Sabtu, 28 Februari 2015

INDONESIA INTENSIFIES REHABILITATION PROGRAM FOR DRUG ADDICTS By Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 28 (Antara) - Being in a state of drug emergency, the Indonesian government has carried out the heaviest punishment, notably death penalty on major drug traffickers.
        The government, in the same time, has prioritized rehabilitation efforts to heal drug users, who are mostly young people falling victims to drug addiction.
        "We are very concerned about the present condition. The number of drug users in 2015 has reached 4.5 million people and is showing an increasing trend every year," Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa said recently. 
   Of the 4.5 million drug addicts, around 75 percent of them belong to the younger generation. Of the total number, 1.2 million users can no longer be rehabilitated due to their dire condition.    

INDONESIA TIGHTENS SECURITY MEASURES AS ILLEGAL FISHING ACTIVITIES CONTINUE By Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 28, 2015 (Antara) - Despite the Indonesian government's war against poaching activities in its waters, foreign boats continue to fish illegally, prompting the country's navy to tighten security measures in its maritime territory.    
   Following President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's instructions to destroy any foreign boats operating illegally in Indonesian waters, the Navy, in cooperation with the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, has been confiscating foreign boats caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters.
        Jokowi, who has vowed to revive the past maritime glory of Indonesia during his tenure as the head of state, is determined to stop the entry of illegal foreign fishing boats into Indonesian waters.           
   Tough measures have been adopted by the Indonesian government against illegal fishing.

EXECUTIONS OF DRUG OFFENDERS AFFECT INDONESIA, BRAZIL TIES by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 28, 2015 (Antara)- The Brazilian government had withdrawn its ambassador  to Indonesia after its citizen, Marco Archer Cardoso Mareira, 53, was executed on drug offenses in January 2015.
        As the Indonesian authorities are making preparations for the next batch of executions that also includes another Brazilian, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff took the further step of refusing to allow Indonesia's ambassador designate Toto Riyanto to take part in a credentials ceremony on Feb. 20, prompting the Indonesian foreign ministry to recall him in protest.
        "The manner in which the Foreign Minister of Brazil suddenly informed the postponement of the presentation of credentials by the Ambassador designate of Indonesia to Brazil, when the Ambassador designate was already at the palace, is unacceptable to Indonesia," the ministry stated in a statement on Feb. 21, 2015.
       The ministry summoned the Brazilian Ambassador to Indonesia on the 20th February 2015, at 22.00 to convey the strongest possible terms of protest towards the unfriendly act of the Government of Brazil and presented a formal note of protest.
       The Government of Indonesia has also recalled home to Jakarta the Ambassador designate of Indonesia to Brazil until a time has been determined by the Government of Brazil for the presentation of his credentials.
         The Indonesian government believes that the Brazilian government's action is related to the plan to execute the death penalty granted to Rodrigo Gularte, a Brazilian national who was convicted in 2005 after being arrested for smuggling 6 kilograms of cocaine concealed inside his surfboard.
       As a democratic sovereign state with its own sovereign, independent and impartial justice system, no foreign country nor party can and may interfere with the implementation of Indonesia¿s prevailing laws within its jurisdiction, including in the enforcement of laws to address drug trafficking, the ministry said in the statement.
        Following the incident, Vice-President M Jusuf Kalla said: "On the same evening after the refusal, the President ordered the recall (of the ambassador-designate). I communicated with the Foreign Affairs Minister to recall (him) immediately."
   The vice president stated that Indonesia will go ahead with the implementation of the death penalty on major drug offenders, despite protests from other governments including of Australia and Brazil.
        "We have reiterated many times that we have the sovereignty and will carry out the executions. Remember that the death penalty is based on a court verdict and not a presidential instruction," Kalla noted on Feb 23.
         He understands the right of a country to lodge its protest against the execution of its citizen. Indonesia has also protested whenever its citizens were about to be executed in other countries, he added.
         Indonesia was also re-evaluating the purchase of fighter jets and rocket launchers from Brazil because of the row.
       "We are reconsidering our plan to purchase weapons (from Brazil)," Kalla told the press.
       Commenting on Indonesia's reactions, President Dilma Rousseff said its bilateral trade with Indonesia was insignificant as it was only US$4 billion, or less than 1 percent of its total external trade amounting to $454 billion last year.
         Thus, Rousseff implied that the recall of Indonesian Ambassador designate Toto Royanto after being humiliated by the sudden postponement of his credential letter presentation on Feb. 20, by any means, did not bear significance for Brazil.
         Upon the press's questions, the Indonesian foreign ministry's spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said: "I cannot comment on what Brazil (President Rousseff) has said, but the important thing is that we refer to a country that shares bilateral relations with us as an important and friendly state."
   Despite the ambassadorial post in Brazil is vacant, Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrachman Fachir said the mission representative of the Indonesian Embassy in Brasilia is functioning normally.
        "In terms of service, everything is working in normal condition, such as the issuance of visas and so on. The mission representative is still operating as we have a charge d'affaires in Brazil," he explained.
        President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and Ambassador Toto Riyanto to report about the Brazil incident at the Merdeka State Palace on Feb. 24.
       Jokowi insisted that the death penalty is in accordance with the law in Indonesia as it is a sovereign state, and the legal process regarding drug convicts on death row had been regulated.
        The foreign ministry's Director General of America and Europe Dian Triansah Djani said what Brazil did was not diplomatic by any means and, in fact, it was disappointment with regard to the respectful relationship between the two countries.
        "Of course, we are offended. I have informed him (the Brazilian ambassador to Indonesia) that their act was unacceptable and did not meet diplomatic principles. We have made note of what Brazil has done," Djani said.
        Indonesia's firm stance has been hailed by legislators and legal experts at home.
        According to the University of Indonesia's International Law Expert Hikmahanto Juwana, it is better to leave the post of ambassador to Brazil vacant until they apologize, considering that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's action has offended Indonesia's dignity as a sovereign state and nation.          
  "The Brazilian government will jeopardize its bilateral relations with Indonesia only because of an extreme reaction to the execution of its citizen, who was involved in drug dealing activities," said Hikmahanto Juwana.
        He believed that President Dilma Rousseff has obviously mixed her personal feeling with her capacity as a president.
       Indonesia's second largest Muslim organization Muhammadiyah has hailed the Indonesian Foreign Ministry's stance.
     
