Sunday, July 31, 2016


Jakarta, July 31, 2016 (Antara) - Foreign countries will soon be able to access fish in Natuna waters legally as the Indonesian government is considering to invite foreign investors for setting up a joint venture in the fishery field in Natuna, Riau Islands Province.
         An opportunity for cooperation would be opened for fishery industry in Natuna, estimated to yield one million tons of fish annually, the then coordinating minister for political, legal and security Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said recently.  
    Natuna, one of Indonesia's outermost regions, is known to have one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world and its fish-rich seas have attracted foreign fishing boats to poach in its waters.
         The government is committed to developing the remote island, to empowering the local people and boosting its economy.
         And the most important is its commitment to stepping up security in the waters, in order to strengthen its national sovereignty in the isolated region.
         Indonesia has invited China and Japan to help boost the economic development and create jobs for local people, Pandjaitan, who is currently the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, said.
         The joint venture industry will be supported by thousands of traditional fishermen operating boats weighing 30 GWT and below from Java's northern coastal area as they are allowed to catch fish in Natuna waters by the Central Government.
         The government will also set a schedule for fishing period in Natuna waters to ensure sustainable fishery, he said.


Jakarta, July 31, 2016 (Antara) - The Indonesian government is optimistic that funds that has so far stashed abroad by rich Indonesians, will be repatriated following incentives offered through tax amnesty program.
         Last month the House of Representatives (DPR) approved and passed a tax amnesty bill into law, which is expected to result in returning of big funds parked abroad to evade tax.  
    The funds are expected to help increase the state revenues needed to finance economic development and improve domestic financial liquidity amid the global slump.  
    Officially launched on July 1, the tax amnesty program is effective from July 18, 2016 until March 31, 2017.
         To lure parts of the funds, Indonesia's Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) has prepared an investment scheme.
         "BKPM has a role in accelerating investment by preparing investment scheme for those wanting to use their funds for direct investment," the then head of BKPM Franky Sibarani said recently.
         He said he was confident that the investment scheme would attract those utilizing the tax amnesty policy to invest in Indonesia.
         "The scheme is expected to help the government reach its investment target of Rp594.8 trillion this year," he said.    

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Jakarta, July 30, 2016 (Antara)- The Administration of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is racing against time to make its tax amnesty program a success, in order to increase the much needed state revenues.
        Officially launched on July 1, the tax amnesty program is effective from July 18,  2016 until March 31, 2017.
        The first period of its implementation is from July 18 until September 30, 2016; the second is from October 1 until December 31, 2016; and the third period is from  January 1 until March 31,  2017.
         The tax amnesty program has a specific period, therefore there should be no delay in its implementation, President Jokowi was quoted as saying by new Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati recently.
         He particularly asked Finance Minister Sri Mulyani to complete all regulations on implementation of the tax amnesty.
          Regulations on the tax amnesty must be completed soon, so the program could be carried out successfully, Minister Mulyani said at the presidential palace, here on July 28, after receiving a directive by the President on the tax amnesty for officials of the tax directorate general of the finance ministry.
          The tax amnesty program is designed to be a significant incentive for taxpayers, since the compensation interest to be charged is only two percent, according to the minster.
           "We are trying, during the period from now until September, to create trust building, convenience and, finally, success in developing a tax system," she said.
         The president asked every tax officer to not only be ready and proactive in the implementation of the tax amnesty program, but also to secure the state revenue, in general.


