Monday, January 30, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 30, 2017 (Antara) - Lombok, one of West Nusa Tenggara's islands, has been referred to as the new Bali owing to its beautiful beaches and natural scenery, in general.     
     Located just east of Bali, Lombok Island has also been called "the unspoiled Bali" for its alluring white sandy beaches, waterfalls, the large looming volcano of Mount Rinjani, and relatively fewer tourists.     
     The Senggigi Beach, for instance, offers picturesque views of Mount Agung on Bali Island to the west and stunning sunsets, with the volcano silhouetted on the horizon.
          The island was adjudged the best Halal tourism and honeymoon destination at the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, in October last year. The event was held in conjunction with the World Halal Travel Summit 2015. 
     The Indonesian government has designated Lombok as one of the 10 priority tourist destinations along with other regions, such as Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, Raja Ampat in West Papua, Borobudur in Yogyakarta, and Mount Bromo in Central Java.
          The step aims to help achieve the government's target of attracting 20 million foreign tourists by 2020.
          To support the government's program, State-owned Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Rini Soemarno has established synergy among 118 state-owned companies to support development of the tourism industry in the Mandalika area in Lombok District.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 28, 2017 (Antara) - Yogyakarta is quite famous internationally because the province is the gate for tourists wishing to visit the world's ancient and largest Buddhist temple Borobudur, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a World cultural heritage.
         Besides this, Yogyakarta is known as the center of education and Javanese culture, as the Sultanate survives until now in the region, given a special authority status by the Central Government.
         Yogyakarta Sultan's Palace, where the Sultan and his family live, was built by Prince of Mangkubumi in 1755. Until now, the building remains upright and well maintained, attracting many domestic as well as foreign tourists.
         Besides, many visiting foreign leaders include a visit to Yogyakarta in their agenda to meet and hold discussions with the Sultan of Yogyakarta.
         Given the importance of Yogyakarta politically, culturally and economically, the Central Government has planned to build a modern international airport in Yogyakarta.
         A ground-breaking ceremony of the airport construction was attended by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana in Kulon Progo area, Yogyakarta, on Jan 27, 2017.
         Also present at the ceremony were Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, among others.
         In his remarks, Jokowi said that the new airport will be an international airport that will offer all facilities to meet global standards.
         "The orientation of the airport will be global, and it will be an international airport with international standards," he noted.    
    The new airport is being built, as the existing airport in Adi Sutjipto is unable to handle the flow of passengers, which is far more than the airport's capacity.   
    The capacity of Yogyakarta's current Adi Sutjipto airport is 1.6 million passengers per year, but it has been used by 7.2 million fliers annually, the president revealed.
         Jokowi thanked the Yogyakarta administration, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and residents of Kulon Progo for supporting the project.
         Indonesia's airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I has allocated Rp9.3 trillion for the construction of the new airport, which will be built on 587 hectares of land.
         In its first stage, between 2020 and 2031, the new airport will have a 130 thousand square meter terminal that can accommodate up to 15 million passengers per year. It will also have a 3,250-meter-long runway and an apron for 35 aircraft.
         In the second stage (2031-2041), the airport terminal will be expanded to 195 thousand square meters and will have the annual capacity to accommodate up to 20 million passengers.