"I think it (Indonesia's attitude) is appropriate, formal and firm as it concerns the dignity of the Indonesian people," Din Syamsuddin, the general chairman of Muhammadiyah, said.
       "The cynical act of expelling (the ambassador) is not good and unjustified," Din Syamsuddin said.
        Din said that Muhammadiyah and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) had issued an edict that narcotics is 'haram' (not allowed by Islam) because it is against the teaching of religion and the legal regulations of the state.
        "Narcotics addiction has killed not only one or two persons but killed 50 addicts per day. So the death punishment is in line with the law in force," he said.
        The House of Representatives (DPR) has also supported the government's decision to recall Indonesian ambassador designate to Brazil Toto Riyanto.
        "The government is right to make this decision, so it is worth supporting. Commission I of the House of Representatives supports the Indonesian government's firm action," Tantowi Yahya, deputy chairman of Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR), which deals with foreign affairs matters, among others, said.
        According to Yahya, no country can dictate another country's legal system, and as a sovereign state, Brazil should understand and accept this.
       This unfriendly move by the Brazilian government will hamper bilateral relations between the nations in various fields.
        In addition to the Super Tucano aircraft that Indonesia ordered from Brazil to watch over its coastlines, it also ordered for a Multi-Launcher Rocket System from the country.
        "We will hold a dialogue with the Ministry of Defense to evaluate this cooperation, if Brazil does not change its stance," he affirmed.
     
Moreover, Yahya pointed out that as one of the largest meat producers in the world, Brazil is currently trying to supply the commodity to Indonesia.
          "Brazil needs Indonesia in these two sectors (defense and meat)," he observed.
        Taking a firm stance against drug dealers in January, the government of President Joko Widodo in January 2015 executed six convicted drug dealers on death row. 
   Besides one of its own citizens, the convicts were from Malawi, Nigeria, Vietnam, Brazil, and the Netherlands. The executions prompted Brazil and the Netherlands to recall their ambassadors in protest.
        The government will soon execute 11 other convicts sentenced to death, including nine drug convicts, two of whom are Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Australia, and Rodrigo Gularte, 42, of Brazil. ***2***
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INDONESIA PREPARING TO EVACUATE CITIZENS FROM YEMEN By Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 28, 2015 (Antara) - Following an escalation in violence in Yemen's northern regions, Indonesia has decided to keep its embassy in Sana'a open, but is preparing to evacuate its citizens from the Arab country.
        However, the embassies of many Western countries have been shut down in Yemen.
        Some 4,159 Indonesian citizens currently live in Yemen, of which 1,488 are migrant workers and the remainder are students.         
   The tense political situation in Yemen escalated after the Yemeni President and Prime Minister resigned on January 22 and rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi took over as the new leader of the country.
        The Indonesian government has also issued a travel advisory for Indonesians planning to visit Yemen, considering the worsening security situation in that country.    

