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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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November 8, 2023

CNBC Indonesia - November 8, 2023

Verda Nano Setiawan, Jakarta – Presidential candidate and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has spoken out on the government's policy direction related to workers wages in the country. Prabowo has warned workers not to put pressure on employers by demanding big wage hikes.

Tabloid Jubi - November 8, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Following the rejection of the Awyu Indigenous People's lawsuit against the Papua Province Investment and One-Stop Integrated Services Office (DPMPTSP) by the State Administrative Court in Jayapura, various environmental and community groups, as well as students, expressed their disappointment.

Tempo - November 8, 2023

Han Revanda Putra, Jakarta – The Ethics Council of the Constitutional Court or MKMK did not only dismiss Anwar Usman from his position as Chief Justice because of a conflict of interest.

Tempo - November 8, 2023

Ihsan Reliubun, Jakarta – Deputy chairman of the national campaign team for the Prabowo-Gibran presidential pair, Utje Gustaaf Patty, said the recent decision by the Constitutional Court's Ethics Council or MKMK did not affect the candidacy status of Gibran Rakabuming Raka for the 2024 election.

Tabloid Jubi - November 8, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – According to Ridwan Herdika, the Papua Representative of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), individuals accused of committing human rights crimes in Papua and brought to the human rights court often end up being acquitted.

Antara News - November 8, 2023

Mentari Dwi G, Resinta Sulistiyandari, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied claims that elections in Indonesia were easy to intervene or there was intervention from other parties.

Jokowi, as the president is widely known, noted that 840 thousand polling stations (TPS) were spread from Aceh to Papua and monitored by several witnesses.

Antara News - November 8, 2023

Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution, Jayapura, Papua – Chief of the Papua Police, Police Inspector General Mathius Fakhiri, has urged the Egianus Kogoya-led armed group to release New Zealander pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens before the current year ends.

"I hope the armed group will immediately free the hostage, and his release will become a Christmas gift," Fakhiri said.

Straits Times - November 8, 2023

Hariz Baharudin, Jakarta – Heightened tensions from the Israel-Hamas conflict and the upcoming contentious presidential election in Indonesia have created a volatile environment that could inflame emotions, thus increasing the risk of terrorist attacks.

Agence France-Presse - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – A judicial panel dismissed Indonesia's top judge on Tuesday after finding him guilty of an ethics violation over his role in a ruling that allowed President Joko Widodo's son to run for vice president.

Jakarta Post - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – A resilient economy has led to a reduction in the unemployment rate despite weakening domestic and overseas demand this year.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported on Monday that the country's unemployment rate dropped to 5.32 percent in August, a 0.54 percent decrease from the same month last year. The number of unemployed amounted to 7.86 million people.

Jakarta Post - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – Former head of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), Air Marshal Henri Alfiandi, admitted to receiving money from companies participating in the agency's goods and services procurement projects., uring a trial at the Jakarta Corruption Court on Monday, Henri claimed he was following a common practice in Basarnas.

Tempo - November 8, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Minister of Co-operatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Teten Masduki, has again urged social network platform Instagram to take down accounts selling imported used clothing, or thrift clothing, on its app.

Bloomberg News - November 8, 2023

Faris Mokhtar – An Indonesian presidential contender is facing a growing backlash over his decision to choose President Joko Widodo's son as his running mate with the latest opinion poll showing him slipping to second place after six months of being the top voter choice.

Jakarta Globe - November 8, 2023

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – Constitutional Court Judge Anwar Usman on Wednesday alleged a conspiracy to tarnish his reputation after he was removed from his position as chief justice in the wake of the court's controversial ruling, which cleared the path for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's son to become a vice-presidential candidate.

Liberty Victoria - November 8, 2023

Liberty Victoria is awarding the 2023 Voltaire Empty Chair Award to Mr Victor Yeimo, a strong advocate for West Papua's independence from Indonesia and an international spokesperson for the National Committee for West Papua (KNPB) and the Papuan People's Petition.

Mongabay - November 8, 2023

Donny Iqbal, Sumedang, Indonesia – Udit Surdiat only became a boat driver after he lost the rights to his farmland. The 63-year-old used to farm a hectare of land in Sumedang district, in Indonesia's West Java province, until the family had to make way for the country's second-largest dam.