         Its runway will stretch 3.6 thousand long, and its apron will have room to park 45 planes.
         To ensure that the construction work will be completed in time, Jokowi has instructed Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi to intensively supervise the construction process, because the project had already been postponed for several years.
         "I do not care how it will be done, but the most important thing is that the airport should be operational by March 2019," Jokowi stated.       
    Yogyakarta is the second most popular tourist destination in Indonesia after Bali.
         The new international airport will replace Adi Sutjipto's position as the main entry point for tourists to the city.
         Sumadi explained that the planned airport will have a 10-fold higher capacity than that of the existing Adi Sutjipto Airport in Yogyakarta.
         The Adi Sutjipto Airport will be shifted, as its capacity is limited and cannot accommodate more passengers and aircraft, he explained.
         The airport terminal currently measures only 15 thousand square meters. Its runway is only 2,250 meters in length and has an apron that can accommodate a maximum of eight aircraft.  
    According to the minister, the relocation of Adi Sutjipto International Airport to the new airport in Kulon Progo was to make room for more air traffic and to adapt to the fast-changing needs.
         "We need to relocate Adi Sutjipto airport as it cannot accommodate the increasing number of passengers and airplanes anymore," Budi said.
         The minister expressed his optimism that the planned airport can serve Hajj pilgrims leaving for Saudi once it is completed in 2019.
         "Currently, flights to the farthest destination from Yogyakarta are to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to a plan, the farthest destination to be served will be Jeddah, so that Yogyakarta's residents can go for Hajj from Yogyakarta," the minister stated during the ground-breaking ceremony.
         Meanwhile, the residents of Kulon Progo, whose land will be used for the project, are strongly opposing the construction of the new airport.
         Some 75 community groups in Yogyakarta are opposing the construction, claiming that legal and environmental studies do not back the project.
         The local people claim that the airport is being built in an area prone to geological disasters and thus poses risks, especially to air passengers. Besides, it will displace thousands of farmers from their productive farmlands and disrupt their livelihood.  ***1***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/Bustanuddin) 28-01-2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 26 , 2017(Antara) - Indonesia is bracing for forest and plantation fires, as the country is forecast to experience drought that could induce wildfires, from June to October this year.
         Despite the country being relatively free of haze smog arising from forest fires last year, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged all stakeholders to undertake early preventive measures against wildfires.
         The head of state has reminded ministers and regional authorities to remain vigilant against forest fires, starting from early this year.  
    "It is only January, but it is already dry. Hence, do not be careless. The BMKG (the meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency) has forecast that 2017 will be drier as compared to 2016," Jokowi remarked at the State Palace on January 23, 2017, while opening a coordination meeting on forest and plantation fires.
          The meeting was attended by Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) General Gatot Nurmantyo; National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian; Coordinating Minister for Political, Law, and Security Affairs Wiranto; Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya; South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin; Jambi Governor Zumi Zola; and several other governors.
         During the meeting, Minister Wiranto said the meteorology agency had forecast that the climate in 2017 would be drier than that in 2016.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