Jakarta, July 30, 2016 (Antara)- Since 1993, Indonesia has commemorated National Family Day (Harganas) every June 29 to recognize the important role of families in preparing future generation of the nation.
         This year,  the observance of the 23rd National Family Day was held in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, on July 30, at the presence of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana.
        "Families, as the main guardians of children, must make sure that its function to protect children is working. Violence against children must be stopped, and we must not tolerate it," the Head of State said before some 1,2 thousand people attending the event.
          This year's Harganas commemoration should provide momentum to strengthen the functions of families, he said, particularly religious, social, educational, reproduction, environmental and protective concerns.
         "If families could nurture productive ways of thinking and behavior, we will be able to produce Indonesia's golden generation, a generation of winners, a smart generation, a creative generation, an innovative generation, a productive generation, and a visionary generation," he said.
         The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) outlined four major concepts during this year's Family Day.
        The four concepts are, respectively, families reuniting, interacting, empowering and sharing.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Jakarta, July 29, 2016 (Antara) - Only four death row inmates convicted for drug trafficking were finally executed out of the 14 announced earlier by the Indonesian authorities.
         The four were drug kingpin Freddy Budiman of Indonesia, Humprey Ejike and Michael Titus of Nigeria, as well as Seck Osmane, a Nigerian national but holding a Senegalese passport.
         The convicts faced the firing squads at the Tunggal Panaluan shooting range in Nusakambangan Island off Central Java's southern coast at 12:46 a.m. local time on July 29.
         Junior Attorney General for General Crimes Noor Rachmad did not offer any explanation on why only four out of the 10 were executed.
         "(The decision was made) following a comprehensive study," he responded briefly.
         Rachmad further remarked that the four had allegedly committed grave crimes, and the next wave of executions of the other death row inmates would be made public later on.
         "Right now, we do not know whether the remaining death row inmates have appealed for clemency. Based on the result of our study with the existing team, only four would be executed for the time being. There are several aspects we have to take into account," he explained.
         Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo had stated earlier that the 14 drug convicts on death row would face the firing squad.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Jakarta, July 27, 2016 (Antara)- Despite the Indonesian media lately giving greater coverage to the planned cabinet reshuffle, but it does not mean there are no activities hinting that the third wave of executions would be conducted soon. 
    Most of the relevant ministers, who were ordered by the president to remain in Jakarta allegedly in connection with the cabinet reshuffle, declined to give further information on the execution plan.
         However, according to the media, as many as 14 death row inmates, all drug convicts, have been placed in an isolation cell at the Batu prison on the island of Nusakambangan, off this southern Central Java coastal town.
        The 14 prisoners were moved to the isolation cell in the evening of July 25 with the help of the personnel of the Police's Mobile Brigade.
        "The 14 included two from the Pasir Putih prison, another two from the Kembang Kuning prison, one from the Besi prison, and nine from the Batu prison," reliable sources said in response to Antara's questions.
        The isolation cell is a new structure behind the Batu prison building.
        According to the source, the prisoners being moved to the isolation cell hinted that the executions were imminent.      

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Jakarta, July 26, 2016 (Antara) - Urbanization was in the past often considered a problem or a challenge rather than an opportunity because many people who migrated from villages to cities usually ended up creating more slum areas for them to live in.
         The current model of urbanization is unsustainable in many respects. Many cities all over the world are grossly unprepared for the challenges associated with urbanization.
         Economic and development experts, however, believe that when well-managed, urbanization fosters social and economic advancement and an improved quality of life for all.
         Therefore, a new agenda is required to effectively address these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities offered by urbanization.
         It is projected that by 2030, the urban population of developing countries will double, while the area covered by cities could triple.
         Indonesia's urbanization is among the fastest in the world. Its urban population grew by 4.4 percent per year between 1960 and 2013, compared with 3.6 percent in China and 3 percent in India.
         By 2025, 68 percent of Indonesia's population is expected to be living in cities, compared to 52 percent in 2013.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Jakarta, July 24, 2016 (Antara) - Indonesia observes the National Children's Day every July 23 to remind every element in the community that children are the most valuable asset that have to be protected jointly.
          Besides, children are the younger generation that will determine the future of the nation.
         This year's theme of the Children's Day is "Stop Violence Against Children" as assaults and violence, particularly sexual ones, against children are still quite rampant in this country.   
   Besides, the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry focused on three issues - sexual violence, child marriage and child prostitution, as it commemorated the Day this year.    
   Local district and provincial administrations across the country organized various activities to observe the Children's Day, which was commemorated for the first time in 1984.
        The government backed events for commemoration of the Day, however, were centered in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara Province, because the province witnesses a large number of child marriages.
        A declaration against child marriage was the subject of a campaign in 19 districts and cities of West Nusa Tenggara during the commemoration day.
        On the occasion, Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yambise received the Voices of Indonesian Children, a list of appeals made by the children and conveyed by the National Forum of Children.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Jakarta, July 23 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has paid serious attention to the case of spurious vaccines given to several infants, and has called for severe punishment to those who produced, marketed, and distributed the fake vaccines.
        Jokowi has also ordered a thorough investigation into the crime and free revaccinations to be given to the victims.
        The president recently visited the Ciracas community health center (Puskesmas) to personally oversee the administration of free revaccinations to the infants.
        "This morning, we offered revaccinations to the victims of fake vaccines, whose data has been collected and traced by the Police's Criminal Investigation Department, community health center, and the health ministry," President Jokowi stated at the community health center in eastern Jakarta, on July 18.
        A total of 167 infants in Ciracas and the surrounding areas had received fake vaccines, and so far, only 36 have been revaccinated.
        Revaccinations will be conducted in stages until all the victims are covered.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Jakarta, July 22, 2016 (Antara) - Santoso, one of the most wanted terror leaders in Indonesia, was finally eliminated in a gunfire by legal enforcers on July 18, after he remained a fugitive-in-hiding for almost a decade in the remote forested mountainous area in Poso District, Central Sulawesi Province.   
    Personnel of the Tinombala military operation's task force were involved in a shootout with Santoso-led Eastern Indonesian Mujahidin members, and managed to kill two men, while three others, including two women, escaped, in Mt Tambarana area, Poso.
         Reports about how long the encounter ran varied from it at half an hour to one and a half hour.
         After a long evacuation and identification process, Chief of Tinombala Operation task unit, Senior Commissioner Leo Bona Lubis, confirmed the next day that the two men who were shot dead in Poso were indeed Santoso and one of his associates, Mukhtar.
         "Based on a simple identification of the bodies, I, as the operation's chief, can confirm that the shootout that occurred yesterday (July 18) between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ended in the killing of terrorist leader Santoso and Mukhtar, both of whom were on the fugitives' list," he said in Palu.
         "The three people who escaped are suspected to be Basri, his wife and Santoso's wife," he added.
         Only 19 members of the Santoso-led armed Eastern Indonesian Mujahidin group now remain outside the reach of law.
         They include Jumiatun Muslim alias Atun alias Bunga alias Umi Delima, the wife of Santoso, Tini Susanti Kaduku alias Umi Fadel (Ali Kalora's wife) and Nurmi Usman alias Oma (Basri's wife).

