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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 23, 2023

Jakarta Globe - September 23, 2023

Jakarta – Peer-to-peer lending platform AdaKami questioned media reports and widespread social media posts alleging that one of its customers had committed suicide due to an inability to repay his debt and the extremely high interest rates.

Tempo - September 23, 2023

Jakarta – The Attorney General's team of Junior Attorney General for Special Crimes (Jampidsus) examined three witnesses in the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency (BPDPKS) corruption case from 2015 to 2022. The witnesses – SS, FYJ and J – were questioned at around 09:00, officials said.

Jakarta Post Editorial - September 23, 2023

Jakarta – In her speeches and press statements at the Sept. 19-26 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has reasserted President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's confidence that Indonesia has and will always act as a nonconfrontational and moderate champion of developing nations, now popularly known as the Global South.

Tempo - September 23, 2023

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo or Jokowi took Indonesian celebrities on his visit to the new capital city of Nusantara or IKN in East Kalimantan. President on Friday, Sept. 22, took them to explore IKN, check the location for the construction of the presidential office, eat durian, and have dinner together.

Tempo - September 23, 2023

Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo received the Road Map of Golden Indonesia 2045 from the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) chair Arsyad Rasyid. The road map contains program inputs and initiatives that are more coordinated and focused on achieving the 2045 development target.

Tempo - September 23, 2023

Faturahman Sophian, Jakarta – The Civil Coalition for Security Reform urged the House of Representatives (DPR) to use its right of inquiry to question President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo over his statement on intelligence data containing the inner workings of political parties.

Jakarta Globe - September 23, 2023

Wijayanti Putri, Solo, Central Java – Kaesang Pangarep, the youngest son of President Joko Widodo, officially became a member of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) on Saturday, with a clear goal of assisting "the party of the youth" in securing seats in the House of Representatives in next year's general elections.

Jakarta Globe - September 23, 2023

Jakarta – State-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina will build a sustainable energy center in Indonesia's new capital Nusantara.

Pertamina on Friday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on this project with the city's authority body. The signing also took place during President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's on-site visit to Nusantara.

Reuters - September 23, 2023

Beijing – China and East Timor have upgraded bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, potentially giving Beijing more influence in the region while satisfying the young half-island nation's desire for stronger ties with major economies.

Tempo - September 23, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – The Jakarta Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) chairman Isnawa Adji disclosed that 90 percent of the fires in the capital city occurred due to short circuits. From January to September 2023, there were about a thousand cases of blazes throughout the city.

September 22, 2023

UCA News - September 22, 2023

Church groups have joined rights activists in Papua to seek action against Indonesian police for forcibly entering a church late at night and arresting its five members, accusing them of supporting separatists.

The incident was reported on Sept. 17 around 11.30 p.m. at the Tent Gospel Church (Kingmi) in Keneyam, Nduga Regency.

Agence-France Presse - September 22, 2023

Jakarta – Protesters have set fire to a mayor's office in Gorontalo to demand compensation over a mining company's activity in their area, police said, adding that several arrests had been made.

The growing presence of mining companies in Indonesia has caused riots and clashes in recent years over poor working conditions and land encroachment.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) head Rizal Edy Halim said that talk of shutting down social commerce sites such as TikTok Shop in order to protect local MSMEs was unwise because the platform is also widely used by young Indonesian entrepreneurs to sell their products.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Yohanes Maharso Joharsoyo, Jakarta – West Jakarta Prosecutor's Office named the Director of Courier and Logistics of the PT Pos Indonesia Siti Choirina as a corruption case suspect in PT Interdata Teknologi Sukses procurement.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Savero Aristia Wienanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) slammed the Jakarta Environment Agency for planning to control air quality measurement and monitoring instruments installed by unlicensed private companies across the capital. Walhi said this was an attempt to monopolize information on air pollution.

Jakarta Globe - September 22, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Bogor – France is putting industrial cooperation at the heart of its economic ties with Indonesia as Paris seeks to boost its business presence in Jakarta.

