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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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November 23, 2023

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – Presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo has faced backlash after attacking President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's law enforcement performance, with critics pointing to the fact that he and his running mate Mahfud MD, a senior minister, are part of the incumbent's administration.

Reuters - November 23, 2023

Stanley Widianto, Jakarta – Indonesian court documents have revealed for the first time the chain of events that led to toxic ingredients being used in cough syrup that was among the products blamed for the deaths of more than 200 children in the country last year.

Tempo - November 23, 2023

M. Faiz Zaki, Jakarta – The police confiscated evidence in the form of foreign exchange in the case of alleged extortion of Syahrul Yasin Limpo by KPK chief Firli Bahuri. The Jakarta Police's director of special criminal investigation, Sr. Comr. Ade Safri Simanjuntak, said the evidence shows proof of exchanging Singapore dollars and United States dollars.

Tempo - November 23, 2023

Antara, Suka Makmue – The Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) of Nagan Raya Regency, Aceh, recorded that 41 villages spread across nine sub-districts were flooded with water levels reaching more than one meter.

Jakarta Globe - November 23, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Chairman Firli Bahuri will soon be suspended after police named him a suspect for allegedly blackmailing a graft suspect.

Syamsuddin Haris, a member of the KPK oversight body, said on Thursday his team has sent a letter to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo asking for Firli's removal.

Straits Times - November 23, 2023

Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, Jakarta – Several Indonesian civil society groups have launched a non-partisan movement to ensure that the February 2024 presidential and legislative elections are conducted fairly, amid growing concerns of electoral fraud as campaigning gathers steam.

Anadolu Agency - November 23, 2023

Mahmoud Barakat, Istanbul – The Israeli army has called for the evacuation of the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza Strip within four hours, a Palestinian Health Ministry official said on Thursday.

Mongabay - November 23, 2023

One of the world's largest palm oil companies appears to have overseen a network of companies responsible for deforestation of tens of thousands of hectares, according to a new investigation published by The Gecko Project, a London-based investigative journalism organization.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – Bobby Nasution, mayor of Medan, North Sumatra, has denied allegations of the city laying ceramic tiles at an intersection on Jl. Sudirman, which led to several motorcycle accidents.

"They aren't ceramic tiles. We have explained on official social media accounts of Medan administration and related institutions that they are not tiles," said Bobby.

CNN Indonesia - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – The vice presidential candidate running under the number 2 electoral ticket, Mahfud MD, claims he often receives complaints from businesspeople over their difficulties investing in Indonesia because there is no legal certainty.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 23, 2023

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies, Singapore/Jakarta – Seated on a bench at a badminton centre in Jakarta, two senior Indonesian officials are pictured in conversation.

On the left is Firli Bahuri, the head of Indonesia's much-vaunted Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK; on his right is Syahrul Yasin Limpo, until recently the country's agriculture minister.

Tempo - November 23, 2023

Desty Luthfiani, Jakarta – A group of online taxi drivers in the Greater Jakarta area calling themselves the Revolusi Driver Online demanded an increase in basic fares. The current basic fare for the transportation service at the mobile applications starts from Rp3,000 per kilometer.

The drivers demanded the fare to be raised to Rp5,491 per kilometer.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto says he has visited Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the coordinating maritime affairs minister, who is recovering in Singapore. Luhut has been undergoing treatment at Singapore General Hospital since October.

Prabowo said Luhut's health was gradually improving, although it will still take some time for a full recovery and adjustment.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – The presidential campaign team of the Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka ticket has acknowledged that artificial intelligence (AI) was deployed in creating images of children pictured in a campaign ad.

Tempo - November 23, 2023

Septia Ryanthie, Jakarta – Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan criticized Indonesia's new capital or IKN project initiated by President Joko Jokowi Widodo. He assessed that the mega project has the potential to create new inequalities.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – The National Police this week named the chief of the country's anti-corruption agency, Firli Bahuri, as a suspect for alleged extortion or receiving kickbacks, another setback in the once-prized government institution.