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Jakarta, July 21, 2016 (Antara)- The demise of the General Election Commission (KPU) Chairman Husni Kamil Manik shocked the nation, but the government has wasted no time in appointing a new chief as the simultaneous regional head elections are approaching.        
     Manik, who was 41 years of age, died at the Pertamina Central Hospital in South Jakarta on July 7 while undergoing treatment for an infection that had spread across his body and had affected some of his vital organs. 
     KPU Commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay informed Antara on the evening of Manik's death, that the KPU chief had, so far, showed no signs of suffering from any other illnesses or deteriorating health.
         President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) extended his condolences following the demise of Manik.
         Jokowi hailed Manik for having efficiently carried out his tasks as the KPU chairman.
         Manik was humble and a hard worker and had high integrity, the president recalled.
          On July 12, the KPU named Hadar Nafis Gumay as the acting chairman until a permanent one was appointed.


Jakarta, July 21, 2016 (Antara) - Rising tensions in the South China Sea have become a global concern, as over half of the world's annual merchant fleet tonnage and one-third of all maritime traffic worldwide pass through its shipping lanes.
         Encompassing an area of some 3.5 million square kilometers from the Straits of Karimata and Malacca to the Strait of Taiwan, the South China Sea has shipping lanes that connect East Asia with Europe and the Middle East, with US$5 trillion worth of goods being transported through its waters every year.
         Moreover, it accounts for some 12 percent of the annual global fisheries catch and has abundant oil and natural gas reserves.
         China, Taiwan, and Vietnam each stake claim over much of the South China Sea, as well as all of the Spratly and Paracel island groups.
         Brunei claims a southern reef of the Spratly Islands, Malaysia claims three islands in the Spratlys, while the Philippines claims eight islands in the Spratlys and significant parts of the South China Sea.
         Although Indonesia is not a claimant state, China's nine-dash line, however, encroaches on its territory extending out from the Natuna Islands.
         An international tribunal in The Hague recently ruled against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case filed by the Philippines.
         The Permanent Court of Arbitration said there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


