Indonesia & East Timor News Updates - June 26, 2017
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* GNPF-MUI seeks to ease tension with President during Idul Fitri meet
* Jokowi praised for meeting with opposition Muslim organization during Idul Fitri
* Medan Police attackers linked to IS: Police
* All political party chiefs to meet to solve presidential threshold deadlock
* World Bank lauds Indonesia's fiscal framework

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GNPF-MUI seeks to ease tension with President during Idul Fitri meet

Jakarta Post - June 25, 2017

Anton Hermansyah, Jakarta -- A delegation from the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) met with President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Sunday with the hope of easing tension and smoothing communication with the administration.

President Jokowi was accompanied by Coordinating Political, Security, and Legal Affairs Minister Wiranto, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, and State Secretary Pratikno in the meeting with the delegation, which comprised seven people and was led by Bachtiar Nasir.

"Bachtiar Nasir and the GNPF-MUI aspire to secure communication access to the President," Pratikno said.

Commenting on the visit, Bachtiar Nasir confirmed that the visit intended to use the moment of Idul Fitri to break the ice with the Jokowi.

"The president has been very open and welcoming to our aspirations. We expect smoother communication in the future. This is a great moment and had a totally different tone to the situation we experienced during the mass rallies," he said.

Bactiar, who is currently under police investigation in relation to an alleged misappropriation of donation funds, added that technical details of how the GNPF-MUI would like to interact with the government had not been discussed in the meeting.

The GNPF-MUI orchestrated a string of mass rallies to protest then DKI Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama during his blasphemy trial. The group's activities slowed down after some its key figures, such as Bachtiar and Rizieq Shihab, became the target of police investigations. (dic)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/25/gnpf-mui-seeks-to-ease-tension-with-president-during-idul-fitri-meet.html

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Jokowi praised for meeting with opposition Muslim organization during Idul Fitri

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2017

Jakarta -- President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo was lauded for his decision to meet leaders of the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI), known for its stance against the administration's policy on national unity, at the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday.

Accompanied by Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, and State Secretary Pratikno, Jokowi met a GNPF-MUI delegation led by Bachtiar Nasir.

Chairman of the President's Volunteer Forum (Bara JP) Sihol Manullang praised Jokowi for his willingness to meet the Muslim organization, calling the move a call for the people to move on.

"For the sake of the nation, [President] Jokowi is willing to meet, talk and cooperate with anyone," Sihol told kompas.com.

It is reported that the GNPF-MUI met the President in hopes of easing tensions and make way for a smoother avenue of communication with the administration.

The organization was the mastermind of a string of mass rallies protesting the leadership of former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, using his backgrounds as a Christian of Chinese descent as one of its objections.

Meanwhile, the government has campaigned for unity despite the nation's diverse races and religions.

Sihol said he hoped the meeting could help the GNPF-MUI understand the president's way of thinking. "Hopefully, Jokowi can also gain useful suggestions from the group," he added. (kuk/ika)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/26/jokowi-praised-for-meeting-with-opposition-muslim-organization-during-idul-fitri.html

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Medan Police attackers linked to IS: Police

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2017

Apriadi Gunawan, Medan -- The North Sumatra Police have confirmed that the two perpetrators of Sunday's attack on a checkpoint post at the North Sumatra Police headquarters in Medan were affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist movement.

North Sumatra Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rina Sari Ginting said that investigators had identified the perpetrators and are continuing their probe into the case. "Our investigation has indicated that the perpetrators had IS links," she said.

National Police chief Tito Karnavian has also previously said that the two perpetrators were connected with the IS-linked terrorist group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

At 3 a.m. on Sunday, two perpetrators snuck into the Checkpoint 3 post and stabbed to death a resting police officer and wounded another. Adj. First Insp. Martua Sigalingging died from stab wounds to right cheek, chin, upper neck and left chest.

Rina said that one of the assailants, identified as Sawaluddin Pakpahan, died after being shot by mobile brigade (Brimob) officers, while his accomplice, named Hardi, was arrested alive. She added that both attackers were Medan citizens. (ecn/bbs)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/26/medan-police-attackers-linked-to-is-police.html

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All political party chiefs to meet to solve presidential threshold deadlock

Jakarta Post - June 26, 2017

Margareth S. Aritonang, Jakarta -- A lawmaker said a high level meeting between all political party chiefs was underway to solve the deadlocked discussions over the prerequisites allowing parties to nominate presidential candidates for the 2019 election, what is popularly known as the "presidential threshold."

Gerindra Party lawmaker Ahmad Riza Patria, who is also a deputy chairman of the special committee tasked to deliberate over a bill to regulate the upcoming presidential election, said that the meeting is expected to give birth to a consensus ahead of a House plenary meeting to vote on a final decision on July 20.

"We held many meetings to talk [about the matter]," Riza said during a meeting held to observe the first day of Idul Fitri on Sunday.

However, he said, the previous meetings had only managed to unite those leaders who agreed on a "zero" threshold, meaning any party would be able to nominate a candidate. Besides Gerindra, the other zero-threshold supporters are the Democratic Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB), the United Development Party (PPP), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the Hanura Party.

"We haven't managed to bring leaders of the other three parties that support a presidential threshold of between 20 and 25 percent in one room with our leaders," he added, referring to the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party and the NasDem Party. (dic)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/26/all-political-party-chiefs-to-meet-to-solve-presidential-threshold-deadlock.html

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World Bank lauds Indonesia's fiscal framework

Jakarta Post - June 25, 2017

Viriya P. Singgih, Jakarta -- The World Bank has lauded Indonesia's fiscal framework, calling it "solid" and saying that it has contributed to improving the credibility of the country.

"Fiscal management in this country has improved substantially over the last year, quite substantially," World Bank country director for Indonesia Rodrigo A. Chaves said on Sunday at an Idul Fitri celebration at Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati's official residence at the Widya Chandra ministerial housing complex in South Jakarta.

Chaves said the government's construction of a solid fiscal framework had led to global credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings' recent upgrade of Indonesia's sovereign rating to investment level.

"As minister [Sri Mulyani] and many other observers have said, the budget deficit will remain below 3 percent, most likely between 2.5 percent to 2.6 percent this year. So, [the] fiscal [framework] is well ordered and well managed," Chaves said.

Sri Mulyani, a former World Bank managing director, held an open house event on the first day of Idul Fitri. She arrived at 11:26 a.m. after attending an Eid prayer event and greeting tax officials at the Taxation Directorate General headquarters.

Chaves was among nearly 200 guests that paid a visit during the open house. Some other guests were the ministry's secretary-general Hadiyanto and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman Rosan Perkasa Roeslani. (tas)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/25/world-bank-lauds-indonesias-fiscal-framework.html

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