Kamis, 26 Februari 2015

INDONESIA INTENSIFIES ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY TO BOOST GROWTH By Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 26, 2015 (Antara) - Indonesia's economy only grew 5.02 percent last year and failed to meet the target set in the 2014 revised budget.
          Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro stated on Feb. 5, 2015, that the economic slowdown in 2014 was a strong wake-up call for the government to adopt a more serious approach to boost the country's economic growth.
          He, however, is optimistic that Indonesia's economy will grow 5.7 percent this year, despite the economic slowdown in 2014.
         According to him, the investment climate will continue to improve in 2015, and private investments will boost economic growth in Indonesia.

Jumat, 20 Februari 2015

INDONESIA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY TO TARGET MARINE LOVERS by Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 20, 2015 (Antara) - Under the presidency of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, the Indonesian government is determined to revive the glorious maritime past of the nation.
         As the world's largest archipelagic nation, some 70 percent of Indonesia's territory is water and it has 17,480 islands and a 92,000-kilometer long beach and coastal areas, the second longest after Canada.
         It also has around 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory, which constitutes huge marine tourism potential.
         The current government has identified that marine tourism has huge potential, but it has so far been overlooked.  

Kamis, 19 Februari 2015

GARUDA INDONESIA OFFERS SPECIAL SERVICES DURING CHINESE NEW YEAR By Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 19, 2015 (Antara) - As the Chinese are increasingly traveling overseas for Lunar New Year, or Imlek, Garuda Indonesia has come up with both regular and charter flight services to fly Chinese holidaymakers to Bali Island.
         "Chinese New Year is identical to homebound traveling. But, over the past few years, many Chinese have preferred to travel overseas with their family members," Wang Zhuli of Caissa Touristic travel bureau remarked.
         China is a potential market for Indonesia. On an average, more than 100 million Chinese travel overseas every year.          
    Almost one million Chinese tourists visited Indonesia last year, and for this year, Indonesia has set a target to double their number.

CHINESE INDONESIANS CELEBRATE LUNAR NEW YEAR PEACEFULLY, JOYFULLY By Fardah

   Jakarta, Feb 19, 2015 (Antara) -- From Sabang in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh Darussalam to Merauke in the easternmost province of Papua, Chinese Indonesians celebrated Spring Festival 2015, or Lunar New Year 2566, peacefully and joyfully.   
   Imlek, as the occasion is locally known, fell on February 19 this year. It is the most important traditional festival celebrated among Chinese families.
        The festival incorporates the customs, beliefs and practices brought to Indonesia by Chinese immigrants who still follow the traditions passed down to them from their parents.      
   The population of Indonesians of Chinese descent is believed to be some 10 million, which is approximately 4 to 5 percent of the total population of the country, which has the largest number of Muslims in the world.

Selasa, 17 Februari 2015

INDONESIA INSISTS EXECUTIONS INTENDED TO END DRUG CRIMES by Fardah

  Jakarta, Feb 17, 2015 (Antara) - As Indonesian authorities prepare to carry out the second phase of executions of drug offenders, a number of countries and the UN have urged the country to stop further executions.
         Indonesia plans to execute 11 convicts on death row, including nine drug convicts, two of whom are Australian nationals, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
         The two Australians are part of Bali Nine, a group of drug traffickers who were nabbed on April 17, 2005, in Bali while they were trying to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin to Australia.

Senin, 16 Februari 2015

US SHOULD THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATE CHAPEL HILL MURDERS: INDONESIA by Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 16, 2015 (Antara) - A cartoon with accompanying text "Muslims are newsworthy only when they kill, not when they are killed," is in circulation on the social media following last week's Chapel Hills tragedy.
       The cartoon depicts three newsmen, each covering his mouth, eyes, and ears, has been circulated to describe how the Western media view the killings of three young Muslims in Chapel Hills, North Carolina.
       Newly-wed couple Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), a University of North Carolina dental student, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha (21), and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19), a student at North Carolina State University were killed in a Chapel Hills condominium in North Carolina on Feb. 10, 2015.
        The murders of the three Muslims by their neighbor Craig Hicks have not received any immediate attention from major Western media nor from leaders such as US President Barack Obama, who was quick to respond after the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

Minggu, 15 Februari 2015

FLOOD-PLAGUED JAKARTA SHOULD LOOK AT ENVIRONMENTAL OPTIONS by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 15, 2015 (Antara) - The Jakarta Administration earlier claimed that the capital city was ready to face floods as the authorities had made better preparations for flood mitigation efforts.
       "We are better prepared now as compared to previous years. I have ordered the head of sub-districts in Jakarta province to dredge the river basin areas (to ease the flow of water into the sea)," Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok said in November 2014, expressing his optimism that Jakarta would be inundated for no longer than one day in case of flooding.        