  Jakarta, July 20, 2016 (Antara) - In an archipelagic nation, with thousands of islands scattered across the ocean, the presence of the coastal community, mainly comprising traditional fishermen, is crucial to help protect its sovereignty.
          Hence, Jakarta's traditional fishermen should be viewed as more than just underprivileged inhabitants living in slum areas in the modern capital city, as they are also the nation's assets that help guard the country's territory.
          From this perspective, the government's decision to cancel one of the reclamation projects in the Jakarta Bay area has been lauded by several parties.
          "I agree with the decision taken by the coordinating minister for maritime affairs, but I think it is not enough. The entire reclamation projects should be stopped as they threaten the People's Total Defense and Security (Hankamrata) system," Ridwan Saidi, a prominent resident from Betawi (indigenous Jakarta) community, stated at a press conference, in Jakarta, recently.
          Reclamation usually includes relocation of the local coastal inhabitants, and this is a threat to the Hankamrata system, former lawmaker Saidi noted.
          The coastal community helps to protect the national sovereignty and territory, he pointed out.


Jakarta, July 20, 2016 (Antara) - Hopes are already riding on Commissioner General Suhardi Alius shortly after his inauguration as new chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
        Alius, a graduate of the Police Academy's 1985 batch, succeeded Tito Karnavian, who was promoted to the post of National Police chief on July 13, 2016.    
   President Jokowi called Alius for a meeting after his inauguration at the State Palace on July 20, 2016.
        "According to the president's directives, terrorism is no longer merely a national but already a global threat. It means that we should implement systematic measures to strongly counter it. Of course, it should be within the framework of pluralism and nationalism," Alius said.
   Earlier, Police Chief General Karnavian had expressed belief in Alius' capability, as he had good managerial and leadership skills, among other qualities.
        "He has also established excellent relations with Islamic mass organizations, activists, civil society, TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces), the National Police, and other institutions. His interpersonal skills are amazing," Karnavian pointed out. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016


     Jakarta, July 16, 2016 (Antara) - Any move to execute convicts on the death row continues to draw strong criticism since many NGOs strongly oppose and criticize such an approach.
         Last year, the Indonesian government was flooded with criticisms from within the country as well as by other nations for having executed 14 drug convicts on death row.
         Notwithstanding the lack of popular support, Attorney General HM Prasetyo has decided not to flinch this year, and instead indicated that the third wave of executions would be carried out soon.
         "You see the preparations that we made yesterday. I have even seen the activities in Nusakambangan where arrangements are being made to carry out the executions," Prasetyo said on July 15.
         Like last year, the prisoners would be brought to Nusakambangan to face executions, he said.
         Nusakambangan is an island off Cilacap, southern coast of Central Java, notorious for its exile prison where hard core criminals are housed.
         "The Central Java police has also tightened security. They have agreed to coordinate with us," Prasetyo said.
         He declined to disclose the names of death row inmates who will be facing the firing squads, but confirmed that there would be more than two convicts, and will include Indonesian, Nigerian and Zimbabwe citizens.
         The attorney general said he would later inform the embassies of the convicts concerned through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


    Jakarta, July 16, 2016 (Antara) - North Sulawesi is hoping to woo more Chinese tourists to visit its cities by offering what many Chinese tourists love - seas and tasty cuisine.
        The province, located in Indonesia's northeastern Sulawesi Island, offers a variety of natural panoramas with beaches, hills, volcanic mountains and scenic plateaus.
        Beautiful and biodiversity-rich Bunaken Marine National Park, which is just about 10 km from Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi Province, is one of the most famous tourist destinations. The park has been inscribed in the list of World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
         Bunaken has an amazing and diverse marine life with 70 different corals, five species of sea turtles, many fish species, and even white tip and black tip reef sharks, the almost extinct dugongs, and barracuda.
         For food lovers, Manado could become an ideal place to visit as it has become one of the top destinations for the best traditional Indonesian food, such as spicy chicken Rica-rica and Roa fish Rica-rica, with Klaapertart as a recommended dessert.
     The province's plan to woo more Chinese tourists is in line with the plan of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.
    Some 1.14 million Chinese tourists visit Indonesia annually, far lesser than eight million to Thailand.    
     As many as 1,139,281 Chinese tourists visited Indonesia in 2015, an increase of 18.77 percent compared to 959,231 visitors recorded in 2014.
         For 2016, the country has set a target of attracting 1.7 million Chinese tourists, and two million in 2019.


