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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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November 24, 2020

Tempo - November 24, 2020

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Indonesian national police (Polri) together with the National Armed Forces (TNI) will conduct massive joint patrols ahead of the commemoration day of the establishment of Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1.

Tempo - November 24, 2020

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) legislation board (Baleg) has decided to stop deliberating the controversial draft family resilience bill (RUU) which was decided after five factions expressed their objection.

November 23, 2020

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has brushed off criticisms calling its move to alter its organizational structure "fattening", with the antigraft body saying it has tried to balance the number new positions with those removed.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – The Jakarta administration announced on Sunday that it would extend the transitional period of the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) for another two weeks until Dec. 6 amid a recent surge of new COVID-19 cases and following a number mass gatherings that led to accusations of widespread violations of health protocols.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia plans to resume accepting visa applications from residents of eight countries that require a calling visa for entry starting Monday following a temporary suspension imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, an immigration official has said.

Tempo - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan in Sunday's statement revealed a 70 percent drop in percentage of people's health protocol obedience during the past week which referred to data from University of Indonesia's faculty of public health as of November 21.

Jakarta Globe - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – The seven-day average of newly coronavirus cases hits a new high in Jakarta as officials said the city is facing new clusters of infections due to recent mass gatherings led by controversial Muslim group leader Rizieq Syihab.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – What appears to be a casual photo of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan reading a book on Sunday morning has sparked debate among social media users, with some claiming that the photo is a subtle jab at President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration.

The Conversation - November 23, 2020

Choky R. Ramadhan – Members of the Indonesian parliament have just proposed an alcohol prohibition bill, setting off a public debate.

This bill would criminalise the producers, distributors, sellers, buyers and consumers of alcoholic beverages. Violators would be sentenced to fines and prison time.

Sydney Morning Herald - November 23, 2020

Marta Pascual Juanola – At this time of the year, Jimbaran local Yeny Fita Wulandari would usually be run off her feet, juggling jobs in a busy spa and thriving tour business in Poppies Lane, one of Kuta's many buzzing laneways.

But this year, the mother-of-three can barely put food on the table.

Tempo - November 23, 2020

Antara, Jayapura – The Advocate for Papua Policy and Human Rights (PAK HAM) has condemned the fatal shooting incident in Ilaga Subdistrict, Puncak District, Papua Province, on Friday (Nov. 20) that killed Atanius Murib (16) and injured Manus Murib (16).

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reminded the national COVID-19 task force and committee as well as provincial leaders across the nation to balance efforts aimed at containing the coronavirus with efforts to revive economic activity.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – Banyumas regency in Central Java will temporarily close some tourist attractions in the area to contain the spread of COVID-19, antaranews.com reported.

Banyumas Regent Achmad Husein said on Monday that the local administration would close both government-owned and privately owned tourist attractions gradually, following the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Tempo - November 23, 2020

Friski Riana, Jakarta – Indonesia's former two-term vice president Jusuf Kalla in an interview with Tempo Magazine, as many other experts have, opined about the return of Rizieq Shihab and the large crowd that gathered in welcoming home the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader amidst the strict COVID-19 health protocol.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's economy is expected to return to growth in 2021 after facing a recession this year, economists say, but unemployment and poverty may rise further as economic activity will remain sluggish.

Asia One - November 23, 2020

Amy Chew, South China Morning Post – In the week and a half that hardline Islamic cleric Habib Rizieq has been back in Indonesia, he has called for the beheadings of those who insult the Prophet Mohammed, sought the release of a convicted terrorist leader and sanctioned prayers for President Joko Widodo's death.

Straits Times - November 23, 2020

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesia hit a grim milestone on Monday (Nov 23) in surpassing more than half a million cases of the coronavirus, as hospitals across the country's most populated province edged closer towards capacity.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – The Indonesian government is currently pursuing various efforts to revive tourism, including allocating Rp 14.4 trillion (US$972.6 million) for businesses and issuing cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability (CHSE) certification for service providers in the industry.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Indonesia's confirmed COVID-19 case number has exceeded 500,000 as the country continues to endure the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly nine months since it reported the first infections in March.

Kompas.com - November 23, 2020

Nicholas Ryan Aditya, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that war crimes need to be included as gross human rights violations. The group said this in the context of commemorating 20 years since the enactment of Law Number 26/2000 on a Human Rights Court.

Jakarta Globe - November 23, 2020

Bogor, West Java. Indonesia will hold the G20 presidency in 2022, a year earlier than arranged, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – The Limapuluh Kota Police in West Sumatra have disbanded a public wedding reception held for the child of local Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Joni Amir, alleging a violation of COVID-19 protocols.

Straits Times - November 23, 2020

Jakarta – New Covid-19 cases have been recorded following a series of mass gatherings centred around the return of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab from self-exile in Saudi Arabia on Nov 10.

Coconuts Jakarta - November 23, 2020

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is refusing health screening by authorities, sources close to him say, as those who have been closely associated with his return from Saudi Arabia two weeks ago have tested positive for COVID-19 in the dozens.

November 22, 2020

Jakarta Globe - November 22, 2020

Jakarta – Indonesia is unlikely to procure Covid-19 vaccines produced by the American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer and a German biotechnology company Biopharmaceutical New Technologies, or BioNTech, as the vaccines require refrigeration temperature far beyond the archipelago's logistical capability, a top executive at a state-owned pharmaceutical company said on S

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2020

Jakarta – The transportation industry is among the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

Stay-at-home and physical-distancing policies, coupled with the closure of tourist destinations and shopping centers, have caused earnings in the sector to plummet.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2020

Jakarta – As the central government plans to reopen schools for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, the National Child Protection Commission (KPAI) is urging it to focus on preparing infrastructure and protocols for students returning to classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - November 22, 2020

Bandung and Jakarta – COVID-19 hospitals in Bandung, West Java, are running out of beds with at least 88.6 percent of bed capacity already occupied.

