Kamis, 26 Juli 2018


 Jakarta, July 26, 2018 (Antara) - The Asian Games 2018 torch is currently being relayed in 53 cities and districts in 18 provinces, covering a total distance of over 18 thousand kilometers, via land, air, and even under the sea, similar to what happened when it arrived in Raja Ampat on July 26.  
   The flame, a merging of flame from India, the first host of the Asian Games in 1951, and Merapen flame from Central Java, Indonesia, this year's host of the Asian Games, was kept in a tinderbox while diving.
        The diver who took the torch while diving in crystal clear turquoise sea waters off Piaynemo Island, West Papua, was Tri Suswati, wife of General Tito Karnavian, Chief of the National Police.
        Suswati was accompanied by Nadine Chandrawinata, a beautiful Indonesian actress, and eight other divers grouped under the Indonesian Female Divers (WASI) Cub headed by her.
        She dove at a depth of three meters for nearly one minute with the torch in her hand and later returned the torch to Chandrawinata.
         Raja Ampat is currently one of the best marine tourist destinations in Indonesia, if not the world. It is a crown jewel, thanks to its crystal clear turquoise sea waters and several isles covered by a thick green carpet of dense forests and mangrove swamps.
             The stunning natural beauty of Raja Ampat isles, located on the northwestern tip of the Indonesian province of West Papua, is often seen as a heaven on earth, where dreams of divers come true and nature lovers find a perfect place.

Sabtu, 21 Juli 2018


  Jakarta, July 21, 2018 (Antara) -The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) recently spread the good news that the poverty rate in Indonesia has dropped to the lowest compared to the ratios in the earlier periods. 
       The number of people living below the poverty line has dropped to 25.95 million, or 9.82 percent of the population, in March 2018 from 27.77 million, or 10.64 percent of the population, a year earlier.
         BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018, that nationally, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018 dropped 1.82 million from a year earlier.
         The success in the drop in poverty rate was thanks to all priority programs of the government, such as infrastructure development for better connectivity; village funds; improvement in logistics distribution; and several social allowances for health, family welfare, and education, among others.
        Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham lauded the achievement and was convinced that it was due to the successful government programs.
         "It indicates that the government programs, such as KIP (Indonesian Smart Card (KIP), Indonesia¿s Health Card (KIS), Family Hope Program, Joint Business Group (Kube), and social insurances (BPJS), have worked,¿ the minister remarked.
          He is optimistic that the poverty rate will decrease further to nine percent, lower than the poverty reduction target set by the President Joko Widodo Administration, which is at one digit, by the end of his administration.
         However, despite the success, Widodo reminded the citizens that poverty reduction and social gap cut are still challenges and homework that need to be dealt with.
        "Again, I reiterate that social gap and poverty remain our common challenges,¿ he added.
         The head of state expressed concern over the social gap and wealth disparity between western and eastern Indonesian regions.
         He believed that infrastructure development could become a solution to inequality between the country¿s eastern and western regions.
          "Infrastructure is crucial, and once again it is not merely related to economic matters. As a huge country with 17 thousand islands, Indonesia needs seaports, airports, and roads, including toll roads. We can deliver unity and equality from west until east and from north until south," he explained.  
      Basically, the percentage of people living in poverty in the eastern part of Indonesia in March 2018 was still higher than that of the western part.
             "It (the poverty rate) mostly fell, but it remains a major homework in the eastern part of Indonesia, as the percentage of its poor people is far higher than that of the western part," BPS Chief Suhariyanto pointed out.
            Sharing the president¿s view, Suhariyanto believed that several infrastructure projects being implemented in the eastern part of Indonesia would help reduce the number of people living in poverty there.
          Meanwhile, National Development Planning Minister, who is concurrently the Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Bambang Brodjonegoro, emphasized the importance of manageable inflation to reduce the poverty rate.
         "The key factor to reducing the poverty rate is the government's intervention. However, there is still one important aspect needed to manage the inflation rate. It is not 100 percent dependent on the government, but there are several factors involved," Brodjonegoro explained.
        He remarked that a high inflation rate will make the increase in income worthless.
            "Hence, it is crucial for us to maintain the inflation rate," he explained.
            According to data of the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), food commodities that have a significant impact on the poverty rate in rural and urban areas are rice, cigarettes, eggs, chicken, instant noodles, and sugar.
            Non-edible commodities that have a significant impact on the poverty rate are housing, fuel oil, electricity, education, and toiletries.
            "Rice has a 27 percent contribution (to the poverty rate). It means that the price of rice should not be increased," the minister stated.
            Cigarettes have a 10.21 percent impact on the poverty rate. Any increase in the price of the commodity would have a significant impact on the poverty rate.
            "However, it does not mean that we could not increase the price of cigarettes. Their consumption must be reduced," he noted.
            The impact of cigarettes on the poverty rate is higher than those of the housing sector, fuel oil, sugar, instant noodles, chicken, and eggs.
           "It is a big task to create public awareness in Indonesia, in order to reduce (cigarette) consumption, which is not only unproductive but also unhealthy," Brodjonegoro noted here on Thursday.
            He elaborated that if smokers would spend money to buy cigarettes, they would have to spend more money for tobacco-related health problems in the longer term.
            "The national health insurance (the healthcare BPJS) would also become another victim. The more the money people spend on cigarettes, the more funds BPJS would have to spend for their healthcare costs," the minister explained.
            According to Brodjonegoro, one concrete move to reduce cigarette consumption is to increase its price. ***4***