Jakarta, July 16, 2016 (Antara) - Coral reefs are not just beautiful but also crucial for maintaining the food supply for millions of people living along the coast all over the world.
          Some 850 million people live within 100km of a coral reef - known as the "rainforest of the ocean" - and derive some economic benefits from the services provided by their ecosystem.
          Besides, coral reefs, which are biologically diverse and delicate ecosystems in the world, are also vital for protecting the shoreline of low-lying island nations.
          Nevertheless, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that about 20 per cent of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed and another 60 per cent are under threat.
           Those facts were highlighted during a consultation meeting on the implementation of the 2nd United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) Resolution on Coral Reefs held in Manado on June 28 and 29, 2016.
         Representatives from 61 countries participated in the Manado meeting held by the UNEP in cooperation with the local government of North Sulawesi, according to Director General on Sea Management at the Maritime and Fisheries Ministry Brahmantya Satyamurti Poerwali.

Friday, July 15, 2016


, July 15, 2016 (Antara) - Vehicular queues from cities towards hometowns during the post-fasting Lebaran Islamic Holiday, or Eid al-Fitr celebrations, are a common experience for Indonesian road users joining the annual Lebaran exodus, locally known as "mudik."
    However, this year, "mudik" turned into a tragedy for travelers trapped in over 30-kilometer-long queues of vehicles attempting to exit the East Brebes junction of the new Pejagan-East Brebes toll road, which was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on June 16, 2016.
    Thousands of homebound travelers had to endure an up to 35-hour-long traffic jam while trying to get out of the Brebes toll exit, popularly called "Brexit," an abbreviation for the Brebes Exit.
         The severe congestion occurring on the new toll road before and even after the Lebaran day that fell on July 6 was rather unexpected.      
    There were varying reports on how long the traffic jam lasted, ranging from 20 to 35 hours. Some drivers claimed that the queues to pay the toll further worsened the situation.
         In response to the tragedy, President Jokowi had stated on July 4 that the completion of infrastructure development projects, particularly of toll roads, would be expedited to prevent the recurrence of congestion on the toll road segments of Pejagan-East Brebes in future.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


Jakarta, July 14, 2016 (Antara) - "Out of sight, out of mind," certainly no longer applies to the resource-rich Natuna Islands District, which is one of Indonesia's outermost regions.
         Natuna is known to have one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world and its fish- rich seas have attracted foreign fishing boats to poach in its waters.
         To stop the poaching, President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) administration is determined to protect the country¿s natural resources and declare an all out fight against illegal fishing activities.
         And the most important is the government's commitment to developing the remote islands, to empowering the local people, and to step up security in the waters, in order to strengthen its national sovereignty in the isolated region.
         President Jokowi, who visited Natuna last June, instructed his relevant ministers to develop the fisheries' potential of Natuna, because so far only 8.9 percent of its full potential has been tapped.
         He also instructed that oil and gas production be ramped up in Natuna, which has abundant oil and gas reserves.
         Out of the 16 potential oil and gas blocks in Natuna, only five are active at the moment, while seven are in the exploration phase, and four are in the termination stage.
         "The Navy and the Coast Guard have been ordered to intensify surveillance and patrolling operations around the Natuna area, all in an effort to guard our natural resources, as well as our nation's sovereignty, especially bearing in mind that Natuna is one of our border areas," the President noted.


