Saturday, April 29, 2017


Jakarta, April 30, 2017 (Antara) - A Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) ferry service to be officially launch by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao, the southern Philippines, on April 30, is to improve connectivity between the two neighboring countries.
         The Ro-Ro shipping service connecting Davao and General Santos in the Philippines with Bitung in Indonesia's North Sulawesi Province, will provide faster and cheaper transportation services for people and goods.
         Better connectivity between Indonesia and the Philippines is part of the development agenda of boosting connectivity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), that groups Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
          Prior to the inauguration of the new shipping service, Indonesia's Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi signed a joint declaration with his Filipino counterpart Arthur P. Tugade on boosting sea connectivity.
          The signing of the declaration was witnessed by President Jokowi and President Duterte during the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Summit in Manila, the Philippines on April 28.
         In fact, the route is part of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-EAGA vision for 2025, with the goal to develop the sub-region in seven to 10 years.
         Minister Sumadi stated that the implementation of the sea connectivity project is important to Indonesia, as it will help to establish new sea and trade routes.
           "The connectivity will offer a huge opportunity for both countries in terms of boosting economy, reducing travel time, as well as offering higher potential to increase trade," Minister Sumadi said.
        It will also support the president's national priority program to transform the Bitung Harbor into an international hub, he noted.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Jakarta, April 28, 2017 (Antara) - Houses are a basic public necessity that must be met, both for people from the high- and  low-income groups.
         To ensure fair and balanced opportunities for people to own proper houses, the Indonesian government will continue to subsidize modest housing, so that those from the low-income group can afford them.
        President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reiterated the government's commitment while attending a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of affordable flats for blue-collar laborers in Serua Ciputat, South Tangerang, Banten Province, on Apr 27.
        PT PP, the developer for the construction of flats in South Tangerang , has planned to build nine thousand flats that are expected to be completed in 2018.
        Of the total, six thousand flats will be offered to laborers at a price of Rp293 million per unit, with a down payment of only one percent and an installment of Rp1.2 million per month. Each unit measures 30 square meters.   
    "This project is very important to realize the workers' welfare because the flats are affordable, inhabitable, and strategically located. I will continue to encourage relevant agencies to build such apartments in large numbers," the president stated.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Jakarta, April 27, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia, with a population of over 250 million, is the world's fourth most populous country in the world after China, India, and the US.
          However, in terms of scouting, Indonesia has the largest number of scout members in the world. According to data, Indonesia had 17,200,595 scout members in 2013, and the figure increased to 21,842,404 based on the World Organization of Scout Movement (WOSM) data this year.  
     "You have half of the world's scout members. Hence, we highly respect and laud Indonesia's scouts," Paul Parkinson, chairman of the Scout Committee for Asia and the Pacific, stated on the sidelines of the Ninth Asia-Pacific Regional (APR) Scout Leaders' Summit 2017 held in Bali on April 22-25, 2017.
          Parkinson views Indonesia's scouts as having played a significant role in scout development globally.     
     During the opening of the summit, he expressed pride and happiness on Bali hosting the four-day event.
          "It is an honor and a matter of pride for the Indonesian scout movement to host the Asia-Pacific Scout Leaders' Summit," he said.
          Parkinson expressed hope that the Indonesian scout movement would always be able to play an important role in the field of scouting globally.
          Indonesia has the highest number of scouts in the world. Of the total 109 million young people in Indonesia, 21.8 million are scout members. The ratio is 1:5, which means that one in every five Indonesians is a scout member, according to Brata T. Hardjosubroto, chairman of the organizing committee of the APR Scout Leaders' Summit 2017.

Monday, April 24, 2017


   Jakarta, April 24, 2017 (Antara) - Political tensions rode high during campaigning for the second round of Jakarta's gubernatorial election (pilkada) in which Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) and Djarot Saiful Hidayat (Ahok-Djarot) paired against Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno (Anies-Sandi).
        Jakarta residents were divided and had heated arguments on social media regarding their candidates. Hoax, black campaign materials, and money politics were reported during the election process, but luckily, no physical violence occurred.  
   On the contrary, during the polling day on Apr 19, Jakarta was peaceful, and the election was held smoothly and democratically.     
   According to the results of quick counts conducted by several pollsters, Anies-Sandi won the election against Ahok-Djarot.
        The Jakarta General Election Commission (KPU) uploaded the results on its official website, showing 42.05 percent, or 2,351,245 votes, for the Ahok-Djarot pair, and 57.95 percent, or 3,240,332 votes, for the Anies-Sandi pair.
        The number of Jakartans who voted reached 5,591,198.
        A total of 64,523 joint police, military, and other security personnel were mobilized to maintain security during the election.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