. Abdussalam

Jumat, 20 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 20, 2018 (Antara) - Several Indonesians are enthusiastically welcoming the 18th Asian Games torch relay touring 53 cities and districts in 18 Indonesian provinces, covering a total distance of over 18 thousand kilometers.
              The torch relay of the largest multi-sport event, held every four years in Asia, began from Yogyakarta on July 18 and will end on Aug 17 in Jakarta, a day before the Asian Games 2018 to be officially opened by President Joko Widodo.
              The torch relay will pass through Solo, Central Java Province; Blitar, Malang, Probolinggo, and Banyuwangi in East Java; Gilimanuk, Kuta, and Denpasar in Bali Province; Mataram in West Nusa Tenggara; Raja Ampat and Sorong in West Papua; Makassar in South Sulawesi; Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan; Banda Aceh in Aceh Province; Lake Toba in North Sumatra; Pekanbaru in Riau; Bukit Tinggi in West Sumatra; Jambi, Palembang, Banyuasin, and Prabumulih in South Sumatra; Bandar Lampung in Lampung; Serang in Banten; and Purwakarta, Bandung, Garut, Cianjur, and Bogor in West Java Province, among others.
              For Indonesia, the Asian Games is not merely a sporting event but also a huge international gathering that offers a rare opportunity to promote its tourism. Hence, most of the cities and districts, such as Raja Ampat, Banyuwangi, and Lake Toba, to be covered as part of the torch relay, are major tourist destinations.
              Yogyakarta, the start of the torch relay, is known as a city of cultural, historical, educational, and tourism attractions, which is home to the largest Javanese sultanate and ancient Hindu temple, Prambanan.

Selasa, 17 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 17, 2018 (Antara) - Yogyakarta, which is known as the city of culture, history, education, and tourism, has the honor to be the start of the Asian Games torch relay, which will begin on July 18, 2018.
         Choosing the right city as the start line of the Asian Games torch relay is important because the Games is not just a mere multi-sport event but is also a means to promote the tourism and image of Indonesia worldwide, Erick Thohir, Chairman of the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), has revealed.
         "Yogyakarta is a historic city, and we want to promote its tourism," Thohir stated on July 17, 2018, upon his arrival in Yogyakarta from India, the host of the first Asian Games in 1951, to pick up the torch.
         In India, the flame was generated from a parabolic mirror directed straight at the sun.
         The 2018 Asian Games torch relay began its 18,000-kilometer journey on July 15, 2018, from the Major Dyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, where the flame was lit for the first time at the inaugural edition in 1951.
         "India always holds a special place in the hearts of sportspeople in Asia, because the nation, specifically New Delhi, was the birthplace of the Asian Games. The torch relay today will bring the two countries even closer," Thohir stated while in New Delhi.
         From India, the torch was transported to Indonesia. It arrived at the Adi Sutjipto Air Force Base in Yogyakarta, in the morning of July 17, aboard a Boeing 737-500 aircraft of the Indonesian Air Force.


Jakarta, July 17, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has prioritized programs on reducing the poverty rate, and the efforts seem to have yielded positive results.
         The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) revealed that the number of people living below the poverty line had dropped to 25.95 million, or 9.82 percent of the population in March 2018, from 27.77  million, or 10.64 percent of the population a year earlier.
         "The poverty ratio (in March 2018) was the lowest in comparison with the ratios in the earlier periods," BPS Head Suhariyanto informed reporters in Jakarta on July 16, 2018.
         Across Indonesia, the number of people categorized as poor in March 2018 had dropped to 1.82 million from that recorded a year earlier.
         In urban areas, the number of poor in urban areas in March 2018 totaled 10.14 million people, or 7.02 percent, and in rural areas, 15.81 million, or 13.2 percent.
         In March 2017, the number of poor people in urban areas had reached 10.67 million, or 7.72 percent, while in urban areas, the figure totaled 17.1 million, or 13.93 percent.
         Food commodities having a major impact on poverty in urban and rural areas are rice, cigarettes, eggs, instant noodles, and refined sugar, while non-food commodities include housing, gasoline, electricity, education, and toiletry.  
    At the regional level, the lowest poverty rate was recorded in Kalimantan, at 6.09 percent, totaling 982,300 people.
         The number of poor in Java reached 13.34 million, followed by Sumatra, 5.9 million; and Sulawesi, two million.

Sabtu, 14 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 14, 2018 (Antara)- Mount Agung, located in Karangasem District, Bali Province, erupted again early this month, but it had no impact on the tourism industry on the famous resort island.
        The tourism industry was unaffected as the eruption was relatively of low intensity, and the volcano was quite far from most of the attractive tourist destinations.
        The 3,142-meter-high Mount Agung had been rumbling since August 2017 and had erupted in November. The volcano later became relatively calm until the most recent eruptions, which occurred on July 2, when it sent out burning lava up to 1.5 kilometers high.
         According to Devy Kamil Syahbana of the Center for Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG), the condition of Mount Agung was still unstable, and it was likely to erupt again at low intensity.
           Records since 1800 reveal that Mount Agung had experienced four mega eruptions, namely in 1908, 1823, 1843, and 1963.    
   Following the latest eruptions, the PVMBG had declared the alert status of Mount Agung at third level and has ordered people to stay away from a radius of four kilometers from the mountain's top until now.

      "People living outside the 4-kilometer radius zone are urged to remain calm," he added.
       Despite the volcanic activities, the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (Asita) believes that the tourism industry in Bali is not affected by the strombolian eruption.

