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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 14, 2019

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Coconuts Jakarta - February 14, 2019

Another year, another Valentine's Day ban story in Indonesia.

Continuing their annual tradition, which has been going on for several years, the city administration of the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar has once again imposed a ban on Valentine's Day celebrations this year.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Civil Service & Bureaucracy
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Jakarta – Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo says his ministry never issued a policy restricting any government offices from holding conferences and meetings at hotels, but he advised they be held in daytime.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Land & Agrarian Conflicts
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – The Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry has announced it will register 10 million new plots of land this year, one million more than the initial target of 9 million set in 2015, following President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's order to expedite land certification.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – The naming of opposition camp supporter and 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212) chairman Slamet Ma'arif as a suspect for violating campaign rules has triggered questions about the Election Supervisory Agency's (Bawaslu) neutrality, or lack thereof.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
New York Times - February 14, 2019

Eka Kurniawan, Jakarta – When Joko Widodo, the incumbent president of Indonesia, last year chose Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate for the general election this April, it became clear that Indonesian politics is now backed into a corner.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminalisation & Attacks on Activism
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Environmental activist Heri Budiawan, popularly known as Budi Pego, is continuing his fight to prove his innocence as incarceration looms over him after the Supreme Court sentenced him to imprisonment.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Mining & Energy
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta – As the nation prepares for the upcoming elections, issues relating to energy nationalism will spark debate among its supporters and detractors, especially after the government's move to take control of copper miner Freeport Indonesia and the Rokan oil and gas block.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Jakarta – A florist in Bogor Regency, West Java, spoke out about the effect of the city administration's call for its residents not to celebrate Valentine's Day, which it said was not part of Indonesian culture.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Sexual & Domestic Violence
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Devina Heriyanto, Jakarta – It was a hot bright day in August 2018 and the clock had struck one. I had finished my lunch and was walking back to The Jakarta Post office when someone groped my breast and drove off.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Criminalisation & Attacks on Activism
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Heri Budiawan had just returned to Sumberagung village in Banyuwangi, East Java around August 2010 after working in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, and he found that his hometown had changed much because of gold mining in the nearby Tumpang Pitu mountain range.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Mining & Energy
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Jakarta – The Indonesian government is requiring coal miners to increase their allocation of coal for the domestic market this year to 128 million tons, an increase of 5.79 percent over 2018's requirement of 121 million tons.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Tourism & Hospitality
Tempo - February 14, 2019

Bram Setiawan, Jakarta – The Tourism Ministry provides technical guidance and workshops to representatives from 10 provinces in Indonesia. The 10 provinces had been appointed as halal tourist destinations.

The provinces are Aceh, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Marguerite Afra Sapiie and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta – The second election debate is a few days away and the teams of both incumbent Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and challenger Prabowo Subianto are gearing up for the upcoming face-off between the two presidential candidates.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Health & Education
Jakarta Post - February 14, 2019

Jakarta – Investment Coordination Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembang said on Wednesday that the government was considering allowing foreign universities and hospitals to operate in the country.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
Tribune News - February 14, 2019

Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) has denied rumors that they are deliberating a law to legalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activities.

The denial follows rumors about the ratification of a draft LGBT Law (RUU LGBT) in a broadcast message circulated on WhatsApp groups and social media.

News ›› West Papua ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
Radio New Zealand International - February 14, 2019

Indonesian state media is reporting that hundreds of students have fled violence in Papua's central Highlands.

Since December, an increasing number of gun fights have occurred between the West Papua Liberation Army and Indonesian security forces.

Antara News reported the violence had displaced 406 students and more than 80 teachers in Jayawijaya regency.

February 13, 2019

News ›› Indonesia ›› Foreign Affairs & Trade
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – E-commerce is like a double-edged sword for the Indonesian economy. On the one hand, it has contributed significantly to the country's state revenue, on the other hand, it has contributed to the country's trade deficit.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Religion & Identity Politics
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – In the lead up to the legislative and presidential elections in April, the country's second-largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, is set to hold a leadership meeting that will include addressing the politicization of religion in electoral contests.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Transport & Communication
South China Morning Post - February 13, 2019

Indonesia's largest airport operator is looking to spend billions of dollars to build a new facility in Jakarta and upgrade the existing one to cater to an unprecedented travel boom and compete with neighbouring countries for tourism revenue.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Transport & Communication
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – Jakarta Police are cracking down on electric bike-sharing app Migo, with a ban on the distinctive yellow electric bikes that have begun to gain popularity on the capital's streets.