Jakarta Globe - November 23, 2023

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo marked a significant milestone on Thursday with the inauguration of two new airports, Douw Aturure Airport in Nabire, Central Papua Province, and Siboru Airport in Fakfak, West Papua Province.

The move aims to bolster accessibility to the eastern provinces of Papua.

November 22, 2023

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has "strongly condemned" Israeli tank attacks on the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza on Nov 20, in which 12 civilians were killed.

Jakarta Globe - November 22, 2023

Agnes Valentina Christa, Jakarta – Acting Jakarta Governor Heru Budi Hartono warned his staff members to maintain neutrality as civil servants during the 2024 presidential and legislative elections, saying on Wednesday that a range of sanctions are awaiting those who violate the principle.

Heru said the sanctions varied from written reprimands to removal from office.

Radio New Zealand - November 22, 2023

Mehrtens, who was a pilot for Susi Air, was taken hostage by TPNPB fighters in February this year, shortly after landing at a remote airstrip.

A new video circulating on social media shows Mehrtens surrounded by armed men. The video said Mehrtens had been given two months to live before he will be shot dead.

Jakarta Globe - November 22, 2023

Prisma Ardianto, Jakarta – The revision of the electronic transaction and information law gives authorities the power to freeze the bank accounts of suspects during the crackdown on online gambling, a minister said on Wednesday.

Both the government and the House of Representatives have agreed to include such an authority in the revised law.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Chaideer Mahyuddin and Marchio Gorbiano (AFP), Sabang, Aceh/Jakarta – More than 200 Rohingya refugees were huddled on the beaches of Sabang island, Aceh, Wednesday after weeks adrift on a wooden boat, as authorities rejected locals' efforts to push the members of the persecuted Myanmar minority back to sea.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – Many survivors of last year's 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, remain homeless as they prefer to live in emergency tents and shelters despite having received financial assistance to rent temporary homes.

Tempo - November 22, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The Ministry of Health on Tuesday reported that cases of monkeypox (mpox) have been detected in five Indonesian provinces based on the latest count.

The provinces are Jakarta, West Java, Banten, Riau Islands, and East Java.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – The National Awakening Party (PKB) has appealed for peace and humanitarian action to end the conflict in the Middle East triggered by the Israel-Hamas war.

Tabloid Jubi - November 22, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Students from Cenderawasih University took a firm stance against the scheduled public lecture by Ganjar Pranowo, one of the presidential candidates.

Their demonstration on Tuesday aimed to challenge the university's decision to host only Ganjar for a lecture without including the other two presidential contenders.

Tabloid Jubi - November 22, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Following the incident of a 10-year-old student in Sugapa District's Titigi Village suffering injuries from an explosion on November 9, 2023, the Intan Jaya Students Association (IPMI-J) from Jayapura urged local authorities, the military, and the police to take the matter seriously.

Jakarta Globe - November 22, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi recently told her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Israel should not justify murdering civilians in Gaza as "self-defense".

Retno visited Russia on Tuesday alongside other ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The diplomats held talks with Russia's Lavrov on ending the war in Gaza.

Tempo - November 22, 2023

Yohanes Maharso Joharsoyo, Jakarta – The Indonesian Palm Oil Association (IPOA, locally known as GAPKI) recorded a 29.9 percent surge in processed palm oil export in September to 2,693 tons from 2,073 tons the previous month.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Singapore – President Tharman Shanmugaratnam conferred Singapore's top military award on Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto at the Istana on Nov 21.

Natural Gas - November 22, 2023

Shardul Sharma – The Timor-Leste government has granted the Sunrise joint venture, comprising state-owned Timor Gap, Australia's Woodside Energy, and Japan's Osaka Gas, the green light to commence work on a concept study for the development of the Greater Sunrise fields, Woodside said via a LinkedIn post on November 22.

Jakarta Globe - November 22, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Russia is offering to work with Indonesia on nuclear power generators while saying that the cooperation can range from possible financing to workforce development.

Organisation for World Peace (OWP) - November 22, 2023

Toe Pyae Naing – Indonesia is currently facing a critical juncture as tensions in the restive region of West Papua continue to mount, raising concerns about the escalation of violence and the need for a peaceful resolution.