Kamis, 12 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 12, 2018 (Antara)- Indonesia is committed to giving a priority to the security during the implementation of the 18th Asian Games to be co-hosted by Jakarta and the South Sumatra provincial capital of Palembang from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018.
        The Asian Games will be participated in by some 9,500 athletes, 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 countries.  Around 3,500 journalists from all over the world are expected to cover the largest sport event in Asia.
          President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in his remarks during the 72nd anniversary of Bhayangkara (Police) Day on July 11, lauded  the National Police (Polri)  for   successfully maintaining the country's law and order so far. 
    He cited the 2018 Global Law and Order report compiled by consultancy firm Gallup which found that Singapore and Indonesia are among the top ten safest countries in the world.
       Singapore is at the top of the Law and Order Index, while Indonesia ranks ninth, below Switzerland and Canada and just above Denmark, seasia.co reported.   
    The Head of State, however, reminded Polri to not being easily satisfied with the achievement because  there are a number of huge tasks waiting for police in the near future, such as the 18th Asian Games, the third Asian Para Games, and the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings which will be held this year.    
       Polri Chief General Tito Karnavian on the occasion disclosed that the Indonesian police began to focus operations to maintain order and security to ensure success in the implementation of the 2018 Asian games.


Jakarta, July 12, 2018 (Antara)- President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), while acting as the inspector at a ceremony to celebrate the Indonesian Police's Bhayangkara Day on July 11, 2018, conveyed his congratulations and gratitude to the members of the National Police (Polri) for their hard work and dedication to the nation so far.
         The Bhayangkara Day has been observed annually since July 1, 1946, based on a decree issued by Soekarno, Indonesia's first president, 72 years ago.
         "On behalf of the people, the nation, and the state, I convey my congratulations on the 72nd anniversary of Bhayangkara Day to every police officer and the big family of Polri in Indonesia, wherever you are assigned, from Sabang to Merauke, and from Mianggas to Rote Isle," the president stated before Vice President M Jusuf Kalla, Chief of Polri General Tito Karnavian, House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Zulkifli Hasan, as well as thousands of police officers attending the ceremony.
        He also lauded the success of Polri in maintaining security during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan; Eid Fitri; guarding travelers joining the Eid Fitri exodus; and the third regional head elections held in 171 regions last June.
        The President was also proud that Indonesia has been included in the list of the top ten safest countries in the world.

Rabu, 11 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 11, 2018 (Antara) - Lying on the equator and having a tropical climate, Indonesia has several observatories mostly located in the western part of the country and is now planning to build another one in the eastern region.
       The country's Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) is building an observatory to be equipped with a telescope, believed to be the largest in Southeast Asia, in the Mount Timau area, Central Amfoang Sub-district, Kupang District, East Nusa Tenggara Province.
       The construction of the observatory, expected to cost some Rp400 billion, began on July 9, Jasyanto, spokesman of Lapan, noted recently.
"Indonesia is entering a new chapter in aeronautics to be marked by construction of the largest national observatory facility in Southeast Asia, to be located in Timau mountainous area," he said.
         Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Prof Mohamad Nasir officially designated Mt Timau area as a national observatory site and as a national dark sky park. He has also officially named the facility as Timau Observatory.
        LAPAN builds the observatory with the cooperation of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the University of Nusa Cendana (Undana) in Kupang, and the Kupang district administration.
        The observatory will be equipped with a telescope having a diameter of 3.8 meters, believed to be the largest and modern telescope in the Southeast Asian region.

Jumat, 06 Juli 2018


Jakarta, July 6, 2018 (Antara) - Health officials in Gaza said Israeli forces have killed at least 135 Palestinians and wounded over 15 thousand, including over 180 journalists, since the Great March of Return began March 30.
         The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe -- a reference to the forced removal of 750 thousand Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for colonial Israel's establishment in 1948.
         Until now, Israel's atrocities and genocidal tendencies have continued to satisfy its lust for more Palestinian land.
         Under the protection of its main ally, the United States, Israel has been committing blatant violations of international laws leading to the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people, while the United Nations and the international community stand by helplessly.   
    The latest violence has seen Israeli forces viciously attacking and beating up residents, including women, in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank, which has been targeted for years.
         Israel has tried to demolish the Palestinian village for the expansion of its illegal settlements, but the villagers in Khan al-Ahmar have been determined to fight the demolition. Unarmed Bedouin women and men have held protests, preventing the demolition from being carried out by heavily armed Israeli forces.
         Israel has arrogantly breached many international laws and ignored UN resolutions against the colonist's atrocities in Palestinian land.
         The occupying power continues to target civilians, impose sieges, carry out land theft, attack religious places, and destroy infrastructure.
         It has also continued to practice apartheid and adopt racist laws, which has resulted in over 6,000 Palestinians, including members of parliament, being detained by Israel.
         All Israeli violations were documented in the report of the High Commissioner, as well as the report of the Secretary General.
         The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council on July 2 held a general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
         Most members of the Council, including Indonesia, condemned the Israeli atrocities and demanded that Israel stop its human rights violations against Palestinians.
         They also urged the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the latest atrocities.
         In the ensuing debate, speakers condemned the disproportionate use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters. 
    Delegations urged the Human Rights Council to keep agenda item 7, which focuses on the ongoing Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, as a standing item, saying that ignoring the discussion would only serve to embolden Israel.
         Speaking in the debate, Hasan Kleib, Indonesia's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, expressed serious concern over the continued violation of the human rights of Palestinians. 
    Violations became particularly evident earlier this year when peaceful Palestinian protesters were killed, Kleib said.
         He also said persistent Israeli attacks violated United Nations resolutions, making agenda item 7 a constant reminder of the needs of Palestine.
         Lauding the creation of the Commission of Inquiry to probe human rights violations, Indonesia has urged the UN to speed up the appointment of a team of international war crime investigators to probe reports of human rights violations by Israeli forces.
         "Israel's policies on illegal settlements, building a separation wall, and limiting the rights of Palestinians cannot be tolerated," Hasan said. "They are obstacles to the realization of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital."
    Israel's policies are blatant violations of international human rights law and a series of UN resolutions, he added.
         "Indonesia will continue to condemn Israel's policies and actions, not only because they are wrong and illegal, but also because they are dangerous," Hasan stated.
         Meanwhile, the United States recently withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform, a move activists warned would make it even more difficult to advance human rights globally.
         US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley claimed that the "disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias and not by human rights." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US decision.
         The Human Rights Council, which was founded in 2006 to oversee and investigate rights abuses, has never seen a serving member drop out voluntarily. The US boycotted the council for three years under George W. Bush, but joined again in 2009 under the Obama administration. ***2***
(T.SYS/A/BESSR/Bustanuddin) 06-07-2018

