned mining company Aneka Tambang (Antam) and resulting in a scam amounting to Rp 1.1 trillion ($70.51 million).

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Alfida Rizky Febrianna, Jakarta – The Indonesian business community is adopting a cautious stance, postponing crucial decisions and expansions in anticipation of the February 14 presidential election, according to Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, the Chairwoman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo).

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Vice-presidential candidate Muhaimin Iskandar didn't hold back in scrutinizing government economic policies, particularly targeting the long-standing "food estate" program, during a debate in Jakarta on Sunday.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Jakarta – Enthusiasm soared high when presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto greeted thousands of Pontianak residents on Saturday despite the downpour.

Prabowo immediately thanked those who came to see him under the heavy rain.

"If you are still all full of energy, then I will have to be even more enthusiastic," Prabowo told a crowd of his supporters.

Jakarta Globe - January 21, 2024

Faisal Maliki Baskoro, Jakarta – Vice presidential candidate, Mohammad Mahfud, recognizes that Indonesia is currently facing a dilemma of having abundant natural resources, yet issues related to food security and the environment remain unresolved.

Business Day - January 21, 2024

Yosef Riadi and Leo Galuh, Jakarta – At 53, Mak Luke, a transgender woman, will go to the polls for the first time when Indonesia holds an election on February 14, after finally obtaining a government identity card.

January 20, 2024

Sydney Morning Herald - January 20, 2024

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies – On huge digital screens, an image of Indonesian presidential candidate Anies Baswedan greeted motorists as they passed through central Jakarta this week.

Jakarta Post - January 20, 2024

Jakarta – Amid the rising distrust in the neutrality of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's government, the general election will enter its crucial phase of public rallies, when candidates and political parties are allowed to hold mass gatherings to consolidate support ahead of voting day.

Jakarta Globe - January 20, 2024

Bella Evanglista, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo dismissed speculations of mass resignations within his cabinet, saying on Saturday that all ministers are dedicated to their roles and actively participating in coordinating meetings.

Jakarta Globe - January 20, 2024

Monique Handa Shafira, Garut, West Java – The Indonesian government plans to import another 3 million tons of rice this year, the same amount it bought from international markets last year.

Straits Times - January 20, 2024

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Indonesia's presidential candidates have outlined their plans to tackle corruption, but activists and analysts say these campaign trail promises ahead of the Feb 14 polls are ineffective to root out deep-seated graft.

Jakarta Globe - January 20, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto recently told the Communion of Churches – or PGI – that he was born in a culturally diverse family.

Jakarta Globe - January 20, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Prabowo recently thanked the thousands of members of the ride-hailing driver community Ojolet for their support.

A group of drivers who call themselves Erick Thohir fans declared on Friday their support for Prabowo's presidential bid.

ABC News - January 20, 2024

Annika Burgess and Hellena Souisa – With the chance to make an extra $10,000 a month, Robert has no issue pushing the agendas of presidential candidates on social media or slipping money to journalists to publish stories in their favour.

January 19, 2024

Tabloid Jubi - January 19, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – A pioneer ship has successfully docked in Umar Bay and Yaur Village, Nabire Regency, Central Papua a few days ago. John NR Gobai, a member of the Papua Legislative Council (DPRP) representing the Meepago customary region, revealed that the pioneer ship docked in Umar Bay's Yaur on January 12, 2024.

ABC News - January 19, 2024

Health officials in Indonesia are carrying out a mass immunisation drive after 11 cases of polio were detected in East Java.

The East Java Provincial Health Office reported that as of January 17, 11 children had contracted the rare disease that Indonesia was declared free from a decade ago.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Agencies, Jakarta – Indonesia has allowed three Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes to fly again after grounding them, as they have different configurations from a jet that was forced to make an emergency landing in the United States on Jan. 5, the Transportation Ministry said on Thursday.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – Four Sumatran tigers at the Medan Zoo in North Sumatra are reportedly severely ill as a result of institutional mismanagement and a funding crisis, prompting the central government to intervene in the zoo's operations to help care for the animals.

Over the past two months, three other Sumatran tigers were found dead at the zoo.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Aditya Hadi, Jakarta – The Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) has projected a record deficit for the National Health Insurance (JKN) program this year.

