Pebriansyah Ariefana Tambaksari police have revealed that police and military officers raided a Papuan student dormitory in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on July 6 because the students were allegedly planning to screen the film "Bloody Biak".
Tambaksari Sectoral Police Chief Police Commander Prayitno claimed that security personnel went to the Papuan student dormitory in order to prevent an incident such the one that occurred in Malang earlier in the week from happening in Surabaya.
"[According] to information we received, they announced on social media that they would show the film 'Bloody Biak'. So we went to the dormitory to anticipate this", he said at the location.
The planned screening of the film Bloody Biak however was cancelled, and replaced by a screening of the World Cup.
"If the discussion had still gone ahead. Apparently the film 'Bloody Biak' [was to be screened] which tells the story of the massacre of Papuan people. I don't know if this was true or not", he explained.
A joint operation by hundreds of TNI (Indonesian military), police and Public Order Agency officers (Satpol PP) raided the Papuan student dormitory located on Jl. Kalasan No. 10 Surabaya on Friday Evening.
The dormitory is home to hundreds of students and Papuan alumni from various tertiary education institutions in Surabaya.
Security personnel were forced [sic] to seal off the Papuan student dormitory between 8-10am because of suspicions that there would be hidden activities. Inside the dormitory, they were to hold a discussion and wanted to screen the film "Bloody Biak" that evening.
Only July 6, 1998 scores of people in Biak Island's main town were wounded, arrested or killed while staging a peaceful demonstration calling for independence.
Earlier in the week on July 1, police violently closed down a discussion by West Papuan students at Brawijaya University in the East Java city of Malang marking the 47th anniversary of the proclamation of independence in 1971 by the Free West Papua Movement. Police claimed that they closed own the discussion following complaints from local people.
Pebriansyah Ariefana The situation remains tense at the Papuan student dormitory on Jl. Kalasan Surabaya in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya after it was raided by security personnel.
Surabaya Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) public defender Muhammad Soleh said that the Papuan student dormitory has been surrounded by security personnel since yesterday evening, Friday July 6.
"Prior to this, at around 7pm, there were several intel (intelligence officers) who were monitoring [the dormitory]. Between 7.30pm and 10pam, security personnel from the Satpol PP [public order agency], police and TNI [Indonesian military] tried to force their way in on the grounds that they were conducting a check on registrations and IDs [yustisi operation], so they said", Soleh told Suara.com.
Soleh and a Papuan student representative at the dormitory questioned Tambaksari sub-district head Ridwan Mubarun, who coincidentally was at the location, about the warrant for the operation.
"We asked if they had a warrant, and they replied we're from the administration, so we don't need one. I answered, oh you can't be like that Pak [Mr], if this is indeed a yustisi operation, why is it only against our Papuan friends and not other people", he added.
While conducting the yustisi operation, the police and military officers broke a table and used foul language. One of the students was even sexually harassed.
"Several of the officers who came used inappropriate language, some smashed up a table. And me and one other student from Surabaya were dragged away, and that student friend said they were sexually harassed by one of the officers", he said.
Nevertheless, the Papuan students have offered to meet with Mubarun the next day. "The Papuan students said please let's discuss it, but on the condition there are no security officers", he explained. (Dimas Angga P)
Arjuna Pademme, Jayapura Papua Police Chief, the Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar said the police and the Amnesty International (AI) have different perceptions over the report that said the police and military committed extrajudicial killing of 95 indigenous Papuans over the past eight years.
"Their mission is different from ours. The Police are not killing people but doing their duty. The world 'kill" must be related to its context," said Amar on Wednesday (4/7/2018).
Further, he said the Police also lost many of their officers who were shot and died during their duties. If officers on duty raise their guns in the scene then arise causalities, it should not consider as killing people. "The Police have a standard operating procedure in using the firearms. So it's surely seen objectively. It is not the police come to take the lives of the people, not like that," he said.
The Police, continued the chief, have never protected officers who found guilty. For instance, if they involved in a criminal case, they would be prosecuted according to the law. "What the Amnesty International said is tendentious, because both of us have different understanding and vision over this situation," he said.
Imam Hamdi, Jakarta Amnesty International Indonesia recently urged President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo to form an investigative team to look into the violence took place in Paniai, Papua, four years ago. The institution also made an online petition on Change.org related to the demand.
Up to July 4, there are at least 5,000 people who signed the petition that is entitled 'Pak Jokowi, bring justice to the victims and investigate the Paniai case.'
The petition urges the president to immediately form an independent investigative team to solve the case that is said to involve a murder done by a state security personnel.
Many wrote in the petition that it would open the doors for further similar cases to be solved if the Paniai case is at least seriously looked into.
As one of the petition signers stated that there have been at least 68 cases in Papua that have yet to be solved by state authorities. The petition ended with the sentence; "For the dreams of the children in Papua."
Another person who signed the petition, Rita Dhoroty commented, "Children have many dreams and are the hopes of the nation, meanwhile, an army personnel should have served its people and not conduct violence against them."
Sheany, Jakarta Indonesia's easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua still suffer from a persisting separatist stigma and the government's security-centered approach to addressing grievances in the region, which experts emphasize require a humanitarian approach.
During his 2014 election campaign, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo made several promises to the people of Papua, including developing the region's infrastructure and resolving cases of past human rights violations.
Since then, Papua has seen massive development of roads and bridges, which the government hopes will improve access and connectivity, thus paving the way for development in other areas also.
However, according to Imam Aziz, executive chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, the emphasis on infrastructure development must be in line with the aspirations of ethnic Papuans.
"The current approach is inadequate to address issues in Papua thoroughly. I think they are on track with this path, but it's not enough. You must steal the hearts of Papuans; that's most important," Imam said during a recent public discussion in Jakarta.
He said the Jokowi administration focuses on security rather than a cultural approach, which emboldens the assumption that Papuans are inherently separatists. "There's this assumption that every Papuan is a separatist, unless proven otherwise," Imam said.
In a report published this week, Amnesty International claims that Indonesian security forces have committed nearly 100 extrajudicial killings in Papua and West Papua between January 2010 and February 2018.
Most perpetrators, which comprise members of both the police and military, have been let off with little to no accountability. None of them has been taken to a civilian court.
Through the years, officials have used the anti-separatist argument to justify the excessive use of force in security operations in Papua, but Amnesty's report reveal that most unlawful killings took place in nonpolitical settings.
Imam believes the Jokowi administration must step up its game and improve its understanding of the people and social environment in Papua.
"Infrastructure is good, it's one way to do it. But the approach must be more convincing, that they are indeed developing Papua; not only the physical aspects, but also the people and their culture," Imam said.
Speaking during the same event, Sylvana Apituley, an expert on politics, law, defense, security and human rights at the Presidential Office, said the current approach has actually prioritized the anthropological aspect.
Sylvana cited a 2017 presidential instruction on Papuan development, which she said was a product of comprehensive discussions involving the people of Papua, as part of an effort to ensure that the final result reflected the needs of the people in the region.
"Our priorities are to save Papuans through education, health facilities and economic empowerment," Sylvana said. The government's focus on infrastructure is seen as the best option to support economic development in Papua, she added.
The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) said in a report last year that the government miscalculated its policies in Papua, which were largely based on the assumption that economic intervention alone can address deep political grievances.
In 2014, police fired shots during a protest in Paniai, killing four people and injuring 11 others. According to witness accounts, police officers shot a protester at close range after he fell to the ground.
The incident sparked a response from Jokowi, who was recently elected at the time, who said he would bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible.
Latifah Anum Siregar, director of the Papua Democracy Alliance, said similar incidents occur more often than otherwise in Papua, and every member of the citizenry in the two provinces will likely have their own memories as victims, or being related to one.
"There is disappointment, sadness and anger, and they express it in a variety of ways, sometimes through music or other artistic performances. Across Papua, everyone has a blood bond with violence," Anum said.
She stressed the importance of a judicial process to address these cases in order to stop the ongoing cycle of violence. Furthermore, the stigma against ethnic Papuans continues to pose a challenge.
"There is this stigma that if we talk about Papua, it's always a matter of independence. But what is the government doing to make Papuans love Indonesia?" Anum said.
There are many layers to the ongoing issues in Papua, including health, education and land rights, which require new approaches that are in tune with local contexts, she added.
Sylvana said the Jokowi administration keeps an open ear to the ongoing issues in Papua and tries to carefully address any conflicts that arise.
"There should be no doubt that Jokowi's heart is in Papua. Just look at how many times he's visited, with a spontaneous approach toward the people. This is our biggest capital to continue discussion on more serious matters," she said.
However, the government cannot do the work on its own and requires support from relevant stakeholders, Sylvana added.
In spite of Jokowi's annual visits to the country's poorest region, Papua continues to face a variety of struggles. Those who were affected by the extrajudicial killings for example, are still demanding justice and due process.
Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, believes Jokowi is aware of what is happening in Papua, but unable to create policies at the central level to improve the situation.
There is a slip in commitment towards Papua despite initial progress at the beginning of his presidency, Usman said.
He said this was largely due to the position of chief security minister, which at the beginning of Jokowi's administration was held by Luhut Pandjaitan and later handed over to Wiranto. Both are retired army generals.
"The role of the same minister replaced by Wiranto, has changed so much the state of willingness [and] commitment of Jokowi's administration [to Papua]," Usman said.
Though the human rights agenda may not seem like a priority at the moment, Usman said he believes international coverage and more public attention on Papua can encourage Jokowi to reprioritize. However, the lack of progress thus far is yet another barrier that must be addressed effectively.
As Indonesia heads toward a presidential election next year, NU's Imam said it could be a golden opportunity for the people of Papua to voice their aspirations.
"This is a chance for the people of Papua to forge some kind of a political contract with Jokowi if he's running for president, what will he do [for Papua]?" Imam said.
Anum of the Papua Democracy Alliance warns that if the government continues to leave human rights violations in Papua unresolved, it will only further cement disappointment towards the country.
"At this point, there is a lack of trust. A step must be taken to establish goodwill and support to once again gain the trust of Papuans," Anum said.
Nethy Dharma Somba, Jayapura, Papua Violent attacks committed by armed civilian criminal groups in Papua over the last 10 years have resulted in the deaths of 78 civilians, 57 National Police members and 62 Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel as well as hundreds of injuries, a report revealed on Tuesday.
"Two out of the total 57 personnel were Polri members who were killed while securing regional elections in Torere district, Puncak Jaya. Meanwhile, the 78 civilians included three residents of Kenyam Nduga who were killed one day before the regional elections," said Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar during a press briefing on the police's performance in the first half of 2018 in Jayapura on Tuesday.
Boy said 117 civilians suffered injuries during the attacks. "The armed groups' violent acts are rampant in Pegunungan Tengah areas, such as Puncak Jaya, Nduga, Puncak, Lanny Jaya and Timika."
Boy said 18 violent acts were committed by armed civilian criminal groups in Puncak Jaya and Mimika throughout 2018. All violence in Mimika occurred within the working areas of gold mining company Freeport Indonesia. Most of the them were attacks against Freeport vehicles traveling from Timika to Tembagapura and vice versa. "Those violent acts killed several policemen" Boy said.
He said two National Police members Brig. Sinton Kbarek and Second Insp. Jesayas Nussy were killed in the recent attack in Torere. They were reported missing shortly after the shooting incident occurred and later found dead.
Sinton was buried at the Waena Hero Cemetery in Jayapura on Tuesday while Jesayas' body will soon be flown from Memberamo Raya to Jayapura for a burial. (hol/ebf)
The police chief in Indonesia's Papua region has dismissed claims in an Amnesty International report about unlawful killings occurring in the territory.
The group claims that at least 95 people have been killed by Indonesian security forces in Papua region, known widely as West Papua, over the past eight years.
Kabar Papua reports the police chief Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar as denying Amnesty's finding that there has been almost total impunity for those police behind the killings.
He criticised the NGO's understanding of the security situation in Papua, saying as an apparatus of the state, police follow rules and face sanctions when the rules are violated.
While recognising there had been killings by security forces, Mr Boy added that police were also targeted for killings in the region.
The Amnesty report noted 39 killings were at political events, such as pro-independence marches or soldiers opening fire at raising ceremonies for the West Papuan morning star flag.
But claimed 56 of the killings were in non-political contexts, such as firing live rounds into worker protests, raids on villages, or the killing of a mentally-disabled young man.
Describing the report as tendentious, the police chief said his personnel acted to provide a sense of security and comfort for the local community.
West Papuan students in the Indonesian city of Malang say police forcefully stopped them discussing an important date in their people's history.
Protests were held in several Indonesia cities that day to mark the anniversary of the agreement which sealed West Papua's incorporation into the Indonesian republic.
July 1st was the 47th anniversary of a proclamation of independence by the Free West Papua Movement shortly after Indonesia took control of West New Guinea. The anniversary is often marked by demonstrations or public events in Indonesian cities.
On late Sunday around three dozen West Papuan students at Malang's Brawijaya University held a discussion about the anniversary in their dormitory.
But according to one of the students, Yohanes Giay, police entered the dormitory, physically roughed them up and prevented their discussion continuing.
He said West Papuans had a right to free discussion, including about the history that has shaped them and their region.
"We discuss because that is our past, and we can keep remembering the past as we fight for our freedom from Indonesia," he explained. "If we want this freedom, we must hear about stories from the past, so we can work for a better future for Papuans." Mr Giay said the students were considering holding a demonstration in the near future to express their concerns. "I think we will make some demonstration with our solidarity in Malang. We want this city to be a city without the racism."
Craig Harris In the jungle of West Papua the Indonesian military was on the move. Freedom fighters were hiding out in a certain village, and make no mistake, the military knew of their presence.
Papuan lookouts caught sight of the military 10 miles before the village. Quickly, through ancient communication skills, the village was warned. All women and children ran to higher ground and safety. The freedom fighters laid the foundation for evident battle.
These small skirmishes happen throughout the highlands of West Papua, at times on a daily basis. As the military approached, the first arrow was shot and laid to rest in a soldier's leg. Papuan war cries echoed through the jungle canopy.
In a land the size of California with a population of two million Papuans, the region remains one of the most isolated in the world. Many human rights activists call Papua "Indonesia's dark dirty secret."
Indonesia's latest president, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, is desperate to keep hidden its brutal 50-year war in its eastern-most province. Indonesia seized West Papua, the western half of the island of New Guinea,in 1963, shortly after the Dutch colonists pulled out. Since then all foreign journalists have been banned from the territory. A police state has shackled the vast region ever since. It battles a low-level tribal insurgency and suppresses independence aspirations with such vigor that raising the Papuan national flag, Morning Star, can land you 15 years in prison. It's estimated, according to Yale University research, that over 200,000 Papuans have lost their lives, 10 percent of the population.
Most Papuans consider themselves Melanesian, with more in common with darker-skinned Pacific populations, such as the people of Vanuatu or Solomon Islands. Indonesians often treat Papuans as racially inferior. Culturally, linguistically, and ethnically, Papuans have little in common with Indonesians. For the overwhelming majority, nothing short of independence will suffice.
However there is another truth to the Papuan struggle, those who have turned their backs on their own people otherwise known as "fat cats." These so-called Papuans have learned to work both sides of the confrontation and have profited largely. Their ambition seems to be strictly monetary. Well-connected to the government they strategize in hopes of keeping the conflict never ending.
Theys Eluay, at one time the Papuan tribal chief, mastered the game. In 1965 at the early age of 27 Eluay became chief of the Sentani tribe. Sentani is located in Jayapura, the capital of Papua. At 32 he voted to join Indonesia under the fraudulent UN "Act of Free Choice." Unlike most chiefs, he believed it was the best choice. He cooperated with the military and provided intelligence about the resistance movement. Years later, he was imprisoned on charges of treason, accused of plotting Papua's violent succession. While in jail he confessed to friends that he had given authorities information that led to the deaths of Papuan independence fighters.
In 1977 Eluay was given a seat in the provincial parliament as a member of President Suharto's ruling Golkar party. Eluay's transformation to Papuan hero began in the early 1990s. Denied reappointment to parliament by his party after 15 years in office, he became preoccupied with restoring his name. He saw that his future lay in fighting for independence.
In 2002, Eluay was killed by Kopassus, Indonesia's elite military. Many Eluay supporters believe it was assassination by the government to squash Papua's growing separatist movement.
Eluay recognized in his later years that his passion lay in supporting his people toward a better life. He had a vision above and beyond money. "Those Papuan's that continue to profit from the chaos have no vision and will meet their destiny at a later date."
As I write this, the world is becoming more aware about Papua. Through social media and lobbying by hardworking Papuans living in exile in other countries, progress is moving forward in a multitude of ways. Benefits, concerts, and demonstrations across the world are bringing attention to the Papuan cause.
Even the world surf community is asking its followers to boycott Indonesia. Under websites such as akrockefeller.com word is getting out.
Papua Merdeka! Free Papua!
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta The government will look into the details of a newly-released report that accused Indonesia of "unlawful killings" of nearly 100 people in Papua over the last eight years, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said on Monday.
A two-year investigation by Amnesty International released on Monday revealed that at least 95 people, 85 of whom were Papuan, had been killed by security personnel from 2010 to 2018. Most of the perpetrators have never been tried accountably, the report said.
Responding to the report, the chief security minister said on Monday that the government would look into the cases, but added that Amnesty's investigation was a one-sided report.
"We [need] to explain who and how, whether [the people were killed] in operations or not. We will look at it case by case," Wiranto said. "Don't be careless [by just believing the data]," he went on.
According to Amnesty International, 95 victims were killed unlawfully in 69 incidents that took place between January 2010 and February 2018. Thirty-nine people were killed while staging peaceful protests demanding Papua's liberation, while 56 were killed in events unrelated to political activities.
The police were alleged to be the perpetrators in 34 of the cases, while the military were alleged to be involved in 23 cases. In 11 other cases, both the police and military were allegedly responsible.
Not one of the 69 incidents has been subject to criminal investigation by an independent body. Out of all the cases, only six of the perpetrators were held accountable for the deaths, the report said.
"The culture of impunity within the security forces needs to be eliminated," Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid said. "Those who are responsible for the past killings must be tried through an independent legal mechanism."
Many Papuans have expressed their dissatisfaction and accused Jakarta of being unfair to them. Some have demanded a referendum to decide whether Papua and West Papua should remain as part of Indonesia. The Indonesian Military and the National Police call these activists separatists or armed criminal groups. (evi)
Andita Rahma, Jakarta The National Police (Polri) have sent a Mobile Brigade (Brimob) company to hunt down the armed group that attacked policemen in Papua last week.
"Brimob personnel have been deployed there to hunt down the armed group. A company of Brimob personnel were already sent there," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto said at the Polri headquarters in South Jakarta today.
The Puncak Jaya Police have deployed two teams. One is sent to scan the area's forests and the other uses a twin otter plane to search the vast Mamberamo River. Setyo said the police had yet to receive any update due to communication difficulties.
According to Setyo, the police are finding it difficult to detect the armed group due to harsh terrains in Puncak Jaya. "They can see us but we can't see them. This means we cannot predict their sudden attacks," said Setyo.
Prior to the 2018 simultaneous regional elections (Pilkada), an armed group shot at a plane owned by Trigana Air at the Kenyam Airport in Nduga Regency, Papua, on June 25. The plane carried Pilkada logistics and 15 Brimob personnel.
The armed group then diverted their attacks on local residents in the vicinity of the airport, claiming three lives and injuring a child. The regional election in Nduga, was delayed in light of the attacks.
Jakarta Indonesian security forces are behind the unlawful killing of at least 95 people in Papua since 2010, with most perpetrators never held to account, Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday.
Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, has been the scene of a simmering independence insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesia in the late 1960s.
Political activists and demonstrators peacefully protesting the government were among those killed in recent violence, as well as residents involved in non-political gatherings in Indonesia's easternmost province, the rights group said.
Not one case has been subject to an independent criminal investigation, according to Amnesty, which said it spent two years interviewing victims' families, witnesses, rights organisations, political activists and church-based community groups.
"Papua is one of Indonesia's black holes for human rights. This is a region where security forces have for years been allowed to kill women, men and children, with no prospects of being held to account," Amnesty Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said in a statement.
"This culture of impunity within the security forces must change, and those responsible for past deaths held to account."
The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Amnesty said 39 deaths were linked to peaceful political activities including raising the Morning Star, Papua's banned flag. Another 56 killings involved excessive use of force by the army or police and were unrelated to calls for independence.
Some of the violence has been centred on protests against a huge gold and copper mine owned by US-based firm Freeport McMoRan a frequent flashpoint in the local struggle for independence and a bigger share of the region's rich resources.
President Joko Widodo promised to improve human rights in Papua after taking office in 2014, but Amnesty says he has not lived up to his pledge.
It urged the Indonesian government to immediately investigate alleged killings and rights violations, as well as review tactics used by security forces.
Indonesia: "Don't bother, just let him die": Killing with impunity in Papua Amnesty International Report. July 2, 2018 https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018ENGLISH.PDF
Jakarta Indonesia's police and military are responsible for at least 95 unlawful killings in the easternmost Papua region since 2008, including targeted slayings of activists, Amnesty International said on Monday, condemning a near-total absence of justice for the mainly indigenous victims.
In a report based on two years of research, Amnesty said that more than half the victims were either political activists or people taking part in peaceful protests often unrelated to the Papuan independence movement.