Mongabay - September 22, 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Despite various commitments from global brands and the government to protect Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem, home to some of the rarest species on Earth, development of new palm oil plantations and drainage of carbon-rich peatlands continue in the ecosystem, a new investigation finds.

Indonesia at Melbourne - September 22, 2023

Pia Dannhauer – When Indonesia took over the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in January 2023, the organisation was in need of strong leadership.

ASEAN was facing three major challenges. First, the region's economy was still recovering from COVID-19 and the repercussions of the war in Ukraine.

Channel News Asia - September 22, 2023

Nivell Rayda, Surabaya, Indonesia – IT engineer Audrey Maximilian Herli was studying at one of Indonesia's top universities in Surabaya in 2015 when he discovered that a close female friend had been struggling silently with a litany of personal problems and traumas.

Tabloid Jubi - September 22, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – In Jayapura City, Yahukimo students are making a plea to the Yahukimo Regency Government, urging them to pay attention to the welfare of residents who have sought refuge in Dekai. These people fled to Dekai to escape the escalating armed conflict in Yahukimo between the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and the Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police.

Macao News - September 22, 2023

On Tuesday, the Timorese government approved the signing of two memorandums of understanding with China, reports Lusa.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Adi Purmono, Jakarta – The recovery process for Bromo's ecosystem post the week-long fire from September 6 to 14, 2023, will take up to five years. The head of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (TNBTS) Constantius Hendro Widjanarko stated that the recovery would take quite a long time before the decimated trees could grow back optimally.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – At least ten domestic investors poured over Rp20 trillion of investment to develop public facilities in Nusantara State Capital (IKN). "The IKN investment from the consortium so far raked up to Rp20 trillion," said IKN Authority head Bambang Susantono in a written statement in Jakarta yesterday.

Jakarta Post Editorial - September 22, 2023

Jakarta – Failure to clear the 2,000 hectares of land that China's Xinyi Glass needs to develop the US$11.6 billion project on 17,000-ha Rempang Island near Singapore, comprising an eco-city and production facilities for solar photovoltaic panels and glass, could damage the government's credibility in policymaking and law enforcement.

Reuters - September 22, 2023

Kuala Lumpur – Indonesia's elections next year are likely to spur deforestation as politicians seek campaign funds from businesses in return for easier access to rich natural resources, environmentalists say.

The South-east Asian nation, the world's third-largest democracy, will hold a general election on Feb 14, with regional polls planned for later in 2024.

Mongabay - September 22, 2023

Moh. Tamimi, Sumenep, Indonesia – Fisherwomen on Indonesia's Madura Island are at the forefront of a protest against a plan to convert a stretch of their coast into salt farming in their efforts to protect the ecosystem that has provided a key source of income for the community.

Tempo - September 22, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Denpasar Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the drought in Bali has spread to 15 districts due to 80 days of no rain.

"Generally, Bali is placed in the category of rainy to extreme drought," said Coordinator for Data and Information BMKG Denpasar I Nyoman Gede Wiryajaya in Bali today, September 22, 2023.

Jakarta Post - September 22, 2023

Devi Asmarani (Magdalene), Jakarta – Ten years ago this month, an English-language website named after a revered, albeit arguably misdepicted, biblical female figure, went live with content rarely seen in the Indonesian digital scene at the time.

Agence France-Presse - September 22, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia has restored one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia to near full capacity, its operator told AFP on Friday, after it was ordered to slice output to curb pollution in capital Jakarta.

Tabloid Jubi - September 22, 2023

Jayapura, Jubi – The Papua Office of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM Papua) has not been able to confirm the identities of the five bodies found in Kali Brasa, Dekai, on September 15, 2023. The agency has yet to complete their monitoring and verification of the incident.

September 21, 2023

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2023

Endy Bayuni, Jakarta – Political parties may call most of the shots in next year's elections. They have the power to nominate the presidential and vice-presidential candidates, as well as the candidates for the national and local legislatures.