  Jakarta, April 22, 2017 (Antara)- Klewer market is an icon of Solo City located in Central Java, because a visit to Solo would not complete without a visit to the traditional market.
        Klewer, which offers various domestic products, has won a place in everyone's heart, as almost every visitor is fond of the always busy market.
        "Everyone who has visited Solo, knows about Klewer market," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said when inaugurating the recently renovated market on April 21.
       The Klewer market has 1,700 kiosks, not to mention its yard, which can accommodate 1,000 traders. 
      The central government has decided to help fund the renovation of the market which was gutted by fire, after repeated request by the Solo Mayor.
         As the icon of Solo, Klewer should be able to compete with big malls, according to the President.
        Klewer, therefore, should become modern, safe and convenient traditional market to lure buyers who enjoy bargaining, which is a unique character of traditional market.
        Other characters of Klewer is hospitality of the vendors, good quality products, and affordable prices.
         Klewer is known for selling Solo batik, garments and fruit as well as vegetables produced by domestic farmers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Jakarta, April 18 , 2017 (Antara)-  East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), known as a province of 1 thousand islands, is currently gearing up for an international cycling race and tourism event, Tour de Flores (TdF), on the island of Flores, to promote its tourism globally.
         The province offers a wide array of natural scenery, culture, ethnicity, handcrafts, ancient sites, and unique traditions that could be showcased to foreign tourists.
         The NTT administration has decided to hold TdF from July 14 to 19 instead of July 25 or in May as scheduled earlier.
         The change was made after some considerations, including from the Switzerland-based international cycling federation, Marius A. Jelamu, head of the NTT tourism and economic office, revealed in Kupang on April 17.      
   So far, 13 teams, comprising over 100 cyclists from the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, have confirmed their participation in the TdF.  
   NTT Governor Frans Lebu Raya has expressed hope that the international cycling event would be beneficial to the public, particularly the residents of Flores Island. 
    "Preparations for TdF 2016 are short and not many people are ready. But this year, we hope the public are more ready so they could also enjoy financial benefits," he remarked.
          He urged the local community to demonstrate hospitality to TdF participants.
          "Friendliness and comfort are the main keys for everyone to make them return to NTT," Lebu Raya asserted.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Jakarta, April 16, 2017 (Antara) - Comprising Lombok and Sumbawa Islands as well as hundreds of smaller ones, West Nusa Tenggara  (NTB) Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas and a distinct culture.
         NTB, which is Located not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali, hopes to attract 3.5 million foreign tourists by 2017 and four million by 2018.
         To lure more tourists, the province, however, does not want to rely only on its natural scenery.
         West Nusa Tenggara should enrich and diversify its tourism attractions, including by offering interesting and challenging sport tourism events, Governor of West Nusa Tenggara M. Zainul Majdi has said.
         For the purpose, the NTB administration has planned several sport-based tourism events such as the Lombok Marathon, Sumbawa Ultra Run, Rinjani Ultra Run and an international cycling and tourism event Tour de Lombok Mandalika.
         Mandalika is among Indonesia's 10 priority tourist destinations, including Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Wakatobi national marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Morotai Island in North Maluku.             
    Governor Zainul Majdi on April 13, 2017, inaugurated the Tour de Lombok Mandalika, held until April 16 and participated in by 15 international teams and four domestic teams.
         He was optimistic that the Tour's foreign participants would become "tourism envoys" of NTB because they would help promote the province in their respective countries if they are satisfied with the implementation of the race.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


 Jakarta, April 15, 2017 (Antara) - The younger generation is the future of Indonesia and hence should be safeguarded from being influenced by the ideologies spread by terrorists and radicals.
          The youth must also be at the forefront in the fight against the spread of radicalism and terrorism in cyberspace, as they spend much of their time on the internet.  
     Along with advancements in the field of information technology, radical terrorist groups have changed their ways of recruitment. The main target of their propaganda is the younger generation.
          "Radical terrorist groups no longer rely on figures and face-to-face forums but rather on influencing the youth through massive propaganda in cyberspace," Commissioner General Suhardi Alius, head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), noted while addressing several youth participating in a training course on "Peace Envoy of Cyber Media 2017" in Bandung, West Java, on Apr 10-13.
          The younger generation must play an active role in countering content indicating terrorism and radicalism campaigns, including those aimed at recruiting new members through the internet.
          "Today, your role as BNPT's peace envoys in cyber media is to counter (radicalism and terrorism) by spreading content carrying peace messages in cyberspace," he stated.     
     Alius said he was aware that the task is not easy, though he believes that the youth have their own strategies and means to fight terrorism and radicalism.

Friday, April 14, 2017


 Jakarta, April 14, 2017 (Antara) - Novel Baswedan, a senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), on the morning of Apr 11 was heading home after performing Fajr, or Dawn, prayer at a mosque nearby when two motorcyclists attacked him.
          The attackers hurled acid on Baswedan's face that injured his eyes, particularly the left eye.
          He was rushed to Mitra Keluarga in Kelapa Gading and later moved to the Jakarta Eye Center and then to a hospital in Singapore.
          "Thank God, his condition is improving, now," Taufik Baswedan, his brother, said on Apr 13.
          Born in June 1977, Baswedan had joined the anti-graft agency in 2007.
          Since then, he has been frequently terrorized and attacked.
          In 2016, Baswedan was hit by a car while driving a motorcycle on his way to the KPK building.
          The retired policeman had also been criminalized and named a suspect in a maltreatment case in Bengkulu in 2015.
          In 2012, his motorcycle was seriously damaged after being attacked by supporters of Amran Batalipu, the former district head of Buol, who is now in prison for corruption.
          Baswedan is currently handling a mega corruption case related to the e-ID card project, allegedly involving the country's political elites.
          President Joko Widodo had expressed his condemnation to the latest attack.
          "It is a brutal act. I condemn it in the strongest terms, and I order the national police chief to find those responsible," he informed journalists at the State Palace in Jakarta, on April 11, 2017.