It said none of the killings was the subject of independent criminal investigation. In about a third of the cases, there was not even an internal investigation. When police or military claimed to have investigated internally, they did not make the findings public. Eight deaths were compensated with money or pigs.
The victims are overwhelmingly male indigenous Papuans and the majority are young, aged 30 or under.
The killings nearly one a month for the past eight years are a "serious blot" on Indonesia's human rights record, said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia.
"This culture of impunity within the security forces must change, and those responsible for past deaths held to account," he said.
An independence movement and an armed insurgency have simmered in the formerly Dutch-controlled region since it was annexed by Indonesia in 1963. Indonesian rule has been frequently brutal, and indigenous Papuans, largely shut out of their region's economy, are poorer, sicker and more likely to die young than people elsewhere in Indonesia.
A majority of the killings documented by Amnesty were the result of unnecessary or excessive use of force during protests or law enforcement operations and unlawful acts by individual officers, it said. The Amnesty International report accuses Indonesian President Joko Widodo of not doing enough to rein in the security forces
Some occurred in circumstances related to the Papuan independence movement such as raising of the banned "Morning Star" independence flag or ceremonies marking significant dates.
The rights group said the government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, elected in 2014, had failed to end the security forces' pervasive impunity in Papua, like all Indonesian governments before it.
Despite a promise by the newly elected Jokowi to bring to justice officers responsible for killing four people when they fired into a crowd of protesters in December 2014 in Paniai district, there has been no criminal investigation even after Indonesia's Human Rights Commission found evidence of "gross human rights violations", Amnesty said.
In that case, villagers were protesting the alleged beating of Papuan children by soldiers and threw stones and wood at a police and military buildings before officers opened fire. Two witnesses saw police officers beat one of the protesters and shoot him at close range after he fell to the ground, according to the Human Rights Commission.
Indonesia: "Don't bother, just let him die": Killing with impunity in Papua Amnesty International Report. July 2, 2018 https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/ASA2181982018ENGLISH.PDF
Sheany, Jakarta Indonesian security forces have committed nearly 100 extrajudicial killings in Papua and West Papua since 2010, with little to no accountability, a new report from human rights organization Amnesty International revealed on Monday (02/07).
The report, "Don't Bother, Just Let Him Die: Killing With Impunity in Papua" recorded 69 cases that took place between January 2010 and February 2018, in which 95 people were killed. Some of the victims were children.
"We found most of the cases are not related to political activities, which is in contradiction to the claim made by the government that violence committed by security forces is an attempt to eradicate separatist armed movements in Papua," Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said during the report launch in Jakarta.
Excessive force against peaceful protests, incidents of public disorder and during attempts to arrest criminal suspects was used in 41 out of the 69 cases included in the report.
On several occasions, unlawful killings followed incidents affecting individual members of the security forces.
All of the cases documented by Amnesty International involved either or both the police and the military, with one case involving the municipal police (Satpol PP). Most of the victims were ethnic Papuans.
"What's most worrying is that not one of the perpetrators, not a single one, has been taken to a civilian court," Usman said.
According to the report, some cases have been settled through the police or military internal disciplinary mechanisms, while other were resolved in accordance with the customary law.
There are currently two ongoing investigations, including a shooting incident in Paniai, Papua, which took place in 2014 and resulted in four fatalities. In 25 cases, there has been no investigation at all.
"Investigations are rare, and it is even rarer that anyone is held accountable for killings. Security personnel are generally subject to disciplinary sanctions at the very most, leaving victims' families without access to justice and reparation," the report said.
The government continues to use the anti-separatist argument to validate the use of excessive force in Papua, but Amnesty's report detailed the extent to which most of the recorded extrajudicial killings did not take place in a political environment.
For example, in 2011, police opened fire against a crowd of protesters in Timika, Papua, who were demanding higher wages from Freeport Indonesia. Petrus Ayamiseba and Leo Wandagau were killed in the incident.
While the police claimed they only used rubber bullets, a report by Indonesia's human rights commission, Komnas HAM, revealed that Petrus was killed by live ammunition.
"They weren't fighting for independence, they were demanding proper wages, and there has been no accountability to this day," Usman said.
Reports of abuse, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua have prompted criticism by international human rights groups and activists, including the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein.
Al-Hussein said he and his team were invited by the government to send a mission to the region for further investigation, but the trip has yet to happen.
The issue of impunity among perpetrators of past human rights abuses in Indonesia has long been a concern for many rights groups and activists. Top officials and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo have many times promised to address it.
Also the 2014 Paniai shooting made Jokowi pledge to bring those responsible to justice.
"The case of Paniai, the case in which President Widodo made a promise in 2014, is a test for his administration, whether he is successful in delivering his promise to Papua or not. It's a test in which his administration has failed," Usman said.
The Papua report, which took two years to compile, is part of Amnesty's work to monitor efforts to combat impunity for security forces in Indonesia. The international organization asserted that there is a direct and causal link between impunity and human rights violations.
"Each failure to investigate or bring those responsible to trial reinforces the confidence of perpetrators that they are indeed above the law," the report said.
Sylvana Apituley, an expert on politics, legal, defense, security and human rights at the Presidential Office, said the government remains committed to addressing human rights abuses in Papua.
The government is currently focusing on the cases of Wamena, Wasior and Paniai, based on a recommendation made by an investigative team coordinated by Chief Security Minister Wiranto, she said.
"Resolving human rights abuses is something we are working on, and there is progress it's slow but sure," Sylvana said.
Mohammad Bernie A group of protesters from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) have demanded that West Papua be free from Indonesian colonialism.
The protesters gathered at the Pandang Istana Park at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta to commemorate the West Papuan proclamation of independence on July 1, 1971.
"We are hoping for an act of self-determination, the hope that Papua can be free from Indonesian colonialism", said AMP Secretary General Dolly Iyowau on July 1.
During the action, the demonstrators called for Papuan history to be set straight. According to the protesters, on December 1, 1961 a declaration of Papuan independence took place resulting in a national flag, a state symbol, a national song, currency and slogan.
This was followed on July 1, 1971 with a proclamation, state constitution, the formation of an administration and cabinet and other state institutions.
"However the process which was half-way through and primarily displayed by the declaration of independence on December 1, 1961 and the earlier inclusion of West Papua in the United Nation's decolonialisation list, was disrupted by the Trikora military operation on December 19, 1961", said Dolly.
During the action the protesters also demanded that the government close down and halt natural resource exploitation activities by foreign companies in Papua.
In addition to this, they also expressed the hope that the government would withdraw all organic and non-organic troops from Papua along with guarantees of press freedom and access to information inside Papua.
"In 2015 when Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] first became president he said that he wanted to fully open [West Papua] to foreign [media] coverage. But the reality is that it has remained closed", said Dolly.
In addition to this the protesters called on the UN to take responsibility for and be actively involved in a way that is fair and democratic in the process of self-determination, straightening out history and resolving human rights violations against the Papuan people.
Operation Trikora was an Indonesian military operation which aimed to seize and annex the Dutch overseas territory of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961 and 1962.
Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The actual declaration of independence took place on July 1, 1971.
Nethy Dharma Somba, Jayapura Papua and two of its regencies, Nduga and Puncak Jaya, where deadly shootings by unknown assailants occurred last week in the wake of the gubernatorial election, are now safe and stable, National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has said.
Tito, along with Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, was in Jayapura on Sunday to monitor security after the simultaneous regional elections.
"The situation in Papua is under control now. Police and military personnel stand ready to maintain security," Tito said.
The election in Nduga was postponed to last Thursday after a Twin Otter aircraft carrying election material and police personnel was fired at by unidentified assailants last Monday shortly after it landed at Kenyam Airport. The pilot suffered a gunshot wound to his back, and three residents died in an ensuing firefight between the gunmen and security personnel, the authorities have said.
"The Papua Police have deployed additional personnel to secure [Nduga]. The vote count is ongoing there," Tito said.
Another incident took place on voting day last Wednesday in Puncak Jaya, during which Torere district head Obaja Froaro was killed by unknown armed assailants who allegedly shot at a speedboat he was on while transporting boxes of filled-out ballots.
Two police officers, who were on board the same speedboat and in charge of guarding the election materials and securing the Papua gubernatorial election, went missing in the ambush.
The police are still pursuing the attackers and searching for their two missing members. (stu/ipa)
Devina Heriyanto, Jakarta Aceh province is again in the news following the arrest of Governor Irwandi Yusuf on corruption allegations on Tuesday evening.
The former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leader is the second Aceh governor implicated in a corruption case after Abdullah Puteh, who was sentenced to 10 years for graft surrounding the procurement of an MI-2 Rostov helicopter worth US$872,500.
Irwandi was arrested along with Bener Meriah Regent Usman Yakup and eight other individuals after conducting what the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) called "suspicious transactions".
A popular figure in Aceh, Irwandi is in his second non-consecutive term as governor. He previously held office from 2007 to 2012.
Backed by the Democratic Party, the National Aceh Party (PNA) and several smaller parties, Irwandi returned to office in 2017 after defeating his rivals, most of whom are former members of the now-defunct GAM. Irwandi's notable campaign programs were Jaminan Kesehatan Aceh (Aceh Health Insurance) and the Aceh scholarship program.
Irwandi is a veteran politician in Aceh politics. When the tsunami hit Aceh in 2004, Irwandi was in prison for treason against the state. He ran out of the prison and waited until the water receded before moving to Jakarta and later joined a GAM delegation in the historic 2005 Helsinki Agreement. The agreement ended decades of conflict in Aceh.
Irwandi is the first governor of Aceh directly elected by the Acehnese people. He ran for governor as an independent candidate in the 2006 regional election. In a 2007 report by International Crisis Group (ICG), Irwandi was by then "free from any taint of corruption or abuse of power".
In 2012, he failed to retain his position as governor after being defeated by Zaini Abdullah, his senior in GAM. Zaini was then supported by the Aceh Party, a powerful local party established by former GAM members.
The defeat encouraged Irwandi to form the National Aceh Party (PNA) and win the support of former GAM members who felt disenfranchised by Zaini and Aceh Party leaders. The fragmentation of support from former GAM members in the 2017 election is said to have benefited Irwandi.
Like many GAM leaders, Irwandi is not the staunchest supporter of sharia.
In 2009, during his first term, Irwandi refused to sign the Qanun Acara Jinayat, a sharia-based criminal procedures code, amid loud criticism from human rights activists. The controversial 2009 Qanun Jinayat included the punishment of stoning to death.
Aceh fully enforced sharia in 2014, under Zaini's rule. Irwandi said he was aware of the impact of sharia rule on the province's image and had sought to make changes to how it was applied.
Earlier this year, Irwandi issued a gubernatorial regulation ending the practice of caning convicts in public. Caning is now limited to prisons, with only adults as viewers. Previously, canings often made headlines and became a public spectacle with children watching.
Several mass organizations protested the move, saying that Irwandi's regulation violated the qanun jinayat as the law required that caning be held in public so as to create a deterrent effect. (ahw)
Jakarta An unidentified person threw Molotov cocktails at the office of Aceh-based tabloid newspaper Modus in Gampong Berauwe, Aceh, on Saturday.
There were no casualties reported but the building suffered from minor damages.
Tempo.co reported that Modus chief editor, Muhammad Saleh, said he was not present during the incident as he was accompanying his wife at the hospital.
Saleh learned about the accident at 8:00 am after a staff member contacted him. He directly reported the incident to the Banda Aceh Police, who immediately began a search for the perpetrator.
The explosion was not particularly loud, with one staff member who was sleeping at the office saying they did not hear it. However, a worker at a coffee kiosk in front of the office heard two explosions and saw flames.
"The coffee kiosk worker was the one who put out the fire. If the worker wasn't there the office might have burned," Saleh said on Saturday.
The Aceh Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Aceh) chairman, Misdarul Ihsan, denounced the incident as a terror attack on media workers. "We asked the police to uncover the motive [of the attack] and conduct a thorough investigation," he said. (dpk)
Sheany, Jakarta Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia, said this week that a review of the national human rights body's mandate may be necessary as part of efforts to resolve human rights violations in the country.
The National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) is strongly dependent on other institutions to address cases of human rights violations.
After concluding an investigation into human rights violations, Komnas HAM reports its findings to the Attorney General's Office, which then decides what steps to take.
However, the attorney general has repeatedly returned Komnas HAM's reports through the years, citing various reasons, according to a report by the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).
"Komnas HAM is very dependent on the cooperation of other institutions, including the attorney general. They have concluded their investigations on Wamena and Wasior and submitted it, but the attorney general has yet to pursue these cases," Usman said at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday (02/07).
In 2001, the death of five members of the National Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) and one civilian in Wasior, West Papua, led to the torture and murder of civilians, allegedly committed by members of both the police and military.
In 2003, independence activists allegedly attacked the headquarters of the Wamena District Military Command in Papua. In retaliation, security forces reportedly committed torture, murder and set fire to civilian's homes.
Last month, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo said investigations into past human rights abuses face the challenge of time, as both witnesses and perpetrators "may not even be alive anymore." He reportedly referred to Komnas HAM's report as "assumptions and opinions."
The attorney general's comment came even after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reaffirmed his commitment to resolving cases of past human rights abuses and instructed Prasetyo to follow up on these cases.
Komnas HAM commissioner Amiruddin Al-Rahab emphasized the need for both commitment and consistency to resolve cases of human rights violations. "Consistency and commitment from other government institutions are crucial, it must not only come from Komnas HAM," Amiruddin said.
Usman said the two main challenges that prevent investigations of human rights violations from going forward are a lack of cooperation from the attorney general, and from security forces.
He explained that members of the military and police do not always give their full cooperation when called in by Komnas HAM, which negatively affects the commission's investigations.
"We feel [Komnas HAM] must undergo a review, to have its mandate revised, so that it could have more authority to ensure that the results of its investigations are binding on the next institution that is responsible for dealing with such cases," Usman said. "In this case, it will be the attorney general, so that there will actually be a follow-up."
Christie Stefanie, Jakarta Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko says that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is still serious about dealing with the problem of human rights in Papua.
The statement was made in response to Amnesty International's report on human rights violations and killings that have been carried out by the TNI and Polri (Indonesian military and police) in Papua and West Papua.
"The evaluation [in the report] covers the last 10 years so it's not directed at the current administration. Essentially, the president has given a very clear signal, by giving absolution to political prisoners, several other have been issued. This shows the government's serious about addressing human rights problems [in Papua]", said Moeldoko on Monday July 2.
Amnesty International in its report titled, "Don't Bother, Just Let Him Die: Killing With Impunity in Papua", reports on the unlawful killings by security forces of 95 people in Papua and West Papua provinces over a period of eight years.
Sixty-nine out of 56 victims were killed in non-independence related incidents and 39 deaths were related to peaceful pro-independence activities such as demonstrations or raising the Morning Star independence flag.
One of the recommendations by Amnesty International is a review of the tactics used by the military and security forces in its operations in the field, including on the use of firearms.
Responding to this, Moeldoko stated that when he held the post of TNI commander five years ago, he changed the way security forces work including soldiers' awareness of human rights.
One of these changes related to training on entering and clearing buildings in which dummies of mothers, children and other dummies were used in the operations.
"If they shot mothers especially those breastfeeding, we punished them, physical punishment. The aim was to remind them that they are not allowed to commit violations", he said.
This training was conducted so that security personnel were aware of and respected human rights and not be afraid.
"If soldiers are afraid of human rights they won't work. But if they respect human rights, these norms must be held in the highest respect. So it is very clear what is to be done by officers in the field", said Moeldoko.
Based on this training, he stated that the TNI has received the appreciation of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) because the level of human rights violations in Papua has declined.
Moeldoko revealed that the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) released the results of a survey saying that the TNI was the most trusted institution in 2015.
However he is aware that frictions in the field are indeed difficult to avoid in conflict situations or when the Free Papua Movement (OPM) is becoming more active. Security forces, said Moeldoko, will prioritise the protection and safety of civilians.
"Because on the one hand the TNI and Polri seek to protect civilians from duress and threats. On the other hand clashes will occur. But if they clearly violate [the rights] of innocent civilians, (commanders) will act firmly, including (against) officers", he said. (wis)
Moses Ompusunggu, Jakarta Indonesian female bureaucrats are still facing various hindrances in rising to the highest ranks in ministries, with researchers calling for the need of a set of affirmative actions to address what global discourse has coined "the glass ceiling."
The glass ceiling, according to the Glass Ceiling Commission in the United States, refers to the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.
The glass ceiling phenomenon still occurs at the time when Indonesia's current topmost diplomat, economist, climate change negotiator, state-owned enterprises' controller and illegal fishing crasher in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's ministerial Cabinet are all women.
The career barrier in Indonesian ministries is so entrenched that many female officials have been reluctant to join the stiff competition for job promotion in their respective institutions, says Anna Margret, a University of Indonesia (UI) political scientist who studies the glass ceiling in Indonesia.
"Before joining the job promotion process, female civil servants have already thought that a higher position means a heavier burden, as they are demanded to also fulfill their roles in private matters, which is to be a mother, a wife and a daughter," Anna says.
Anna is the leader of Cakra Wikara Indonesia (CWI), a group of diverse researchers that provides gender perspectives in its sociopolitical studies. Last year, the group concluded a study on the glass ceiling in 34 ministries within the Jokowi administration, finding the number of women in highest ranks of the ministries was low.
The study delved into the posture of bureaucracy from 2014 to 2016, discovering that the number of women in the highest echelons, consisting of five ranks in the 34 ministries, stood at 22.59 percent, 22.06 percent and 25.79 percent respectively in each year.
The findings were alarming, considering there was no significant inequality between women and men in the recruitment process and in the total number of civil servants in the assessed ministries.
From 2014 to 2016, the figure of female civil servants reached, respectively, 37.18 percent, 40.17 percent and 39.59 percent. The figures relatively resembled the total of non-echelon female civil servants in the assessed years, standing at 38.34 percent, 40.10 percent and 40.56 percent.
Ministries with the lowest number of women assuming upper echelon positions are the Transportation Ministry and the Religious Affairs Ministry with, respectively, 12.41 percent and 12.77 percent in 2016, while the only ministry where more than 50 percent of high-level positions were held by women was the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, the study found.
"In almost all ministries, women have been 'lost' in the highest ladder of career in bureaucracy," says Anna.
There is no consensus, though, over the importance of women assuming the highest positions in bureaucracy. Anna, however, says the theory of responsive bureaucracy may serve as a rationale for increasing the number of female civil servants in the highest echelons in Indonesia's ministries.
"There is no guarantee that a bureaucracy can get better if more women take high positions," says Anna. "But the responsive bureaucracy theory believes a responsive bureaucracy is one that mirrors the composition of the served population."
In the private sector, business consultant McKinsey & Company released a seminal work in 2015, titled "Why Diversity Matters". McKinsey defines diversity as "a greater proportion of women and ethnically/culturally diverse individuals", and in their research they find "that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians".
McKinsey examined data sets from 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom and the US.
This year, the company continued the research with another report, called "Delivering through Diversity", which "reaffirms the global relevance of the correlation between diversity and company financial outperformance".
Through interviews and analysis, CWI has discovered numerous factors begetting the glass ceiling in Indonesian bureaucracy. They ranged from gender stereotypes and tight working hours in the highest positions to the prevailing bureaucracy regulations that are not gender-sensitive.
"While men who focus on rising to the highest ranks in their careers garner praise and are considered to be successful, women who do so are judged for forgetting their nature and being neglectful of their families," says Anna.
Female high-level bureaucrats interviewed by the researchers say female civil servants generally opt to prioritize their families than rise to higher positions in their career.
"The problem is, again, related to family. I cannot be like those women who leave their families to work abroad and only return once in a year," says a female bureaucrat who holds a second-tiered position at the Health Ministry, which itself is led by Nina Farida Moeloek, a woman.
Another respondent, a female bureaucrat who assumes a third-tiered position at the Finance Ministry, says: "Because women have a role to take care of their households, they have to choose [whether to prioritize their families or career]. I have been aware of women who cannot advance in their career because they have to assume another role as housewives."
To help female bureaucrats advance in their career, Anna says the government needs to implement a set of affirmative actions akin to those implemented in other countries like in Australia and Scandinavian countries.
In those countries, female civil servants can enjoy numerous incentives like scholarships and allowances. In some Scandinavian countries, Anna says, governments even push husbands of female bureaucrats to take paternal leave up to two years at the most, which is meant to help their wives with taking care of and nurturing their children.
Despite the glass ceiling, young female bureaucrats believe they can still work in high positions in their career.
Efi Handayani, 26, who has been working as a civil servant at the inspectorate general of the Law and Human Rights Ministry for more than three years, says she is optimistic that she could someday achieve high positions at her institution.
"Women can still be dedicated to their husband while focusing on advancing in their career," said Efi, a law graduate from Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta. "And I think family is an important factor to support women's careers."
"I hope someday I could have a partner who would support my career," she says. "As far as I know, there is no requirement that bars women from taking part in job promotion."
Bayu Adi Wicaksono Democrat Party politician Dede Yusuf has exposed the lie behind claims that a wave of Chinese workers is being employed by PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (PT IMIP) in Morowali, South Sulawesi.
