Tuesday, August 28, 2018


  Jakarta, Aug 28. 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia has clean swept all gold medals in eight finals of pencak silat, traditional martial arts originating from Indonesia, which is making its debut in the 18th Asian Games this year.
         The finals held in Pencak Silat Hall, which is located in the Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park (TMII), East Jakarta, on Aug 27, 2018, comprised women's individual arts, men's 85-90 kilograms, men's team arts, men's 50-55 kilograms class B, women's 50-55 kilograms class B, men's 55-60 kilograms class C, women's 55-60 kilograms class C, and men's 65-70 kilograms class E.
        Puspa Arumsari won the first gold medal for Indonesia in Pencak Silat in the 2018 Asian Games, after achieving the highest point in the women's single finals.
          Other Indonesian gold medalists include Yola Primadona Jampil and Hendy (in the men's doubles category), Nunu Nugraha, Asep Yuldan Sani, and Anggi Faisal Mubarok (in the men¿s arts team), Aji Bangkit Pamungkas (in the men¿s 85 kilograms), Adi Putra (in men's class E of 65-70 kilograms), Iqbal Candra Pratam (in men's D category of 60-65 kilograms), Sarah Tria Monita (in the women's C category of 55-60 kilograms), and Abdul Malik (in the men's B category of 50-55 kilograms).
         In one day, Aug 27, the national pencak silat athletes contributed eight gold medals, raising Indonesia¿s medal standings from rank fifth, with 14 gold medals on Aug 27 morning, to rank fourth, with 22 gold medals in the evening, beating Iran, which was previously in the fourth rank, in the Asian Games medal tally.
          Indonesia still has chances to win more gold medals in pencak silat in five final matches scheduled for Aug 28, also at Pencak Silat Hall, TMII, where Prabowo Subianto, chairman of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI), concurrently president of the International Pencak Silat Association (Persilat), is expected to be present during the matches. 
      ¿Alhamdulillah (Thank Allah), our athletes have made great achievements, thanks to their hard work. We are grateful that they could uphold the image of the nation," Subianto stated in Jakarta on Monday (Aug 27).
           Manager of Indonesia¿s pencak silat contingent, Edhy Prabowo, expressed his satisfaction over his team¿s achievement, which is double than the target set by IPSI as well as the government.
          ¿This is a surprise and is beyond our expectation. I thought we would have half of it, and another half tomorrow. But, Alhamdulillah, we have achieved it all already," Prabowo remarked.
         Since the beginning, Indonesia has been optimistic of winning gold medals in pencak silat in the eight finals of the Asian Games 2018.
         Indonesia's pencak silat athletes competing in the Asian Games 2018 are Komang Harik Adi Putra, Iqbal Candra Pratama, Abdul Malik, Wewey Wita, Pipiet Khamelia, Sarah Tria Monita, Hanifan Yudani Kusumah, and Aji Bangkit Pamungkas.
             Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, India, Nepal, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan are the 16 countries participating in pencak silat in the largest multi-sport event in Asia.
        Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his appreciation to the country's athletes for the remarkable achievement made so far in the current 18th Asian Games 2018.
             He wrote in his official Facebook account on Aug 27 evening that despite having still another week more for the Games to conclude, Indonesian athletes have been able to surpass the target of 16 gold medals.
            "Today, Indonesia has collected 22 gold, 15 silver, and 27 bronze medals," he noted.
             He added that most of the gold medals won on Monday were from pencak silat.
          "Most of the gold medals were won by pencak silat athletes at the Padepokan Pencak Silat Taman Mini Indonesia Indah venue today, reaching a total of eight medals," he noted.
         The president, in particular, expressed appreciation to a married couple who had contributed a gold medal each to the country.
         "Two gold medals were even won by Iqbal Candra Oratama and Sarah Tris Minifa, who are husband and wife. In addition, two gold medals were collected from men's and women's sport climbing event in Palembang," he remarked.
          He continued to motivate athletes to keep on fighting until the end of the Games to do their best for the country.
          "Efforts to collect medals must still continue. Our athletes will still fight at the sports venues to promote the name of the country," he pointed out.
         As of Aug 28 evening, Indonesia has achieved a total of 72 medals, comprising 24 gold medals, 19 silver medals, and 29 bronze medals, ranking fourth after China, Japan, and South Korea in the medal tally of the ongoing Asian Games.
          Being co-host by Jakarta and Palembang in South Sumatra Province from Aug 18 to Sept 2, 2018, the 18th Asian Games is being participated in by some 17 thousand athletes and officials from 45 member countries of Asia.  ***4***

Friday, August 17, 2018


Jakarta, Aug 17, 2018 (Antara) - The Asian Games 2018 torch relay has finally completed its one-month-long journey covering a total distance of 18 thousand kilometers and touring 53 cities and districts in 18 provinces across Indonesia.
        Arriving in Jakarta on August 15, the torch was handed over to President Joko Widodo at Merdeka State Palace on Aug 17, coinciding with the celebration of the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia's independence.
       Flanked by Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, the President ran for a short distance to welcome the torch as it entered the gate of the palace and accepted it from Verawati Fajrin, a badminton legend from the 1980s.
          Holding the torch in his right hand, President Jokowi, as he is also known, said, "I accept the torch to start the Asian Games 2018."
    Also flanked by a line of athletes, President Jokowi then ran with the torch to the front of the honorary stage at the palace.
         On the stage, he then handed over the torch to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) chief, Erick Tohir.
          Tohir then ran with the torch out of the palace to the National Monument close to the palace where it will be kept for a night before it will be taken again and brought to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games on August 18.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


