Wednesday, January 31, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 31, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia will witness a super blue blood moon eclipse on Jan 31 from around 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB), with the peak from 8:29 p.m. to 9:07 p.m. WIB.
        This spectacular lunar event, a rare natural phenomenon that had occurred 152 years ago, features the second full moon of the month, also known as the Blue Moon. The event will coincide with a total lunar eclipse, which is often referred to as a "blood moon" since the moon turns a reddish or copper color when it passes through the Earth's shadow, according to
        Furthermore, the Jan 31 full moon occurs during perigee, the moon's closest approach to Earth in a single orbit, which means that its diameter will appear about seven percent larger and 14 percent brighter than usual, making it a super moon. Super moons have been blamed for everything from madness to flooding.
       This is the first time in over 150 years that the three lunar events will coincide, according to a statement from NASA.
        The full moon on Jan 31 is the second one to occur in 2018, after the first on January 2, 2018. Hence, the second one is called the Blue Moon. However, the total lunar eclipse is the first to occur this year. In 2018, Indonesia will witness two total lunar eclipses, respectively on Jan 31 and July 28.
        In Indonesia, the best locations to watch the super blue blood moon and the total lunar eclipse are Bandung, Sumedang, and Garut in West Java Province; Pasuruan in East Java Province; Biak in Papua Province; Pontianak in West Kalimantan Province; and Bukittinggi in West Sumatra Province.
        In fact, the super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse can be seen across Indonesia if the skies are clear and not covered by clouds.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 30,2018 (Antara) - Bali, one of the world's most famous tourist resorts, hopes to receive at least 6.5 million foreign tourists this year, or one million more foreign tourists than the target of 2017, which was 5.5 million.
        The target at 6.5 million is quite ambitious as normally Bali set an increase of 500 thousand foreign tourists every year.
        Head of the Bali Tourism Office Anak Agung Yuniartha Putra recently explained that there were a number of factors supporting the target such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank (WB) meeting to be held in Nusa Dua in October this year.
        "The IMF-World Bank annual meeting has been confirmed to be held in Bali by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs  Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. The meeting will have a positive impact on the number of visits by foreign tourists," Yuniartha said.  
     More than  5.7  million foreign tourists visited the resort island of Bali in 2017, outstripping the target of 5.5 million for last year.
         The number of tourist arrivals in 2017 rose 16 percent from 4.92 million a year earlier.
         Most of the visitors to Bali were via the Ngurah Rai International Airport.
        The number of visits by tourist boats to Bali reached 68 in 2017 contributing to the number of foreign tourists visiting Bali that year, according to chief of the Bali Tourism Office AA Yuniartha Putra.

Monday, January 29, 2018


 Jakarta, Jan 29 (Antara) - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) has innate beauty and offers several tourism attractions, such as the Komodo National Park, the sparkling sand beach of Pede-Labuan Bajo in the district of Manggarai Barat, and Tanjung, which is part of the 17 islands of Riung, in the district of Nagekeo.
            The province is also known for whale watching tourism in Lembata beach and the tri-colored crater lakes in Mount Kalimutu, called Lake Kalimutu, in the district of Ende; Lake Ranamese in the district of Manggarai; and the Maumere bay in the district of Sikka.
          To showcase the unique and enchanting tourist destinations, the NTT Provincial Government plans to organize at least four major tourism events during 2018.
         The events would be the Komodo Dragon Festival, Tour de Flores (TdF) cycling and tourism event, Sandalwood Horses Parade and Woven Fabric Festival, and Likurai Dance of War Festival, Marius Ardu Jelamu, head of the NTT tourism office, stated here on Sunday.
          The Komodo Dragon Festival will be held in Labuan Bajo, Flores Island, in March, while the TdF will be held in May.
         In July, there will be the Likurai Dance of War Festival on Timor Island.
           The 1001 Sandalwood Horses Festival will be organized, coinciding with the traditional woven fabric festival on Sumba Island, in August 2018.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