According to Yusuf, the Chinese worker lie was exposed after he and members of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission 9, along with the Foreign Worker Monitoring Task Force (Satgas Pengawasan TKA) visited PT IMIP.
"The Commission 9 working visit entourage and the Satgas Pengawasan TKA visited PT IMIP in Morowali. The biggest nickel and iron smelter industrial complex in Indonesia said Yusuf as quoted by Viva from his personal Facebook page on Sunday July 8.
Yusuf said that the team inspected the entire factory from production areas, the canteen to the Chinese workers' dormitories.
"In order to determine if it is true that TKA from China have overrun or taken over the factory, we checked everything, from the workers' canteen, the Chinese workers' mess, even the operations room", he wrote.
Yusuf said that after carrying out the inspection, the issue of a wave of Chinese foreign workers which has been beaten up in the media turned out to be a lie. This was evident from the fact that less than 10 percent of the total workforce employed by the company originated from China. And all of them had valid work permits.
"There were a total of 2,500 TKA. Meanwhile there were as many as 28,000 local workers! Meaning the TKA were less than 10 percent and all had valid work permits. This was supported by a report from an immigration official with the Kemenkumham [Ministry of Law and Human Rights], said Yusuf.
Yusuf explained that it was possible that there were more Chinese workers in the past than now because they worked under short-term employment contracts and they were brought in when the smelter was being constructed. Because at the time, there was no local workers who had any experience in constructing a smelter.
"Perhaps before during the smelter's construction in early 2014 and 2016 here were many TKA coming and going under two or three month contracts. (Because at the time we did not yet have experience in constructing a smelter). After the smelter was established, only 10 percent of the TKA were left to continue the transfer of technology to local employees", said Yusuf.
According to Yusuf, employees at PT IMIP receive on average a wage of around 4 million rupiah a month for senior high-school (SMA) graduates who had worked for six months or less. For those who had worked for two years or more, they received a wage of 10 million rupiah.
"Want to know how much local workers receive there? SMA graduates who have been employed for 6 months [or less] receive on average around 4 million rupiah. Currently they still need an additional 10,000 employees, all local workers and applications are open to the public. Perhaps you know someone who's interested?, he said.
"So once again, we did not find an invasion of TKA, what we found were tens of thousands of local workers from around Sulawesi. We have also asked the Satgas Pengawasan TKA to open a coordination post there so that there will be ongoing monitoring", added Yusuf.
Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chairperson and Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto, along with right-wing Islamic groups and the Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) led by Said Iqbal, have been attempting to whip up anti-Chinese sentiment by claiming that a flood of Chinese workers is taking jobs away from local workers PT IMIP being cited as one example. This is also being used to attack the administration of President Joko Widodo which recently issued a presidential decree making it easier for foreign workers to obtain work permits.
Farida Susanty, Jakarta National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia announced on Friday that its pilots and workers had canceled their planned strike after the management reached an agreement with their respective labor unions.
Garuda Indonesia president director Pahala N. Mansury said that the parties had arrived at an agreement on Thursday, when representatives of the Garuda Pilots Association (APG) and the Garuda Workers Union (Sekarga) met with State-Owned Enteprises Minister Rini Soemarno.
"We are committed to maintaining and improving the company's performance [...]," Pahala said in a press statement that was issued jointly with the two associations. "They have cancelled the planned strike and are committed to continuing the airline's operation."
Pahala said that the management and the associations were also gearing up for the hajj program that would commence on July 17, during which more than 200,000 pilgrims are expected to fly to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The agreement has put an end to the prolonged tension between the airline and its pilots and workers.
The two labor unions had threatened to go on strike in the second week of July if the management did not resolve the issues APG and Sekarga had raised, including mismanagement. (bbn)
Jakarta The management of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has asked the airline's pilots to return to the negotiation table after the latter renewed their threat to strike following disappointing results of earlier talks.
"Technically, we are in the process of negotiating. Management is urging the pilots to consider public interest, so we hope to the plan to strike is not realized," Garuda corporate secretary Hengki Heriandono said in Jakarta on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.
Earlier on Tuesday, Garuda Pilot Association (APG) chairman Bintang Hardiono said the association was preparing to go on strike because the pilots were dissatisfied with the mediation, which had been facilitated by Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.
Meanwhile, Luhut said he was no longer involved in the negotiations between the pilots and the management of the airline. He said further negotiations would be mediated by State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno.
He explained that he had completed his tasks, while a number of issues, including a change to the airline's board of directors, must be overseen by Minister Rini. "Let Minister Rini complete the negotiations," he added.
Previously, the APG had called for the restructuring of the airline's board of directors. (bbn)
Jakarta The Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry has defended its decision to give money to journalists after an event, following criticism from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), which accused the ministry of bribery.
The ministry said the monetary provision was in line with state regulations and that it was up to each journalist whether or not to accept it. The ministry said the money was not bribery but a form of "appreciation" for the journalists' work.
AJI wrote an open letter to the ministry on Saturday, criticizing the ministry for distributing money to journalists who attended the ministry's event on Friday night.
Chairman of the Jakarta chapter of AJI Asnil Bambani Amri said in the letter that AJI was first alerted to the alleged bribery when the ministry asked journalists to bring a copy of their NPWP, or taxpayer number card, in the invitation for the event, a "halal bihalal" or post-Idul Fitri friendly gathering.
Asnil said the invitation also asked each journalist to bring an "assignment letter" from their employer. Upon confirmation from a contact listed on the invitation, Asnil learned that each journalist was required to present their assignment letter to receive the "transportation and daily allowance".
Asnil said this information led to suspicions that the ministry may have attempted to bribe journalists. AJI said the offer was not in compliance with the Journalistic Code of Ethics (KEJ) of the Press Council, and violated the Press Law.
Tempo.co reported that ministry spokesperson Horison Mocodompis said the funds were an official allocation. "We need the assignment letter and the NPWP from all the participants so we can uphold the accountability [of the budget allocation]," Horison said.
"If it is considered a violation to the code of ethics, then on behalf of the public relations department of the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry, we apologize," Horison said. (stu)
M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta According to Anggawira, spokesman for Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno, Gerindra Party Chairman Prabowo Subianto has held a meeting with Anies to discuss the upcoming 2019 Presidential Election (Pilpres 2019).
"God willingly, the coalition party has accepted Anies as the candidate to run for the Prabowo's Vice Presidential candidacy," said Anggawira on Saturday, July 7.
Furthermore, Anggiwara explained that the formation will be further discussed in the next meeting between Prabowo and coalition party members. He claims that Anies is willing to accept any decision that is produced after the meeting is held.
The 2019 Presidential Election (Pilpres 2019) is set to commence in August of this year with the election's registration period. Prabowo, fully backed by Gerindra, must soon decide his running-mate considering the deadline is closing-in.
In a poll held by pollster Alvara, Anies Baswedan was considered to be the public's most desirable candidate to accompany Prabowo. The poll results showed that 60 percent out of 2,203 respondents prefer the Jakarta Governor as VP.
Anggawira said that Anies was chosen as he is perceived to be a young Islamic and nationalist leader. "Anies is currently the symbol of a brilliant nationalist Islam. Prabowo would of course agree on this and give his blessings," said Anggiwara.
Sakina Rakhma Diah Setiawan, Jakarta Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) chairperson Prabowo Subianto attended a friendly gathering and reunion of retired Red Beret (Kopassus Special Forces) officers at the Ciracas Sports Centre in Jakarta on Saturday July 7.
During the event the retired Kopassus officers expressed their support for Prabowo in the 2019 presidential election.
Organising committee chairperson Wardiman said that the officers greatly valued Prabowo's attendance at the reunion which was 'fired up' by Prabowo's presence.
"The presence of Bapak [Mr Prabowo] in our midst maintains our spirit, [the enthusiasm] of retired military officers", said Wardiman in his greetings to the event.
Representing the retired Kopassus officers, retired Lieutenant General Yayat Sudrajat took the opportunity to say that the current situation facing the country is of concern. This can be seen from many different aspects.
Because of this therefore, change is needed to improve the situation. Moreover, Sudrajat called on the retired Kopassus officers to support Prabowo as a candidate in the 2019 presidential election.
"Let us change the president in 2019, bring down the white-snouted black bull [the symbol of President Joko Widodo's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle], let us elect our national leadership in the context of a national and global strategy, [one that is] capable and courageous", said Sudrajat.
Prabowo arrived at the reunion at 9.45am, which was attended by more than 500 people representing members of the Fighters of the Greater Indonesia Retired Military Officers (Purnawirawan Pejuang Indonesia Raya, PPIR) which is affiliated with the Gerindra Party.
Prabowo himself is a former army officer whose military and educational career spanned 28 years. In 1994 Prabowo held the post of Kopassus Deputy Commander. Then in 1995-1996 he became the commander of Kopassus and in 1996-1998 the Kopassus General Commander.
Although it is not mentioned in the article, pictured sitting on the stage with Prabowo in the accompanying image is Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) president Said Iqbal whose union officially declared its support for Prabowo's presidential election bid on May Day this year.
According to a report by the Commission for Truth and Friendship of Indonesia and Timor Leste (CTF) from 2005 to 2008, in 1998 former military intelligence commander Lieutenant Colonel Yayat Sudrajat was one of the military officers involved in the formation of the East Timor pro-integration militia groups.
Adinda Normala, Jakarta Police and military officers have brushed off accusations of interference in last week's simultaneous regional elections and vowed to remain nonpartisan during the presidential election next year.
The neutrality of the Indonesian Military, the National Police and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) has been publicly questioned since former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono a press conference on June 23 that individuals from these institutions had tried to sabotage his Democratic Party to decrease its chances in the poll.
Former chief of the military, Gen. Moeldoko, who is now President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's chief of staff, said such accusations are normal during the time of elections.
"It's the public's right to criticize [...] But if we are constantly being accused, it irritates us, as there are have been no cases in which the military had forced anyone to chose any candidate," Moeldoko said on Thursday (05/07).
According to the Working Group on Political Security (P8), between 2015 and 2018, the president, police and military chiefs have pledged electoral neutrality 74 times.
While they, especially the military, used to be partisan during the authoritarian era of the New Order, which had incorporated them into the state bureaucracy, the law enforcement agencies have changed since two decades ago.
"The military's neutrality now depends on its chief. If the chief is not neutral, then his subordinates will be confused. That is why it's necessary for the leaders to have good intentions to ensure that all soldiers are neutral," Moeldoko said.
Fadil Imran, deputy chief of National Police's Nusantara Task Force, said that officers who interfere with elections will be punished.
"If you see a violation [by a member] of our institution, please make a report and not only share it in social media. [...] We don't want to be used as a political instrument," he said.
The task force, which collaborates with religious and community leaders, was established in January to cool ethno-religious tensions related to the regional election.
On June 20, Maluku Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Hasanuddin was dismissed from office after reports were filed accusing him of requesting that officers should support one gubernatorial candidate. According to Fadil, no similar cases had been recorded in other regions.
Titi Anggraini, executive director of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), said the law already imposes neutrality on the police and military, but some work still needs to be done to improve its implementation.
Guidelines for the police and military conduct during elections are outlined in the 2002 National Police Law, the 2004 Indonesian Military Law and the 2017 General Election law.
According to Titi, a recommendation by Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo to appoint high-ranking police officers as acting governors has stimulated public doubt.
In January, Tjahjo recommended to appoint Gen. Martuani Sormin, the police's head of internal affairs, as interim governor of North Sumatra, and former Jakarta Police chief Comr. Gen. M. Iriawan, now secretary of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas), as interim governor of West Java. While Martuani's appointment was canceled, Iriawan was inaugurated on June 18.
"There needs to be consistency between the statements and actions of the authorities, especially the police, otherwise they will always appear as non-neutral to the public," Titi told the Jakarta Globe.
M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta Gerindra Party Deputy Chairman Ferry Juliantono said it is impossible for the party to support Anies Baswedan as a presidential candidate for the election next year. However, the party opens the chance should the Jakarta Governor willing to be a running mate of Prabowo.
"It is possible [for Anies] as the vice; not as the presidential candidate, that is quite hard," said Ferry today in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN) earlier were said to form a coalition with Gerindra in 2019 Presidential Election and planned to back Anies Baswedan as a presidential candidate. Aside from that, the Democrat Party reportedly planned to also support Anies.
PKS strived to carry out Anies as the running mate of West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan. Meanwhile, Democrat Party wanted to support Anies with its party's executive member Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono. Meanwhile, Prabowo had said he would welcome Anies as a presidential candidate.
On the other hand, Ferry said Gerindra persisted to support Prabowo as a presidential candidate and Anies Baswedan as the vice as he deemed to be well-suited to accompany the party's chair. However, the decision is on the hand of Prabowo, he added.
Suherdjoko, Semarang The Central Java Police have deployed 600 officers and 200 personnel from the Indonesian Military (TNI) on Friday to anticipate mass mobilization following the results of the regional election on June 27.
Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Condro Kirono, accompanied by Diponegoro commander Maj. Gen. Wuryanto, said they had prevented the plan to mobilize the crowd in Temanggung.
He said tensions had also arisen in Tegal, Central Java, where the police also heard about a plan to mobilize those unhappy with the election results to take to the streets.
"In Tegal we advised the unhappy candidate pairs to take the legal avenue at the Constitutional Court to [dispute the results]," he said.
Muhammad Al Khadziq and Heri Ibnu Wibowo, endorsed by Gerindra, the United Development Party (PPP), Golkar and the National Mandate Party (PAN), won the election with 258,734 votes, or 54 percent the vote.
He beat two pairs: Bambang Sukarno-Matoha (the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle [PDI-P] and the National Awakening Party [PKB]) and Haryo Dewandono-Irawan Prasetyadi (NasDem, Hanura and the Democratic Party).
In Tegal, Dedy Yon-Jumadi, endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Gerindra and the PPP, won the election with 28 percent of the vote. They won by only 271 votes, over Habib Ali-Tanty Prasetyaningrum, endorsed by the PKB and NasDem.
Habib and Tanty filed a dispute against the election result with the Constitutional Court on Thursday.
All 35 regencies and municipalities holding regional elections this year finished counting the ballots on Friday, Condro said. (evi)
Anton Hermansyah, Jakarta President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave his Cabinet ministers permission on Friday to leave their jobs temporarily to campaign for the 2019 legislative election.
Jokowi said a number of ministers in his administration were also politicians who were likely to receive mandates from their political parties.
"I suppose it is understandable if [the ministers] are assigned by their parties to run as legislative candidates," Jokowi said on Friday. "However, no one has yet to convey their [intention to run in the election] to me."
He added that the ministers did not have to resign but they did have to request leave. The President said other ministers could take over the job temporarily.
The General Elections Commission (KPU) has opened registration for legislative candidates from July 4 to 17 and the verification is set to take place from July 5 to 18. The results of the verification will be announced from July 19 to 21.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, a member of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), and Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri of the National Awakening Party (PKB), are contesting for legislative seats. (evi)
Sheany & Amal Ganesha, Jakarta As the dust starts to settle after last week's regional elections, several takeaways have emerged for the next year's legislative and presidential elections.
For one, Indonesian voters have shown a new level of political maturity, choosing candidates primarily on their personal integrity and ability, instead of party affiliation. The election results also allay concerns that religious and ethnic sentiments would continue to take center stage in Indonesian politics.
What the outcome of the latest regional elections does not provide, is a clear path for next year's presidential election. Political parties still play an important role in elections, as executive candidates must secure support from at least 20 percent of legislative seats, but there is no guarantee that a bigger coalition base will necessarily secure victory.
"This election reconfirms previous findings that the power of specific candidates is more influential compared with their affiliation to certain political parties," said Deni Irvani, research director at Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC).
In West Java for example, gubernatorial candidate Sudrajat and his running mate Ahmad Syaikhu had the largest support base among all candidates, with endorsements from the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN). But they lost to former Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil and his running mate Uu Ruzhanul Ulum, who were endorsed by the National Awakening Party (PKB), National Democratic Party (NasDem), People's Conscience Party (Hanura) and United Development Party (PPP).
The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) teamed up with the opposition PKS and PAN on a national level to barely pass the parliamentary threshold in South Sulawesi. But their candidate, Nurdin Abdullah, who distinguished himself as head of Bantaeng district, easily won the province's gubernatorial race.
Philips J. Vermonte, executive director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said Indonesian voters are showing a new level of maturity in their voting behavior.
"Voters are more mature when choosing their regional leaders and it seems to indicate that qualities of good governance are catching on, so voters will choose candidates showing such potential," Vermonte said.
Exit polls by the SMRC of nearly 7,000 respondents in West Java, Central Java, East Java, North Sumatra, West Kalimantan and South Sulawesi, showed that party affiliation of voters does not directly translate into them choosing leaders based on party endorsement.
Rizka Halida, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Indonesia, said voters find it easier to process the quality of each individual candidate.
A candidate's perceived integrity and ability alone are most often enough to overcome negative perceptions based on religious or ethnic sentiments.
Newly elected West Java Governor Ridwan was able to overcome being painted by his opponents his as un-Islamic. Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi will most likely also be re-elected despite opposition from Islamic hardliners over his decision to approve the building of a Catholic church, which the West Java city has been blocking for almost two decades.
Vermonte said the divisive 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election had set an example for political parties and their candidates to take a more balanced approach this time around, thus nationalistic candidates were paired with more religious figures.
"We must appreciate that there was self-censorship from the elite to eliminate potential friction," he said.
How these results would translate in next year's legislative and presidential elections is less straightforward. Parties fluidly join or oppose each other in different regions with no clear ideological distinction, "making it impossible for voters to evaluate candidates or their parties more critically," Vermonte said.
For President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and retired army general Prabowo Subianto, who are likely to have rematch in next year's election, the question is how they can find running mates that would leverage grassroots support, particularly in the country's most populous regions.
The Islamic opposition coalition also surprised with its showing in the West Java and Central Java provincial elections as its candidates doubled their support on election day in comparison with what pre-election surveys had us believe.
In reflecting on his defeat, Dedi Mulyadi, Golkar Party's deputy gubernatorial candidate in West Java, said candidates should not rely on the mass media or even social media to polish their image, but on networks of volunteers or party members campaigning on grassroots level.
"Analysis of what many experts missed in West Java election: There was a changing phenomenon, with image politics having turned into territorial guerrilla politics. Moving towards the 2019 presidential election, Golkar and other parties supporting Jokowi should also be aware of this," Dedi said.
However, Arizka Warganegara, a political analyst at Lampung University, said conventional campaigns will remain effective in the upcoming presidential election, as they encompass Indonesia's vast geography. Based on the 2014 presidential election, endorsements of allies, ranging from local and religious leaders to popular artists, would also help shape the image of presidential candidates.
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta Former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono could become the kingmaker that would decide whether Prabowo Subianto or Anies Baswedan would emerge as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's rival in the upcoming presidential election.
Gerindra Party announced on Thursday evening that party patron Prabowo and Yudhoyono, often referred to as SBY, would be meeting soon to discuss its proposal to pair the former commander of the Army's Special Forces with Yudhoyono's eldest son and political heir apparent, Agus Harimurti.
The proposal emerged amid reports that the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN) Gerindra's closest allies and critical to Prabowo's chances at being nominated were considering Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan instead of Prabowo as their presidential candidate.
Without PAN and PKS, Gerindra would have to join forces with the Democratic Party to field Prabowo in the election, as it only has 13 percent of seats in the House of Representatives, 7 percent short of the minimum presidential threshold.
A coalition between Gerindra and the Democrats, if one materialized, would force PAN and PKS to join either the Prabowo camp or the Jokowi camp, as the parties do not have enough combined votes to contest the election.
On Thursday evening, Yudhoyono sent his surrogate Syarief Hasan to Prabowo's residence in Kertanegara, South Jakarta, to set the terms of the meeting between the two political bigwigs.
According to Democrat deputy secretary-general Andi Arief, Prabowo made an offer for Agus to run for the vice presidency alongside him. "The party will discuss [the proposal] internally," Andi said in a statement hours after Syarif's meeting with Prabowo.
"We hope there will be a major meeting between SBY and Prabowo soon, after we have reached an agreement on the [structure] of our coalition and whether Agus will be the vice presidential candidate, like Prabowo said," he added.
It is unclear if Yudhoyono will accept Gerindra's proposal, as he and Prabowo have had a rocky relationship. During the 2014 presidential election, when Prabowo ran against former Jakarta governor Jokowi, Yudhoyono chose to remain neutral.
The Democrats, which reportedly failed to persuade Vice President Jusuf Kalla to run with Agus against Jokowi, has floated the idea of pairing Agus with Anies with the backing of PKS and PAN.
"The option [to pair Anies] with Agus has emerged among the cadres, although it's not as strong as the Kalla-Agus option. The party is now mulling several other options. It could be Anies-Agus, [Gatot Nurmantyo]-Agus, or another option. The cadres have [voiced] many aspirations and we are listening to them," Democrat executive Ferdinand Hutahaean said on Thursday.
Also on Thursday evening, Yudhoyono met with PAN chairman Zulkifli Hasan to discuss a possible coalition. "Neither of us [Democrats and PAN] can walk alone. We need to form a coalition," said Zulkifli. "But that doesn't always mean that we will team up with the Democrats. The discussion is still ongoing."