Kamis, 21 Juni 2018


Jakarta, June 21, 2018 (Antara) - Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo's decision to install Commissioner General of Police M. Iriawan as West Java acting governor has courted controversy despite the minister's assurance that Iriawan's appointment is in line with existing regulations.
         After studying the appointment, the State Secretariat reached a conclusion that it does not violate any laws, so President Joko Widodo issued a decree on the appointment of Iriawan, Jakarta's former police chief, according to Kumolo.
         The minister installed Iriawan as the acting governor of West Java Province in Bandung, West Java, on June 18, 2018.
         Iriawan, concurrently main secretary of the Indonesian Resilience Institute, succeeded Governor Ahmad Heryawan, whose term of office ended on June 13, 2018.
         His inauguration was based on Presidential Decree No 106/P of 2018 on the honorary dismissal of the governor and deputy governor of West Java for the 2013-2018 term of office and the appointment of acting governor of West Java.
         The appointment of the Police commissioner general was criticized by Luthfi Andi Mutty, a member of Parliament, who opined that the decision is a violation of the existing regulations.
         "Appointing an active police general as the acting governor is a violation of at least three regulations," Mutty noted in a statement.
        As per Law No. 3 of 2002 on Indonesian Police, a police officer can hold a position outside the police after resigning from his post.
         Law No. 10 of 2016 stipulates that to fill the gubernatorial seat, the government can appoint a civil servant.

Selasa, 12 Juni 2018


Jakarta, June 12, 2018 (Antara)- North Sulawesi has set a target to attract 120 thousand foreign tourists in 2018 for which it has intensified tourism promotion and infrastructure development activities to support its ambition.
         Tourism industry has become a pillar of the province's economy, as it has contributed significantly to supporting the local economic growth in Manado.     
    North Sulawesi Governor Olly Dondokambey expressed belief that the tourism industry holds potential to boost the province's economic growth.
         "We will continue to develop the tourism industry, which is a driving force of the regional economy," he noted.
         According to the governor, the tourism sector had a positive impact on the economic growth of 6.32 percent in 2017, or above the national average of 5.07 percent.
         Nearly 100 thousand foreign tourists had visited North Sulawesi in 2017, while the number of domestic tourists reached 169,523.  
   In the first quarter of 2018, some 29,413 foreign tourists had visited North Sulawesi, up from 17,941 in the same period last year.   
   During the first four months of 2018, tourist arrivals in the city had increased by 500 thousand, Head of the Marketing Department of the Manado Tourism Office Abdiel Badjen remarked in Manado last May.

Senin, 11 Juni 2018


 Jakarta, June 11, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is proud of being elected as the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent member for the fourth time owing to its experiences and dedication to maintain world peace by joining various UN peacekeeping missions.
         President Joko Widodo lauded the election of Indonesia as a UNSC member, saying that it is a reflection of the international community's recognition of the country's track record.
         Indonesia, which will officially fill the seat as of January 1, 2019, beat Maldives by 144 votes to 46 after 190 UN member countries cast their votes at the UN Headquarters in New York on June 8, 2018.
         Indonesia had earlier been a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 1973-1974, 1995-1996, and 2007-2008 terms.
         The Security Council has 15 members comprising five permanent members -- the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China -- and 10 non-permanent members serving for two years.
        Apart from Indonesia, four other countries were elected as non-permanent members of the UNSC: South Africa for Africa; the Dominican Republic for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Germany and Belgium for Western Europe and other countries.    

Selasa, 05 Juni 2018


  Jakarta, June 5,2018 (Antara)- President Joko Widodo's administration is determined to build an international Islamic university that can also serve as a study and research center of Islamic civilization in Indonesia.
         Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vice President M Jusuf Kalla laid the first cornerstone for the construction of the Indonesian International Islamic University (UIII) campus in Depok, West Java Province on June 5, 2018, to materialize the dream.
         Construction of the UIII campus had been planned since the past two years, according to Jokowi, who was on the occasion accompanied by Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin; Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljno; Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister M. Nasir; and Governor of West Java Province Ahmad Heryawan.
         The plan had been discussed for two years but finding the land was not easy, he noted.
         Jokowi said he was keen to allocate one thousand hectares of land for the UIII campus, but it was difficult to find land on Java Island.
         "I offered (land) outside Java, but all teams disagreed," he added.
         "In fact, we get 142 hectares of land, which is far from one thousand hectares. However, after I observed it on the field, I was surprised, as 142 hectares of land is already quite vast. Alhamdulillah (thank God). Imagine if we could have got one thousand hectares," Jokowi pointed out.
         The university is to come up on 143 hectares that belonged to Indonesia's state radio station on Pemancar street, Cisalak village, Sukmajaya sub-district, Depok Municipality. The buildings will be on 21 hectares and the rest of the land will be open spaces and greenery.
         The president revealed that the design of the UIII campus will be futuristic and expressed hope that the UIII would become a study and research center of Islamic civilization in Indonesia.

