Kamis, 19 Oktober 2017

NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROVIDES BETTER MOBILITY TO N SUMATRA PEOPLE by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 19, 2017 (Antara) - North Sumatra has enjoyed rapid infrastructure development over the last several years, thanks to the economic policy of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) administration to improve the mobility of the people and make Lake Toba in the province a world-class tourist destination.
        Various infrastructure projects, such as constructions of airports, highway, toll roads, and seaports, have been underway to improve connectivity in North Sumatra.
        On Oct 13, Jokowi inaugurated the Medan-Binjai and Kualanamu Airport-Sei Rampah toll road sections, spanning 52 kilometers, in Kualanamu, North Sumatra.
         Jokowi, in the presence of State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Public Works and Housing Minister Basoeki Hadimoeljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung and North Sumatra Governor Erry Nuradi, pressed a siren to mark the inauguration of the two toll road sections and expressed hope that the operation of the two toll road sections would increase the mobility of people and goods.
        He believed that if the mobility of goods increased and the transportation cost declined, then the cost of goods would be cheaper.
         Owing to high prices of goods, Indonesia has lost to other countries that offer lower prices, thanks to their solid infrastructure, he noted.
         He added that the construction of some toll road sections in North Sumatra has not been completed due to land clearance problems.
         The toll road sections include the 3.3-kilometer Tanjung Mulia- Sei Semayang section and the 10.15-kilometer Sei Rampah-Tebing Tinggi section.

ALL REFUGEES DISPLACED BY MOUNT SINABUNG ERUPTION TO BE RELOCATED BY 2018 by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 19, 2017 (Antara) - Some 2,117 families, being displaced by the eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra Province since 2010, are still waiting to be relocated to permanent resettlement areas. 
    Normal life of these people has been thrown out of gear. They could neither make a normal living nor could their children attend schools since their villages had been destroyed by the volcanic eruptions that has been going on and off.

       Having been inactive for four centuries, Mount Sinabung has been coming back to life since 2010 and has been erupting sporadically. 
   Inhabitants of 10 villages located within a radius of three to five kilometers from the mountain top are waiting to be relocated to new settlement areas in three stages. 
   More than 30 thousand people across 34 villages were displaced from September 2013 to February 2014 as a result of the eruptions of the 2,600-meter-high mountain.

         President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had signed a Presidential Decree No. 21 of 2015 on a task force for accelerating the relocation of victims affected by the eruptions. 
    In the first stage of the relocation program, 370 families, comprising of 1,212 people, were relocated to Siosar village, Merek sub-district, Karo District, in 2015.

         They had previously lived in three villages, namely Sukameriah, Bekerah, and Simacem, which are located on the slope of Mount Sinabung.
         Jokowi visited the natural disaster's victims in Siosar for the second time on Oct 14, 2017, after his first visit two years ago.
       He had held dialogs with several villagers and asked them whether they had planted and harvested crops, and they responded that indeed they had planted potatoes.

Rabu, 18 Oktober 2017

News Focus - IT IS TIME FOR NEW JAKARTA GOVERNOR TO WORK HARD by Fardah


       Jakarta, Oct 18 (Antara)   After waiting for six months, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated Anies Rasyid Baswedan and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno respectively as the Jakarta governor and deputy governor for 2017-2022 term at the State Palace on Oct 16.
             Baswedan and Uno, both aged 48, won the Jakarta gubernatorial election in April 2017 after competing with incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and Djarot Hidayat in a run-off election.
             Their victory in the election was officially announced by the General Election Commission of Jakarta on May 5, 2017.
             The Jakarta Metro Jaya Police and Military Command had deployed some seven thousand personnel to guard the inauguration of the new Jakarta governor. The joint police and military team guarded the palace and the City Hall, the office of Jakarta's governor.
             During the ceremony broadcast live on television, Baswedan, dressed in a white uniform, pledged to perform his duties to the best of his abilities during his five-year term.
             Following the inauguration, Baswedan, the former education minister and university rector, said with the conclusion of the campaign phase and the inauguration, it is now time to focus on work and on fulfilling the promises he had made while campaigning for the regional head election.
             Baswedan and Uno, a successful businessman, will have to work hard to fulfill their 23 campaign promises that include zero down payment for housing schemes and entrepreneurial programs to create 200 thousand new jobs.
             Uno had earlier said entrepreneurial programs are crucial to solving the unemployment problem in the capital city.  
        From the palace, the new governor and deputy governor headed to the Jakarta City Hall where thousands of well-wishers were waiting to greet and congratulate them.            
        "We can't wait to get to work right away. We have been waiting for six months. Insha Allah, Jakarta will be better," Baswedan said in his first official speech as governor after a handover ceremony at the City Hall during which his predecessor Hidayat was away on vacation in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara Province.