Meanwhile, Gerindra deputy chairman Ferry Juliantono said the party was upbeat that the coalition talks with the Democrats had been positive. "[Prabowo and SBY] will meet soon," he said, adding, "Syarif's visit has boosted our spirits." (ahw)
In the lead up to the deadline for the registration of presidential and vice-presidential candidates on August 10, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan's name is increasingly being cited by a number of political parties.
With his popularity and electability continuing to grow [according to political surveys], he is attracting the attention of the political parties wanting to back him in the 2019 presidential election.
The Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN), the two Islamic based parties that are closest to Prabowo Subianto's Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), are considering putting forward Baswedan as a presidential candidate in 2019.
Although both parties already have a number of names in their pockets as prospective presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Baswedan's name nevertheless has never slipped from their attention.
Take PKS central leadership board chairperson Mardani Ali Sera for example. He does not deny that Baswedan could become a presidential candidate with potential, although his name has yet to be discussed by the party's advisory board. "Mas [Brother] Anies is one of the potential presidential candidates who has a bright future. It is natural [therefore] if many parties want him to step forward as a candidate. The PKS has a close relationship with Mas Anies", said Sera in an SMS message on Wednesday July 4.
A similar response was given by PAN central leadership board chairperson Yandri Susanto. Susanto even said that PAN has prepared three scenarios for alternative presidential and vice-presidential candidates all of which include the name Baswedan.
"It could be Prabowo-Anies, Prabowo-Bang Zul [PAN chairperson Zulkifli Hasan], Anies-Gatot [former armed forces chief Gatot Nurmantyo], Gatot-Anies. It depends on later discussions at the coalition level on how it goes down", said Susanto at PAN's headquarters on Jl. Senopati in South Jakarta on Thursday July 5.
Jakarta State Islamic University (UIN) political observer Adi Prayitno explained that the fact that Baswedan's name is so often mentioned by these two political parties is a signal that the PKS and PAN are actually reluctant to nominate Prabowo as a presidential candidate.
According to Prayitno, although Gerindra is convinced that Prabowo is the one and only candidate that should be backed, this however has yet to be confirmed by the PKS and PAN.
"The PKS has stipulated that Anies be nominated as the vice-presidential candidate. But the PKS has also asked that Pak [Mr] Prabowo be the 'king maker'", said Prayitno when contacted by Kumparan on Thursday.
Prayitno said that so far, although Gerindra is close to and stipulated that it will form a coalition with the PKS and PAN, officially the three political parties have not yet agreed to back Prabowo.
"Gerindra supports Prabowo unconditionally. But their coalition partners have yet to agree on this. The PKS does not want to lose face, they are endorsing Anies", he said.
Prayitno said that it is not impossible that the PKS and PAN will "abandon" Prabowo and back Baswedan as their presidential candidate. Moreover, if these two parties are serious about backing Baswedan, this could become a threat to Prabowo himself.
"If the PKS and PAN are serious, it's a warning for Prabowo. Because it's not just the public right, but the PKS and PAN have seats [in the parliament]. An Anies-AHY [Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono] ticket could also pose a threat to Prabowo. And he could fail to be nominated. Gerindra needs one other political party [to reach the presidential threshold], so this cannot be considered insignificant", he said.
Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta Hundreds gathered on Monday morning to protest at a martabak food stall belonging to the President's eldest son in Solo, Central Java, where they held an anti-government rally in support of the #2019GantiPresident (#2019ChangePresident) hashtag.
The Markobar food stall, which sells martabak (a sweet or savory pancake), is the first business that Gibran Rakabuming Raka, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son, has owned.
In a video @Muslim_Bersatu uploaded to Twitter, the rally participants are seen standing in the middle of the street, right in front of Markobar. Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with #2019GantiPresident (#2019ChangePresident), the protesters are heard yelling that they will elect a new president in 2019.
"We will protect the nation's sovereignty by changing the President in 2019. We want sharia to be enforced in Indonesia," one protester said, ending with "Allahuakbar" (God is great).
Netizen Mas Piyu using the Twitter handle @maspiyuuu posted a picture of the rally with the caption: "AMAZING. Solo residents declared #2019ChangePresident in front of Jokowi's son Markobar store."
Gibran, however, appeared to have remained calm as seen from Markobar's response to the rally on its official Twitter account (@markobar1996).
"Thank you for queueing since the morning. The delightfulness of Markobar, the pioneer of sweet martabak with premium topping, has been proven #eatsharehappiness," the tweet read.
Many netizens viewed the tweet as funny and clever, as Gibran had used the rally to promote Markobar and its product, instead of responding with anger. Markobar's "marketing message" has been retweeted more than 2,700 times to date.
Markobar also posted a composite picture that showed the rally participants standing in front of the stall in their #2019ChangePresident T-shirts, along with an image of Gibran's face with a speech bubble in informal Indonesian saying: "Oh no, you came too early guys... Markobar isn't open yet..."
Eko Kuntadhi (@eko_kunthadi) commented on his Twitter account that the protesters were afraid that they would come up against martabak in the 2019 presidential election.
"Why did they demonstrate in front of Markobar? Because they are afraid that if their presidential candidate ran against martabak, the people will choose martabak," he tweeted.
Gibran seems to have stuck to his role in running a small business and has used Monday's event as a marketing strategy, flooding the Markobar account with tweets about the stall and its products. (ebf)
Rezki Alvionitasari, Jakarta Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) offered Anies Baswedan and Ahmad Heryawan as presidential and vice presidential candidates to Gerindra party and others for the presidential election next year. The names were brought up in the simulation of presidential candidacy held by PKS today, July 3.
"Anies' name has been made around in PKS internal since times ago," said PKS official Suhud Aliyudin today via a phone call. During consideration process, many cadres expected Anies to run in the election despite the name was not listed in the nine candidates since the latter was not the party's member.
Recently, Gerindra suggested the party coalition willing to accept the candidates outside the list. "We respond it that it is unfortunate should Pak Anies becomes the vice presidential candidate because our efforts to win it is huge; involving the community." Thus, PKS offered Anies Baswedan as a presidential candidate with Ahmad Heryawan as his running mate.
According to Suhud, PKS was determined to offer Anies-Aher ticket should Prabowo or Gerindra suggested Anies as the vice presidential candidate.
Suhud admitted PKS had yet officially offered any candidate to Gerindra considering both parties had not had meetings on the matter following the regional head elections or Pilkada. Aside from Anies and Aher, Gatot Nurmantyo and Chairul Tanjung were also brought up during the simulation.
PKS was aware of its capacity which could not support its own candidates for the 2019 presidential election. "We have only 7 percent of the national vote," Suhud mentioned, "So we offer many alternatives, one of which is the Anies-Aher ticket."
The Indonesian rupiah is still in the midst of a weeks-long slide against the US dollar, with the exchange rate nearing IDR14,500 today its worst performance since October 2015. As expected, this has become political fodder for the opposition to attack President Joko Widodo's government.
One may remember the time from 2009-2012 when the rupiah traded around or below IDR10K to the US dollar, and Gerindra, the government's main opposition party, believes they can bring about a return to those days if Indonesia elects their chairman, Prabowo Subianto, in next year's presidential election.
Gerindra Vice Chairman Arief Poyuono today blamed the rupiah's condition on the government's failure to predict global economic trends, as economists say the decrease in the value of the rupiah (as well as many other world currencies) was caused by a global emerging market sell-off triggered by higher US interest rates.
Arief also said that Bank Indonesia's preemptive measures to stabilize the rupiah, such as by repeatedly raising interest rates in the past few weeks, have proven to be ineffective.
"It's all guess work without any deep analysis and consideration of President Donald Trump's economic policies, which are very aggressive and American-minded," he said, as quoted by JPNN.
Arief then said that Gerindra has an effective solution, but will only reveal it to the public under one condition.
"We know how to return the rupiah to around IDR10,000 per US dollar. If Prabowo is elected president, we'll make it happen. Unlike Joko Widodo who previously said the dollar will be under IDR10,000 but instead it's rocketing towards IDR15,000," he said.
Although Gerindra has nominated Prabowo as their candidate for next year election (setting up a rematch of his 2014 presidential race against Jokowi), his candidacy hasn't been made official yet as Gerindra still needs to secure a coalition with other political parties to surpass the presidential threshold requirement.
The next Indonesian presidential election and general election will take place on April 17, 2019.
Erwin Prima, Jakarta Sixth Indonesian president-cum-Democrat Party chairman Susilo "SBY" Bambang Yudhoyono has publicly complained about the way the military (TNI) and the police dealt with the 2018 regional elections, or Pilkada, which he said was prejudiced.
Tempo readers have shown high interest in the same issue brought to light by SBY in our latest poll, which was held from June 25 to July 2. The voters were split on how Indonesia's police and the TNI handled the simultaneous regional elections.
Out of 1,184 Tempo.co readers participating in the poll, 627 people (52.96 percent) viewed that the country's police and the TNI were neutral in the elections, while 518 people (43.75 percent) considered both institutions to be biased, and 39 people (3.29 percent) were undecided.
However, during a press conference on the West Java gubernatorial candidacy campaign on June 23, SBY had openly alleged that Indonesia's intelligence (BIN), the TNI and the police were partisan in the elections.
"What I am saying here is the elements of prejudice shown not by the institutions, but by certain individuals at BIN, the TNI and the police," said SBY in Bogor on Saturday, June 23.
SBY further explained that the lack of independence was evident during the Jakarta gubernatorial election, where Sylviana Murni, the deputy governor hopeful the Democrat backed, were repeatedly summoned by the police.
SBY went on to say that there was also attempted incrimination against him in the case that led to the imprisonment of Antasari Azhar, a former Corruption Eradication Commission chief.
Presidential chief of staff Moeldoko has shrugged off SBY's allegations. "I can guarantee the neutrality of the TNI and the police," he said.
Jakarta A physical clash escalated on Sunday between sympathizers of sole candidate Munafri Arifuddin-Andi Rahmatika Dewi (Appi-Cicu) and "empty candidate" supporters during the vote recapitulation for the district-level Makassar mayoral election in South Sulawesi.
Ballots in Wednesday's regional elections included an empty box without a candidate in regions where only a sole candidate pair were running.
The clashes took place at around 11 p.m. local time on Sunday in two different locations, at the Mariso and Bontoala district offices, kompas.com reported. Metro TV video journalist Faisal Wahab was reportedly wounded by a rock that was hurled while he was covering one of the clashes.
The incident began when Appi-Cicu supporters observed acting Mariso district head Juliawan arriving at the district office, where the final vote count was taking place on Sunday evening. A clash then erupted between Appi-Cicu and "empty candidate" voters following suspicions over alleged manipulation of the C1 forms, which records the final vote count.
The angry mob later expelled Juliawan from the district office, but the situation continued to escalate.
The arrival of dozens of Pemuda Pancasila (PP) youth organization members in their orange-and-black camouflage uniforms aggravated the situation. Tension between the two opposing groups grew, and they started throwing rocks at each other.
Metro TV's Faisal, who was covering the vote recapitulation, was wounded by a rock that hit his forehead, and was treated at Makassar's Bhayangkara Hospital.
Clashes also broke out as the final vote count commenced on Sunday in several other areas, including in the districts of Tallo and Tamalanrea. (stu/ebf)
Dewi Nurita, Jakarta Gerindra Party Secretary-General Ahmad Muzani said his party insists to propose Prabowo Subianto as a presidential candidate. "Yes, the presidential candidate is still Pak Prabowo now," he said at his house in Kemang, Jakarta, Sunday, July 1.
Muzani said it was to respond to Amien Rais who declared by the Coalition of Ummat Madani Center (KUM) as the 2019 presidential candidate. KUM declared the Chairman of the National Mandate Party Mandate (PAN) due to inspired by the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's victory.
KUM assessed that the figure of Amien Rais who is still 19 years younger than Mahathir is suitable to lead the government. "The 93-year-old Mahathir was able to subvert Najib as an incumbent with great funding," advocate Eggy Sudjana read the declaration at Al Jazeerah Restaurant, East Jakarta, Saturday, June 30.
Muzani said the Gerindra Party respected the KUM declaration. He said everyone has rights to declare a candidate. "Yes it is the right of people to declare anybody," he said.
Despite rejecting the senior figure of PAN as a presidential candidate, Muzani said his party's relationship with PAN is still good, even with the PKS.
Both parties are said to be in coalition with Gerindra to propose Prabowo as the 2019 presidential candidate. But PKS and PAN have not explicitly declared a coalition with Gerindra.
Muzani said the communication between Gerindra, PAN and PKS is still good. He said he was in the stage of making a more solid coalition to propose Prabowo. "A stronger coalition," he said.
Meanwhile, Muzani said that he is still discussing the figure of the vice presidential candidate who will be proposed. He said the discussion between the coalition parties about the vice presidential candidates will be held this week. "In God's willing, the results will be submitted to the community," he said.
Ahmad Rafiq, Solo Approximately two thousand people followed the rally which took the start and finish at Solo West City Square on Sunday, July 1. Most of the rally participants wore attributes marked #2019GantiPresiden (#2019ChangePresident).
The rally took the route along 3,5 kilometers through the protocol road in the city. The participants were released by the Chairman of the Syariah Council of Surakarta City Muinudinillah and actress-turned-politician Neno Warisman.
Neno Warisman who was also involved in the making of #2019GantiPresiden's song admitted appreciating the event that was held in Solo. "This is the first area outside Jakarta to successfully roll out the #2019GantiPresident movement," Neno said.
She mentioned that the movement was not related to a particular party. "#2019GantiPresiden is not a party, organization or mass organization, but purely a movement," she said. She also said that the activity did not violate the constitution.
One of the organizing committees, Endro Sudarsono also said that the event was not related to the election of regional heads and governors. "We consider the election activities have finished," said Endro.
The rally, according to him, was held as a socialization event to find the best country leader. "There needs to be a change of leadership to improve the country," Endro said.
However, Endro is reluctant to mention exactly whom the replacement candidate to offer. "This moment is also used to discuss the best replacement candidate," he said.
Vindry Florentin, Jakarta According to the CEO of Saiful Mujani Research Center (SMRC) Djayadi Hanan, Anies Baswedan is one of the potential candidates against the incumbent President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in the 2019 Presidential Election. However, the chances for Anies depend on many things.
Anies is said to have bigger chances so long the opposition coalition of Jokowi remains solid. Should the opposition support more than one candidate, it will be difficult to win over Jokowi's party.
Djayadi said Anies needs support from great figures to form a solid coalition against the incumbent. "If Anies willing to run as a presidential candidate, he should get an endorsement from great figures other than Jokowi who is now Prabowo," said Djayadi at his office, Jakarta, Thursday, July 5.
According to Djayadi, the former rector of Paramadina University will likely have more chances to challenge Jokowi if Prabowo takes a step down and support him. "The voice for Prabowo can be diverted to Anies," he said.
However, aside from that, Anies must have higher electability rate than Jokowi's to win the election. Based on the SMRC survey, the public has positive perceptions towards the government's performance thus far.
Djayadi called on the opposition party of Jokowi to wisely decide its presidential and vice presidential candidate. The party coalition against Jokowi becomes a vital key. "If the non-incumbent wants victory, it should support only one candidate," he added.
The registration of presidential and vice presidential candidate for the 2019 election starts on August 4-10, 2018. Jokowi is backed by PDIP, Golkar Party, NasDem Party, PPP, and Hanura as well as two new parties Perindo and PSI.
On the other hand, the opposition party is not solid yet. Gerindra and PKS stated to form a coalition with a condition that the vice presidential ticket will belong to PKS cadre. Meanwhile, Democratic party suggested a third coalition which considered by PAN chairman Zulkifli Hasan as hard to create.
Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemkominfo) has confirmed that they have officially blocked access to Tik Tok, an app used for making and sharing short music videos, starting yesterday afternoon.
"A lot of the content (on Tik Tok) is negative, especially for children," Rudiantara, head of Kemkominfo, told Detik yesterday when asked why the app had been blocked. "There are some things that are indecent, not educational and just not appropriate for children."
Tik Tok, created by Chinese developer Toutiao, has become one of the fastest growing apps in the world with about 150 million active users daily. The main function of the app gives users the ability to create and edit 15-second music videos, but it's Tik Tok's social media aspects that have propelled it to become one of the most popular in the world, especially among children.
Indonesia has stringent Internet censorship guidelines, especially relating to pornographic content. However, despite some allegation of users posting videos featuring provocative dancing in inappropriate clothing, it would appear that Tik Tok's current censorship and reporting system already does a good job of keeping nudity and other explicitly pornographic content off the app.
So what is the "negative content" that Rudiantara was referring to? According to him, Kemkominfo had received 2,853 reports from the public regarding the app and the decision to block it came after consultations with the Ministry of Women and Children's Empowerment and the Indonesian Child Protection Commission.
Another Kemkominfo spokesperson did say that the app has been reported for pornography and religious harassment among other violations, but did not give more specifics.
Some Indonesian netizens had been pushing the government to enact the ban, with one Change.org petition having garnered over 140,000 signatures. One example of Tik Tok's negative influence on children mentioned by the petition is a video of one young girl dancing to Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" before cutting to her mourning over the body of a dead relative.
The petition also makes reference to videos in which young girls dance while showing their aurat (the Islamic term for parts of the body that should be covered for the sake of modesty) which we suspect is where the reports of alleged pornography come from.
Rudiantara noted that Kemkominfo has previously banned Bigo, a live-streaming video app, over negative content, but that they lifted the ban after the app's developer promised to put in place additional safeguards. He suggested it would be possible for Tik Tok's developers to do the same.
Unlike many of Kemkominfo's previous blocks of popular apps such as Telegram and websites such as Tumblr, a significant number of Indonesians seem to support the ban on Tik Tok, with many arguing that the app was useless, a waste of time and a bad influence on children.
A seemingly smaller number of netizens have spoken out against the ban, usually on the principle that the app already had internal censorship and reporting systems and that parents should be the ones responsible for protecting their children from content they deem inappropriate.
It is not uncommon for Indonesian parents to give their kids condensed milk mixed with water as a substitute for regular milk. This might seem like a reasonable action based purely on the product's name, but as anybody who has ever looked at the nutritional label on a can of condensed milk could tell you, the viscous white liquid inside is incredibly unhealthy and primarily composed of sugar.
Parents who give condensed milk to kids as a milk substitute could be blamed for their ignorance, but in Indonesia they're also the victims of a massive marketing effort that for decades has deceptively sold parents on the idea that condensed milk was a healthy and cheap alternative to regular milk for their children. Just check out the labels on these condensed milk cans, a common sight in Indonesian markets.
That sort of dangerously misleading marketing will hopefully become a thing of the past now that the Indonesian government's Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) has released a new set of regulations limiting how condensed milk producers can present their products to the public.
BPOM recently released a circular to the industry outlining these new regulations. At the top it states: "In order to protect consumers, especially children, from false and misleading information, adequate protection measures are required."
The four regulations contained in the circular are:
The circular says condensed milk producers, importers and distributors must comply with the new regulations within six months.
House of Representatives Commission IX member Suryani Chaniago said she was pleased with BPOM's decision to issue the circular, saying she had been criticizing the condensed milk industry for years, calling it a scam.
"Since two years ago, Commission IX has criticized (the industry) because, in addition to their products not containing cow's milk, it turns out that these sweetened condensed milk products contain more than 40% sugar. So in addition to damaging the teeth, this product also has none of the nutritional content of milk. Only containing 8% milk fat. Of course this can be categorized as public fraud!" Suryani told Detik yesterday.
Reza Gunadha Many academics, intellectuals and Indonesian youth can speak fluently on the historical ideas of ancient Greece and modern Europe.
But when speaking about the history of their own nation, they are unsure and hesitant or just parrot historical texts or mainstream literature and thus fail to understand the history of their own country.
At least that is the criticism put forward by Max Lane, an Indonesianist from Australia and the first person to translate Pramoedya Ananta Toer's Buru Quartet into English.
The Buru Quartet is a popular term for the four novels by Indonesia's foremost author: This Earth of Mankind (Bumi Manusia), Child of All Nations (Anak Semua Bangsa), Footsteps (Jejak Langkah) and House of Glass (Rumah Kaca).
"The [Indonesian] people struggled and sacrificed making a great effort to achieve independence [from the Dutch]. But what did they want after independence?", asked Max during a discussion at the launch of his new book "Indonesia is not Present on this Earth of Mankind" (Indonesia Tidak Hadir di Bumi Indonesia) at the Cipta Gallery III at the Taman Ismail Marzuk Cultural Centre in Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Saturday August 12, 2017.
As an Indonesianist a foreign academic who has specialises in studying Indonesia Max's typology is unique. He doesn't just conduct research, publish articles and attend one seminar after another, but he is also active in the grass-roots democratic movement in Indonesia. He is an activist himself.
The pages of mainstream Indonesian history books do not record Max's name as being part of the historical progression of social change from the authoritarian New Order (Orba) regime of former president Suharto. But for the exponents of the mass movements of the 1980s until 1998, Max can be said to be a fellow traveler.
In the 1990s, when the Suharto regime was still firmly in power, Max took part in the publication of the tabloid Green Left Weekly in Australia.
Through this tabloid, Max published critical analysis about the Indonesian government or reportage on human rights violations by the military.
Likewise it was Max who courageously began the project of translating Pram's works into English so that the international community could have an alternative perspective on Indonesia's history and likewise the Dutch colonial era which, as it turned out, would be inherited by the administrations in the eras that followed.