Kamis, 31 Mei 2018


 Jakarta, May 31, 2018 (Antara) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), under the chairmanship of Singapore this year, is giving a priority to cyber issues, especially cyber security.
        Cybersecurity was under the spotlight during the 32nd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore on April 28, 2018. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore emphasised the importance of cyber issues in his remarks, noting that deeper regional cooperation and coordination was needed to keep up with the rapid pace of digitalisation.
         New regional initiatives have been introduced - from the ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP) in 2016 to the new ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy adopted in 2017. 
   A number of regional partners and international organisations such as Interpol and the United Nations have also been working with Southeast Asian states on cyber issues.
        Besides, several member-countries of ASEAN have set up new cyber agencies. In Indonesia, for instance, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated a national cyber agency called the National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN) in June 2017.
         The number of internet users in Indonesia has reached some 132 million, making it is crucial for the country to develop reliable cybersecurity mechanisms.     President Jokowi at the Singapore summit underscored the need for ASEAN to stay alert against cyber attacks. To that end, member-states needed to work more closely on digital technology and cyber security, he said while addressing a plenary of the 32nd ASEAN Summit.
          "We know there has been abuse of personal data by Facebook users. In ASEAN, we need to ensure the framework of cooperation in cyber security, which also contains the protection of personal data. Hence, cooperation in the cyber field is a must," he said.


Jakarta, May 31, 2018 (Antara) - In the era of information technology, terrorists have used the internet to conduct propaganda, recruitment, planning, and funding as well as to carry out terror activities.
         Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, is exposed to threats, as over 120 million Indonesians use the internet, and over 200 million Indonesians have mobile phones.
         One of the manifestations of cybercrimes is the misuse of internet, including social media, by terrorists, according to Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Commissioner General Suhardi Alius.
         In his speech during the 27th meeting of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice held on May 14-18 in Vienna, Austria, Alius urged countries in the world to strengthen international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism and highlight the dangers of internet abuse by terrorists.
         Comprehensive and holistic efforts through cooperation among all stakeholders in the country and international collaboration are the keys to overcoming the problem, he noted while outlining three steps to prevent the abuse of cyberspace.
         Firstly, protecting vulnerable groups of people, especially women and youth, from the influence of radical ideology spread over the internet.
         Secondly, countries must promote the values of tolerance, moderation, and peaceful culture as a counter-narrative to the radical ideology that has fostered violence and extremism.
         Thirdly, countries should continue to collaborate and strengthen partnerships with internet providers.

Selasa, 29 Mei 2018


Jakarta, May 29, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian government has sought to breathe new life into medical services in preparation for the 18th Asian Games, to be held from August 18 to September 2, and the Third Asian Para Games from October 6 to 13.
         The Asian Games will be held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra Province, while the Asian Para Games will be in Jakarta, mainly at the Bung Karno Sport Stadium.
         Some 9,500 athletes, 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 Asian countries will participate in the Asian Games. At least 3,500 media representatives are expected to cover the Games. And providing all of them world class medical facilities is daunting.
         Around 3,000 differently abled athletes and 1,000 officials from 43 Asian countries will participate in the Asian Para Games.
         The Indonesian contingent at the Asian Games could reach 1,500 as the host will take part in all events. Indonesia's target is to place in the top ten at the Asian Games, according to the Youth and Sports
Affairs Minister, Imam Nahrawi.
         The Indonesian authorities have ensured tight security measures that will meet international standards during the largest sport event in Asia.
         Besides security, the government has also pledged to provide optimum medical services during the Games.
         Kartini Rustandi, Director in the Ministry of Health, stated that since 2017, the ministry had been conducting workshops to select and train medical personnel to provide services during the 2018 Asian Games.


Jakarta, May 29, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia will tighten security measures in accordance with international standards for the 18th Asian Games to be held in Jakarta and the South Sumatra provincial capital of Palembang, from August 18 to September 2. 
     Some 9,500 athletes, 2,500 personnel of the Asian Olympic Council, and 5,500 technical delegates from 45 countries will participate. At least 3,500 media representatives are expected to cover the Games.
        Security arrangement for the biggest sport event in Asia was discussed in a meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) in Jakarta on May 28.   
    The Chairman of the Indonesia Asian Games 2018 Organising Committee (Inasgoc), Erick Tohir, said he had worked in coordination with the police and the military to ensure the success of the Games.
        At the meeting, President Jokowi emphasised the importance of assuring all participants that Indonesia was safe.
         Indonesia would ensure that security during the Asian Games and the third Para Games to be held in Jakarta from October 6 to13 would meet the international standards set by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC).
          "I have asked the Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee (Inasgoc) and the Indonesian Asian Para Games Organising Committee (Inapgoc) to inform OCA and APC that the condition in Indonesia was safe as the security officers had managed to control the situation," the Youth and Sports Affairs Minister, Imam Nahrawi, said recently.
            The organising committees decided to go ahead with the schedules because the situation had been restored to normal after the bombing incidents in Surabaya, East Java, he noted in early May.  
    Earlier, the House Speaker, Bambang Soesatyo, also called for the implementation of international standard security measures for the Asian Games. He urged the military (TNI) and the police to work hard to secure the event.