CNN Indonesia - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy is urging Anwar Usman to resign from his position as a Constitutional Court (MK) judge after being proven to have committed a serious violation of the ethics code due to a conflict of interest in the court's ruling on the minimum age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Radio New Zealand - November 8, 2023

Kelvin Anthony – The Melanesian Spearhead Group has appointed Fiji and Papua New Guinea prime ministers Sitiveni Rabuka and James Marape as special envoys to Indonesia to "address the West Papua issue", a move that has been welcomed by the Pacific Conference of Churches.

GMA News - November 8, 2023

Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta on Wednesday arrived in Manila for an official visit meant to boost the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Ramos-Horta was welcomed at the NAIA by Ambassador to Timor-Leste Belinda Ante and Manila International Airport Authority general manager Manuel Gonzales.

Jakarta Post Editorial - November 8, 2023

Jakarta – There is perhaps no man more appropriate to lead the ethics probe into Constitutional Court chief justice Anwar Usman than Jimly Ashshiddiqie, the first person to lead the judicial institution that has long been regarded as the hallmark of our reform movement.

November 7, 2023

Vietnam Plus - November 7, 2023

Jakarta (VNA) – Chairman of the Indonesian Iron and Steel Industry Association (IISIA) Purwono Widodo on November 7 said that the Southeast Asian country's steel demand surges in 2023 due to the construction of major national projects.

Reuters - November 7, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the purpose of the Indonesia Hospital in Gaza was to "fully" serve Palestinians in response to an accusation by the Israeli military that it has been used by Hamas to launch attacks.

Time - November 7, 2023

Fadlan Syam and Niniek Karmini (AP), Jakarta, Indonesia – The chief justice of Indonesia's top court was dismissed from the post after an ethics council found him guilty Tuesday of making last-minute changes to election candidacy requirements.

Tempo - November 7, 2023

Devy Ernis, Jakarta – Expert Council of the Indonesian Teachers Union Federation (FSGI) Retno Lisyarti urged all schools in Indonesia to form a team on prevention and management against juvenile violence (PPK).

Jakarta Globe - November 7, 2023

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The Constitutional Court will try a motion challenging its recent decision which amended the age limit of presidential and vice presidential candidates and opened the path for President Joko Widodo's eldest son to enter the upcoming election.

Jakarta Globe - November 7, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Presidential hopeful Ganjar Pranowo revealed Tuesday how he planned on navigating the growing US-China rivalry if he wins the upcoming election.

Jakarta Globe - November 7, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Bank Indonesia announced Tuesday that the country's foreign exchange reserves stood at $133.1 billion as of the end of Oct., down from $134.9 billion in the previous month.

The central bank attributed the decline in Indonesia's foreign reserves to payments of foreign debts and measures to stabilize the Rupiah exchange rate.

Tabloid Jubi - November 7, 2023

Wamena, Jubi – In three districts within Yahukimo Regency, Mountainous Papua, hundreds of residents have been grappling with hunger since August due to crop failures. As many as 23 residents have lost their lives in this dire situation. The affected districts are Amuma, Panggema, and Anggruk.

Fulcrum - November 7, 2023

Max Lane – The lack of real political difference among the various contenders for the top political job in Indonesia has paved the way for the culture of political dynasties to strengthen. Will this culture win out? The votes will tell.

Peoples Dispatch - November 7, 2023

Maxwell Lane – On November 5, nearly 2 million people packed the central Freedom Square in Jakarta, Indonesia to express solidarity with Palestine. This was the largest rally registered in recent weeks coming on the heels of several smaller events organized by human rights and political groups over the last month.

CNN Indonesia - November 7, 2023

Jakarta – More than 500 students from the East Java Muhammadiyah Student Association (IMM) held a Defend Palestine action on Tuesday November 7 in which they descended on United States Consulate General (Konjen) in the provincial capital Surabaya.

Jakarta Post - November 7, 2023

Nur Janti, Jakarta – Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Firli Bahuri is facing a second round of police questioning as investigators say they have gathered more evidence related to the alleged extortion of former agriculture minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo.