   Jakarta, July 14, 2016 (Antara) - The newly installed National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian might be relatively young for the top post, but he is believed to be ready to face challenges, which are getting increasingly tougher.
         At 51, Tito is Indonesia's second-youngest police chief after the late legendary General Hoegeng Imam Santoso, who was 47 when he was installed in 1968.
         Previously chief of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency, Tito was installed as the Police chief by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at the State Palace on July 13 to succeed General Badrodin Haiti, who entered retirement period in July 2016.
    President Jokowi had proposed the name of the then commissioner general Karnavian as the sole candidate in a letter to the House of Representatives (DPR) on June 15. The DPR then approved Karnavian's nomination at a plenary meeting on June 27.
         "Your challenges in future will be heavier and more complex, but I believe that under your leadership, Polri (Indonesian Police force) will be able to face them well and will be able to gain greater trust of the people," President Jokowi reminded Karnavian in his inauguration remarks.
         The head of state urged Karnavian to specifically focus on maintaining unity in the Police force and on bringing about reforms in his institution.
         "To meet major challenges in future, I ask you to focus on two things. Firstly, you must maintain unity, cohesiveness, and solidarity in the Police force to build a strong foundation to carry out the state duties," he affirmed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Jakarta, July 13, 2016 (Antara) - With hostage-taking incidents happening repeatedly along the maritime borders shared by Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, the Indonesian government has called for a trilateral joint patrol to prevent and pre-empt such misadventures.
         So far, 24 Indonesian sailors have been taken hostage in five separate incidents since March this year, reportedly by Filipino separatist group led by Abu Sayyaf. 
    Of these 24 hostages, 14 were released safely and peacefully. While ten were freed on May 1 after being in captivity since March 26, 2016, four, who were abducted on April 15, 2016, were set free by the same group on May 11.
         Ten Indonesians are still being held captive by the kidnappers hiding in southern Philippines.
         Seven of them, all crew members of Tugboat Charles 001 and Barge Robby 152, were abducted in two incidents, of which the first occurred on June 20, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. local time and another at 12:45 p.m. local time in the Sulu Sea while they were on their way back after delivering coal to the Philippines. 
    Three others were kidnapped in the latest incident on July 9, aboard a Malaysian-flagged trawler LLD113/5/F in the Felda Sahabat waters, Tungku, Lahad Datu, Sabah State, Malaysia. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Jakarta, July 12, 2016 (Antara) - In the last five months, Indonesia's government has faced five hostage-taking incidents involving 24 Indonesian sailors being kidnapped by a Filipino separatist group Abu Sayyaf in the maritime borders of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
       The government is contemplating several options to handle the hostage crisis but has ruled out paying ransom. Meanwhile, the use of military operation will be the last resort.
         So far, 14 teen hostages have been freed peacefully and safely, while 10 are now still held captive by the kidnappers hiding in the southern Philippines.   
     Of the 14 freed sailors, 10 were released on May 1 after being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf group since March 26, 2016, while the four others abducted since April 15, 2016, were set free by the same group on May 11.
          Later, seven Indonesian ship crew members of Tugboat Charles 001 and Barge Robby 152 were abducted in two incidents, with the first occurring on June 20, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. local time and another at 12:45 p.m. local time in the Sulu Sea while they were on their way back after delivering coal in the Philippines.
         The latest hostage-taking incident occurred on July 9, aboard a Malaysian-flagged trawler LLD113/5/F in the Felda Sahabat waters, Tungku, Lahad Datu, Sabah State, Malaysia.
        When the incident happened, the vessel had aboard four Indonesian crew members and three Filipinos of the Bajau Palauh tribe.
        Of the vessel's seven crew members, three, all Indonesians, were kidnapped, while four others were released.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


Jakarta, July 2, 2016 (Antara)- Indonesia has never altered its position that the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in Natuna waters, and all its resources, fall within its sovereign territories, and asks other countries to honor this fact.
         The EEZ and all its riches are the sovereign property of a country. Any agreement on its exploitation must have the signatures of those countries involved, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti stated recently, referring to a claim by the Chinese government that the Natuna sea is its "traditional fishing ground."    
    The Indonesian government, however, does not accept the Chinese claim and insists that it will indiscriminately apprehend ships conducting illegal fishing in its waters, regardless of their origin country.
           The minister remarked that no single agreement on traditional fishing grounds had yet been signed with China, and so, Chinese ships fishing in the area will be considered to be violating Indonesian laws.
           Indonesia has, so far, only inked an agreement over traditional fishing grounds with Malaysia, which is limited to an area in the Malacca Strait, according to Susi Pudjiastuti.

Friday, July 1, 2016


    Jakarta, July 1, 2016 (Antara)- Indonesia usually experiences dry season in July, but this year, due to weather anomalies, high-intensity rains have lashed several regions, triggering floods and landslides.
        The weather anomalies, unfortunately, are occurring at a time when millions of people are travelling from cities to their hometowns as part of the annual exodus to celebrate the post-fasting Lebaran Islamic holiday, or Eid al-Fitr, with their families.
        The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has forecast torrential rains that could cause floods, whirlwinds, and landslides during the current holiday season.    
   Therefore, the agency has urged Lebaran travelers to exercise caution while traveling during the rains.
        This year, the number of homebound travelers for Lebaran is expected to reach 17,698,484, up from 17,404,575 in 2015.
        President Joko Widodo has instructed concerned ministries and institutions to make better preparations for a smooth and safe exodus, which is locally known as "mudik."