Tempo - September 21, 2023

Riani Sanusi Putri, Jakarta – The head of the advocacy department at the Palm Oil Farmers Union (SPKS) Marselinus Andy criticized the government's plan of bleaching or pardoning the 3.3 million hectares of illegal plantation. Andy believed that this policy was not transparent.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Indonesia has just inked a global pact in which it pledges to protect marine biodiversity in the international high seas, which makes up almost two-thirds of the ocean, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Putting a price on carbon, among others by imposing taxes, can put Indonesia on track toward its 2030 emission reduction goal, according to climate policy researcher Gilang Hardadi.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The General Election Commission (KPU) has announced plans to facilitate early voting for Indonesian citizens residing in foreign countries during the 2024 presidential election. However, the exact date for this early voting has not yet been determined.

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2023

Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – Indonesia advanced its bid for membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), holding bilateral talks with a number of its members at the United Nations in New York, the United States, on Tuesday, in the hope of winning over the consensus needed for admission.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Jakarta – BP Berau Ltd (bp) and Kilang Pertamina Internasional, the subsidiary of the state-owned oil and gas firm, recently agreed to launch a study to assess the possibility of injecting carbon dioxide in Tangguh.

Tempo - September 21, 2023

Antara, Jakarta – Vice Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning and Vice Head of National Agrarian Agency Raja Juli Antoni ensured that no discrimination will take place in the houses of worship certification process.

"Any place of worship of any God will be certified without discrimination in any way," he said in Jakarta today.

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2023

Yvette Tanamal, Jakarta – With much of its long-term development plan hindered by international trade laws, the current global order has been labeled "unfit" by Indonesian delegates at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit, who also urged for the end of "discriminatory" trade policies.

ABC News - September 21, 2023

An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman to two years in prison for posting a viral video on TikTok in which she said an Islamic phrase before eating pork.

The court in the Indonesian city of Palembang found Lina Lutfiawati, who has more than 2 million followers on TikTok, guilty of spreading "information that was intended to incite hate".

Reuters - September 21, 2023

Jakarta – Indonesia's energy minister said on Thursday the government had made improvements in its oil and gas terms that would allow contractors to have equity shares of more than 50 percent in some new blocks to attract investment.

Mongabay - September 21, 2023

Hans Nicholas Jong, Jakarta – Critics have questioned the Indonesian government's priorities as it prepares to evict longtime residents of a small island to make way for a $25 billion development that includes a solar panel factory and a tourism resort.

Tempo - September 21, 2023

Anwar Siswadi (Contributor), Bandung – At least 39.4 percent of the West Java area is presently suffering from extreme drought, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). The West Java Climatology Station recorded more than 60 days without rain. Padalarang and Plumbon in Cirebon have even experienced almost 100 days without rain.

Suara Papua - September 21, 2023

Jayapura – West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson Ones Suhuniap is asking Jayapura city police chief (Kapolresta) Senior Commissioner Victor Makbun to stop creating a commotion in the media about a planned thanksgiving meeting to welcome the release of Victor Yeimo.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Mohamad Said, Nusantara, East Kalimantan – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the first-ever hotel in the future national capital, Nusantara, located in East Kalimantan.

Tempo - September 21, 2023

Moh. Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati reported that the inflation rate in Indonesia per August 2023 is on the low compared to the rest of ASEAN or G20 countries.

Tempo - September 21, 2023

Ade Ridwan Yandwiputra, Jakarta – The government has inked an MoU between Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif and the Second Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore Tan See Leng in Jakarta. The MoU concerned the plan for new renewable electrical energy export to Singapore.

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2023

Mohamad Said, Nusantara, East Kalimantan – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo confirmed on Thursday that his youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep, has officially become a member of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI).

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2023

Deni Ghifari, Jakarta – Indonesia has begun work on a road map to develop the silica industry as a starting point for building a microchip industry in the country, but some ASEAN peers are much farther ahead in the race for semiconductor investment.

Jakarta Post Editorial - September 21, 2023

Jakarta – There is an excuse that is often invoked to justify the refusal by Western museums to return cultural artifacts looted from their former colonies. They claim that post-colonial countries do not have the commitment or resources to preserve their historical treasures.