 Jakarta, Jan 24, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia together with other members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been working on measures to help improve the situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar where Rohingya Muslim minority having been oppressed and discriminated for years.
          During an Extraordinary Session on the Situation of the Rohingya Muslim Minority in Myanmar, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 19, 2017,  OIC member countries' Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed grave concern at the recent eruption of violence in northern Rakhine that resulted in the loss of innocent lives and displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya people, and called upon the Government of Myanmar to take decisive steps to restore calm to the affected areas.
            The Government of Myanmar should ensure that the security forces act in accordance with the rule of law and that all perpetrators of acts of violence be held accountable, the ministers said in a final communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
           The Meeting called on the Government of Myanmar to ensure an inclusive and transparent policy towards ethnic and religious communities, by including the Rohingya Muslim Minority as an integral part of this process and considering them as an ethnic minority, as called for by relevant UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions
       The OIC Foreign Ministers' Extraordinary Meeting agreed on two outcome documents.

            The first is a resolution on the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar which, among others, calls on the OIC members to provide humanitarian aid and to request the Myanmar government to open up access for humanitarian aid.

Monday, January 23, 2017


 Jakarta, Jan 23 (Antara) - The Indonesian government remains optimistic about its bilateral relations with the US following Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the global superpower, as Indonesia's main concern is its exports to the US.
         While the US trade policy under President Trump might potentially lead to protectionism, it will not significantly affect Indonesian exports to the US, according to Director of the Executive Center of Reform on Economics Mohammad Faisal.
         The US was Indonesia's major trading partner, with trade balance reaching US$19.27 billion during the January-October 2016 period.
         Indonesia's export products to the US are mostly sought-after commodities, such as rubber, shrimp, and furniture, and it also includes manufactured products, such as footwear and textiles, he pointed out.
         "The US is forecast to maintain its importation of products, including textiles, garments, and footwear, from countries that use cheap labor force, such as Vietnam and Indonesia," he added.
         Following his telephonic conversation to congratulate Trump, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed optimism that bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US will remain sound.
         "I am optimistic that the relations between Indonesia and the US will be better, but it should be based on mutual benefits," the president stated in Bogor, West Java, on January 22, 2017.
         Jokowi recalled that during their telephonic conversation, Trump told him that he had several friends and businesses in Indonesia.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 20 , 2017(Antara) - Chinese investment in Indonesia has increased significantly over the last several years, making China the third largest investor in the country after Singapore and Japan.
        The total value of Chinese investments reached US$1.6 billion in the third quarter of 2016, with West Java being the biggest recipient at Rp82 trillion. This is followed by East Java with Rp60 trillion, Banten with Rp43 trillion and Jakarta with Rp42 trillion.  
    China's technology sector is one of the main industries that helped boost Chinese investment in Indonesia, according to the director of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Wisnu Soedibjo, in Jakarta on Jan 19. 
    Singapore and Japan have also widely used Chinese technology in their production lines, he added.
         Due to the increase of Chinese investment, companies have also brought Chinese nationals to the country on a temporary basis, along with their expertise on how to use specialized technology until their knowledge can be transferred to local staff.    
    Soedibjo added that his agency did not have the authority to influence the Chinese investors' decisions regarding the use of their technology and their employee hiring policies.
         Data from the Manpower Ministry and the Immigration Directorate General indicated that 21,121 Chinese workers have applied for permits to work in Indonesia.
         During 2016, the ministry handled 1,324 cases of visa or working permit violations involving Chinese workers.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


 Jakarta, Jan 19, 2017 (Antara) - The Joko Widodo administration is committed to achieving food sufficiency, as the government aspires to transform the country into a global rice barn.
        "As an agrarian country, Indonesia is eyeing to become a global food barn by 2045. To this end, Indonesia must first achieve food sufficiency for building national food resilience," Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces General Gatot Nurmantyo stated while addressing some 1,800 participants of a national working congress on agricultural development in 2017, held in Jakarta on Jan 6, as reported by
        The government is targeting to become self-sufficient in rice production in 2017 and in corn and soybean supply in 2018.    
   Since the last several years, the government has made significant headway in boosting food production to realize food security.
        The Central Bureau of Statistics recorded that the production of dry unhulled rice in 2016 was estimated to reach 79.17 million tons, or up 4.96 percent, as compared to 2015, following an increase of 6.43 percent from 2014.
        Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman confirmed in December 2016 that Indonesia's food security had risen steadily in the last two years, with declining imports, while the government had stopped importing some commodities.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 17, 2017 (Antara) - The Communication and Informatics Ministry has been closely monitoring radical websites in Indonesia and has even blocked several of them to prevent the spread of radical ideology.  
   On December 30, 2016, the ministry had blocked 11 websites:,,,,,,,,,, and
        The websites were blocked for allegedly disseminating negative news.
        After the websites were blocked, their operators had met Samuel A. Pangerapan, the director general of Application and Informatics of the ministry, on January 4, 2017.
        Four of them urged the ministry to unblock their websites, while one expressed his objection to the act.
        The operator of was among those present at the meeting. The ministry explained the reasons behind the blocking suggested by a certain mass organization and the Police's counterterrorism squad Densus 88 and urged the operators to meet some requirements and conditions if they wanted their websites to be unblocked.
        The ministry has requested the operator of to delete four news stories deemed inappropriate including that on Densus 88, non-active Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok, and Dutch Christians who had colonized Indonesia in the past, according to information on the website unblocked on January 10.