A projected gap of Rp 18.9 trillion (US$1.21 billion) between its fees revenue and benefit payouts would mark the largest shortfall the agency has experienced since its inception in 2014.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Yogi Eka Sahputra, Jakarta – Presidential candidate number 1 Anies Baswedan commented on Rempang Eco-City conflict during his limited campaign in Batam today, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.

Christianity Today - January 19, 2024

Jessie Chiang – Last October, the reputation of Indonesia's widely respected president took a fateful hit.

Washington Post - January 19, 2024

Rebecca Tan, Bentuk Jaya, Indonesia – Indonesia has been clearing tens of thousands of acres of densely vegetated peatland for farming, releasing massive amounts of carbon that had been sequestered below for centuries and destroying one of the Earth's most effective means of storing greenhouse gases.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – The expert council of the national winning team of Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md, Bonnie Setiawan, claimed that the agrarian reform program brought up by the running pair will be more comprehensive than ones by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi.

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – Ikhsan Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), has reiterated the call to boycott products affiliated with Israel as a form of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Jakarta – The government and the DPR are retaining the flexible provisions in the revised ITE Law. This is an increasing threat to freedom of expression.

Reuters - January 19, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has a commanding lead but is stagnating in popularity just a few weeks out from next month's election, an opinion poll showed on Thursday, raising the chance of a second-round runoff in June.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Adinda Jasmine Prasetyo, Jakarta – The Indonesian Farmers Union (SPI) accused the government of failing to pursue food sovereignty as rice imports continue to rise every year. The SPI chairman Henry Saragih highlighted the country's heavy reliance on imports for food.

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2024

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The Ethics Council of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has uncovered several findings from a series of ethics hearings regarding alleged extortion practices in the KPK Detention Center. One revelation pertains to money allegedly demanded for bringing mobile phones into the corruption watchdog's detention center.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Aditya Hadi, Jakarta – Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has vowed to set up a production facility in Indonesia this year.

Tabloid Jubi - January 19, 2024

Jayapura, Jubi – Frits Ramandey, the Head of the Representative Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua), stated that in 2024, the focus of their efforts will be on monitoring several armed conflict areas in Papua.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Adi Warsono, Jakarta – The General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) Bekasi explained the reason behind the takedown of Anies Baswedan's Videotron in Jl. KH Noer Alie. As occurred in Jakarta, the Videotron advertisement was up for less than a day on Monday over the agreed five-day run.

Tempo - January 19, 2024

Amelia Rahima Sari, Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician, Deddy Yevri Hanteru Sitorus, claimed to have heard that five ministers in President Joko Widodo alias Jokowi's Onward Cabinet Volume II were planning to step down from their posts.

UCA News - January 19, 2024

Families of victims, rights activists, and young students held demonstrations across Indonesia to mark the 17th anniversary of a unique protest organized by a Catholic mother seeking the resolution of past human rights violations.

Bloomberg News - January 19, 2024

Chandra Asmara and Faris Mokhtar – Two of Indonesia's presidential contenders are in intensive talks to form an alliance to beat frontrunner Prabowo Subianto, showing how policy differences come second to winning in the race to lead Southeast Asia's largest economy.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Yohana Belinda, Jakarta – The government has decided to postpone increasing the entertainment tax rate, which was slated to take effect this January, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan said on his Instagram account on Wednesday.

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2024

Arnoldus Kristianus, Jakarta – The development of 20 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across various regions in Indonesia has attracted investments totaling Rp 177.5 trillion ($11.36 billion) and created job opportunities for 117,492 individuals involving 331 companies in 2023.

Jakarta Globe - January 19, 2024

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Communications Minister Budi Arie Setiadi has just dismissed rumors of mass cabinet resignation, saying that all ministers were busy focusing on their jobs.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Jakarta – Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan promised that he would reinstate civil servants who were demoted and fired for choosing to remain neutral if he became president.

"We will restore all those who were considered to be not following orders," Anies said on Tuesday in Makassar, South Sulawesi, as quoted by tempo.co.

Jakarta Post - January 19, 2024

Agencies, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati "continues to carry out her duties in managing state finances," her ministry said in a statement on Friday, amid reports she may resign from cabinet ahead of the Feb. 14 presidential election.