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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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March 16, 2023

Jakarta Post Editorial - March 16, 2023

It is again the right opportunity for Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati to revisit and strengthen her ministry's internal control after the disclosures by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) of the hundreds of her ministry's officials suspected of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding much bigger assets

Tempo - March 16, 2023

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The Presidential Staff Office or KSP is giving a two-day training to 42 experts and special presidential staff, to become spokespeople for units who assist President Joko Widodo or Jokowi. The KSP calls it an effort to effectively communicate the government's work to the public.

BBC News - March 16, 2023

Valdya Baraputri and Kelly Ng, Indonesia and Singapore – An Indonesian court has acquitted two policemen charged over the Kanjuruhan stadium crush last year, angering relatives of victims in the tragedy.

Straits Times - March 16, 2023

Cheryl Tan, Singapore – The Republic could potentially tap renewable energy such as solar power and green hydrogen from Indonesia, now that both countries have signed an agreement to facilitate renewable energy cooperation.

Radio New Zealand - March 16, 2023

The solidarity network, Free West Papua Aotearoa, is calling for New Zealand to raise concerns with Indonesia over a shooting incident in Papua which left 10 people dead and two dozen injured.

Reuters reported that Indonesian security forces responded to a riot – where they opened fire on a crowd – late last month.

Jakarta Post - March 16, 2023

Theresia Sufa, Bogor, West Java – Two people have been found dead and four others are still missing after a landslide hit several houses in Empang subdistrict in Bogor city, West Java, on Tuesday night.

The landslide also affected the Bogor-Sukabumi train track, leaving a section of the track hanging in mid-air.

Jakarta Post - March 16, 2023

Theresia Sufa, Bogor, West Java – State-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) is continuing repair work on a section of a train track that was left hanging in mid-air after a landslide in Empang subdistrict, Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.

Tabloid Jubi - March 16, 2023

Wamena, Jubi – Jayawijaya AIDS Commission (KPA Jayawijaya) Margaretha Wetipo in a press conference on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, said the number of HIV/AIDS patients in Jayawijaya Regency reached 8,386.

Jakarta Globe - March 16, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan recently said that Indonesia would become the third-largest producer of lithium batteries by 2028, as the Southeast Asian country worked to expand its downstream industry.

Tempo - March 16, 2023

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on March 15 ordered Attorney General Sanitiar Burhanuddin to coordinate with Komnas HAM (National Commission on Human Rights) in handling possible severe human rights violations.

Jakarta Post - March 16, 2023

Dio Suhenda, Jakarta – The Indonesian Military (TNI) has said it is ready to launch a strike against the West Papuan rebel group holding a New Zealand national hostage but will wait for the command from the government, as negotiations are ongoing.

Jakarta Post - March 16, 2023

Singapore – Indonesia plans to build first-class hospitals and universities in its new capital city that is being developed in Borneo, and President Joko Widodo hopes Singapore investors will partner his country on this front.

Tempo - March 16, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Animal rights activist and founder of Animal Defenders Indonesia, Doni Herdaru, on Wednesday, said the community will conduct intense talks with Jakarta officials in the formulation of the regional regulation draft (Raperda) banning dog meat consumption.

Tabloid Jubi - March 16, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Violence against the press in Papua continues to occur in early 2023. The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jayapura on Monday, March 13, 2023, received reports of threats to kill journalists and burn the Teropong News media office located on S. Kamundan Street Kilometer 12, Sorong City, Southwest Papua.

Jakarta Globe - March 16, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Singapore has expressed its interest to help pave the way for Indonesia's dream of building a new green and smart capital in East Kalimantan during a leaders' retreat on Thursday.

Tempo - March 16, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Investment Minister and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia has stated that his party has completed 80 percent of unfinished investment projects worth Rp708 trillion (around US$45.7 billion) since his taking over as BKPM head in 2019.

March 15, 2023

Benar News - March 15, 2023

Harlyne Joku, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – Papua New Guinea, after a decade's delay, has ratified an agreement governing its 760-kilometer (472-mile) border with powerful neighbor Indonesia, its foreign minister said, possibly opening the way to relieving a longstanding pressure point in relations.