Max also expressed the irony that in many other countries, Pram's works are taught in high-school, yet in Indonesia itself, Pram's works are not included in the educational curriculum.
According to Max, the government is afraid of the younger generation becoming acquainted with Pram and the works of other great Indonesian authors. This is because if they read such literature, the ordinary people will also learn about the real history of the national struggle for independence.
Suara.com journalists Abdus Soemadh from the Central Java city of Yogyakarta had an opportunity to conduct a special interview with Max Lane last week.
During the interview, Max related the story of his involved journey with all of the problematic issues faced by Indonesia since the 1970s, when he first visited this country.
He also revealed how to really understand Indonesia through the works of the people silenced by those in power through Pramoedya's Buru Quartet.
The full interview follows:
When was the first time you came to Indonesia, and what did you work as?
I came to Indonesia in 1969 as an Indonesian studies student at the University of Sydney. I was in Indonesia for almost a year that time round. I was routinely visiting for one to four months. I moved house a lot, traveling around seeing Indonesia, mostly Bali and Java. I also went to Singapore and Malaysia.
When did you first meet Pramoedya and where?
The first time I met Pram was in 1980 at Utan Kayu in Jakarta. I was introduced to him by a friend who was once Pram's student when they studied at the Res Publika University (which was destroyed when Suharto began taking over power).
I met him in the 1980s after he had been released from Buru Island [prison camp]. We chatted about many things, too many to remember. He related his many life experiences when he was arrested, sometimes he talked about Indonesian history, Indonesian politics. He related many things.
What in your opinion was Pram like?
Pram was an extraordinary person. He wrote really good books. He talked a lot about his experiences. I think that This Earth of Mankind and the Buru Quartet were best of his works.
There is no rival to Pram's books about Indonesia's origins. The essence of his works is the question, "where did Indonesia come from? Following this he begins to write about this. Yes, he wrote all of this on Buru Island. But, he compiled the material for his writings long before this.
How did you come to be the translator of the Buru Quartet, where was it published? And what were the ins-and-outs of the translation?
I met Pram in the 1980s. At the time I was working at the Australian Embassy [in Jakarta]. Bung [brother] Yoesoef Ishak a former Buru Island political prisoner and founder of Hasta Mitra (the first publisher in Indonesia to publish Pram's works) first showed me the text of Pram's Buru Quartet.
At the time, I read through it very quickly, in one night, because I was infatuated [by the story]. The next day I talked to them about translating the work into English.
Prior to this, I had already translated WS Rendra's (dramatic) story "The Struggle of the Naga Tribe". I told Bung Yoesoef and his friends that I was very enthusiastic about translating Pram's books.
After I'd translated them, I took them overseas and they were published by Penguin Books (an English publisher founded in 1935) in Australia and the United States.
(Max then shows us the first English edition of This Earth of Mankind published by Penguin Books.)
What were the difficulties you faced in translating Pram's Buru Quartet?
There were difficulties, namely that Pram said to me that he wanted his works to be able to be read widely, so the language should not be convoluted.
If you want to see the Indonesian-ness and irony of Indonesia, it's not always easy in Pram's works. It's not easy. Because, these Asian literary works, which have stayed in print for more than 35 years, are regarded as being quite amazing, that they are still being read.
During the translation of This Earth of Mankind I was working in Jakarta. The rest were done in Canberra, Australia. I translated the four books over six years more or less.
What did you learn from Pram's Buru Quartet?
People who seriously want to understand Indonesia, they should read Pram's books. Many foreign readers say that if you want to understand Indonesia, read Pram's books. If Indonesian people want to understand Indonesia, they have to read Pram's works too.
Pram's Buru Quartet conveys the idea that 70 years before he wrote his books, the Indonesian people did not exist on the face of this earth.
Indonesia only existed on the face of this earth because of its own history, which is recorded in the quartet. Because, Pram wanted everybody to know, that in order for Indonesia to be able to move forward, they must study and familiarise themselves with the history of their own nation in a way that his true and honest.
Essentially, people must understand that it was the ordinary people who created something that did not yet exist. The ordinary people created Indonesia, not the elite class.
Do you think that his works should be read in sequence?
It's best if they're read in sequence, because that is to read the character's story (Minke Raden Tirto Adhisoerjo) from when he was young until his death. It's very important to read it in order. In the fourth chapter (House of Glass) it contains parts which related back to the first chapter (This Earth of Mankind). People won't be able to understand This Earth of Mankind if they don't read all of his works in sequence.
Indeed This Earth of Mankind tells the story in Minke's voice, but which of Minke's voices? That is the question. People will only know the answer to this question if they read chapters three and four, especially chapter four. So, it's important to read them in sequence.
What do you know about Pram at the time he was drafting the Buru Quartet texts?
Pram related how before the 1965 affair, he had already complied a lot of materials, pre-Indonesia historical stories.
For example, he sought out and collected copies of the newspaper Medan Prijaji (the first newspaper managed by the Indonesian nation, namely Tirto Adhisoerjo). Other writings of the same period. He studied and conducted research. Pram's writings in many newspapers in the 1960s were actually a result of his research on Indonesia's national history.
Were there any consequences for you as a non-Indonesian national who was close to Pram and translated his works when the Orba was still firmly in power?
There were some consequences. There was a squabble with the Australian Embassy because it was deemed inappropriate, not okay.
They said it isn't fitting for an Embassy staff member to translate banned books. If you want to do that then don't work [for us] in Indonesia, that was the message from the Australian ambassador at the time.
After several months of not really fitting in at the Australian Foreign Affairs Department I left. After that I concentrated fully on translating Pram's works, until all my savings were gone. I found another job in Australia to pay for all the expenses.
What do you know about the Buru Island Quartet's position among groups in the movement to overthrow Suharto?
Many facts. The books were published in Indonesia [starting] in 1981. So from 1965 to 1981, everyone who Suharto disposed of on Buru Island was deemed by the public as being ruthless criminals. From members of the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party], leftist groups, Sukarnoists [followers of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno], all were branded evil. That was the propaganda of the Orba.
But, after the Buru Quartet was published, Indonesia's youth, particularly students in the Orba era became more aware. It turned out [despite being banned] that the books were really good, democratic, filled with humanitarian messages, and most importantly the perception that the books were not the works of an evil person.
Moreover, groups at the time who had previously hated Pram said, "Perhaps those jailed on Buru Island are not evil people. This is a great book, perhaps those arrested were not evil, it's the Orba propaganda that's evil", and so forth.
Through Pram's Buru Quartet, students then began to explore Indonesia. They began to read left leaning books, such as the books of President Sukarno, and Pram.
It has to be acknowledged, that the essence of the Buru Quartet is resistance. Nyai Ontosoroh resisted. Minke resisted. Darsam resisted. It was only Annelies who didn't resist, and she was banished overseas then killed.
So these books teach the spirit of resisting injustice, feudalism, racism. Pram's books had a huge impact on those who read them.
In the books it also articulates the importance of writing. So, in the 1980s and 1990s, many activists began to understand about developing literacy and an organisation. The books also became a guide on how to fool intel [intelligence officers] and the police.
Because of this, the books became a source of spirit to resist, and at the same time became a guide on the need to work to build an organisation and publish a newspaper, how to confront the power of the police and intel.
In Chapter 4, House of Glass, it teaches how intel and the police hunt down and kill Minke. It's important for activists and Non-Government Organisations to read this.
Did you know that This Earth of Mankind is be made into a film by [prominent Indonesian filmmaker] Hanung Bramantyo? Do you agree with him making it into a film?
It should have been made in to a film a long time ago, but there was no one who was up to it, there is already a version of the film overseas. It is indeed time, it should have been done long ago. Yes during the Orba period it was impossible. Hopefully it won't be censored.
If you want to make the film about Minke, then try focusing on Nyai Ontosoroh's story, that would be an approach that could be adapted. The other approach would be to put the main focus on Minke. He did indeed face big challenges, because in picturing Minke, on the one hand he was still studying at high school, still young, his life experience was minimal. But on the other hand, he was part of the elite which was not acquainted with the ordinary people, then after This Earth of Mankind he becomes acquainted with his own society.
His life experiences attending school at the HBS (Hogere Burger School the equivalent of high school during the Dutch colonial period) were beyond the experiences of a pribumi [a native]. First because people studying at the HBS were already privileged. It was difficult for a Javanese to get into the HBS. On the other hand his life [experiences] were minimal, but on the other hand his life was special.
In the following book (Child of All Nations), Pram writes about Minke's course in life to become the first Indonesian, the first Indonesian human. He is no longer Javanese, no longer Dutch, he moved on to become Indonesian, although he is not conscious of this.
Minke, in This Earth of Mankind, has yet to encounter the word "Indonesia". But he is a person full of experiences, he already has the seed to grow towards becoming a pioneer. That is the big challenge for a film of This Earth of Mankind. Hopefully then can be able to adapt the story.
What do you hope will be contained in a film of This Earth of Mankind?
The book has so many things in it, so many messages, so much that is depicted. I hope that the message of resistance against injustice can be accentuated.
Second, something which is much deeper, is the film could record the process of how a person matures because of their experiences, developing towards a person of potential, not just becoming an Indonesian, but at the same time becoming a pioneer of a national awakening.
What needs to be depicted is not that Minke has becomes the founder of the newspaper Medan Prijaji, but his journey towards this, his experiences. Would it be appropriate for Pam and his works to be included in the language, Indonesian literature or national history educational curriculum?
It should already be included. Not just Pram, but many others. To this day, Pram's books have yet to be introduced to Indonesia's younger generation, yet it is already 35 years since Suharto was overthrown.
My hope is that the Indonesian government will revise the education curriculum, so that it's like other countries. In addition to this, the important Indonesian literary works need to become required reading, for primary and high school students, without censorship.
Why so? Because I think that studying the literature of a nation is to understand the journey of that nation's [birth]. By reading novels, short stories, poems, they can understand the process of how their nation was established.
In Australia, when I was in primary school we read novels, then we wrote critiques. In America, Singapore, Malaysia it's the same. Only in Indonesia do students not read literature.
The authorities do not want the ordinary people to read literature. Why don't the authorities want to see the ordinary people reading Pram's works and literature in general? This is the big question that needs to be answered.
Overseas, the works of important authors have to be read by students at primary and high school level. Many are given Pram's books to read.
If you visit the Amazon.com website you'll find books published for teachers so they can teach This Earth of Mankind to primary and high school equivalency students.
From Australia to the United State and the Philippines, Pramoedya's books are taught to students in schools. Only one great county does not teach Pram's works to its younger generation of students: Indonesia.
Tria Dianti and Ika Inggas (BenarNews) A plan by heads of Indonesian universities to begin surveillance on campuses in order to detect extremist ideology and behavior could threaten free speech and learning, academics and students told BenarNews.
At a meeting in Jakarta earlier this week officials in charge of 122 state universities discussed collaborating with the national counterterror agency (BNPT) to establish an intelligence body or presence to monitor and detect signs of radical behavior and ideology at the nation's campuses, according to local reports.
"We have to keep freedom of expression and creativity on the campus. If not there, where else?" said Ali Wibisono, a lecturer on terrorism and international security at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta.
"I cannot see any strong country in the world whose counterterrorism policy is effective by controlling its universities," he told BenarNews.
Obed Kresna Widyapratistha, the president of the student executive board at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, echoed that sentiment.
"In the academic environment, we should be free to express our thoughts, including political opinions. It should not restrain students' academic freedom to express opinions, critical thinking and to organize," he said.
The meeting of university rectors took place after the BNPT revealed last month that seven state universities, which are among the country's top institutions of higher learning, had been exposed to extremist ideology.
These campuses include the University of Indonesia, the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Bogor Agricultural University in West Java and Airlangga University in Surabaya, BNPT reported.
But it remains unclear to what extent BNPT is involved in the plan to create an intelligence presence on university campuses.
Dwia Aries Tina Pulubuhu, the rector of Hasanuddin University in Makassar, in South Sulawesi province, who also serves as president of the Indonesian Rectors' Forum, said the on-campus intelligence apparatus would operate under the authority of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.
"The program methodology is being planned," she told BenarNews, adding that until now university officials tended to learn of student arrests and proliferation of violent ideology on campus from the media, not from the BNPT. "So we need some kinds of intel on campus," she said.
The executive boards of student bodies could be useful in helping detect radical infiltration on university campuses, she added.
"They can report to BNPT if there are students or academic community members who have links to terror networks or are exposed to terrorism," Dwia said.
The ministry followed up Monday's meeting by drafting guidelines for preventing the spread of extremist ideologies on campuses and forming a task force to monitor radical activities at universities, officials said.
Responding to criticism that such a move could impinge on free speech and learning, Intan Ahmad, the ministry's director general of learning and student affairs, issued a statement suggesting this was being done in the interest of national security.
"Academic freedom should not threaten the existence of the nation and the state's sovereignty," he said in a written statement.
In recent weeks, Indonesia has been on edge following a spate of suicide bombings and other attacks carried out in Surabaya and other places by a home-grown group linked to the so-called Islamic State, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
According to a report in the Singapore Straits Times, BNPT chief Suhardi Alius attended Monday's meeting at the higher education ministry.
"We hope this meeting will bring the same understanding about the situation and the same approach in handling radicalism on campuses," the newspaper quoted him as telling university officials.
Suhardi could not be reached for comment on Friday. The BNPT chief was in New York, where he was attending a high-level U.N. conference on counterterrorism.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convened the meeting, in an effort to deepen international cooperation in the fight against terror. It drew more than 100 delegations from member-state capitals, led largely by chiefs of counter-terrorist agencies from across the globe, U.N. officials said.
"Today, the frontline against terrorism is increasingly in cyberspace. Terrorists are exploiting social media, encrypted communications and the dark web to spread propaganda, recruit new followers and coordinate attacks," the secretary-general said Thursday as he opened the meeting at the U.N. General Assembly.
"The military defeat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria last year means foreign terrorist fighters are on the move, returning home or relocating to other theaters of conflict," he added, using a different acronym for Islamic State.
In remarks to the gathering, Suhardi stressed "the role and importance of youth in preventing terrorism including counter radicalization efforts," according to a BNPT statement sent to BenarNews by an official at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington.
Kanupriya Kapoor, Jakarta Rising government and public hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Indonesia is threatening the battle against AIDS in the world's largest Muslim-majority country, activists and an official said.
Homosexuality is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in the conservative province of Aceh, but the country has seen an increase in raids targeting LGBT people, which have forced many members of the community underground.
The group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said this week hostility was making it harder for the LGBT community to get access to public health programs, putting people at greater risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
"The Indonesian government should recognize that its role in abuses against LGBT people is seriously compromising the country's response to HIV," said Kyle Knight, LGBT rights researcher at HRW and author of the report.
"One particularly troubling aspect of the anti-LGBT panic is that public health outreach to such populations has become far more difficult, making wider spread of the disease more likely," the rights group said.
The prevalence rate of HIV among gay men in Indonesia has jumped from 8.5 percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2015, it said.
Indonesia recorded 46,357 new HIV infections in 2017, with nearly a quarter of those among men who have sex with other men, according to government and UNAIDS data. Other groups included sex workers and intravenous drug users.
A senior health official said the increasing hostility to the LGBT community was disrupting the relations between health workers and people who need their help.
"For a long time, health workers were able to meet these groups in certain places," Dr Windra Waworuntu, director general of infectious diseases at the health ministry, said on Wednesday.
"But with the anti-LGBT feeling now, health workers find it difficult to reach them. It's similar to when red light districts are broken up and health workers have difficulty in reaching sex workers."
A spokesman for President Joko Widodo declined to comment when asked about rising anti-LGBT sentiment among the government and public but senior government officials have called for gay rights advocacy to be restricted.
Indonesia's parliament looks set to criminalize same-sex relations, something that Islamist groups have long pressed for, while police have stood by while vigilantes have stormed "gay sex parties".
Police have also stepped up raids on gatherings at spas and hostels, charging some people with violating strict pornography laws.
In 2016, Vice President Jusuf Kalla asked the U.N. Development Programme to stop $8 million of funding for LGBT-related programs in Indonesia.
This year, a survey found that nearly 90 percent of Indonesians who understand the term "LGBT" felt threatened by the community, while the Indonesian Psychiatric Association and the Health Ministry stated in internal documents seen by Reuters that being LGBT was a mental illness.
David Lipson The marginalisation of Indonesia's LGBT community is fuelling an HIV "epidemic", with HIV rates among gay men increasing five-fold since 2007, according to a Human Rights Watch report.
The prevalence of HIV among gay men in Indonesia has surged from 5 per cent in 2007, to 25 per cent in 2015, despite the Government making inroads against the deadly virus in the broader population.
"This is going to be very damaging for Indonesia " said Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch. "It might bring Indonesia 20-30 years back to the 1980s when the HIV/AIDS virus was still new."
The Human Rights Watch report blames a recent "moral panic" against the LGBT community, which has forced vulnerable people into the shadows, effectively derailing public health outreach and safe-sex education efforts.
In 2017, more than 300 LGBT people were arrested during "unlawful" raids by police and militant Islamist groups, the highest number ever. Some of those arrested were paraded naked in front of the media. Condoms were used as "evidence", further discouraging their use.
In the province of Aceh last year, two men were publicly caned 83 times each after being caught having sex. The national professional association for psychiatrists has proclaimed being gay or transgender is a "mental illness".
A 2016 opinion poll indicated 26 per cent of Indonesians disliked LGBT people, making them the most disliked group in the country, overtaking communists and Jewish people.
The Indonesian transgender community regularly faces verbal assaults from government and religious figures. While they are under pressure to change, some are living their lives undeterred.
"The discrimination is the reason people think of us as a disease. They think we are a curse," said 30-year-old outreach worker Dimas Alphareza. He said it had become very hard to reach vulnerable people in his community.
"They're scared of being beaten up," he said. "For example, we make an appointment through social media to meet, arrange a time and a place, but when we get there the person doesn't show up."
Mr Alphareza runs a pop-up clinic, where people can get HIV tested without questions being asked and said there had been a dramatic increase in the number of new infections since last year.
"Of the 20 people who were tested, nine of them were found to have been infected [with HIV]," he said.
"Bintang" found out he had HIV in 2015, when he was just 20. He blames the Islamic boarding school he was sent to because his parents thought he was too "soft and feminine".
"We were never taught anything about HIV, unlike state schools where they would have talks with experts from universities and the like... I was so far away from sexual education of any kind," he said.
"Rangga", 32, has been living with HIV since 2013. Now an outreach worker himself, he describes alarming attitudes towards safe sex within the gay community.
"They keep saying 'it doesn't feel as good with condoms'," he said. "But they are not equipped with the knowledge of the dangers of not wearing them and of course they'll get HIV."
Late last month, Australia announced an additional $1.3 million for the AIDS response in Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and PNG.
Philippa H Stewart The men were nearly identically dressed. Matching fresh crewcuts almost hidden under baseball caps pulled down to shade their eyes, pollution masks covering their faces, and matching dark t-shirts.
You would be forgiven for thinking they were on their way to do something illegal, especially if you spoke with them and realized how on edge they were, nervously looking around and stopping their conversation whenever a security guard on his usual patrols came near.
But these men, who work to prevent HIV in vulnerable populations in Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, were simply meeting the Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono and his cameraman for a pre-arranged interview about a new report, "Scared in Public and Now No Privacy," which looks at the rising anti-LGBT hysteria in Indonesia, and what that means for public health.
HIV rates among men who have sex with men in Indonesia have increased five-fold since 2007, from 5 percent to 25 percent. And while the majority of new HIV infections in Indonesia occur through heterosexual transmission, one-third of new infections occur in men who have sex with men.
For over two years now, politicians and government officials in Indonesia have been whipping up the public into an anti-LGBT fury. What started in 2016 as hateful rhetoric has now become violent actions, with raids by police and militant Islamists on places they suspect LGBT people are socializing. This has included raids on everything from gay clubs, to the private homes of suspected lesbians, to waria (transgender women) community events.
The atmosphere of fear and moves to break up safe gathering spaces is having devastating health consequences. HIV outreach workers are struggling to locate the people who need their help which comes in the form of condom distribution, blood testing, education, and psychological counselling.
The masked men who asked not to be named to protect their identities had arranged to meet Harsono outside the now-shuttered T1 nightclub. The men used to work inside and outside the club giving out condoms and educational pamphlets, and providing some counselling. There was even a mobile clinic where at-risk people could go for blood tests and counselling services.
"It turned out they'd been looking at us from a distance to check us out," Harsono said. "They had been walking around the area to make sure it was safe."
When the men eventually approached, they stood out because of their appearance in the business neighborhood where T1 used to be. Harsono took them into a restaurant to shield them. But it was Ramadan, so the two HIV outreach workers did not order food, and the atmosphere remained stressful.
"I was so shocked by their concealed appearance, but of course they were doing it because they were nervous," Harsono said, adding that it seemed the men were traumatized because hundreds of LGBT people had been arrested in recent raids on nightclubs and in private homes.
"People have been sentenced to 18 to 30 months in prison after being arrested in these raids."
In 2017, police apprehended at least 300 people perceived to be LGBT the highest number of such arrests ever recorded in Indonesia. In some cases, if they were carrying condoms, that was used as evidence of homosexuality. That leads people to decide against carrying condoms, which only adds to the HIV epidemic.