Jakarta Traffic Police law enforcement unit head Comr. Herman Ruswandi said the ban was necessary because the e-bikes had yet to undergo tests to allow them to be used in the city.

News ›› West Papua ›› Freeport & MIFEE Food Estate
CNN Indonesia - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – Thirty-five sacked PT Freeport Indonesia workers, who have been camping out in front of the State Palace for a week, have been forcibly removed by police and are being held at the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters in Jakarta.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Pornography & Sexual Morality
Coconuts Jakarta - February 13, 2019

Some of Indonesia's most outspoken conservatives have long complained about cultural appropriation, particularly in regards to the adoption of certain Western celebrations such as Halloween. But there's perhaps no Western import so fiercely protested than Valentine's Day, which many in the Muslim-majority country say leads to behavior that contravenes the mores of Islam.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – While praised for its progressive efforts in preserving forests and stopping forest fires, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration still faces criticism for doing less in preventing the harmful practices of mining.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has been reported to the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) for allegedly campaigning for incumbent presidential candidate Joko "Jokowi" Widodo outside the schedule set by the elections committee.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
Straits Times - February 13, 2019

Jakarta (DPA) – Instagram has taken down an account that featured comic strips about a Muslim gay man's daily struggles after Indonesia demanded its removal, an official said on Wednesday (Feb 13).

News ›› West Papua ›› Political Parties & Elections
CNN Indonesia - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – The Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) and the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) say that the West Papuan people will not take part in the 2019 presidential and legislative elections.

News ›› West Papua ›› Film & Television
Radio New Zealand International - February 13, 2019

A short documentary which highlights the risks of being a journalist in Indonesian-ruled Papua region, or West Papua, has won an international film award.

Aprila, directed by Rohan Radheya, took out the best short film award at the 16th Pacific Fifo Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – Social media platform Instagram has denied a government claim that it had taken down an Instagram account featuring a comic strip on the life of a gay Muslim man that has caused widespread indignation.

News ›› Indonesia ›› TNI Defense & Military Operations
CNN Indonesia - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III member Arsul Sani says that the government's planned revisions to the 2009 Narcotics Law could open the way for the involvement of TNI (Indonesian military) personnel in combating the drug trade.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Coconuts Jakarta - February 13, 2019

Indonesia was hammered by some 2,374 natural disasters last year, the biggest and most deadly being the 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi in late September and killed more than 1,400 people and the 7.0-magnitude quake that rocked the island of Lombok in August, killing nearly 400 people.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Jakarta & Urban Life
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Ellya, a resident of Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta, pays Rp 300,000 (US$21.38) a month for a water service of less than 40 cubic meters used by six adults and two children.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Jakarta – Social media platform Instagram has taken down an Instagram account featuring comic strips about the life of a Muslim gay man that has stirred national controversy, an official says. By 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the account @alpantuni was no longer accessible.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Economy & Investment
Jakarta Post - February 13, 2019

Vincent Lingga, Jakarta – Even under the most optimistic projections, Indonesia's economic growth in the next five years is unlikely to exceed 6 percent. In fact, potential growth will most probably be at 5.68 percent, according to a joint study by the Asian Development Bank and the National Development Planning Ministry.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
New York Times - February 13, 2019

Mike Ives and Muktita Suhartono, Hong Kong – An Instagram account featuring a comic strip with gay Muslim characters disappeared on Wednesday, days after Indonesian officials threatened to block the entire social media platform in the country because of an uproar over the comic's content.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Coconuts Jakarta - February 13, 2019

VP candidate Sandiaga Uno has made traveling around the country and meeting with the downtrodden – particularly those who say they feel economically hard done by by President Joko Widodo's administration – one of his main campaign strategies.