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2023

Investor Daily, Jakarta – Illegal clothing imports reached 300,000 tons worth $2.1 billion every year, including about 30 percent of used clothing valued at around $631 million, according to an industry association.

Tempo - March 15, 2023

Amy Heppy, Jakarta – Floods hit Jakarta today, March 15. Affected areas expanded to 18 neighborhood units (RT) and one road as of 9 a.m. from seven RT and two roads, according to the Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD).

"At present, one road and 18 RT are flooded," said Jakarta BPBD Isnawa Adji in a written statement, Wednesday, March 15.

Tabloid Jubi - March 15, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – As of Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the Yahukimo Police has yet to name EG (23) suspect in the shooting of a Trigana Air plane despite him having been detained for four days, or since the day the shooting occurred.

Jakarta Post - March 15, 2023

Haris Eko Faruddin, Jakarta – The logistics industry is a driving force for the national economy. Logistics transportation is one of the supports for the rise of the economy, which is currently in a slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Guardian - March 15, 2023

Guardian staff and agencies – Early every morning in a city in Indonesia's far east, sleepy teenagers can be seen trudging through the streets on their way to school.

The students are taking part in a controversial experiment to get the day off to a much earlier start.

Agence France-Presse - March 15, 2023

The death toll from a landslide on a remote Indonesian island rose to 50 with four people still missing on the last day of the search, an official said Wednesday.

The landslide struck the island of Serasan on March 6, killing scores of residents in a village and burying houses under mud and debris.

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2023

BTV, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo on Wednesday ordered stern measures against the import of used clothing that according to him did serious damage to the already struggling domestic textile industry.

"I have given the order for the crackdown and within the last two days many have been discovered," the president told reporters in Jakarta.

Green Left - March 15, 2023

Yamin Kogoya – The West Papua National Liberation Army, armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), known by the acronym TPNPB, released a video on February 15, showing hostage, Captain Philip Mehrtens – a New Zealander and Susi Air pilot – saying in a calm, but trembling voice: "I have been instructed to read this statement.

Tabloid Jubi - March 15, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – As of Monday, March 13, 2023, the Yahukimo Police has detained one person suspected of being involved in the shooting of a Trigana Air plane type B 373-500 when landing and taking off at Nop Goliat Dekai Airport on Saturday, March 11.

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – The younger brother of Communication and IT Minister Johnny Gerald Plate has returned Rp 534 million ($35,000) in cash he allegedly took from a government agency at the center of the ongoing corruption investigation into a telecommunication project, a senior prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Jakarta Globe - March 15, 2023

BTV, Cirebon – A vocational school teacher in the West Java town of Cirebon was fired on Tuesday reportedly after he threw a question to Governor Ridwan Kamil about the latter's outfit during a recent video conference with students.

Ridwan posted the footage of the conference on Instagram showing him addressing students of a state junior high school in Tasikmalaya.

Al Jazeera - March 15, 2023

Bali, Indonesia – Russians have poured into Bali in droves since the invasion of Ukraine.

In Indonesia's most popular destination, the arrivals are finding refuge from the economic fallout of the war and the threat of conscription.

They are also meeting a backlash from locals angry about what they see as the growing problem of outsiders taking their jobs.

Reuters - March 15, 2023

Stefanno Sulaiman, Sukaraja – As plans by Indonesia's president to build a new $32 billion capital city on Borneo island slowly start to take shape, the once sleepy settlement of Sukaraja is being rapidly transformed.

Tabloid Jubi - March 15, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – Executive Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid said the armed conflict in Papua between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Indonesian security forces has gotten more alarming and increasingly difficult to control.

Jakarta Post - March 15, 2023

Yerica Lai, Jakarta – The leadership of the House of Representatives has vowed to kickstart its deliberation on the long-awaited domestic worker protection bill in the current sitting session as lawmakers returned from recess on Tuesday.

Coconuts Jakarta - March 15, 2023

The West Jakarta Police says it has arrested an influencer known for his humorous content, who allegedly defrauded a complainant to the tune of IDR1.3 billion (US$84,646).