 Jakarta, Jan 25, 2018 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government has deployed various resources and done its utmost to tackle measles epidemic and malnutrition that have affected Asmat District in Papua Province since September 2017.
         The plague has claimed 67 lives, with 37 casualties reported in Tiga Isle sub-district. 
     The epidemic is believed to have been caused by food shortage, poor environment, and lack of medical personnel and facilities in Asmat, which also has very difficult terrain.
         Asmat tribal people inhabit the lowlands, consisting of mangroves, tidal swamps, and freshwater swamps, in the southwestern coast of the province.
         Based on information received on Jan 25, a total of 12,398 children in Asmat have been offered medical check-ups and treatment.   
    Of the total children, 646 are confirmed to be infected with measles, 144 are undernourished, four are suffering from both measles and poor nutrition, and 25 others are suspected to have measles.
         The children live in 117 kampongs in 23 sub-districts: Suator, Kolf Braza, Sirets, Fayit, Aswy, Tiga Isle, Akat, Agats, Jetsy, Kasuari Beach, Der Koumur, Auyu, Suru-suru, Unirsirauw, Sawaerma, Joerat, Ayip, Atsy, Betcbamu, Kopay, Safan, Joutu, and Koroway.
         According to Papua police chief Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, the number of malnutrition victims in Asmat has reached 15 thousand people.
         "The victims of malnutrition have reached 10 thousand to 15 thousand," Amar noted on Jan 23.
         He mentioned various factors behind malnutrition cases in the district, which includes its remote location, lack of access to health facility, transportation, nutritious food, and low economic level.


 Jakarta, Jan 25, 2017 (Antara) - The Tour de Indonesia (TdI) cycling and tourism event has now been revived again, after a seven-year hiatus.
        The event is ready to involve the participation of 94 cyclists from 19 countries, with a firsthand glimpse of the host country's scenic natural scenery and cultural arts.       
    Themed "The Ultimate Race is Back," the 2018 TdI is a quadrennial international cycling and tourism event, which was last organized in 2011.
         The Indonesian Cycling Federation (PB ISSI) has revived the TdI again following the Union Cycliste Internationale's (UCI's) decision to upgrade its level from 2.2 to 2.1, making TdI the highest level cycling race in Indonesia.
         This year, the TdI started from Prambanan Temple area in Yogyakarta on Jan 25 and will finish in Bali on Jan 28, 2018.
          The participants are grouped in 15 teams, comprising 11 foreign teams and four local teams: KFC Cycling, PGN Road Cycling Team, ACC Cycling, and the Indonesian National Team.
          The foreign teams are Sapura Cycling, Terengganu Cycling, 7-Eleven Team, Thailand Continental Cycling Team, Aisan Cycling Team, Interpro Stradalli, St. George Continental Cycling Team, Java Partizan, the Malaysian National Team, the Eritrea National Team, and the national team of Mongolia.
          They comprise 19 U-23 cyclists, 29 cyclists from Indonesia, and the rest being Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)-registered cyclists.  
     The foreign participants include those from Malaysia, Japan, Eritrea, Australia, Thailand, and Mongolia.

Monday, January 22, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 22, 2018 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who is eying a second term in office by winning the next presidential election to be held in April 2019, recently conducted a modest but significant reshuffle of his cabinet.
        Jokowi swore in Idrus Marham, the secretary general of Golkar Party, as the social affairs minister to replace Khofifah Indar Parawansa, who had resigned to contest for the post of East Java governor in the upcoming regional head elections to be held in June this year.
        Two senior politicians of Golkar -- Airlangga Hartarto and Idrus Marham -- are now part of the Working Cabinet of the Jokowi administration.
        Hartarto, the current general chairman of Golkar, is the industry minister. Jokowi has hinted that he will retain Hartarto in his cabinet.
        Hartarto was already a minister when he was appointed as general chairman of Golkar on December 14, 2017, to replace Setya Novanto, Jokowi had remarked earlier.
        "We already know that Hartarto is a minister. Only one year is left. If a new person is appointed, he would need six months to learn, and if (he) is not a fast learner, it would take another year," the head of state explained.
        The president noted that Hartarto had complete understanding of the industry sector and had mastered it.
        Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla has expressed happiness over the additional seats for Golkar in the working cabinet.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Jakarta, Jan 21, 2018 (Antara) - Jakarta metropolitan city is poised to be a gateway for foreign investors interested in doing business not only to Indonesia but also to Southeast Asian region.    
    The ambitious plan for Indonesia's capital city was revealed by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, while speaking at the First Saudi Arabian Investor Forum (SAIF) for Real Estate, which was held in Jakarta recently and participated in by around 200 Saudi investors, Indonesian businessmen, and regulators.
        "We welcome this meeting and laud that it is held in Jakarta as an entry gate to Indonesia. I informed them that Jakarta is not only for Indonesia but also for Southeast Asia," the governor told the press.
         Baswedan remarked that Jakarta is ready to serve as an entry point for Saudi Arabia's investment in Southeast Asia and to provide facilities to Saudi investors.
         The Jakarta administration will coordinate closely with the Investment Coordinating Board in developing Jakarta as an entry gate for investment in Southeast Asian countries and in providing facilities to potential investors, he remarked.
         Jakarta hopes to be able to create more job opportunities for its citizens by facilitating foreign investors.  
   Habab Alhanaya, chairman of Association of Saudi Arab Investors in Indonesia, stated that Saudi investors should take advantage of the investment potentials in Indonesia.
         "God willing, in the future, we will expand business segmentation not only in real estate but also in tourism and other sectors," he asserted.