Monday, April 10, 2017


 Jakarta, April 10 , 2017(Antara) - Indonesia, the world's largest archipelagic nation, has been blessed with beautiful landscapes, amazing natural wonders, and scenery of green mountains, virgin tropical forests, white sandy beaches, and breathtaking undersea panorama.
           To show off some of these beautiful scenery, the government has organized international cycling events at national as well as regional levels, where domestic and foreign participants could have a close encounter with the nature. 
     Last year, in May alone, the cycling plus tourism events, organized by regional governments, included Tour de Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua; Toba Audax 2016 in North Sumatra; Tour de Ijen in Banyuwangi, East Java Province; Tour de Barelang in Batam, the Riau Islands Province; and Tour de Flores in East Nusa Tenggara.
            This year, local administrations have been gearing up for cycling events such as Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, Tour de Lombok Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Tour de Flores, Tour de Central Celebes, Tour de Moluccas, and Tour de Indonesia.
         Organized for the first time in 2009, Tour de Singkarak (TdS) is an international event held in cooperation with the International Cyclist Union, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry, West Sumatra tourism office, and Amaury Sport Organization, executor of Tour de France.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


 Jakarta, April 8, 2017 (Antara) - Hari, a resident of Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, has complained that despite having applying for e-ID cards for his entire family since August 2015, no information is available on when their cards would be issued.
        "We have always received the same response from the local officers that 'you are still in the queue,'" he stated on April 6, 2017.
        Hari and his family have been given certificates stating that their e-ID cards are still being processed by the local authorities.
        Almost every region in Indonesia, including Jakarta, is facing similar problems. Several residents do not have e-ID cards, as there is a shortage of plastic cards for printing ID cards.
        The project, worth some Rp5.9 trillion (nearly US$443 million) and being overseen by the Home Affairs Ministry, has encountered problems since it began in 2011.
        In its early stage, the data recording equipment for the project had arrived late, and the project has been hit by corruption allegations.
        Just few weeks after Tjahjo Kumolo was sworn in as the home affairs minister in late 2014, he announced his plan to halt the project due to suspicions of possible corruption.
        The project, however, is still being carried out, while the alleged corruption case has been handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
        As the trial has been ongoing, testimonies by several witnesses have revealed a shocking allegation that some Rp2.3 trillion (some $172.5 million) of the project funds were embezzled.


Jakarta, April 7, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia's Tourism Ministry believes that love comes from the heart but passes through the stomach. Hence, the country has been introducing its culinary arts overseas in order to lure tourists.
        The ministry has set up a special Indonesian Culinary Acceleration Team to optimally utilize the country's culinary arts as an instrument to promote tourism.
        Indonesia is optimistic that culinary promotions will help the country achieve its target of attracting 15 million tourists this year.
         Indonesia has various types of culinary arts with huge potential to attract tourists.  
  Therefore, the team has trained several chefs to be assigned in overseas Indonesian restaurants.
            Led by Rendang, as one of the most delicious foods, at least there are 40 more foods that have gained international appreciation as the most delicious Indonesian foods. They include sate (satay), nasi goreng (fried rice), bakso (meat ball soup), soto (traditional soups), and gado-gado (mixed vegetable with peanut sauce).
         Culinary arts could serve as an effective tool to promote tourism, I. Gde Pitana, deputy in charge of international tourism marketing of the Tourism Ministry, stated.
          The ministry has initiated culinary tourism by opening Indonesian restaurants in several countries, including China and Switzerland.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


Jakarta, April 6, 2017 (Antara)- A major landslide that buried 28 people and 35 homes in Banaran Village, Pulung Sub-district, Ponorogo District, East Java Province, has caused national concern that prompted Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa to visit the disaster-hit area soon after the disaster occurred on April 1, 2017.
       Due to incessant heavy rains and difficult terrain, only three bodies have been found so far, while the remaining 25 are feared still buried under thick mud and rubble.
         A 1,640-member  joint search and rescue team that comprises , among others, volunteers, disaster mitigation officers, police and military officers, has continued to look for missing victims.
          The landslide has injured at least 17 people and displaced 178 others, while three survivors were rescued immediately after the disaster.
         Both Minister Khofifah and Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Willem Rampangilei, have strongly recommended a relocation of villagers affected by the landslide.
        Relocation is a must as a study has shown that the area is highly prone to landslide because the gradient of Gede cliff in the village, is 60 degrees.
        The study was conducted by the Yogyakarta-based University of Gadjah Mada in cooperation with the BNPB and the Center of Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation.     
     Spatial change of land use and heavy rains were among the factors that triggered the deadly landslide, according to the study.