Rabu, 11 Oktober 2017

STRENGTHENING CYBER DEFENSE TO PROTECT INDONESIA'S SOVEREIGNTY by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 11,2017 (Antara) - In the current cyber era, cyber threats and attacks could affect sovereignty of a country; therefore, strengthening Indonesia's cyber defense is crucial to protect its national interests.
          Several government institutions, such as the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), the Defense Ministry, the Headquarters of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), and the National Police (Polri), have, respectively, had independent cybersecurity unit.
        Cybersecurity has become a major issue, given the large number of internet users in Indonesia, which is around 132 million. In fact, Indonesia is viewed as having the potential to develop reliable cybersecurity mechanisms.
        In June 2017, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated a national cyber agency called National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN), which is expected to become operational soon.
        BSSN was launched following a global ransomware attack by the WannaCry virus, which affected more than 150 countries around the world, including Indonesia, in May this year.
         BSSN, which will function under the coordination of Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, is expected to serve as an umbrella for all cybersecurity units to prevent overlapping and to strengthen coordination.
        Wiranto has said that the government would appoint a BSSN chief this October.
        "(The chief will be appointed) as soon as possible. I hope this month," he told the press after chairing a limited coordinating meeting on BSSN in Jakarta on Oct 4.
          The meeting was attended by Communication and Informatics Minister, Rudiantara, and State Apparatus' Empowerment and Bureaucracy Reform Minister, Asman Abnur, among others.
         Discussions on the agency's organizational structure have been completed, he stated.

Selasa, 10 Oktober 2017

JAKARTA BAY RECLAMATION PROJECT RESUMES AS MORATORIUM LIFTED by Fardah

 Jakarta, Oct 10, 2017 (Antara) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, on Oct 5 issued a Ministerial Decree No S-78-001/02/Coordinating Minister/Maritime/X/2017 to revoke a decree on moratorium of Jakarta Bay reclamation project issued in 2016 by his predecessor, Rizal Ramli.
        Pandjaitan sent a letter informing outgoing Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat that the moratorium was officially lifted as developers had fulfilled several requirements demanded by Ramli.
        The requirements included a revision to the Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal), taking into account technical designs for power plant pipes, sedimentation mitigation, and sailing routes for traditional fishermen.
        Pandjaitan's decree was issued just 10 days before the upcoming inauguration of Jakarta Governor-elect Anies Baswedan and his deputy, Sandiaga Uno, who during their regional head elections (pilkada) campaign had promised their constituents, particularly traditional fishermen, to cancel the reclamation project. 
   Pandjaitan, however, affirmed on Oct 9 that Baswedan cannot cancel the reclamation project in Jakarta Bay, because the project was under the central government's control.
        Following the revocation of the moratorium, projects of the C, D, and G Islands in North Jakarta Coast would resume.
        He explained that he had demanded the developer to find a solution for the undersea cable network of coal-based power plants (PLTU) in Muara Karang, which were affected by the project.
        "The interest of local fishermen has also been duly taken into consideration for carrying out the reclamation project. A channel has been provided for fishermen going out to or returning from the sea. Thank God, there is no injustice committed against fishermen. This is in line with the program of the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry to develop the port at Muara Baru into a modern fish market," Pandjaitan added.

PROMOTING SCIENCE TOURISM IN ACEH by Fardah

Jakarta, Oct 10, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh offers unexplored natural beauty comprising rivers, mountains, and intact forests that are home to various rare and endangered animal species, such as orangutans, elephants, Sumatran rhinos, and tigers.
          The Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL), which is partly located in Aceh, is one of the world's most biodiverse and ancient ecosystems having countless biological treasures, including clouded leopards, hornbills, and giant flowers.     
     The TNGL along with two other national parks -- Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan -- is part of the 2.5 million-hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004.   
     Spread across 7,927 square kilometers, the TNGL is an ideal location for science tourism, a niche area within alternative forms of tourism, that shares specificity of learning, adventure, cultural, and experiential tourism.
          The protected area is home to an estimated 10 thousand plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammalian species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic.
          Of the mammalian species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.    
     Several experts believe that linking science and tourism seems to meet the challenge of boosting socio-economic growth of the local communities and potentially improving the conservation of highly fragile ecosystems.