When the clubs were open, the outreach workers were easily able to make contact with men at-risk of HIV, but now with the safe spaces shuttered and networks scattered, there are risks of an even bigger spike in HIV rates.
The fear the crackdown is causing is palpable. "A security man came by when we were discussing the film shoot, just on his normal rounds, and they were so scared," Harsono said. "They were terrified he would come over and see them. It says so much about the feeling in Jakarta now."
The anti-LGBT rhetoric has had a deep impact on society in Indonesia. In a 2016 opinion poll, 26 percent of those interviewed said they didn't like LGBT people. It was the largest percentage for any group. By 2017, that number was even higher.
"In February 2016 the minister of defense even said the LGBT movement was more dangerous than nuclear war."
But despite the shrinking space and the very real risk to their safety and freedom, some outreach workers like the two men Harsono spoke to are still trying to make a difference to communities at-risk of HIV.
"They are turning to social networks and the internet," Harsono said, "I'm really amazed to see how these workers are adapting. They know that they can be arrested, stopped by the police, stopped by security every time they are seen to be chatting with transgender women, but they are courageous and persistent."
Jakarta The Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced non-active Kutai Kartanegara regent Rita Widyasari to 10 years in prison for her involvement in a bribery case related to various projects in the resource-rich East Kalimantan regency.
In the hearing on Friday, the judges also ordered Rita to pay Rp 600 million (US$41,820) in fines or serve an additional six month in prison. They also banned the defendant from active politics until five years after the end of her sentence.
"The panel of judges hereby declares that the first defendant, Rita, is proven guilty of committing graft," presiding judge Sugiyono said on Friday, as quoted by tempo.co.
The judges said Rita had been found guilty of accepting Rp 6 billion in bribes from PT Sawit Golden Prima director Hery Susanto, who has also been named a suspect in the case.
Prosecutors from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) alleged that Rita had also received gratuities of Rp 110 billion from the commissioner of PT Media Bangun Bersama, Khairudin, who is Rita's close aide.
The prosecutors had demanded 15 years in prison, but the judges decided to give the defendant a lesser sentence, as she had been cooperative during the trial.
Both Rita and KPK prosecutors said they were still considering whether to accept the sentence or not. "We will think again about the verdict, Your Honor," said Rita's lawyer, Wisnu Wardana. (dpk)
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has instructed his aides to review corruption-related articles in the Criminal Code bill and has set no deadline for the approval of the revision.
He made the request in response to concerns raised by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
During their meeting at the Bogor Palace on Wednesday, Jokowi and KPK commissioners discussed the revision of the Criminal Code, which the antigraft body believes could threaten its authority.
KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo said the commissioners had maintained their stance that it would be better if corruption-related matters were not regulated under the Criminal Code because it could threaten the body's powers and did not provide any benefits for corruption eradication efforts.
Agus said the President had instructed his ministers not to set a deadline for the bill's ratification and asserted that the corruption-related articles in the bill would be reviewed in light of the suggestions made by the KPK.
"There will not be a deadline [for the ratification of the bill]," Agus said. The previous deadline was set for Aug. 17, coinciding with the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia's Independence Day.
The KPK previously criticized a number of the articles in the bill that it deemed carried lighter punishments. It also said a section of the bill regulating special and extraordinary crimes, including corruption, drug-related crimes and human rights violations, could curtail its powers.
"If [the section] can be removed from the Criminal Code bill, the codification will be much faster," said KPK commissioner Laode M. Syarief. (ebf)
Nurul Fitri Ramadhani, Jakarta The Law and Human Rights Ministry and the General Elections Commission (KPU) have agreed to bar ex-corruption convicts from taking part in the 2019 legislative election.
KPU Regulation No. 20 on legislative and regional council candidates was signed into law by the Law and Human Rights Ministry's law and regulations director general, Widodo Ekatjahjana, on July 3. "Yes, the regulation has taken effect," Widodo confirmed on Wednesday.
The regulation stipulates that political parties are not allowed to nominate those who have been convicted of sexual assault, drug abuse or corruption.
Political parties are also required to sign an integrity pact to ensure they adhere to the regulation. If they violate it, they face an administrative sanction in the form of a candidate registration ban.
The decision by the ministry to sign the regulation happened just hours before the period of registration for legislative hopefuls officially kicked off, following heavy lobbying.
Previously, the ministry refused to sign the regulation, arguing it violated the 2017 Elections Law and two Constitutional Court rulings that allowed ex-corruption convicts to run as legislative candidates as long as they exposed their records to the public.
The regulation was not met with open arms by all institutions, as the House of Representatives strongly opposed the ban.
The chairman of the United Development Party's (PPP) House faction, Arsul Sani, said the new provision would only add more problems, as those looking to run in the election could end up suing the KPU and political parties.
Golkar lawmaker Zainudin Amali, who also chairs the House Commission II overseeing home affairs, agreed with Arsul, arguing that there should be a binding regulation on the ban, as the 2017 Elections Law clearly allowed ex-corruption convicts to run.
"The KPU just needs to call on political parties to not accept the former convicts. That's it," Amali said. (ebf)
Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta Golkar Party advisory board head Aburizal Bakrie failed to meet a summons on Monday issued by the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK) for questioning in the e-ID graft case.
Aburizal, who served as the party's chairman from 2009 to 2014, was scheduled to be questioned as a witness for businessmen and graft suspects Irvanto Hendra Pambudi and Made Oka Masagung.
"The KPK has received a letter from witnesses' who are unable to come in for questioning today, [including] Aburizal Bakrie, who is currently outside of Indonesia," the antigraft body's spokesperson, Febri Diansyah, said on Monday. He further said the questioning would be rescheduled.
A number of high-profile politicians have been implicated in the graft case, including former House of Representatives speaker Setya Novanto, who was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment.
Apart from Aburizal, investigators also summoned law and human rights minister and former lawmaker Yasonna Laoly, former Home Ministry official Diah Anggraeni as well as former lawmakers Tamsil Linrung and Mulyadi.
While Tamsil and Mulyadi failed to fulfill the summons, Yasonna and Diah met the summons."I don't know the two suspects and never communicated with them," Yasonna said after the questioning. (ebf)
Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo honors the General Elections Commission's (KPU) decision to issue a regulation banning graft convicts from running in next year's legislative election, a State Palace official has said.
Presidential expert staff and spokesperson Adita Irawati said Jokowi "respected" the KPU as an independent body in its policy to prohibit graft-tainted lawmaker candidates as stipulated in the commission's recently issued guidelines for the nomination stage of the 2019 legislative elections.
"Those who are not satisfied with the KPU's decision may take legal action in accordance with prevailing laws," Adita said on Monday.
As reported earlier, the Law and Human Rights Ministry and the House of Representatives objected the KPU's plan to ban candidates implicated in graft cases. Despite their opposition, the KPU issued on Saturday a regulation, which stipulates that prospective legislative nominees "must not have been previously convicted in drug, child sexual assault or corruption cases".
The regulation was signed by KPU head Arief Budiman only four days before the KPU opens registration for legislative election candidates on July 4. (ebf)
Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta The General Elections Commission (KPU) issued a regulation on Saturday that, among other things, bans former graft convicts from running in next year's legislative elections, despite opposition from the House of Representatives and the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
The regulation, which pertains to the nominations of House and Regional Council member candidates, was published on KPU's website on Saturday night together with a short note that said the regulations would be used as "guidelines for KPU in carrying out the nomination stages [...] in the 2019 legislative elections".
Article 7 clause 1(g) of the regulation states that prospective legislative nominees "must not be a former drug dealing, child sexual assault, or corruption convict."
KPU Commissioner Pramono Ubaid confirmed that the regulations were now officially in effect.
"As written on the last page, the regulation comes into force once it is issued," he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. KPU head Arief Budiman officially issued the regulation on Saturday.
KPU submitted the regulation to the Law and Human Rights Ministry to be signed into law last month, but Minister Yasonna Laoly refused to sign it.
Yasonna and House lawmakers have argued that the clause banning graft convicts ran contrary to the 2017 General Elections Law, particularly Article 240, which states that former convicts could still run as long as they "openly and honestly" announced their status to the public.
KPU and civil society activists, on the other hand, argue that the clause is necessary to protect voters' rights. (evi)
Indonesia's most infamous religious hardliners, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), are primarily known for their protests of everything from politicians and pluralism to porn stars and Lady Gaga. But this is the first time we've heard of them protesting at a zoo, and it's all because of a newborn camel calf.
On May 15, a single-humped camel was born at the Surabaya Zoo, which by some reports had been named Aminah. She is the sixth calf born from the zoo's camel couple, Okky and Milo.
On July 1, the FPI reportedly raided the zoo to protest the calf's name, which they said is an insult to the Prophet Muhammad because it contains half of his mother's name, Siti Aminah.
The matter was soon resolved after the zoo clarified that there was a misunderstanding when the calf's name was announced to the media some time ago.
"Yes, the FPI came here. This is a case of misspeaking [during the announcement], the camel's name is Sarinah. Or maybe during the conference the media misheard," said Surabaya Zoo Head of Public Relations Winy, as quoted by Jawapos on Monday.
We'll probably never know if there was indeed miscommunication when the calf's name was announced or if the zoo changed the name amid pressure from the FPI and then blamed it on miscommunication.
Regardless, it seems the zoo and FPI are over the hump regarding the camel problem as both parties have apologized to each other. "We apologized and FPI accepted. At the end the FPI also apologized if their presence bothered us," Winy said.
Surabaya FPI Army Guardian Agus Fachruddin said the zoo signed a written statement containing their clarification of the camel's name. "At first we were offended and we protested. But now it's over, the Surabaya Zoo has signed a written statement," he said.
Hopefully no one else will bother Aminah/Sarinah's life in captivity from now on.
We almost used an actual image of a thief's hand getting cut off in Saudi Arabia but that was much too horrible so here's a picture of Luke Skywalker after his hand got cut off by his father Darth Vader at the climax of the "The Empire Strikes Back" instead.
Wednesday's arrest of Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) shocked many in the highly conservative province, which is also the only one in Indonesia given special autonomy to enact sharia-based laws. The head of the Aceh chapter of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) said his group both supported the KPK and, should Irwandi be found guilty of corruption, giving Irwandi the same kind of brutal punishment that thieves in Saudi Arabia receive.
"Even though those arrested come from the Porch of Mecca (as Aceh is sometimes referred to) the KPK need not hesitate because not all people are righteous in the Porch of Mecca, some are evil, so if there is evidence (of his corruption), just cut off his hand as a lesson to others," said FPI Aceh Chairman Tengku Muslim At-tahiry in a statement to Detik today.
Although only FPI the infamous hardliner group known for protesting against everything from politicians and pluralism to Lady Gaga and baby camels has advocated that Irwandi lose his hand over his alleged corruption, many netizens inside and out of Aceh argued that the region's controversial use of public caning as a punishment for sharia-based crimes such as adultery and homosexuality, should also be applied to corruptors.
The KPK arrested Irwandi and nine other people, including Bener Meriah Regent Ahmadi, in Aceh's capital city of Banda Aceh on Wednesday in relation to a corruption investigation. Irwandi and Ahmadi were questioned at Aceh Provincial Police headquarters before being flown to Jakarta yesterday morning. They are both currently being detained at KPK headquarters. Commission officials say Irwandi is suspected of receiving an IDR500 million bribe (US$35,000) from Ahmadi related to the 2018 Aceh Marathon.
Jakarta President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has a new ally. He is Muhammad Zainul Majdi, widely known as Tuan Guru Bajang (TGB), the popular West Nusa Tenggara governor who had joined Prabowo Subianto's campaign for the 2014 presidential election.
TGB is by no means the first Prabowo ally to defect to Jokowi's camp ahead of the 2019 presidential election, but he is arguably one of the most important allies Jokowi could get to ensure his reelection.
Jokowi's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) welcomed TGB's decision, saying his support could significantly boost Jokowi's electability, particularly among Muslim voters in West Nusa Tenggara, a Prabowo stronghold.
In 2014, Prabowo won 72 percent of the vote in the province. With TGB now on his side, Jokowi is expected to narrow the gap with Prabowo.
TGB could also help Jokowi fend off any political campaign to cast doubt on his credentials as a Muslim leader. The governor holds a degree in Islamic theology and Qur'anic exegesis from the prestigious Al-Azhar University.
With his credentials as governor and a Muslim scholar, TGB has been tapped as a possible presidential candidate by Islamist groups linked to the sectarian rallies against former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.
"We hope that [...] TGB's support for Jokowi will strengthen the grassroots," PDI-P executive Hendrawan Supratikno said as on Thursday, quoted by tempo.co.
TGB declared his support for Jokowi's reelection on Wednesday, saying Jokowi deserved another term. "I think five years are not enough to realize the whole vision and mission of the program. It takes around two terms."
His decision has cost him the Islamists' support and ignited rumors he is now being considered as Jokowi's running mate.
Jokowi is said to be looking for a vice presidential (VP) candidate with a military or Islamic background to balance out his image as a non-military and nationalist candidate.
During a recent visit to the offices of The Jakarta Post, TGB said he was ready to run for election. "Anyone has to be ready."
Jokowi has yet to name his VP candidate, with just weeks to go before the General Elections Commission (KPU) opens the registration for the presidential election, in August.
A top politician close to the President, who declined to be named, said Jokowi had considered TGB but was likely to pick a Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) figure as his running mate instead.
NU is the nation's largest Islamic group. TGB, meanwhile, is the head of Nahdlatul Wathan, a local Islamic group in West Nusa Tenggara. (ist/ahw)
Jakarta Listing six reasons for choosing a leader, an invitation bearing the letterhead of Al-Ihsan Mosque in Jalan Sei Batang Hari, Medan, circulated on some online chat groups a day before the election for the Governor of North Sumatra.
Quoting a verse of the Quran, the message argued that it was not allowed to choose a non-Muslim leader. The invitation closed by calling on people to perform the dawn prayer in the congregation before heading to the voting booths together on the day of the election, on Wednesday last week.
Despite not mentioning any candidates by name, the message was clearly designed to get people to not vote for running mates Djarot Saiful Hidayat and Sihar Sitorus. In the election for Governor of North Sumatra, Sihar is the only Christian candidate. Djarot, Edy Rahmayadi and Musa Rajekshah, who they were running against, are Muslims.
At the Baitul Muhsinin Mosque in Rantau Prapat, which is about nine kilometers from Al-Ikhsan Mosque, calls to pray the dawn prayer together and to travel en masse to the voting booths (TPS) can be seen on a banner at the gate. The mosque caretakers who put up the banner included the slogan: "From the Mosque to the TPS for a Muslim Community Victory."
Sugiat Santoso, Vice Chair of the Edy-Musa Campaign Team, said that such calls benefited their candidates. "The cohesion of the Muslim community was very solid on the day of the election," said Sugiaton Thursday last week.
A day before the election, many campaigns exploited religious and ethnic sentiments. The most obvious case was the large religious gathering at the Merdeka Field, Medan, last June 23. Entitled "A Prayer for a Dignified North Sumatra," the event was attended by well-known religious figures Abdul Somad Batubara and Tengku Zulkarnain. Gatot Nurmantyo, a former commander of the Indonesian Military (TNI), was there as a guest.
While giving a talk about religion, Somad slipped in a message reminding everyone to perform the dawn prayer in congregation on the day of the election. "After that, have breakfast and go to the voting booths together," said Somad. "Take a close look at their track records, to see if (the candidates) are from political parties which vilify religion."
Umar Syadat Hasibuan, the caretaker of the Daarul Muhsinin Islamic Boarding School in Labuhanbatu, North Sumatra, claimed to be the party who brought Somad to that event. According to him, Somad was invited a month before the event. "Ustad Somad only called on voters to choose a leader who is in line with Islamic teachings," he said.
Nawir Qulubana, a staff member of Somad's management team, was unwilling to explain why that preacher from Asahan, North Sumatra, was at the event. "He just came because he was invited," said Nawir. "As for the details you can ask Ustad Somad yourself."
After Somad spoke, it was Gatot's turn on the stage. Gatot stated that he had come to Medan to appoint the new officials of the Indonesian Karate-Do Sport Federation. However, said Gatot, Edy Rahmayadi informed him that Somad and Zulkarnain would be at the event. "I often listen to the sermons of Ustad Somad, but this is the first time we are meeting. Praised be God," he said.
President Joko Widodo may be Muslim, but that doesn't necessarily mean next year's election won't be affected by attacks from Islamic hardliners in a similar way to what happened during last year's Jakarta gubernatorial election.
To many conservative Muslims in Indonesia, Jokowi and his government represent the "un-Islamic" choice next year. A recent illustration of this involves West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor TGH Zainul Majdi, more popularly known as Tuan Guru Bajang (TGB), and how his recently stated support for Jokowi has cost him his once strong support among Islamists.
TGB a young, rising politician particularly popular among Muslims who has been talked up as a likely candidate in next year's presidential election said on Tuesday that he wishes for Jokowi to be re-elected for a second term, mainly due to what he perceives as the president's attentiveness to NTB.
"Eight times he (Jokowi) has visited NTB. He sees that in NTB there's a real drive for building towards improving the quality of life. I see that he appreciates hard workers," TGB said, as quoted by Liputan 6.
"Five years is not enough for transformation when the maximum term (for presidency) is 10 years. I think it's very fair that we give him a chance to continue his work."
TGB added that when he met Jokowi, the president held no grudge against him even though he was part of losing candidate Prabowo Subianto's campaign team in NTB in the 2014 presidential election.
But now, those who once backed TGB are feeling betrayed. Chief among them is Persaudaraan Alumni 212 (PA 212), an umbrella group of hardline Islamists who were instrumental in orchestrating former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's downfall and eventual blasphemy conviction.
PA 212 had previously held TGB in very high regard and was even included on a list of their top recommendations for presidential candidate, just behind Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab and Gerindra Chairman Prabowo Subianto. But after TGB expressed his support for Jokowi, PA 212 says it's pulling their recommendation.
"We will cross him out if he is indeed a Jokowi supporter. Because for us not supporting Jokowi is harga mati (an Indonesian expression that roughly translates to "payable by death", meaning absolutely non-negotiable)," said PA 212 Spokesperson Novel Bamukmin, as quoted by Detik yesterday.
Novel also denied that PA 212 ever had good relations with TGB, especially because the governor is a cadre of the Democratic Party. Novel said PA 212 aren't big fans of the Democrats because, during its patron Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's presidency between 2004 and 2014, Rizieq Shihab was jailed three times for various crimes.
Opposition parties to Jokowi's government, including Islamic parties like the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the National Mandate Party (PAN), also said they were surprised by TGB's endorsement of Jokowi and criticized the governor's apparent switch of allegiances.
Jokowi has quietly and somewhat surprisingly gathered the support of some of the nation's most influential Islamic leaders in recent months, perhaps to preemptively curtail religious tension ahead of next year's election. Some of these leaders include Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Chairman Ma'ruf Amin, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) leader Said Aqil Siradj, and former Muhammadiyah leader Ahmad Syafii Maarif all of whom were controversially appointed to high-paying positions in a newly formed government agency.
One of Jokowi's most vocal critics, Ali Mochtar Ngabalin, who was closely aligned with PA 212 and the opposition, was also recently appointed as one of the president's spokespersons and is now, obviously, one of his most ardent supporters.
Anton Hermansyah, Bogor, West Java Several regents have asked that the central government lift the moratorium on civil service recruitment, saying that they needed to recruit civil servants with specific skills, like in digital technology, to improve productivity.
The regents made their request during a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday at the Bogor Palace in West Java.
Saifullah, the regent of Sidoajo in East Java, said that regional governments needed new employees to handle digital programs like the online single submission (OSS) system that the central government had launched.
He explained that most of the civil service corp were of the senior generation and could not manage the new technology.
"We need fresh minds to catch up with [the new] programs, but we cannot recruit new civil servants," he said after the meeting with Jokowi, referring to the moratorium on recruitment.
The moratorium came into effect on Jan 1, 2015 and is scheduled to end in 2019. The moratorium on recruiting new civil servants was also imposed from 2010 to 2011 during the administration of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY).
Jember Regent Faida said that three years after the moratorium was imposed, regional administrations were now facing a shortage in manpower. She added that her administration could start recruiting local talents once the central government agreed to lift the moratorium.
"The recruitment is now open to all, everyone can apply, but we want to make sure that local talents are given the chance to work in their hometowns," she said. (bbn)
Jakarta The Transportation Ministry will punish drivers of overloaded and oversized freight trucks, which are believed responsible for premature damage to roads.
The ministry's land transportation director general, Budi Setiyadi, said in Jakarta on Friday that many Asian countries such as India, Vietnam and Thailand had managed to stop the problem of overloaded trucks, which caused premature damage to roads. "The drivers have felt too comfortable with such practices," said Budi.
Under Law No. 22/2009 on traffic and road transportation, the drivers of the oversized and overloaded trucks may be sentenced to two months in prison and be required to pay fines up to Rp 500,000 (US$34.76). However, a lack of law enforcement caused the problem of overloaded trucks to remain rampant.
Citing data from the Public Works and Housing Ministry, Budi said the government had to spend Rp 43 trillion annually to repair roads prematurely damaged by overloaded and oversized trucks.