Kamis, 24 Mei 2018


            Jakarta, May 24, 2018 (Antara) - West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has every element and facility to support its aspirations to become a world-class Halal tourism destination.
         The province, with a Muslim-majority population, has been blessed with scenic natural beauty in the form of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear seas, and mountain, among others.
        Lombok, one of the two major islands in NTB,  was adjudged the best halal tourism and honeymoon destination during the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in October 2015.
          The NTB administration has hoped these awards would serve as a starting point to seriously develop Lombok as a halal tourism destination.
          The awards have instilled a sense of pride and optimism in the NTB administration to promote its tourism attractions nationally and internationally to lure more domestic and foreign tourists, particularly Muslims, who want to enjoy halal or Shariah tourism.    
    Some 65 percent of the 4.7 million population of NTB lives in Lombok and up to 93 percent of them are Muslims. 
    Lombok Island, one of the two major islands of NTB, is also called "One Thousand Mosque Island". Taufan Hidjaz, a researcher and author of a book entitled "Lombok, Land With Thousands of Mosques", wrote that 518 villages on Lombok Island have some 9,000 mosques.
    The NTB provincial capital of Mataram has a large Islamic Center called the Hubbul Wathan Islamic Center and Grand Mosque, which has now become an icon of Halal tourism in the province.  
    Hubbul Wathan Grand Mosque, located in the NTB Islamic Center, is the largest and most beautiful one in the province. The mosque's minaret stands 114 meters tall.

Selasa, 22 Mei 2018


Jakarta, May 22 , 2018(Antara) - After focusing on massive infrastructure development, the Indonesian government is now set to prioritize the development of human resources to prepare them for the industrial revolution termed Industry 4.0, starting this year.
         Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will revolutionize the manufacturing and production industries by integrating Internet of Things, data integration, cloud computing, and other technological advancements into the heart of production and manufacturing systems.
        Undeniably, improving the competence of human resources is the key to success in facing the Industry 4.0, according to Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto.
         "This is in line with the road map of Making Indonesia 4.0, in which we need to utilize the demographic bonus to bring to reality the general aspirations to place Indonesia in the ranks of the 10 largest economies in the world in 2030," Minister Hartarto noted.   
   The road map was prepared based on the directives of President Joko Widodo, who has continued campaigning all over the country in cabinet meetings and other forums stressing the importance of Indonesia to be ready to face the 4th industrial revolution.
        "With full confidence, the president said that Indonesia may not be lagging behind in entering the new era. We have also held discussions regarding the program with several relevant agencies, such as Fraunhofer, JICA, JETRO, and especially with AT Kearney," Hartarto noted.
       The minister expressed optimism, as Indonesia will benefit from the demographic bonus in the next decade when majority or 70 percent of the population will comprise people from the productive age group of 15-64 years.

Sabtu, 19 Mei 2018


 Jakarta, May 19, 2018 (Antara) - In less than 24 hours on May 14, 2018, 62 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,000 were injured by Israeli forces, on the same day when Israel and the United States celebrated the move of US embassy to Jerusalem.
          The slaughter of Palestinians were condemned worldwide including by  the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the Security Council, and Indonesia.
          The Government of Indonesia, in a statement on May 15, strongly condemned the excessive use of force and the shootings of Palestinian civilians, who were demonstrating at the Gaza-Israel borders, by Israeli Army.
         "The government and people of Indonesia are saddened and express our deepest condolences against the killing of Palestinian civilians, including children, who were demonstrating at the Gaza-Israel borders," Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
           Indonesia, furthermore, called on the United Nations Security Council to immediately convene in order to take urgent steps and conduct an independent international investigation to hold responsible all perpetrators of such violence.
           The Southeast Asian country also called on the international community to continue the struggle for justice for an independent and sovereign Palestinian nation.
           The Government of Indonesia has also strongly condemned the illegal decision by the US Administration to open its embassy in Jerusalem by calling the move as a violation of a number of resolutions of UN Security Council and UN General Assembly, as well as jeopardizing the peace process in Palestine.

Jumat, 27 April 2018


Jakarta, April 27, 2018 (Antara)-  The Indonesian Government has intensified various promotional activities to make the public aware of the 18th Asian Games which will be held simultaneously in Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra Province, on Aug 18-Sept 2, 2018.
          The efforts are in accordance with a call voiced by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) who considered that publications on the planned Asian Games on the domestic and international media were too few.
          During a meeting discussing the preparations for the largest sports event in Asia, held in Bogor Palace, on April 18, 2018, the Head of State  urged his cabinet to publish promotional materials and advertisements of Asian Games once in every two weeks.
         "Promotion of the Asian Games can be conducted every two weeks on  local and international media," Jokowi said.
         Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi recently organized a fun biking event at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, as part of promotional events for the 18th Asian Games and the Third Asian Para Games which will be organized on Oct 6-13, 2018.
         "This is one of the events to promote the implementation of the Asian Games and Para Games," Minister Nahrawi stated.
           Officials and other employees of the youth affairs and sports ministry participated in the fun biking event.
            While biking, he made several stops to check various venues to be used for the Asian Games and interacted with the people exercising in the sports stadium.
            The minister plans to hold a fun biking event to promote the Asian Games and Para Games every Wednesday.

