Saturday, December 29, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 29, 2018 (Antara) - The Joko Widodo (Jokowi) - M. Jusuf Kalla administration has intensified infrastructure development across Indonesia during their first four-year term, starting October 2014, as the projects are expected to strengthen connectivity, economic growth, and national unity.
        Seeking a second term in office, incumbent Jokowi pledged that the government will next focus on making massive investment in human capital development to produce high-quality and competent human resources.
        The human resources development program, however, will be in synergy with other programs, including with physical infrastructure projects and technology innovation program.
        Hence, the government continues to allocate funds amounting to Rp400 trillion in the State Budget for the development of infrastructure in 2019, despite shifting its focus to the development of human resources.
       Funds for the 2019 State Budget will reach a total of Rp2,461 trillion for expenses, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani stated recently.
        Allocation for infrastructure will reach Rp400 trillion; health sector, Rp120 trillion; and education, Rp500 trillion, she outlined.
        During the 2015-2018 period, the government had developed new roads, stretching a total of 3,432 kilometers (km), in Kalimantan and Papua border areas as well as East Nusa Tenggara, among others. The new roads exceed the target of 2,650 km by 2019.
        The government has also built new bridges, spanning 39,798 meters, exceeding the target of 29,859 meters by 2019.

Friday, December 28, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 28, 2018 (Antara)- Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia, is similar to other metropolitan cities, being characterized by traffic and crowds, and it never sleeps.
         Having quite a hot and humid weather, the city has a few nature tourism attractions, namely Kenjeran Beach and the Wonorejo mangrove forest. Other tourist attractions include the museums, monuments and parks.
         Under the leadership of Mayor Tri Rismaharani, the city has won a lot of international awards, with the latest one from "The 4th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation".
         Surabaya, the capital of East Java Province, won an award for its project dubbed "Public Participation in 3R Waste Management for a Better Surabaya".
         Mayor Risma recently revealed that the city would have an urban forest to help curb flooding and pollution in Warugunung, Karang Pilang Sub-district.
         A small reservoir will also be built in the location to hold rainwater, and at least one thousand trees, mostly of fruit-bearing varieties, will be planted around the small reservoir.
         Beyond the monuments and the beach, Surabaya is dubbed as the City of Hero and actually has many historical and religious tourist destinations.
         The Surabaya Heritage Tract will take tourists on a tour around North of Surabaya or also known as Old Surabaya, by bus, to see old buildings constructed during the Dutch and Japanese colonial eras.
         The Surabaya Municipality is currently renovating old buildings as part of its program to promote its old city as a tourist destination, in cooperation with paint companies.
         Risma suggested that bright colors be used to beautify the old city. Irawan Bahtera, director of PT ICI Paints Indonesia, said a total of 117 old and historic buildings would be repainted as part of the urban tourism development program. The buildings are located on the Veteran, Karet, and Kali Mas streets, among others.
         Surabaya, which was the Dutch Indies port town in the 16th century, has a large modern port of Tanjuk Perak and a traditional harbor of Kali Mas, which are both located in North Surabaya.
         As a result, the city has a multiethnic population, with the majority being Javanese and others including people of Madurese, Chinese, Arab, and Indian descents.
         Its old city area is located in North Surabaya, specifically around "Jembatan Merah" or the Red Bridge, where one can find several of the best historical buildings, including structures with colonial Dutch architecture and Chinese temples.
         The most striking landmark in Surabaya's old city area is the 15th-century Ampel Mosque, which stands within the vibrant Arab quarter.
         The Grand Mosque of Sunan Ampel was built by Sunan Ampel, one of the Wali Songo, or the Nine Muslim Saints, in the 15th century and has become one of Surabaya's main religious tourism destinations.
         Born in 1401 in Champa, Cambodia, Sunan Ampel's real name was Mohammad Ali Rahmatullah and was a descendant of Ibrahim Asmarakandi, a prince of Champa, who lived and stayed in the town of Tuban in East Java.
         Sunan Ampel spent his entire life in the Ampel Mosque until his death in 1481. His tomb is located on the right side of the mosque.