Budi said his ministry would soon carry out trial operations of three weighbridges in Balonggandu and Losarang in West Java and in Widang in East Java, and unload goods from overloaded trucks, starting on Aug. 1.
The ministry would prepared temporary storage for the unloaded goods and would expand the weighbridge operation to other regions.
Budi said the ministry had disseminated law enforcement to related stakeholders, like the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda), as well as distributed brochures to truck drivers. (sau/bbn)
Jakarta Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has said that there is room for improvement in monitoring ferry services, which have long been the backbone of inter-island transportation throughout the archipelago.
"With all of the incidents, [monitoring] has not been implemented optimally," Budi said in Makassar on Wednesday as reported by kompas.com, referring to two deadly boat accidents in Lake Toba, North Sumatra, and Selayar Islands, South Sulawesi, that killed over 100 passengers.
He said the ministry's sea transportation division had to cooperate with local governments that were authorized to oversee several aspects of ferry operations because of regional autonomy.
"I ask them to collaborate with the regional governments because there are many functions that are under their authority," Budi said.
The minister attributed the number of accidents in part to a lack of supervisory personnel at seaports.
He said he would coordinate with the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry to discuss the issue. "We have to talk with the administrative and bureaucratic reform minister on [...] shipping supervision," he added.
Budi, however, said he was reluctant to talk about whether regulations were to blame for the transportation accidents. Under the current system, seaport authorities are required to inspect all boats and ships before they depart.
"The seaport authority could release the ships only after they are in good condition and equipped with the necessary requirements," he added. (bbn)
Jakarta The captain of a sinking Indonesian ferry managed to steer his ship onto a reef to enable the evacuation of more than 100 passengers, but 31 people drowned as the vessel floundered in stormy seas, officials said on Wednesday.
The latest ferry disaster in Indonesia, which happened on Tuesday near Sulawesi island, came two weeks after an overcrowded ferry sank on Lake Toba in Sumatra, one of the world's deepest volcanic lakes, with the death of more than 200 people.
The national search and rescue agency said the boat that ran into trouble near Sulawesi had been carrying 164 passengers and crew. Three passengers were missing but 130 had been rescued, a transport ministry official said.
The ferry was also carrying 48 vehicles when it began taking on water in bad weather.
"The captain ran it onto a reef so it wouldn't sink and to make the evacuation of passengers easier," Agus H. Purnomo, the director general of sea transportation, said in a statement.
"The captain and the owner of the ship were the last two people to come down from the passenger ship," he added.
Television images showed dozens of passengers hanging on to the keeling vessel or bobbing in the water wearing life jackets.
Indonesia, a vast archipelago made up of more than 17,000 islands, suffers frequent boat accidents, with basic safety rules often flouted and vessels overloaded.
After last month's sinking in Sumatra, one of the deadliest in nearly a decade, a two-week search and rescue effort found the vessel at a depth of 450 m (1,500 ft) with victims trapped inside, but technical and logistical challenges forced the recovery to be called off.
Phelim Kine Officials in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, have authorized police participating in a one-month anti-crime campaign launched this week to use deadly force against criminal suspects who resist arrest.
"If there is resistance [from the muggers and thieves], our chief has ordered us to act firmly and quickly [to shoot]," said Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono. "It is not negotiable."
That's dangerous advice given that Indonesian police already have a reputation for summarily executing criminal suspects. A University of Melbourne analysis indicated that more than one-third of the total police killings from January to June 2017 occurred after the suspects had surrendered to police. International law only permits lethal force when there is an imminent threat to life.
Yuwono's sinister rhetoric is reminiscent of the language used by Philippine police officials running President Rodrigo Duterte's murderous "war on drugs." And that's no accident over the past two years several senior Indonesian police officials have expressed support and admiration for Duterte's anti-drug campaign that has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 Filipinos.
Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN) head, Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso, in September 2016 called for Indonesian police to adopt Duterte-style "drug war" methods. Waseso sought to justify such illegal law enforcement tactics by stating that "the life of a [drug] dealer is meaningless." He reiterated that stance in July 2017 with praise for Duterte's drug war, saying that it "shows he is taking care of his citizens." That same week, the National Police chief, Gen. Tito Karnavian, made an explicit reference to Duterte's campaign when unveiling a new approach to combating drugs in Indonesia: "shooting drug dealers."
In February, Karnavian awarded former Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa its highest honor, the Medal of Honor. Karnavian praised dela Rosa, who is implicated in possible crimes against humanity for his role in "drug war" extrajudicial killings, for his "rock star-like inspiration to the Indonesian national police" on how to combat illegal drugs.
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should immediately shut down this Duterte model of crime control, or risk culpability for a mass killing campaign that threatens Indonesia's still-fragile rule of law.
Jakarta The Jakarta Police have investigated 57 cases of muggings, robbery and theft in Jakarta on the second day of a special operation targeting thieves and robbers ahead of the 18th Asian Games.
From those cases, the police have arrested 39 suspects, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono said. Argo added that the police would deploy 1,000 officers to safeguard the city from July 3 to Aug. 3.
"The operation is being conducted to prevent [crime] and arrest people who commit street crimes," Argo said on Thursday as quoted by tempo.co.
Previously, a series of violent robberies had occurred in the capital. On Sunday, a 37-year-old ojek (motorcycle taxi) passenger was killed during a robbery in Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta.
On June 24, Syarif Burhanuddin, the Public Works and Housing Ministry's housing director general, became a victim of theft while he was cycling in Kota Tua, West Jakarta.
Earlier, on June 8, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's expert staff member Armedya Dewangga had his computer, hard drive and cash stolen from his car in Tamansari, West Jakarta. (cal)
Jakarta To ensure security for the 2018 Asian Games, which will see thousands of international athletes and officials descend upon the Indonesian capital, Jakarta Police chief Inspector-General Idham Azis has instructed officers to shoot criminals on sight to fend of street crime, particularly motorcycle thieves and muggers.
"If the muggers fight back (when police officers try to arrest them), chief Idham has instructed us to take firm action by shooting them. (We will have) zero tolerance," Jakarta Police spokesman Senior Commander Argo Yuwono said on Tuesday (July 3).
Argo recalled a recent mugging attempt that took place in the Kota Tua area in West Jakarta, when one of the perpetrators, identified as R, was shot dead by officers.
According to the police, the victim, Public Housing and Works Ministry official Syarif Burhanudin, was riding his bicycle when R reportedly grabbed his fanny pack. Syarif tried to hold on to his bag and fell to the ground.
The police later tracked down R and his partner, but both allegedly fought back during their arrest. R was fatally shot and his accomplice was arrested.
Following that incident, investigators discovered that the two had been part of a network of muggers called Tenda Oranye (Orange Tent) based in Teluk Gong, North Jakarta. "We've identified the leader of the mugging group," Argo said.
Another robbery that took place on Sunday evening in Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta, ended in the death of the victim.
The woman, identified as W, was on the back of a motorcycle taxi and reportedly held on to her bag as it was being pulled by a man on a motorbike. She then fell, fatally hitting her head on the road.
Through a statement released on Tuesday, Cempaka Putih Police said they had confiscated several objects as evidence in the case, namely a black bag, a mobile phone, two small wallets containing Rp 1.1 million (S$104) in cash, an umbrella and a comb.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno said the recent spate of mugging attempts across the city should be taken seriously.
"These crimes might be triggered by poverty. This is a social phenomenon that can be solved by giving poor families access to ways that can improve their economic situations," he said.
On June 17, several other mugging attempts occurred along Jl. Jendral Sudirman in Central Jakarta. Some of the victims mentioned similar characteristics when describing the perpetrator: a man in all black, wearing a full-face helmet and riding a Honda CBR motorcycle.
A passenger of an app-based motorcycle taxi named Dio said his driver was robbed on June 18.
"There's a motorcycle gang near Sampoerna Strategic Square [on Jl. Jendral Sudirman]. I was shocked and everything happened so fast that I didn't get the chance to pay attention to the mugger's licence plate number," Dio said.
A passerby named Paulina Heras said her phone had been stolen the night before Dio's incident. The robbery occurred as she was walking alone in the nearby Tosari area.
"I filed a report to the Jakarta Police to find out that four other robberies took place that night. Two more incidents happened the following morning," Paulina said.
Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
In just over a month's time, Jakarta will host the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Games. It promises to be a significant start to a historic sporting event for the capital, but it might be out of reach to a large percentage of the city's citizens due to the steep entrance fee.
Tickets for the opening ceremony, which is going to be held at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium on August 18, are now available online. The tickets come in three categories and prices: Category A, which costs IDR5 million; Category B, which costs IDR1.5 million; and Category C, which costs IDR750K.
Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno said he was surprised at how expensive the tickets are and promised to discuss the matter with the event's organizers, the Indonesian Asian Games 2018 Organizing Committee (INASGOC).
"For the tickets, I don't have an update because before I went [on an official trip to the US last week] the prices hadn't been agreed upon. But we'll check if the IDR1.5 million price is for VIPs, while the upper tiers can be cheaper," he told the press yesterday, as quoted by Detik.
"One of the things we focused on was eliminating taxes on tickets so that they are more affordable."
Sandiaga added that he's worried about a lack of spectators throughout the Games due to exorbitant ticket prices. INASGOC has yet to publicly announce anything regarding ticket prices.
Tickets for individual events at the Asian Games are also now available through third party online ticket sellers like Kiostix. On their website, the cheapest tickets go for IDR75K for basketball, volleyball and athletics qualifiers, while the most expensive tickets go for up to IDR800K for the badminton finals.
The 2018 Asian Games is being co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2. The closing ceremony will also be held at GBK Stadium in Jakarta.
Suherdjoko, Semarang The National Police have uncovered at least nine cases of fraud that took place during the screening of recruits for the Police Academy in Semarang, Central Java.
The cases reportedly implicate police officers stationed in West Java, West Sumatra and Southeast Sulawesi, Insp. Gen. Arief Sulistyanto, human resources assistant to the National Police chief, said on Wednesday.
One case reportedly occurred in Bengkulu, implicating a former police officer who was sacked during service, while two other cases were uncovered in Ambon and allegedly masterminded by civilians.
All of the suspects, Arief said, had convinced both applicants and parents into paying a certain amount of money in exchange for a spot at the Police Academy. "[The perpetrators] are now facing criminal charges," Arief said.
A selection committee has picked 376 candidates out of the 5,000 applicants from across the country for this year's class. Only 250 applicants will eventually become cadets.
"We now aim to prevent such cases from occurring during the advanced selection phase," Arief said. (afr/ipa)
Puti Aini Yasmin, Jakarta The Jakarta provincial government (DKI) through the company PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya is importing garlic from China. Approximately how much will this garlic cost by the time it reaches the Indonesian market?
According to the Director for Horticulture at the Agricultural Ministry, Suwandi, the price of garlic from China is priced between 5-6,000 rupiah (Rp) per kilogram, but by the time it leaves the port this will have risen to between 8-11,000 rupiah per kilogram.
Then, by the time it reaches the market the price has jumped again to 23,000 rupiah a kilo.
"The price there (in China) is 5,000 to 6,000 rupiah per kilo. After it arrives here and leaves the port, its 8,000 to 10,000 rupiah per kg, yeah 11,000 rupiah per kg at the most", he told Detik Finance on Thursday July 5.
"Normally by the time it reaches the market it's 23,000 rupiah per kilogram", explained Suwandi.
The procurement of imported garlic from China will continue until December totalling some 10,000 tons. 870 tons will be imported in the initial stage.
"It's planned that by July we'll try bringing in 10 containers. One container contains 29 tons so the total will be 290 tons. For July it's estimated that that the 30 containers will amount to 870 tons", said PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya Executive Director Arief Prasetyo Adi.
Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman, Jakarta The government approved on Wednesday a one-month special mining permit (IUPK) for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the local affiliate of American mining giant Freeport-McMoran, that expires on July 31, as the government aimed to complete the divestment of 51 percent of PTFI shares in mid-July.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's mineral and coal director general,Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the extension had considered four issues: contract extension, divestment, smelter construction and fiscal and legal certainty for Freeport's planned long-term investment.
"Those issues are close to being settled, but the environmental issues still need to be settled between PTFI and the Environment and Forestry Ministry," he said.
Bambang added that July 31 was also the deadline for the four issues to be settled. "Currently, there is a team consisting of the ministry and Freeport settling the environmental issues," he said.
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) recently discovered ecological damage blamed on PTFI mining operations in Papua that had caused Rp 185 trillion (US$12.95 billion) in state losses.
Previously, PTFI spokesperson Riza Pratama said the company had proposed a six-month permit to Jan. 4, 2019. PTFI received its first temporary IUPK in February 2017. The government extended its IUPK for the second time until December 2017. (bbn)
Jakarta Expansion in the manufacturing sector has begun to slow down, as indicated by Indonesia's decline in the Nikkei and Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) in June.
Indonesia's PMI in June was at 50.3, a decrease from the 51.7 recorded in the previous month and its lowest index in the last five months. Scores higher than 50 indicate expansion in the industry, while figures below 50 indicate contraction.
IHS Markit economist Aashna Dodhia attributed the decline to Bank Indonesia's decision last week to raise its reference rate by 50 basis points.
"It indicates that there is a challenge for policymakers in ensuring financial stability without sacrificing economic growth in the coming months," Aashna said as reported by kontan.co.id on Tuesday.
However, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) deputy chairman Shinta Widjaja Khamdani held a different opinion.
She said Indonesia's industry was still growing, as indicated by the import value for raw materials at US$57.96 billion from January to May, a 22.59 percent growth compared to the corresponding period of last year.
Meanwhile, total exports from January to May were recorded at 54.45 billion, a growth of 6.15 percent year-on-year.
"We can learn from the orientation of the manufacturing industry. Export-oriented industry is still good and domestic consumption is still OK. There is no indication of a decline," she added. (bbn)
Riza Roidila Mufti, Jakarta Logistic costs in Indonesia are higher than those in other countries. Committee for Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery (KPPIP) chairman Wahyu Utomo said 72 percent of logistic costs went to transportation.
Citing data from the Logistic Report Index 2016 by the World Bank, Wahyu said Indonesia was in 63rd position out of 160 countries in the report when it came to logistic costs.
The report measured several aspects, including efficiency, infrastructure and logistics service quality. Meanwhile, in ASEAN, Indonesia ranked fourth, after Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Wahyu identified a number of factors that had caused high transportation costs. First, many drivers of logistics vehicles that transported goods from Java to outside Java returned with empty vehicles, while using trucks was more costly than trains, ships and planes.
He suggested that the government boost its maritime highway program to improve connectivity between Java and other regions. He added that the integration of transportation and special economic zones could potentially cut logistic costs. (bbn)
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta The government, in agreement with the House Commission XI overseeing finance, has cut its gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection for 2019 to between 5.2 and 5.6 percent, from the initial projection of 5.4 to 5.8 percent.
According to Finance Ministry fiscal policy head Suahasil Nazara, the move was prompted by persisting external pressures on the country's economy, particularly the United States Federal Reserve's plan to hike its interest rate, which is estimated to continue in 2019.
Suahasil explained that the government's macroeconomic projection and draft fiscal policy (KEM-PPKF), part of the 2019 state budget bill, were made in February and submitted to the House in May.
"We are aware that volatility in the global [market] is still high. The federal funds rate will go up [in 2019], which will likely affect the Indonesian economy," Suahasil said in Jakarta on Monday.
"The growth adjustment to between 5.2 and 5.6 percent would make our growth a more realistic target for next year."
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on June 13 produced a more hawkish projection for the Fed's interest rate hike: three hikes in 2019.
Last week, in a bid to defend the rupiah against a stronger US dollar and maintain the competitiveness of the Indonesian financial market amid global liquidity adjustments, Bank Indonesia (BI) decided to raise its key rate by 50 basis points (bps) in a board of governors meeting, bringing the rate to 5.25 percent. (bbn)
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves slid to US$119.8 billion as of June, lower than the $122.9 billion recorded a month earlier as Bank Indonesia (BI) continued to defend the rupiah against a stronger United States dollar.
In a statement released on Friday, the central bank said the decline in foreign exchange reserves in June was mainly driven by the payment of the government's external debts and stabilization of the rupiah amid greater uncertainty in global financial markets.
"BI feels that foreign exchange reserves are still able to support the resiliency of the external sector while maintaining macroeconomic and financial system stability," BI spokesman Agusman said in the statement.
The latest figure is sufficient to finance 7.2 months of imports, or 6.9 months of imports if it includes the payment of the government's external debts, still higher than international adequacy standards of around three months of imports, BI said. Read also: Foreign exchange reserves slid to US$124.9 billion in April
Going forward, the central bank believes the foreign exchange reserves will be able to withstand external shocks, supported by the positive outlook of the domestic economy and a positive export performance.
Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta Bank Indonesia's decision to raise its key rate by 100 basis points (bps) in the last two months in an aggressive move to stabilize the rupiah against a stronger United States dollar has proved to be of little effect as the currency continues to hover above Rp 14,000 per US dollar.
The rupiah traded at Rp 14,418 per US dollar on Tuesday, according to the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, sliding from Rp 14,331 the previous day.
The depreciation came amid the central bank's move to raise its benchmark rate, the seven day reverse repo rate, by 50 bps on Friday to take the rate to 5.25 percent.
It was the third rate hike this year as the central bank directed its monetary policy to stabilize the rupiah amid mounting pressure from a more hawkish Federal Reserve, which is expected to raise its interest rate.
BI Governor Perry Warjiyo assured that the central bank would be active in the market and carry out its dual intervention policy to stabilize the rupiah in bond and financial markets.
He said the latest rate hike was undertaken primarily to maintain the competitiveness of Indonesia's sovereign bond yield, which in turn would stabilize the rupiah.
"Our [latest] policy rate response was aimed at managing Indonesia's financial market, particularly in sovereign bonds, to ensure a competitive yield to attract foreign investors," Perry said in Jakarta on Tuesday, adding that foreign inflows would increase the dollar supply in the financial market and therefore stabilize the rupiah. (bbn)
Jakarta The government is expecting the prices of the main contributors to non-tax revenue oil and coal to increase next year.
Finance Ministry fiscal policy head Suahasil Nazara said in Jakarta on Monday that as of May, the government had earned Rp 145 trillion (US$10 billion) in non-tax revenue, 52 percent of this year's total target of Rp 275 trillion.
It grew 18.66 percent year-on-year (yoy) from May 2017, when non-tax revenue from natural resources was recorded at Rp 122.2 trillion, thanks to an increase of the Indonesian Crude Price (ICP) and coal reference rate (HBA).
"The price increase of the commodities would still continue next year," Suahasil said as reported by kontan.co.id.
The 2019 state budget bill projects the ICP at between $60 and $70 per barrel. The average ICP in May was $72.46 per barrel, an increase from Rp 67.43 per barrel in the previous month. Meanwhile, the ICP assumption in the 2018 state budget is $48 per barrel.
The HBA in May was decided at $89.53 per ton, a decline by $5.22 per ton from the previous month. In May 2017, the figure was $83.82 per ton.
Finance Ministry non-tax revenue director Mariatul Aini said the collection of non-tax revenue from oil and gas reached Rp 50.6 trillion, a growth of 43.75 percent yoy or 62.98 percent of this year's target.
Meanwhile, revenue from the non-oil and gas sector reached Rp 14.25 trillion, a growth of 31.94 percent yoy or 61 percent of this year's target. (bbn)
John McBeth, Jakarta Unlike the English folklore song popularized by American General Douglas MacArthur, outgoing Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla not only has no intention of allowing age to overtake him any time soon, but the old political soldier doesn't appear to be in any hurry to fade away either.
Legally disqualified from a third term, Kalla, 76, is instead talking about going one step further with former president and Democrat Party leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who wants to create a third force to challenge President Joko Widodo and prospective rival Prabowo Subianto in next year's presidential race. The dailyReport
Perhaps invigorated by the comeback of Malaysia's 92-year-old prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, Kalla met with the former Indonesian president on June 27 to discuss the possibility of running for the presidency with Yudhoyono's eldest son, Agus Harimurti, as his running mate.
One source close to Yudhoyono says Kalla's suggestion was made during an informal June 27 social gathering. But he told Asia Times: "We're open to all options. One is Kalla. We're exploring all possibilities."
Faint hope it may be, but mathematically it is possible to carve out a third coalition from among the nine parliamentary parties that would meet the 20% seat threshold needed to nominate a presidential candidate.
The presidential and legislative elections will be held simultaneously for the first time, which means the 2019 threshold is based on the results of the 2014 polls, ensuring that coalitions have to be formed before rather than after the elections.
That does away with the unseemly horse-trading that inevitably goes on after a national election, allowing the incoming government to get down to business with a minimum of delay.
After seeing its popularity take a plunge in 2014 over a string of corruption cases, the fourth-ranked Democrats would have to bring on board at least two other parties to boost the 10.8% of the seats it controls in the 560-seat Parliament.
Of course, with a month to go before the August 4-10 nomination deadline, everything could also be turned on its head if the cash-strapped Prabowo backs out. While he may have already announced his intention to run, it came with the caveat about finding the right partners.
"There's a scramble going on in front of the goal," says one Indonesian political analyst, using a suitably current World Cup analogy. "But it seems we will have to go into injury time before everything is decided."