February 12, 2019

News ›› Indonesia ›› Environment & Natural Disasters
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Ruslan Sangadji, Palu – The Central Sulawesi provincial administration plans to build memorial parks in areas affected by earthquake-triggered soil liquefaction in Palu and Sigi regency to remember the victims.

The geological phenomenon hit Palu and Sigi following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Central Sulawesi in September 2018.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
Al Jazeera - February 12, 2019

Aisyah Llewellyn, Medan, North Sumatra – Musicians in Indonesia have slammed a new draft law seeking to criminalise content deemed pornographic or blasphemous, saying it could potentially limit freedom of expression across the vast archipelago.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Food & Beverage Industry
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Jakarta – The Bali administration is set to legalize traditional Balinese arak (liquor made from tuak, a sweet drink from coconut palm flower) with the hope that it will serve as a new trademark of Indonesia's main tourist destination, said Bali Governor Wayan Koster.

News ›› East Timor ›› Health & Education
Dili Weekly - February 12, 2019

Paulina Quintao – The Chief of the Surgery Department at the National Hospital of Guido Valadares (HNGV), in Dili, Surgeon Alito Soares said many patients of cancer, with broken legs and arms chose to leave the hospital early in favour of doing traditional treatments.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Transport & Communication
Jakarta Globe - February 12, 2019

Dion Bisara, Jakarta – A planned increase in the rates of online-based motorcycle taxis may reduce demand for ride-hailing services by more than two-thirds, potentially paring drivers' incomes and prompting more people to use private vehicles, exacerbating traffic problems, a recent study showed.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Religion & Worship
Tempo - February 12, 2019

Muh. Syaifullah, Jakarta – The chairperson of Indonesia Solidarity Party (PSI) Grace Natalie suggested revocation of the joint ministerial decree or SKB regulating the establishment of houses of worship as it violated the 1945 Constitution Article 28e and Article 29.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Freedom of Speech & Expression
Tempo - February 12, 2019

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – In an attempt to reject the much-debated Draft Music Bill (RUU Permusikan), Musician Kaka Slank plans to meet legislative member Anang Hermansyah form the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission X.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – As public attention has focused on the increasingly heated presidential election campaign, it is easy to forget tens of thousands of candidates vying for seats at national and local legislatures.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Poverty & Social Inequity
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Jakarta – The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) has called on the government to continue tackling the gap between the rich and poor by providing more beneficial social service programs in a new report that shows the country's social gap index improved last year.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Health & Education
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Jakarta – Some 10 percent of toddlers in West Jakarta suffer from health problems, most of which are related to nutrition, the municipality has announced.

West Jakarta assistant of administration and public welfare Yunus Burhan said that the administration had taken actions to address the issue.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Political Parties & Elections
Jakarta Post - February 12, 2019

Jakarta – The Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) will reconsider its political stance in this year's presidential election amid "uncertainties" surrounding the indigenous peoples bill.

News ›› Indonesia ›› LGBT & Same-Sex Marriage
Coconuts Jakarta - February 12, 2019

Indonesia's Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) says it has sent an official letter to Instagram demanding they block an account by a user posting self-drawn comic strips depicting gay Muslim characters in Indonesia.

News ›› East Timor ›› Sexual & Domestic Violence
ABC News - February 12, 2019

An American missionary who was a hero in Timor-Leste for founding children's shelters that have operated for more than two decades has been expelled from his Catholic congregation after admitting to sexual abuse of minors.

News ›› Indonesia ›› Farming & Agriculture
The Conversation - February 12, 2019

Jamie S. Davidson – Being known by the Indonesian public to support importing rice over self-sufficiency can jeopardise a politician's place in Indonesian politics. Recently, supporters of Prabowo Subianto, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's opponent in the country's upcoming election, tried to attack the incumbent using this issue.

News ›› Aceh ›› Sexual & Domestic Violence
Antara - February 12, 2019

Muhammad Ifdhal, Banda Aceh – Aceh Regional House of Representatives (DPRA) Commission VIII chairperson Ghufran Zainal Abidin says that Indonesia's western-most province rejects the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) which is currently being deliberated by the House of Representatives (DPR)."This RUU must be rejected by broader society because it is potential