Bandung City secretary Ema Surmana said that the occupancy had skyrocketed compared with two months ago when it was still at 32.5 percent.

November 21, 2020

Tempo - November 21, 2020

Jakarta – The government's plan to transfer licenses for the import of refined sugar directly to the industries that use it has been held up at the ministerial level, even though it could reduce rent-seeking.

Jakarta Post - November 21, 2020

Jakarta – Many children have experienced physical or psychological abuse at home during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Child Protection Agency (KPAI).

Straits Times - November 21, 2020

Jakarta (Reuters) – Indonesia has secured a Euro 550 million (S$876 million) loan from Germany's state bank KfW to fund its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Jakarta's embassy in Berlin said.

The proceeds would be used to upgrade hospitals and procure medical equipment, among other things, the embassy said in a Facebook post this week.

Jakarta Post - November 21, 2020

Arya Dipa, Bandung – One person is dead and two others injured after a landslide struck Sindangkerta village, Cianjur, West Java, on Friday.

Jakarta Globe - November 21, 2020

Farid Firdaus, Jakarta – Flagship carrier Garuda Indonesia has set to raise $600 million from mandatory convertible bonds by the end of this year to keep the airline's afloat through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jakarta Post - November 21, 2020

Jakarta – The Jakarta Military Command's decision to take down banners depicting firebrand cleric and Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab has raised questions over the Indonesian Military's (TNI) participation in civilian matters.

Pink News - November 21, 2020

Josh Milton – A gay couple in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was forcibly dragged out of their homes to a police station and now run the risk of being lashed 100 times all because of their "illegal sexual orientation".

Jakarta Post - November 21, 2020

Jakarta – Three mothers of sick children are fighting for legal changes to allow the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Together, they submitted a request to the Constitutional Court on Thursday for a judicial review of the 2009 Narcotics Law.

Channel News Asia - November 21, 2020

Azka Namirah, Jakarta – "It is so hard to earn a living as a fisherman today. Years ago, my wife and children never had to ask me to make more money because it was enough. This area used to be wide open. We could fish and get paid. But not anymore. Reclamation is everywhere, we are stranded."

Jakarta Globe - November 21, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia is getting closer to the 500,000 mark amid widespread infections in key hotspots, most notably Jakarta which set a new high in daily cases on Saturday.

November 20, 2020

Coconuts Jakarta - November 20, 2020

It's official. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has signed the Regional Regulation (Perda) on COVID-19 mitigation, through which those who refuse COVID-19 vaccination, when it becomes available, can be fined up to IDR5 million (US$354).

Tempo - November 20, 2020

Imam Hamdi, Jakarta – The Head of the Jakarta Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), Arifin, on Friday requested the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) to take down public billboards showcasing images of Rizieq Shihab. The agency said the billboards' installation had violated the city's public order.

Jakarta Post - November 20, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Like many parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, Siti Masita, 36, sits with her 8-year-old daughter during remote learning sessions every weekday.

Over time, she started to notice that her second-grader, a state elementary school student in Bekasi, West Java, wasn't able to complete school assignments on her own.

Radio New Zealand - November 20, 2020

A human rights campaigner in West Papua has been arrested by Indonesian security forces. Film-maker Wensislaus Fatubun was one of 54 people arrested in Merauke.

The group, which included church pastors and local politicians, had been planning a meeting to discuss Indonesia's intention to extend the Special Autonomy laws.

The Interpreter - November 20, 2020

Erin Cook – The return of Jakarta's notorious cleric Rizieq Shihab portends more upset in Indonesia's devastating year of pandemic and recession. But for the thousands of Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, who gathered at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport just outside Jakarta to welcome the religious leader's flight from Saudi Arabia last week, it's a new beginning.

Straits Times - November 20, 2020

Linda Yulisman, Jakarta – Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab returned from Saudi Arabia on National Heroes' Day in Indonesia, Nov 10, after a three-year self-imposed exile, calling for a "moral revolution" to save the country.

Coconuts Jakarta - November 20, 2020

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim today announced that schools across Indonesia can reopen and conduct face-to-face learning starting January, provided that they fulfill the requirements and are authorized by their respective regional governments.

Jakarta Post - November 20, 2020

Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – The Finance Ministry's Taxation Directorate General on Tuesday appointed another 10 digital technology companies as "VAT collectors", which are obliged to collect 10 percent value-added tax (VAT) from the foreign goods and services they sell under the government's new digital tax.

Kompas.com - November 20, 2020

Sabrina Asril, Jakarta – The practice of obstructing press freedom has happened again. This time it befell Kompas.com reporter Nirmala Maulana whose mobile phone was seized by a rogue TNI (Indonesian military) officer when he was covering TNI personnel taking down an Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) billboard depicting the face of the group's leader Habib Rizieq Shihab.

CNN Indonesia - November 20, 2020

Jakarta – Police have released 54 participants of a Papuan People's Council (MRP) public hearing on Special Autonomy in Papua who were arrested for allegedly committing makar (treason, subversion, rebellion). The arrests took place on Tuesday November 17 while the public hearing was being held in Merauke regency, Papua.

Jakarta Globe - November 20, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The seven-day average of newly coronavirus infections hit a new high on Thursday as Indonesia is heading into a second peak of the outbreak.

The country has been averaging 4,461 cases in the past week, surpassing the previous high of 4,379 on Sept. 26.

Jakarta Post - November 20, 2020

Jakarta – The Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) has criticized the hate speech verdict handed down against Bali-based musician I Gede Ari Astina, better known as Jerinx, saying his conviction was "unacceptable".