Friday, January 19, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 19, 2018 (Antara) - News on the measles epidemic and malnutrition plaguing Asmat District's remote areas in Papua has saddened the nation, as they have claimed the lives of 61 children, mostly under five years of age.
         According to the Provincial Health Office of Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province, 558 measles cases were reported in eight sub-districts in Asmat, which is not easy to access due to the difficult terrain, since September 2017.
        From January 1 to January 11, 2018, as many as 29 people were hospitalized, and 34 outpatients were reported due to measles. Two inpatients, five outpatients, and one patient died due to malnutrition.
        After receiving information on the tragedy, President Joko Widodo has instructed every stakeholder to deploy all available resources to tackle the measles outbreak and undernourishment.
        The government has launched integrated efforts by establishing coordination among the health ministry, police, military, social affairs ministry, and the private sector to tackle the extraordinary situation in Asmat, according to Health Minister Nila Moeloek.
         The ministries, Indonesian Police, and Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) have sent doctors, medicines, vaccines, paramedics, and food to Asmat, with the support of state-owned companies, such as state oil and gas company PT Pertamina, BRI, and Bank Papua.
        The health ministry has dispatched at least 39 health personnel, including specialists, general practitioners, three surgical nurses, and environmental health and surveillance specialists, Oscar Primadi, spokesman of the ministry, had remarked in Jakarta on Jan 16.

Monday, January 15, 2018


 Jakarta, Jan 15, 2017 (Antara) - Indonesia has successfully organized smooth, peaceful, fair, and democratic simultaneous regional head elections (pilkada) twice, so the nation is optimistic of repeating this feat in its upcoming pilkada. 
    The third pilkada will be organized simultaneously in 171 regions, comprising 17 provinces, 39 municipalities, and 115 districts across the country on June 27, 2018.  
    The number of eligible voters for the pilkada 2018 reaches 158 million, or some 80 percent of the total number of eligible voters for the presidential and legislative elections in 2019, which is some 197 million.
         Various parties, including President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and several legislators, have expressed optimism that the next local elections would emulate the previous ones.
         During a visit to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara Province, on June 8, 2018, Jokowi urged all elements of society to maintain fraternity and national unity, as the country welcomes the regional elections.
         "This year, we are entering the year of politics, and we need to be aware of this, so that we can all maintain unity and fraternity in order to ensure smooth implementation of this celebration of democracy," the president stated during a public lecture at the Muhammadiyah University of Kupang.
         The head of state expressed belief that no other country apart from Indonesia holds such a massive celebration of democracy.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Jakarta, Jan 13, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is among the few countries that have the harshest drug laws in the world.
        In 2015, the country had executed 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, and four others in July 2016.
         In 2017, there were no executions of drug convicts, but the war on drugs continues, and is even intensified, with this time on the streets.
         The National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) has revealed that in 2017, its officers had shot dead as many as 79 suspects of illegal drug cases for resisting arrests.
        According to BNN Chief Commissioner General Budi Waseso, the agency discovered 46,537 drug cases and 27 money laundering cases from narcotics crimes from January to December last year.
         "Of the total cases, we have detained 58,365 suspects in narcotics cases and 34 suspects in money laundering cases," Budi Waseso, or Buwas as he popularly known, stated.
         Such an achievement shows the authority's seriousness in fighting drug crimes. It has also proved that "shoot-at-sight" move for perpetrators of drug crimes is not a joke but the agency's legal commitment to be hard and stern against drugs syndicates.
        According to the data of the BNN, the police, and customs office, the authorities have seized evidences, including marijuana, amounting to 151,22 tons, and 2,940,748 ecstasy pills, during Jan to Dec period.
        "In drug-related money laundering cases, we have evidences of cars, properties, jewelry, cash, and Rp105 billion (US$7.75 million) in bank accounts," Buwas revealed.