Widodo's advisers told Yudhoyono some months ago that Agus is too young to be considered for the vice presidency. But it isn't at all clear whether he is in the frame as a partner for Prabowo, 66, who needs the money the former president would potentially bring to the table.
Relations between Yudhoyono and Prabowo are not cordial, but as the Democrat Party source put it: "Every party has some psychological or historical baggage that present a barrier to cooperation. But we have to be rational in making a decision."
Unlike in 2014, Prabowo doesn't have the financial backing of his businessman brother, Hashim Djojokusuma or, for that matter, any other well-heeled tycoon willing to sign on to a campaign that most analysts are convinced is Widodo's to lose.
Harimurti, 38, left a promising career in the armed forces to run unsuccessfully in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election at the urging of Yudhoyono and his mother, Kristiani, the daughter of legendary special forces general Sarwo Edhi Wibowo.
The decision may have been forced on the family by the disappointing showing of younger son Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, 37, who was replaced as Democrat Party secretary general in May 2015 for unexplained reasons, but remains the party's parliamentary leader.
While Harimurti performed poorly in the 2017 television debates, he was impressive on the stump with his appeal to younger voters. After a two month hiatus away from politics, he is said to have grown in confidence, visiting campuses and building his own image.
"He's getting to know the political idioms and the rhetoric," says the Democrat source, who has observed him at first hand. "He's smart, humble and works hard and is physically very fit. He has his father's aura, but is much warmer."
With the centrist Democrats still sitting on the fence, where Yudhoyono appears the most comfortable, Prabowo has yet to nail down election alliances with the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) or the two other floaters, the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the National Awakening Party (PKB).
In recent weeks, several PKS and PAN leaders have stated their preference for Jakarta governor Anies Baswaden, 49, in place of Prabowo, with one describing the former education minister as an "extraordinary figure" not something that is reflected in either his record or his current standing in the polls.
Gerindra and PKS, which together form the existing opposition bloc, just meet the nomination threshold, while PKS would need the support of both PAN and PKB to get over the line.
Then-PAN chairman Hatta Rajasa was Prabowo's running mate in 2014, but after a leadership change in mid-2016 a single Cabinet seat finally tempted the party to join Widodo's ruling coalition. Asked where PAN stood now, a senior party executive told Asia Times: "Everywhere, but nowhere. Nobody knows."
That's the same for the PKB. While former social affairs minister Khofifah Parawansa, 53, a senior PKB figure, may have declared herself a Widodo loyalist following her recent victory in the East Java gubernatorial election, party leader Muhaimin Iskander continues to play coy.
Muhaiman, 51, has insisted the sixth-ranked PKB will only join PDI-P, Golkar, National Democrat (Nasdem), United Development (PPP) and People's Conscience (Hanura) parties in the ruling coalition if he is chosen as Widodo's vice presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, Widodo has his eyes firmly on cementing his position as front-runner, with one poll last March putting his electability at 52.8%, giving him a commanding lead over Prabowo at 15.4.%. But as 2014 showed, fortunes can change significantly the closer the country gets to the elections.
Although Widodo ally Ridwan Kami wrested the West Java governorship away from the Gerindra-PKS coalition, a recent poll by Saiful Mujadi Research and Consulting (SMRC) shows Widodo trailing by 51% to 40% in a religiously conservative province where the president lost four years ago.
With Golkar party leader Airlangga Hartarto as his prospective running mate, the president will be relying on party to help him stage a comeback in West Java and the eight other provinces of Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau, South Sumatra, Banten, South Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara, Gorantalo and North Maluku where Prabowo came out on top last time.
Widodo is far ahead of his rival in Central Java (73%-20%) and East Java (64%-28%), but holds a narrower lead in the polls taken in a selection of other large provinces like North Sumatra (42%-40%), where an opposition candidate won the governorship, and South Sulawesi (50%-38%).
Tangguh Chairil Indonesia is aiming to meet its own defence needs and not be reliant on other countries for military equipment by 2029.
The biggest economy in Southeast Asia set up a coordinating committee in 2010 to create a master plan to develop its defence industry. In 2012, the government also issued a supporting law.
But, Indonesia's defence industry remains stagnant. What's holding Indonesia back and is it possible for the country to develop a self-sustaining defence industry?
Indonesia has been touted as the most attractive defence market in Southeast Asia as it deals with terrorism, illegal fishing, piracy, drug smuggling and other crimes.
Having a self-supporting defence industry is important for Indonesia as military equipment are expensive. Importing them from other countries takes a large chunk of the state budget. In 2018 state budget, the Defence Ministry secured the largest budget allocation at Rp107.7 trillion (US$6.9 billion), more than the Health Ministry (Rp59.1 trillion), the Research and Technology Ministry (Rp41.3 trillion), and the Education and Culture Ministry (Rp40.1 trillion). It's also important for Indonesia to be self-reliant to anticipate possible embargos from other countries.
Indonesia's defence industry reached its peak during the New Order regime under the strong leadership of then research and technology minister B.J. Habibie. During his tenure, he declared the defence industry as a strategic sector.
During the New Order era, the government established several big players of Indonesia's defence industry such as the aircraft manufacturer IPTN (now Dirgantara Indonesia). IPTN developed the CN-235 transport aircraft in the 1980s. It also came close to pioneer Indonesia's own small passenger aircraft N-250, having built two prototypes in 1996.
However, the 1997 Asian financial crisis destroyed the industry. The country's defence industry began to recover slowly. But Indonesia continues to be a major importing country for military equipment.
The latest data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute military expenditure database in 2016 stated Indonesia allocated US$8.18 billion for defence spending, the second highest in Southeast Asia after Singapore at $9.96 billion.
Despite spending the most in Southeast Asia, Indonesia's military expenditure is still below 1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among the lowest in the region. A state's military spending is usually set at 2-3% of each country's GDP.
Under Jokowi, Indonesia plans to raise the defence budget to 1.5% of GDP to spend more on research and development for military equipment.
Indonesia's defence industry players include state-owned enterprises and private companies. Their businesses range from producing main equipment and components, supplying raw material to conducting maintenance and repair.
Big players include state-owned weapon manufacturer Pindad that handles ground military equipment, state-owned shipbuilder PAL for naval systems and state aircraft manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia for aerospace systems.
Their biggest clients are the Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces, and the Police. They have also sold equipment to other countries.
Pindad has exported assault rifles to Bangladesh and United Arab Emirates. It has also exported Anoa armoured vehicles to Brunei, Pakistan, and Timor Leste. PAL has exported warships to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Dirgantara Indonesia has exported aircrafts to ten countries: Thailand, Brunei, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Venezuela.
But these local companies have yet been able to meet the local demand from government agencies as their products are not equipped with advanced technology.
For defence equipment on land, Indonesia still needs to import battle tanks from Germany. In terms of naval system, despite our local industry's capability in producing fast attack missile boats, offshore patrol vessels, light frigates, and landing platform docks, we still need to import frigates, corvettes and submarines from the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany.
Indonesia still imports all of its fighter aircrafts, including F-16 and F-5 fighter jets from the US and Sukhoi jets from Russia. Indonesia's marine patrol and transport aircrafts still come from the US and Spain. Indonesia also imports trainer aircrafts from the UK, Italy and South Korea. The diverse suppliers of aircrafts creates problems in spares compatibility.
Even though the majority of Indonesia's military equipment still depends on foreign suppliers, the local industry players have also made some improvements in showing its potential.
Pindad is developing Kaplan medium tanks with Turkey. PAL is producing Chang Bogo-class submarines jointly with South Korean firm Daewoo. Dirgantara Indonesia has secured licenses to build H225M, NAS332, and SA330 helicopters for the Air Force.
Despite its potential, Indonesia's defence industry still faces challenges.
Funding for research and development in defence technology in Indonesia is lacking. Because of this, it remains difficult for Indonesia to develop state-of-the-art technology for its military products, making them less competitive in the global market.
The uncertainties in getting orders from local market has made the industry players reluctant to heavily invest in research as companies must bear the risks associated with research failures.
This has caused a rocky relationship between defence industry players and their local costumers. The Armed Forces often complain about the quality of local products, resulting in them buying from other countries.
This case occurred when the Indonesian Air Force bought AW101 helicopters from the Anglo-Italian company Leonardo-Finmeccanica last year, despite Dirgantara Indonesia having the capability to produce similar products.
Other challenges include contract and regulatory uncertainties. This results in many contracts being postponed or cancelled.
Recently, the deal between South Korea and Indonesia to develop fighter aircrafts was put on hold due to contract disagreements. Previously, the deal was delayed due to various reasons, including financial and administrative issues, as well as political conditions.
To achieve its goals of self-sufficiency, Indonesia should first address problems hindering the development of the country's defence industry.
First, if the government plans to increase the budget allocation for military, it should allocate its portion of the state budget for research and development programs for military weaponry.
The government must also support local industry players by giving them guarantees through legal instruments and incentives. Under these incentives, the government may require the Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces, and the Police to procure military equipment from local players only.
The government should also facilitate better relationship between the defence industry players and the Armed Forces. With these steps, Indonesia will be one step closer to having a self-reliant defence industry.
John McBeth, Jakarta Barring any last minute changes, Indonesian President Joko Widodo is close to naming Golkar Party chairman and Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto as his running mate in next April's simultaneous presidential and legislative elections.
Several well-placed sources tell Asia Times that with the Constitutional Court's recent ruling against incumbent Vice President Jusuf Kalla serving a third term, Widodo has settled on Hartarto, 55, an affable, new-breed politician committed to reforming former president Suharto's once all-powerful political machine.
The attitude of the president's own Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (PDI-P) leader Megawati Sukarnoputri isn't clear, but the choice of Hartarto would be a solid pointer to Widodo's reliance on Golkar as a trusted ally in securing a targeted 55% of the vote in 2019.
All this suggests Widodo has dispensed with the idea of a running mate with strong Muslim credentials, confident he has little to fear from the opposition Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) and the sharia-based Justice and Prosperity (PKS) parties using religio-political tactics as a weapon against him.
Both Widodo and Hartarto are Muslims, after all, and the June 27 regional elections in 17 of the 34 provinces showed that playing the Islamic card in the way it was used to oust Jakarta governor Basuki Pranowo, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, will not work to any serious effect on a national stage.
Most analysts believe Gerindra leader and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto and his advisers would do better to focus on brewing economic issues, many stemming from rising world oil prices, which could prove a far more potent strategy in the run-up to the elections.
An Australian-educated engineer and son of a respected Suharto-era economic minister, Hartarto was made Golkar chairman last December in place of his disgraced predecessor Setya Novanto, now serving 15 years in jail for masterminding the US$173 million electronic identity card corruption scandal.
Hartarto will now look for Golkar to secure 18% of the vote in 2019, four percentage points higher than what the party has won at the past two elections as new parties like Gerindra and the Democrats have entered the fray.
The possibility of a Widodo-Hartarto ticket emerged in March when they were pictured talking comfortably together in the first of what appears to have been several informal meetings. Asked recently by this reporter over messaging service WhatsApp whether he was in the frame as Widodo's running mate, Hartarto replied a smiley Emoji followed by a string of zippered faces.
Multiple sources confirm Widodo and Hartarto have been discussing a common ticket, which would guarantee the stability of a future government that was not present at the start of the president's first term and which he will need for some of the hard decisions that lie ahead.
The only hold-outs from his current ruling coalition are PAN, which ran with Prabowo in 2014 and then deserted him for a single Cabinet seat in mid-2016, and the National Awakening Party (PKB), whose leader Muhaimin Iskander has been accused of pursuing his own personal ambitions.
Kalla, a political and religious figure in equal measure, is believed to have been Widodo's first vice presidential choice. After a shaky start, the two finally reached a measure of common ground that has allowed Widodo room for maneuver. But when the Constitutional Court ruled last week against Kalla's candidacy, the president was compelled to look elsewhere.
Widodo has every right to be emboldened by the outcomes of recent gubernatorial elections in East, Central and West Java, the country's three most populous provinces, which together account for nearly half of the country's 185 million registered voters.
Candidates he can rely on for support won in all three provinces, most importantly in West Java, the largest province surrounding Jakarta, where he suffered his third heaviest defeat to Gerindra rival Prabowo in 2014 and which he wants to win back now that he has the Golkar machinery to call on.
Analysts believe that without then-Golkar leader Aburizal Bakrie on his side, Prabowo would not have won West Java, which is split between conservative Muslims in the south and in Jakarta's outer suburbs and more religiously tolerant Sundanese voters to the north.
Outside of Central Java, his own PDI-P has proven to be neither reliable nor skilled as a vote-getting machine. Indeed, party leader Megawati almost dropped the ball in 2014 by dithering over Widodo's candidacy and then failing to get the party behind a man she continued to regard as little more than a party functionary.
At this point, the 2019 presidential election is again shaping up as a re-run of 2014, though a lack of funding and other resources this time around still makes Prabowo a reluctant candidate despite April's colorful horse-back ceremony where he announced his intention to run.
The latest polling provides him with little encouragement. IndoBarometer, a local pollster, showed in March that he trailed Widodo by 57.8% to 26.6%, with 15.5% undecided. More recently, Central Java voters put Widodo ahead by a whopping 78% to 13%, though in more diverse West Java he only leads by 41.4% to 32.9%, with 16.9% undecided.
With time running out for Prabowo to decide on his running mate before the September deadline, Jakarta has been abuzz with reports that ex-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, leader of the 67-seat Democrat Party, has reportedly told Prabowo that his financial problems will be solved if he chooses Yudhoyono's elder son, Agus Harimurti, 39, as his running mate.
But sources familiar with recent events doubt that will happen, saying the chemistry between the two retired generals has never been cordial and that Yudhoyono's powerful wife, Kristiani, scion of a blue blood military family, is unlikely to want to risk tarnishing her son's promising political career.
Harimurti, who left the military to run unsuccessfully in the 2017 Jakarta election, would appeal to millennial voters. But that has to be weighed against his youth and inexperience and, more importantly, the reaction of the PKS and PAN, Prabowo's two other potential partners.
The same sources rule out any prospect of Prabowo choosing former armed forces chief Gatot Nurmantyo, who has been cultivating the conservative Muslim lobby around the country and reportedly has the financial backing of influential tycoon Tommy Winata.
The presidential candidate's only documented meeting with the newly retired Nurmantyo did not go well by most accounts and in a recent meeting with a senior government figure Winata reportedly received what amounted to a guarded warning about how he used his money.
Results from the latest round of local elections throw little new light on the 2019 legislative polls. Indeed, the confusing mix of parties supporting local candidates, with PDI-P even joining Gerindra and PKS in two gubernatorial, 16 district and three municipal elections, hardly serves as a bellwether to party fortunes next year.
In any event, a US-German study of comparative election systems shows only 12% of Indonesians profess loyalty to a particular party, compared to 57% in the United States and 84% in Australia. With parties still devoid of policy platforms, there is no escaping the way Indonesia has become an arena for personality politics.
As expected, quick-count returns showed PDI-P incumbent governor Ganjar Pranowo winning comfortably in Central Java, Widodo's home region and long a PDI-P stronghold. But his sole rival, former energy minister Sudirman Said, performed better than the polls predicted against a candidate who remains under a corruption cloud.
Former social affairs minister Khofifah Parawansa, a Widodo loyalist, won a tighter race in her native East Java against incumbent deputy governor Saifullah Yusuf and running mate Puti Guntur, Megawati's niece, who were supported by Khofifah's own PKB, PDI-P, Gerindra and PKS.
Kofifah and partner Emil Dardak, 34, a Japan-educated doctoral graduate and former chief of East Java's coastal Trenggalek district, had the backing of five of PDI-P's six coalition allies. Dardak, who won his district's election in 2015 with 76% of the vote, looks to be one of several emerging stars in Indonesian regional politics.
In West Java, where 97% of the 46 million-strong population is Muslim, 10% higher than the national average, former Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil emerged the narrow winner in a crowded four-candidate field, 2-3% ahead of retired general Sudrajat, a one-time ambassador to China, who was backed by Gerindra and PKS.
A US-trained architect with carefully cultivated Muslim credentials, Kamil's choice of former Tasikmalaya district chief Uu Ruzhanal Ulum as a running mate appears to have taken away from votes from the opposition in the conservative Muslim belt where Prabowo and his PKS allies performed well in 2014.
Kamil, who is known to be close to Widodo, also relied on the support of a four-party coalition that included PKB and PPP, the two Muslim-oriented parties representing the conservative and progressive wings of the mass Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, which do not often join in a common cause.
Usman Hamid, Jakarta The tactics used by the country's security forces may have changed since the fall of military rule in 1998, but in Papua Indonesia's easternmost, restive region deadly violence from the use of excessive force by police and military personnel remains a constant threat.
A new Amnesty International report released Monday, titled "'Don't bother, just let him die': Killing with impunity in Papua", details how unlawful killings remain high.
At the same time, we have documented how security forces are applying the same lethal tactics they have used for years against armed groups in non-political contexts, and there has been no accountability for the deaths.
During the Soeharto era, the concept of human rights was virtually unrecognized in Papua. The integration of Papua in 1969 from Dutch rule under United Nations supervision was not accepted by all, and prompted some Papuans to take up arms to demand independence.
The Soeharto government responded brutally by launching a decades-long military campaign to contain the armed pro-independence groups that resulted in an enormous number of deaths, many of them unlawful.
Disproportionate attacks on armed groups also claimed the lives of many civilians. However, there was no accountability for the extrajudicial killings. This fallout left the region's people reluctant to publicly express any desire for independence.
After 32 years in power, the fall of Soeharto in 1998 paved the way for greater respect for human rights, including freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
While armed groups continue to operate in the region, many Papuans, including church representatives, students and indigenous people, have voiced their political views peacefully to avoid further violence. This has led to the birth of several peaceful political movements in Papua in the years since 1998.
However, despite the increased respect for human rights, post-Soeharto governments have shown an uncompromising stance towards independence movements, even for those in Papua advocating independence through peaceful means.
As part of their commitment to reform, post-Soeharto governments separated the police from the military. Consequently, the police have been tasked with maintaining internal security while the military is to focus solely on defense. However, both security forces are present and active in Papua today.
The killings of armed group members still take place on a relatively small scale in Papua, but in the post-Soeharto era, unlawful killings mainly target peaceful political activists. The authorities say they fear such peaceful activism could lead to greater calls for independence and, eventually, national disintegration.
What is alarming is that police officers and soldiers apply the same ruthless and deadly tactics in Papua that they have used against armed groups for years, but to public events that are unrelated to independence. As a result, members of the public voicing non-political grievances have also become victims of unlawful killings.
Amnesty International's latest report shows that the majority of victims of unlawful killings in Papua from January 2010 to February 2018 were peaceful protesters in cases unrelated to pro-independence protests. The perpetrators have been both police officers and soldiers, and none of them have been subject to criminal investigation by an independent institution. Ninety-five total deaths have been recorded, or about one person every month since 2010.
Security forces unlawfully killed 95 people, of which 56 were unrelated to independence. This includes incidents in which security forces dealt with peaceful social protests and public disorder, attempts to arrest criminal suspects and sometimes, individual misconduct of security personnel. Meanwhile, 39 have died from the unlawful use of force in cases related to pro-independence issues.
The fact that most victims of these unlawful killings are ethnic Papuans 85 out of the total 95 possibly underlines the years-long resentment the local people hold toward security forces for associating any civilian protesters with the Free Papua Movement (OPM) separatist group and applying repressive including lethal measures when dealing with them.
On a visit to Papua in December 2017, a group of local journalists of Papuan ethnicity told Amnesty International that they frequently suffered discriminative and repressive treatment from security forces.
Amnesty International's report reveals that the police have been behind most of the unlawful killings that took place over the last eight years in Papua. The police have killed a total of 39 people, while soldiers have killed 27. In other incidents, the police and military together killed 28 people.
This is a serious stain on Indonesia's human rights record. Now is the time to change course: The unlawful killings in Papua must end, and those responsible for past killings must be held accountable before an independent, civilian court.
The deadly tactics used by security forces remain unchanged, but the victims of unlawful killings in Papua are increasingly peaceful political activists and non-political protesters.
Our report reveals that the use of unnecessary or excessive force, including firearms, in policing non-political public assemblies and public disorder in Papua has resulted in deaths, which has not happened elsewhere in the country. Security forces must review their training, equipment, regulations and tactics in policing public assemblies in Papua.
After the December 2014 shooting by security forces that killed four Papuan students during a peaceful protest in Paniai, newly installed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo promised to prioritize human rights in the region and to turn Papua into a "land of peace".
However, three years later, there still has been no justice for the victims and families of the Paniai incident. The investigation into the Paniai shooting remains in legal limbo, like many other human rights cases in the region.
The report records that unlawful killings in Papua have resulted in a total 39 deaths during the Jokowi administration, a record that does not inspire confidence. All suspected cases of unlawful killings, whether they took place before or after President Jokowi assumed office, must be investigated thoroughly and efficiently by an independent body.
The current administration must not close its eyes to the unlawful killings that are still taking place in Papua, even as the government is stepping up economic development in the region. Sustainable development is welcome, but it is not enough on its own there must be justice and respect for human rights to heal the pain of the Papuan people. The two should be done hand-in-hand.
Now is the right time for Jokowi to work toward the resolution of past human rights violations in Papua to put an end to unlawful killings and realize his pledge to turn Papua into a "land of peace".