Monday, January 16, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 16, 2017 (Antara) - Reports on arrests and deportations of foreign workers have become quite frequent lately, as regional authorities across the country have intensified supervision over foreigners to prevent violation of working permits or visas.
         There is no data on the total number of foreigners detained or deported nationally, but sporadic reports were available.
         On Jan 10, the Cirebon immigration office in West Java deported four Chinese nationals to Beijing for violating their stay permits in Indonesia.
         Raja Ulul Azmi, head of the Cirebon immigration office's supervision and enforcement section, stated that although the Chinese citizens arrived on visit visas, they were in fact working in a Hebel factory in West Palimanan Village, Gempol Sub-district, Ciberon District.
         "They entered the country in August 2016 using visit visas obtained through a sponsor," he revealed.
         In East Java, the immigration office of Surabaya detained seven Chinese workers for violating their stay permits in Indonesia.
         While inspecting an iron and steel industry plant on December 29, 2016, immigration officers found 16 Chinese workers at the company. All except the seven accused held legal documents permitting them to work in Indonesia.
         The seven only had visit permits issued by the Indonesian embassy in Beijing. They also did not have recommendation documents from the Indonesian manpower office.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 13, 2017 (Antara)- The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat, fondly monikered the 'living Eden' or 'paradise on Earth', used to be a lesser-known tourist spot, familiar only to intrepid travelers and avid divers.
        A crown jewel for Indonesia, Raja Ampat has crystal clear turquoise waters and isles that are covered by thick green carpets of dense forests and mangrove swamps.
        Located in the Coral Triangle, the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, between the Pacific and Indian oceans in eastern Indonesia's West Papua province, the world is now taking notice of Raja Ampat after the Indonesian government intensified its tourism promotion here.
        However, reaching Raja Ampat can be time-consuming and expensive due to its relatively poor infrastructure and transport. 
   Tourists have to fly from Jakarta to Sorong, West Papua, which takes six hours with a stopover in Manado, North Sulawesi, or Makassar, South Sulawesi.
        Ferries are then available between Sorong and Waisai, the capital of the Raja Ampat district on the island of Waigeo. This journey takes another 1.5 to two hours. Speedboats are also given on rent at Sorong, but are expensive.
        In a bid to provide easy access to Raja Ampat, the government has now launched key infrastructure projects on the islands.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 12 , 2017(Antara) - Floods and landslides have hit several Indonesian provinces, such as West Nusa Tenggara, Aceh Darussalam, West Sumatra, and East Kalimantan, over the last several weeks, with the worst one devastating Bima and claiming four lives.
         Natural disasters, in fact, have been forecast by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), as the country is currently being affected by La Nina natural phenomenon, known for causing torrential downpours and widespread flooding across the country.
         The people should remain vigilant against hydrometeorological disasters during the January-April and November-December 2017 period, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the BNPB spokesman, had cautioned in December 2016.
         Major flash floods had inundated Bima, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), on December 21-23, 2016, killing four people and causing severe damage to property.     
    Flash floods have hit Bima City and four sub-districts in Bima District, Sumbawa Island, on December 21. Furthermore, subsequent flooding as high as one to three meters had occurred in Bima City on December 23.
         The floods had inundated 33 sub-districts in NTB's five districts, home to a total of 105,000 people. The flooding was triggered by incessant heavy rains that also caused at least two rivers to break their banks. 
    The flash floods had also washed away 121 houses and damaged dozens of other residences, forcing 1,300 people to flee their homes.        

Monday, January 9, 2017


Jakarta, Jan 9, 2017 (Antara) - Standing in splendid isolation in Tomini Bay, Central Sulawesi Province, Togean or Togian Islands are known for their scenic blue sea, white sandy beaches, impressive landscapes, amazing corals, abundant fish, and friendly people.
          Togean is rather a secret dive destination in an unexplored maritime area that has pristine waters. The islands are located close to the equator and are covered by tropical rainforest and have white sandy beaches.
          The Togean Islands in Tujo Una-una District comprise around 66 large and small islands, scattered along Tomini Gulf in Central Sulawesi. Togean, Batudakan, and Una-Una are the three main islands in Togean Islands.
          The indigenous residents of the islands are the Bajo People known as the Sea Gypsys, who live a semi nomadic existence and rely on fishing as their sole source of income. The beautiful islands are accessible from Gorontalo in the north and Ampana in the south.   
    Based on Central Sulawesi Governor's Regulation No. 35 of 2016, the province's main tourist destinations, include the Besoa and Bada Valley megalithic heritage sites in the Poso District, Lake Lindu, and the Matantimali mountainous area, known for their paragliding spots, in the Sigi District, Togean Island marine resort, and Sombori Island marine resort in Morowali District.