Friday, January 5, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 5, 2017 (Antara) - Located on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, Aceh is prone to quakes, with the most powerful one in the past decades being a 9.2-magnitude that triggered a gigantic tsunami in Aceh and Nias Island.
           The tsunami left some 200 thousand people dead or missing and one million others homeless in North Sumatra Province, on December 26, 2004.    
      The deadly catastrophe caused unbearable grief and suffering to the population. The survivors had to cope with injuries or the loss of loved ones or property.
           The major disaster destroyed some 80 percent of infrastructure in the worst-hit areas. The Indonesian government had set up a Nias and Aceh Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency to mainly handle the redevelopment of infrastructure and houses in the tsunami-devastated cities and villages, with funds coming from the Indonesian government and foreign countries' donations.
           In addition to Indonesia, the tsunami had caused damage in 17 other countries around the Indian Ocean: Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Reunion Island (French), Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Oman, South Africa, and Australia.
          As a reminder of the humanitarian tragedy, an Aceh Tsunami Museum was built in Banda Aceh, the capital of the province.
           Open daily, except on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon local time and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time, the museum building has adopted the design of a traditional raised Aceh house while at the same time it resembles a ship with its protruding funnel.

Thursday, January 4, 2018


  Jakarta, Jan 4,2018 (Antara) - The number of internet users in Indonesia has reached some 132 million, making it is crucial for the country to develop reliable cybersecurity mechanisms.
      Effective cybersecurity reduces the risks of cyber attacks and protects entities, organizations, and individuals from the deliberate exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.
        In June 2017, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated a national cyber agency called National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN).
         The agency was launched following a global ransomware attack by the WannaCry virus, which affected more than 150 countries around the world, including Indonesia, in May last year.
        The president has later strengthened the role of the BSSN by stipulating the Presidential Regulation No. 133 of 2017, which was signed on Dec 16, 2017.
        "This is a very important agency, and in future, it is necessary, especially to take precautionary measures in the face of rapid developments in the cyber world," Jokowi remarked recently.
        According to the Presidential Regulation No. 133 of 2017 on BSSN, the agency directly comes under the president and is accountable to him.
         The BSSN is responsible for detecting and preventing cybercrimes and maintaining cybersecurity in effective and efficient ways by utilizing, developing, and consolidating all components related to cybersecurity.
           On Jan 3, 2018, Jokowi installed Major General of the Indonesian Army, Djoko Setiadi, as head of the BSSN at the State Palace.
       The BSSN chief's inauguration is in line with the Presidential Regulation No. 53 of 2017, signed on May 19, 2017, on the establishment of BSSN. Under the regulation, the BSSN chief has ministerial-level authority.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Jakarta, Jan 2, 2017 (Antara) - Several toll roads and highways are currently being constructed in Jakarta and the surrounding areas to ease traffic congestion in the capital city, notorious for being one of the world's most traffic-congested and populated cities.
          The government has, so far, also provided several means of public transportation, such as the Trans-Jakarta bus services and commuter train KRL Jabodetabek to serve the Greater Jakarta or Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas.
          However, traffic jams persist, and the use of the KRL Jabodetabek as well as the Trans-Jakarta bus services have become inconvenient since they are always crowded during peak hours.
          To solve the problem of congestion, the authorities have been constructing the Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit that will connect Greater Jakarta as well as a train connecting the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to the Sudirman Baru Station located in Central Jakarta.  
     Initially, the airport train had started from the Manggarai railway station, but since work on another project was ongoing at the station, the plan was postponed.
          As the construction of the airport train was completed in December 2017, its trial operation was carried out from December 26, 2017, until January 1, 2018, with the ticket priced at Rp30 thousand per passenger per trip, but the normal tariff is currently Rp70 thousand.
          Edi Sukmoro, president director of the state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia, informed the press recently that the company had sought feedback from passengers during the trial operations.
          President Joko Widodo inaugurated the operation of the airport train at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport Station in Cengkareng, Banten, on Jan 2.