Sabtu, 14 Februari 2015

RIAU POLICE FINALLY ACHIEVE BREAKTHROUGH IN ELEPHANT POACHING, IVORY TRADE By Fardah

    Jakarta, Feb 14, 2015 (Antara) - The population of Sumatran elephants (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus) has been dwindling rapidly due to poaching and deforestation, and the giant animal's habitat has shrunk by around 70 percent over the past quarter of a century.
         For instance, the World Wide Fund for Nature reported that Riau Province has no major protected areas for its approximately 700 elephants. Instead, Sumatra's elephants exist in small forest parcels surrounded by homesteads, oil palms, timber plantations, and logging concessions.
         More than 145 Sumatran elephants have died mysteriously and tragically over the past decade, said Syamsidar, a spokesman for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)'s Riau Program.

INDONESIA'S ONE-STOP SERVICE TO EASE LICENSING PROCEDURES FOR INVESTORS By Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 14, 2015 (Antara) -- Businessmen wishing to invest in Indonesia do not have to go through a lengthy bureaucratic process anymore, thanks to a one-stop service (OSS) offered by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKMP) that started early this year.
        The program, known as the Integrated One-Door Licensing Service (PTSP), was officially launched by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the BKPM office in Jakarta on January 22.     
   "The BKPM launching the OSS is just the initial step. Next, I will order for the processes to be simplified and sped up so they are no longer complicated," the president said while launching the OSS.  
   Investment is expected to help the country achieve an economic growth rate of more than 7 percent within the next three years.

Rabu, 11 Februari 2015

SIMULTANEOUS REGIONAL HEAD ELECTIONS LIKELY TO BE HELD IN 2015 by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 11, 2015 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has decided to hold the simultaneous regional head elections in September 2015, instead of its previous plan of organizing the elections in December 2015.
       President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) recently signed the laws on the regional elections of provincial governors, district heads, and city mayors, according to Minister/State Secretary Pratikno.
          Jokowi has instructed that simultaneous regional head elections should be organized this year, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Tedjo Edhi Purdijatno stated on Feb. 10.
     "The president wants the regional head elections to be held in 2015 itself as it concerns the allocation of regional budgets," Tedjo Purdijanto informed the press following a meeting between the  president and leaders of the General Elections Commission (KPU) at the State Palace.

Jumat, 06 Februari 2015

INDONESIA SETS BIGGER TARGET FOR TOURIST VISITS IN 2015 by Fardah

 Jakarta, Feb 6, 2015 (Antara) - As the number of tourists to Indonesia exceeded all expectations in 2014, the government has set a larger target, from 10 million to 12 million foreign tourists, for 2015.
        Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has expressed optimism that the new target is achievable with intense promotional activities.
         The government has been planning a four-fold increase in the budget for tourism promotion, from Rp300 billion to Rp1.2 trillion this year, Arief Yahya stated after attending a meeting to discuss tourism affairs. The meeting was chaired by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and attended by Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo and Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly on Feb. 5, 2015.
        The government has been planning to place massive advertisements in the international media such as CNN and Discovery Channel.

Kamis, 05 Februari 2015

JOKOWI UNDER PRESSURE TO APPOINT UNTAINTED POLICE CHIEF by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 5, 2015  (Antara) - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has the prerogative right to appoint a national police chief of his choice, but it becomes a polemic when his candidate is not favored by the public.
        On January 12, 2015, the head of state announced the nomination of Commissioner General Budi Gunawan as the sole police chief candidate.
        On the next day, however, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Budi Gunawan a suspect in an alleged corruption case. 
    Budi Gunawan had allegedly committed corruption when he was the head of the Bureau of Career Development at the Police Headquarters during the 2003-2006 period, KPK Chairman Abraham Samad stated.          
    Gunawan, who had served as a security aide to PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri during her 2001-2004 presidential term, was one of the several police generals reported to have a suspiciously large bank account in 2010, but after internal investigations, the police said there was nothing illegal about the account.

JOKOWI UNDER PRESSURE TO APPOINT UNTAINTED POLICE CHIEF by Fardah

Jakarta, Feb 5 , 2015 (Antara) - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has the prerogative right to appoint a national police chief of his choice, but it becomes a polemic when his candidate is not favored by the public.

On January 12, 2015, the head of state announced the nomination of Commissioner General Budi Gunawan as the sole police chief candidate.

On the next day, however, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) named Budi Gunawan a suspect in an alleged corruption case.

Budi Gunawan had allegedly committed corruption when he was the head of the Bureau of Career Development at the Police Headquarters during the 2003-2006 period, KPK Chairman Abraham Samad stated.

Gunawan, who had served as a security aide to PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri during her 2001-2004 presidential term, was one of the several police generals reported to have a suspiciously large bank account in 2010, but after internal investigations, the police said there was nothing illegal about the account.

On January 16, President Jokowi dismissed Police Chief General Sutarman whose tenure was due to end in October 2015. Jokowi decided to assign Commissioner General Badrodin Haiti to carry out the duties as acting National Police chief.