Straits Times - November 7, 2023

Arlina Arshad, Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for unity and a more constructive "battle of ideas" as the February 2024 presidential election heats up.

"Lately, we see too many dramas, too many K-dramas, too many sinetrons," he said, drawing laughter during the 59th anniversary celebration on Monday night of Golkar, the country's oldest party.

Tabloid JUBI - November 7, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – In Papua, the Press Freedom Index is quite low, with a rating of 64.01, lower than West Papua's index which is 68.22, says Hans Bisay, the chairman of the Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) Papua.

Tabloid Jubi - November 7, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Benhur Wally, the chairperson of the Jayapura chapter of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) expressed concerns about the shrinking space for the freedom of expression for Indigenous Peoples in Papua.

Borneo Boliden - November 7, 2023

James Kon – Timor-Leste President Dr Jose Ramos-Horta conveyed his gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the care and concern for Timor-Leste since achieving independence as well as the support for Timor-Leste's bid to join

Indonesia at Melbourne - November 7, 2023

Virdika Rizky Utama – Democracy thrives on a clear distinction between military, policing, and civilian roles. When these boundaries blur, there is cause for concern, so the passing of a new civil service law – known as the ASN law (Law no. 20 of 2023) – on 2 October should sound alarm bells.

Mongabay - November 7, 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – A palm oil company in Indonesia has finally started paying off a $23 million fine for burning an important Sumatran orangutan habitat more than a decade ago, highlighting the difficulty of holding environmental violators to account in the country.

Reuters - November 7, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential hopeful Ganjar Pranowo led an opinion poll on Monday for the first time since election season formally got underway last month, nudging ahead of close rival and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

November 6, 2023

Tempo - November 6, 2023

Riri Rahayu, Antara, Jakarta – The Indonesian government planned to send the second batch of humanitarian aid worth Rp31.9 billion or US$2 million to Palestine next week through the Indonesian Agency for International Development (Indonesian AID).

Earth Touch News - November 6, 2023

Dyna Rochmyaningsih – One dawn in 2010, the sound of adzan from the mosque reverberated among the wooden houses of Seumanah Jaya, a village in Indonesia's Aceh province, on the north end of the island of Sumatra.

Jakarta Post - November 6, 2023

Jakarta – Heavy rain over the weekend led to flooding in some parts of Depok, West Java, as piles of garbage blocked the city's waterways.

Several organizations, including the local fire agency, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the Depok disaster response team (Tagana), joined forces to provide assistance to residents in the affected areas.

Jakarta Post - November 6, 2023

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – The Constitutional Court's ethics council is poised to deliver a verdict that could cost Chief Justice Anwar Usman his job if he is found guilty of making last-minute changes to election candidacy requirements that cleared the way for his nephew by marriage to run for vice president.

Jakarta Post Editorial - November 6, 2023

Jakarta – Emerging economies can rest easy, at least for now, after the Federal Reserve decided at its Nov. 1 meeting to keep interest rates at their current level, even though the United States central bank said it was unclear whether overall financial conditions were restrictive enough to properly tame inflation.

Borneo Bulletin - November 6, 2023

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam on Monday received in audience Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste who is here on a four-day state visit.

Tempo - November 6, 2023

Moh. Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) responded to trending footage of water leaking from the ceiling of Whoosh's Halim Station during heavy rain on Saturday evening, November 4, 2023.

Reuters - November 6, 2023

Stefanno Sulaiman and Gayatri Suroyo, Jakarta – Indonesia's economy logged solid growth in the third quarter, although it slowed more than expected to its weakest in two years as exports shrank and household spending softened.

Kompas.com - November 6, 2023

Krisiandi, Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition is concerned that there is a politicisation of the TNI (Indonesian military) occurring in the lead up to the 2024 elections.

Tempo - November 6, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The construction of Bank Indonesia's (BI) office building has begun in the new capital city Nusantara or IKN. IKN Authority chief Bambang Susantono and President Joko Widodo laid the first stone of the building in a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, November 2, 2023.

Tempo - November 6, 2023

Mei Leandha, Karo – The people of Karo Regency, North Sumatra, planned to build a 75-meter-high statue of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo in Liang Melas Datas. The project, named Juma Jokowi, was expected to cost Rp2.5 billion.