Jakarta Post - March 15, 2023

Tenggara Strategics, Jakarta – Another year, and it's another blaze for PT Pertamina: on Feb. 3, a fire broke out at the state-owned energy holding company's Plumpang depot in North Jakarta, killing 20 people living in a residential area in the depot's vicinity.

March 14, 2023

Reuters - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's parliament will ensure there is no vacuum of power in the country despite a controversial court ruling to delay the 2024 presidential and general elections, its deputy speaker said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – Africa has a huge potential of becoming a destination for Indonesia's manufacturing exports, according to the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry or Kadin.

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded Rp 131.8 trillion, or about $8.6 billion, in budget surplus as of end-February 2023, according to Finance Minister Sri Mulyani.

Tempo - March 14, 2023

Hanifah Dwijayanti, Jakarta – Financial Services Authority (OJK) assessed that the trend of illegal online lending is rising ahead of Eid al-Fitr. This was stated by OJK Chief Executive of the Behavioral Supervisory of Financial Services Business, Education, and Consumer Protection, Friderica Widyasari Dewi.

Channel News Asia - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesian Vice President Ma'ruf Amin on Monday (Mar 13) warned political parties against using places of worship and education as campaign venues for the 2024 elections.

Jakarta Post - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – A video showing one of Deep Purple's road crew coming on stage to stop Indonesia's dangdut legend Rhoma Irama from performing the British band's biggest hit "Smoke On The Water" went viral on Tuesday, setting off a debate about copyright infringement.

Tempo - March 14, 2023

Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Center For Research on Ethics Economy and Democracy (CREED) executive director Yoseph Billie Dosiwoda in a statement on Monday expressed support for the Finance Ministry's attempt in cleaning up its internal shortcomings, especially following the discovery of an alleged suspicious transaction valued at a staggering Rp300 trillion.

Tempo - March 14, 2023

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Indonesian Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) claimed 252.17 million people, or 90.79 percent of the total population, are covered by the National Health Insurance-Indonesian Health Card (JKN-KIS) as of March 1, 2023.

Jakarta Post - March 14, 2023

A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Despite hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup, in which an Israeli soccer team was slated to come to and participate in the sporting event, Indonesia would continue supporting the Palestinian cause, a senior official said.

Indonesia at Melbourne - March 14, 2023

Muhammad Ahalla Tsauro and Firmanda Taufiq – In November last year, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed inaugurated the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Solo, Central Java, marking a new phase of Indonesia-UAE relations.

CNN Indonesia - March 14, 2023

Jakarta – A number of labour and farmer organisations are threatening to hold a mass strike if Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) Number 2/2022 replacing the Omnibus Law on Job Creation (Ciptaker) is ratified into law.

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2023

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – An executive of the National Awakening Party, or PKB, dismissed reports of the possible pairing of Ganjar Pranowo and Prabowo Subianto for the 2024 presidential election as too "speculative and premature", saying in Monday's BTV talk show that the Central Java governor is not yet even considered a candidate by his own party.

Tempo - March 14, 2023

Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – The Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) Secretary General Dewi Kartika on Tuesday stated that Government Regulation (PP) No 12/2023 which had just been ratified by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo or Jokowi is a violation against the Basic Agrarian Law and the Constitutional Court ruling.

Agence France-Presse - March 14, 2023

Pari Island (Indonesia) – Sitting near a wall of stacked rocks, fisherman Mustagfirin looks out to sea from the tiny Indonesian island of Pari, wondering whether his home will exist for much longer.

Al Jazeera - March 14, 2023

Hipolitus Wangge – It has been over a month since an armed group abducted Phillip Merthens, a New Zealand-born pilot, on February 7, 2023, in Indonesia's Nduga, West Papua. The group is the West Papua Liberation Army. Known by the acronym TPNPB, it's an armed wing of the Papua Liberation Movement (OPM).

Jakarta Globe - March 14, 2023

Muhammad Aulia, Jakarta – A high-ranking customs official visited the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, in Jakarta on Tuesday to renew his wealth reports after a luxury house allegedly belonging to him was exposed in recent media reports.