Jakarta Post Editorial - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – The recent arrivals of Rohingya refugees fleeing from Myanmar have, surprisingly, been met by opposition from local people in Aceh. On previous occasions, the Acehnese warmly welcomed the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds, and to a degree in the name of Islamic brotherhood.

It seems the Acehnese welcome has worn thin.

CNN Indonesia - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has ensured that thousands of illegal oil palm companies operating in forest area have been exonerated or legalised thanks to the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – The West Java administration is investigating a case of mass food poisoning in Purwakarta regency in which at least 227 people fell ill.

Tempo - November 22, 2023

Novali Panji Nugroho, Jakarta – Acting Governor of Jakarta Heru Budi Hartono officially announced that Jakarta's 2024 minimum wage is now Rp5,067,381, or a 3.38 percent increase from this year's minimum wage.

CNN Indonesia - November 22, 2023

Jakarta – Human rights activists and Lokataru Human Rights Foundation director Haris Azhar has emphasised that criminal penalties will not stop the public from criticising unethical practices by the state.

Although he admits that there is no freedom that is absolute, Azhar said that state officials cannot also be allowed to be absolutely free from criticism.

November 21, 2023

Mongabay - November 21, 2023

Basten Gokkon, Jakarta – Indonesia has launched a climate mitigation plan focusing on the country's seagrass meadows, an overlooked ecosystem that ranks among the most efficient carbon sinks on the planet.

Jakarta Post Editorial - November 21, 2023

Jakarta – The government and the major shareholders of PT Vale Indonesia nickel company, namely state-owned mine holding company MIND ID, Vale Canada Ltd (VCL) and Sumitomo Metal Mining, seem to have realized the vital importance of a smooth and credible process in the foreign shareholders' divestment to maintain foreign investors' confidence in the country, especially its mining in

Reuters - November 21, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's current account deficit narrowed in the third quarter as demand for exports recovered, the central bank said on Tuesday, with most economists expecting the central bank to leave interest rates unchanged this week as external balances improved.

Jakarta Globe - November 21, 2023

Associated Press, Lhokseumawe – Almost 1,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have arrived by boat in Indonesia's northernmost province of Aceh in the last six days, officials said Monday.

Tabloid Jubi - November 21, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – In Merauke Regency of South Papua Province, the local police disbanded a peaceful rally on Saturday (18/12/2023), detaining 20 demonstrators who were advocating for the Awyu indigenous people who embroiled in a legal dispute at the Jayapura State Administrative Court.

Jakarta Globe - November 21, 2023

Jakarta – The minimum wage in Jakarta has been established at Rp 5.07 million ($327) per month for 2024, marking a 3.38 percent rise from the current threshold, acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono said on Tuesday.

Kompas.com - November 21, 2023

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – Dozens of national figures have declared a new social movement named JAGA Pemilu (SAFEGUARD the Elections), which will monitor the 2024 legislative and presidential elections (Pemilu) so it can take place in a democratic, honest, fair, transparent and participatory manner.

CNN Indonesia - November 21, 2023

Jakarta – The West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) has spoken out about the circulation of a video containing a threat to shoot Susi Air pilot Philip Mehrtens who has been held hostage by the group since February.

Jakarta Post - November 21, 2023

Jakarta – Surakarta mayor and vice presidential candidate Gibran Rakabuming Raka presented diplomas at his office on Monday in an effort to counter social media allegations that he had created a false diploma from an Australian university.

Tempo - November 21, 2023

Jakarta (Antara) – The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) reported that a prolonged drought in Java could trigger landslides when it rains. The agency's spokesperson Abdul Muhari said the island had experienced nearly four months without rain during the dry season, resulting in cracked ground.

Tabloid Jubi - November 21, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Several civil coalitions expressed dismay over the apprehension of 20 individuals associated with the South Papua People's Student Alliance (AMPERA PS) by Merauke Police on November 18, 2023.

Fulcrum - November 21, 2023

Yanuar Nugroho – A clear-eyed look at the various candidates' proposals for improving Indonesia's human capital development suggests that the devil will be in the implementation, not the targets per se.