Rabu, 25 April 2018


  Jakarta, April 25, 2018 (Antara)- After waiting for three years, Garuda Indonesia finally on April 24 materialized its inaugural direct flight serving Mumbai-Denpasar, with the aim of boosting Indian tourist arrivals in Indonesia.
         Direct flight is believed to be crucial in attracting more Indian tourists as the south Asian nation is one of the highest growing markets.
         Indian tourist arrivals to Indonesia has grown significantly, reaching 485 thousand in 2017 or an increase of 29 percent than the previous year.
         With the start of direct flights, Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that the number of Indian tourists would grow up to 40 percent to reach some 700 thousand this year.
         The airline noted that the occupancy rate for the carrier's route from Mumbai to Denpasar had reached over 82 percent on its inaugural flight.
         The GA-815 flight carried as many as 192 passengers of the total capacity of 222 people, served by the Airbus 330 series 200 aircraft, with a configuration of 36 business-class and 186 economy-class seats.
        "For an inaugural flight, this is a good number," Garuda Indonesia President Director Pahala N. Mansury noted after landing at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta, Bali, on April 24, 2018, from Mumbai.
         Mansury stated that his office had earlier conducted intensive promotion targeting the Indian market in order to attract as many passengers as possible for the route that holds high potential.
         He expects the occupancy rate to reach more than 75 percent, as tourists from India do not need to obtain visas to enter Indonesia.


Jakarta, April 25, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is gearing up for the 2018 Annual Meetings of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), which will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali Province, from Oct 12 to 14, 2018.
         The annual meetings are usually held at the IMF and WB headquarters in Washington, D.C. for two consecutive years and in another member country every third year. The meetings are organized to discuss a range of issues related to poverty reduction, international economic development, and finance.
         During these meetings, the Bank and the IMF organize a number of fora to facilitate the interaction of governments and World Bank-IMF staff with civil society organizations, journalists, private sector executives, academics, and representatives of other international organizations.
         In total, some 15 thousand participants, including Central Bank governors and finance ministers from 189 countries, will attend the IMF-WB annual meetings, which is one of the largest and influential events in the areas of finance and economy.
         They are expected to attend 600 meetings, including seminars, investment forum, focus group discussions, workshops, and cultural events.
         As the host of the meetings, the Indonesian Government has also planned three main events on the sidelines of the main meetings.
         The organizing committee will deploy liaison officers for delegations and offer special tours and entertainment programs for family members accompanying the delegates as well as for the journalists.
         Three one-day tours and cultural packages to northern, eastern, and western Bali will be offered to 600 couples and 100 journalists.

Sabtu, 21 April 2018


  Jakarta, April 21, 2018 (Antara) - Another humanitarian tragedy occurred in a remote village in Tembagapura sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province, when some 20 members of armed criminal groups (KKSB) recently terrorized teachers, following a hostage-taking incident in the same sub-district last year.
         "Indeed, the incident happened. Several male teachers' hands were tied up, and they were hit with guns, while female teachers were beaten, stripped naked, and one of them was raped. This is far too uncivilized, "Iltinus Omaleng, Mimika district head, told the press on April 17, 2018.
         Upon receiving reports on the brutality, the Indonesia Army deployed personnel to Aroanop village in Tembagapura to drive away the criminals and save the teachers who had become victims of the violence.
         Up to April 21, the Army has managed to evacuate a total of 16 teachers from Aoranop and put the remote village under control as the armed criminals have fled to the jungle.
         The evacuation process was carried out in two stages, namely on April 19 and 21, by using two helicopters belonging to the Indonesian Army.
         During the first evacuation process, led by Colonel Frits Pelamonia, commander of the Army's integrated task force to handle armed criminal groups (KKSB), the Indonesian Army personnel managed to evacuate 13 elementary school teachers, comprising seven female and six male teachers, from Aroanop.
         Pelamonia said there were a total of 18 contract-based teachers, comprising nine teachers in Aroanop elementary school and nine teachers in Jagamin elementary school. However, five teachers could not join the first evacuation process because of bad weather.

Senin, 16 April 2018


Jakarta, April 16, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia's government expressed concern over attacks by the United States and its allies against Syria and urged all parties to respect and value the international law, particularly the UN charter on international peace and security.
          "Principles of the international law should be prioritized in response to the military attack," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi had noted in Jakarta on Apr 13 following attacks by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in Damascus.
          Indonesia has expressed serious concern over the latest developments in Syria. Last week, Indonesia had expressed strong condemnation over the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the foreign ministry noted in a statement.
          Marsudi appealed to all the parties to exercise constraint and prevent escalation of tensions in Syria.
          The Indonesian government has reiterated the importance of a comprehensive settlement to the conflicts in Syria through negotiations and peaceful means.  
     Indonesia has also called on all parties to ensure security and safety of the civilians, especially women and children.
          "Since Sunday (Apr 15), Indonesia has continued to monitor the situation in Syria, as thousands of Indonesians still live in that country," Marsudi stated.
        Marsudi had continued to communicate with the Indonesian ambassadors in the Syrian capital of Damascus and others, to ensure the safety of Indonesian citizens there.
          "In addition to communicating with the Indonesian ambassador to Syria, I have communicated with other Indonesian ambassadors in the Middle Eastern Region and Europe," he stated.
           She affirmed that the safety and security of Indonesian citizens remained a priority right now.
            "I do not want any victims from Indonesia as a result of the situation in Syria," she explained.
            Besides, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has issued a travel advisory for Indonesian citizens to not visit Syria over the security situation in the country.