 Jakarta, Aug 15, 2018 (Antara)- Despite a controversy concerning  his running mate choice,  incumbent Joko Widodo and his team have been busy coordinating  a large political party coalition and a huge backup  to ensure his way to victory in next year's presidential election.
         Seeking second term, Widodo, who is popularly called Jokowi, has picked Ma'ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), as his partner, to everyone's surprise.
         They will face retired military general Prabowo Subianto, who selects Sandiaga Solahuddin Uno, young and successful entrepreneur, as his running mate, in a re-run presidential race.
         Next year's race will be a repeat of the bitter 2014 presidential election that showcased the country's divide as Jokowi went head to head with Prabowo. 
    In the direct presidential election five years ago,  Jokowi and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla, won 70,997,833 votes, or 53.15 percent of the total 133,574,277 valid votes, while their rivals, Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa secured 62,576,444 votes, or 46.85 percent.
         The Indonesian Government has planned to organize simultaneous legislative and presidential elections on April 17, 2019.
         To achieve  victory for the second time, the political machine of Jokowi  has been working intensively by involving nine political parties joining the government coalition.
         The nine parties are PDIP, the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP), Golkar Party, National Awakening Party (PKB), National Democratic Party (Nasdem), People's Conscience Party (Hanura),the Indonesian Justice and Unity Party (PKPI), the United Indonesia Party (Perindo), and the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI).  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Jakarta, Aug 14, 2018 (Antara) - Central Sulawesi is gearing up for the Second Tour de Celebes (TdCC), an annual international cycling race and tourism promotion, following its success in organizing the first one last year.
         The Central Sulawesi government showcases nature sceneries, unique culture and traditions, and hospitality during the sports tourism event in which foreign and domestic cyclists participate.
         The three major events of the TdCC 2018, Wonderful Palu Nomoni Festival, and Wonderful Lipuku Festival, planned by Central Sulawesi from September until November this year, were officially launched by Tourism Minister Arif Yahya in Jakarta on July 17, 2018, in the presence of Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola and Palu Mayor Hidayat. 
    The third Wonderful Palu Nomoni Festival will be held by the Palu administration from September 28 to October 3, 2018, while the Tojo Unauna District will organize the second Wonderful Lipuku Festival on November 2-6, 2018.
         In fact, the Central Sulawesi provincial government has planned 32 sports tourism, cultural, and art events, comprising 26 local and national-scale as well as six regional and international-scale, in 2018.
         The Wonderful Palu Nomoni Festival and Wonderful Lipuku Festival are considered to be national-scale events.
         One of the six international events is the TdCC that will be organized on Oct 14-18 and at least five domestic cycling clubs and 16 foreign cycling clubs from 16 countries are expected to participate.  

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Jakarta, Aug 11, 2018 (Antara) - Lombok, which was rocked by three powerful earthquakes on July 29, Aug 5 and 9, 2018, is one of Indonesia's ten priority tourist destinations, beyond Bali.
         Located in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, Lombok Island is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas, and a distinct culture.
            Thanks to intensive tourism promotional activities at home and overseas, NTB, which is situated not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali, has attracted much domestic, as well as foreign tourists, and seeks to attract four million foreign tourists by 2018.
       So, when powerful earthquakes rocked Lombok Island, the main concerns of the authorities include the safety of local inhabitants and tourists.
        The Indonesian foreign ministry recently briefed foreign envoys on the latest developments in Lombok, particularly following a powerful magnitude-7 earthquake on Aug 5 that devastated 75 percent of the buildings in North Lombok district.
          The briefing, organized by the consular directorate of the foreign ministry, was attended by envoys of 30 foreign countries and officials of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBN), the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), and the Meteorology, Geophysics, and Climatology Agency (BMKG).
   The foreign ministry has since established a "Foreign Visitor Help Desk" (FVHD) to assist foreigners seeking information related to the natural disaster.  


Jakarta, Aug 11, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is mourning after Lombok Island in West Nusa Tenggara had been devastated by deadly earthquakes of 6.4 magnitude on July 29, 7 magnitude on Aug 5, and 6.2 magnitude on Aug 9, 2018, respectively.
         The Aug 5 quake killed at least 387 people, caused dozens to go missing, injured, 13,88 and displaced 387,067; while the previous 6.4 magnitude earthquake claimed 16 lives, including a Malaysian tourist.
         None of the victims (of the Aug 5 quake) was foreigners, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBN).
         The Indonesian foreign ministry recently briefed foreign envoys on the latest developments in Lombok, which is often packed with foreign tourists holidaying on the island resort, which is not less beautiful than Bali.   
    The ministry informed the foreign diplomats about rescue efforts, including the evacuation of the affected local residents and foreign tourists, from Lombok.
          Evacuation operations are crucial because aftershocks are expected to continue to jolt Lombok Island over the next four weeks. Since the Aug 5 quake, 451 aftershocks have been recorded, as of the morning of Aug 10.