Jakarta, April 16, 2018 (Antara) - Central Sulawesi is blessed with beautiful nature comprising mountainous areas, lakes, beaches, and forests.
          The province's main tourist destinations include include Lake Poso; Lore Lindu National Park, which is filled with several megaliths, and has a wildlife-rich jungle; Togean National Park; the Salodik and Saluopa Waterfalls; the Morowali Nature Reserve where the Wana people of the jungle live; Talise Beach; and the white-sand Tanjung Karang Beach for divers and those fond of the beach.
        Standing in splendid isolation in Tomini Bay, Togean or Togian Islands are the prima donna of the province's tourism industry, as they are known for their scenic blue sea, white sandy beaches, pristine waters, impressive landscapes, amazing corals, abundant fish, and friendly people.  
    In fact, Togean is among the world's best diving spots to be found in Indonesia, apart from those in Raja Ampat, Komodo Isle in East Nusa Tenggara, Derawan in East Kalimantan, and Wakatobi, Gilir Air and Bunaken in North Sulawesi.
        Besides, the province has   Lake Tambing in Lore Lindu National Park (TNLL), which has been designated as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1971.    
   Infrastructure such as roads to support the tourism industry has been constructed in 13 districts and municipalities in Central Sulawesi.
           Sectarian conflicts in Poso, Central Sulawesi, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, had slowed down the tourism industry in Central Sulawesi Province.
           But now, peace has returned to the province, which was once known for its inter-faith harmony and tolerance before the conflicts were provoked.

Sabtu, 07 April 2018


Jakarta, April 7, 2018 (Antara) - West Nusa Tenggara is currently gearing up for the 2018 Tour de Lombok Mandalika (TdLM) international cycling event to be held in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, from April 13 to 15.
         The TdLM, combining tourism and sport events, is expected to promote Lombok Island as an international-class sport tourism destination, after the island has been awarded as  the best halal tourism and honeymoon destination during the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
          At least 18 cycling teams from 18 countries have confirmed their participation in the race. They will come from Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Kazakhstan, and China. Indonesia's national team will also take part in the event.
          "Today, we have launched the plan to organize TdLM 2018, and at the same time, we have announced the cycling race route," Lalu Mohammad Faozal, head of the NTB tourism office, stated during the launch in Lombok on April 1, 2018.    
    The TdLM, which has been classified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as a 2.2 category race, is divided into three stages.
        The first stage is Kuta Mandalika-Mataram City, spanning 84.4 kilometers. It will start from Kuta Beach located in the Special Economic Zone (KEK) of Mandalika and finish in the NTB Governor Office in Mataram City.
        The participating cyclists will pass through Sasak traditional kampongs in Sade and Ende in Central Lombok, beaches, and rice fields.
          The third stage is a circuit in Mataram City, at a distance of 110 kilometers. The start and finish lines will be in Sangkareang Park. The route includes Ampenan beach and Ampenan old city.
         Faozal is optimistic that TdLM will serve as an effective promotion to attract foreign and domestic tourists.
          Winners of the TdLM 2018 will receive UCI points and prizes worth Rp350 million. 
    He noted that TdLM 2017 was a success, and therefore, the Okio team from Japan, who became the overall winner last year, will again participate this year.


Jakarta, April 7, 2018 (Antara)- Banyuwangi, dubbed as the Sunrise of Java, is located in the easternmost coast of Java Island and is also known as the city of carnivals and festivals for routinely organizing various cultural events to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
         This year, Banyuwangi has planned to organize 77 festivals, including 10 in April.
         Banyuwangi has promised to indulge adventure lovers, with at least 10 festivals ranging from underwater adventures to mountain climbing this April.
         Among the attractions are Banyuwangi Underwater Festival, Banyuwangi Ijen Green Run, Culinary Fiesta, and Clean River Festival, Abdullah Azwar Anas, district head of Banyuwangi, noted recently.
         The Banyuwnagi Underwater Festival was held at Bangsring Underwater Marine Park in Wongsorejo subdistrict from April 4 to 6. The festival features the 48-hour Nemo dancing event, underwater "Gandrung" dance, canoe race, beach run race, and diving photography contest.
         A fishing festival was organized in Grand Watu Dodol beach on April 7.
         The Banyuwangi Ijen Green Run will start from Tamansari resort area located in Licin sub-district on April 8.
         "This trail run race should not be missed, because they offer a lot of beautiful nature sceneries along the route," Anas remarked.

Jumat, 06 April 2018


  Jakarta, April 6, 2018 (Antara) - April 2018 is the right time for adventure lovers to visit West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), where the Tambora Festival will feature various challenging events, from maritime activities to mountain climbing.
        Comprising the Lombok and Sumbawa islands as well as hundreds of smaller islands, NTB Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountains and a distinct culture.
         The Tambora Festival, which was held for the first time in 2015, will mostly take place in the Doro Ncanga savanna field in Dompu District, Sumbawa Island.
         The first Tambora festival was launched to commemorate the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in April 1815.
          Mount Tambora is located on the northern coast of Sumbawa Island. The 2,851m volcano remains active. Before its eruption, Mount Tambora was some 4,300m (14,000 feet) high. After the eruption, a caldera spanning some 6km (3.7 miles) across was left behind.
        The Tambora Festival is expected to attract up to 1,500 foreign tourists and thousands of domestic tourists.
          Taking place between April 1 and 11, the Tambora Festival consists of 24 events in several locations across five districts on Sumbawa Island. Among the events are the Extreme Marathon Tambora Challenge 320K, a surfing festival at Lakey Beach in Dompu, and a buffalo race in West Sumbawa.
        In Bima Municipality, a Mount Tambora climbing event will be organized on April 9. In Sumbawa District, a cultural discussion will be held at Dalam Loka Palace.