         The Sunan Ampel Grand Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia and has been built using a combination of Javanese and Arabic architecture and strong teak wood.
         Meanwhile, Surabaya hopes to significantly improve tourist arrivals in East Java Province, which has surpassed its tourist target of 60 million people this year.
         "In East Java, the number of domestic tourist arrivals exceeded the target of 60 million, while the number of foreign tourists reached more than 600 thousand," Saidi, head of the East Java culture and tourism office, said recently.
         East Java has many diverse tourist destinations, including religious sites and eco-tourism destinations.
         Most of the domestic tourists visited religious sites, while foreign tourists visited eco-tourism destinations such as Mount Bromo (2,329 meters above sea level), Mount Semeru (3,676 meters), and Banyuwangi.
         The Central Government has helped promote the province's tourist destinations and improve the relevant facilities and infrastructure, including toll roads, airports and seaports.
         Tourist cruise ships have entered the province through seaports in Surabaya and other ports, including Gili Labak Island in Madura.
         Saidi stressed that tourism promotion would be optimized to attract more foreign tourists from varied countries to visit East Java.
         The government has planned to build a toll road connecting Kertosono, Kediri and Tulungagung, and to construct an airport in Kediri.
         In fact, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed optimism that the toll road from Jakarta to Surabaya would be ready in December 2019.
         "I am very happy that this morning, we will inaugurate the Solo-Ngawi toll road in the Sragen-Ngawi segment. It means that soon, from Jakarta to Surabaya, at the end of this year, God willing, everything would be connected," President Jokowi remarked while inaugurating the Sragen-Ngawi toll road in Sragen, Central Java, last November.
         Jokowi believed that with the completion of the Jakarta-Surabaya toll road construction, the integration of the tourism industry would improve.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 27, 2018 (Antara) - Vacationers, mostly constituting state electricity company PLN employees, were enjoying music played by rock band "Seventeen" under full moon at Tanjung Lesung Beach, Banten, when a tsunami struck without warning on late December 22, 2018.
        Over 100 people, including three musicians and a crew member of Seventeen, as well as 41 PLN employees and family members, were found dead in Tanjung Lesung alone, following the volcanic tsunami affecting five districts in Banten and Lampung District.
        The reason behind the lack of warning is the surprise source of the waves. Unlike past events triggered by earthquakes, this tsunami was caused by a landslide associated with the eruption of Mount Anak Krakatau, or the Child of legendary Mount Krakatoa.
        A large part of the southern flank of the volcano slid into the ocean in the evening of December 22, 2018, according to images from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellite, reported by
        Some 20 minutes after the flank collapse, a wall of water roared ashore, sweeping up everything in its path, including boats, tables, and people along coastal regions facing Sunda Strait, where Mount Anak Krakatau is located.
        Anak Krakatau, situated between the islands of Java and Sumatra, had been undergoing a stuttering eruption since June 18, and an alert status has been declared for it.
        The death toll from the Sunda Strait tsunami reached 430. At least 1,495 people were injured, 159 people went missing, and 21,991 others displaced.
        Spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Sutopo Purwo Nugroho stated on December 26, 2018, that the number of casualties might increase, as rescuers and volunteers were still attempting to reach remote coastal villages in Lampung and Banten that might have been affected by the tsunami.

Monday, December 24, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 24, 2018 (Antara)- Indonesia will organize presidential elections on April 17, 2019, considered by many as a repeat of the bitter 2014 presidential race, wherein incumbent Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prabowo Subianto are again set to go head-to-head.
        Seeking a second term, Jokowi, furniture businessman, has picked Ma'ruf Amin, chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), as his partner, while retired general Subianto has picked Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, a young and successful entrepreneur and former deputy governor of Jakarta, as his running mate.  
   The Jokowi-Amin pair is backed by a coalition called Working Indonesian Coalition (KIK) involving nine political parties which have set up a national campaign team (TKN) for Jokowi.
         The nine political parties are the Indonesian Democratic Party for Struggle (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).  
   The Subianto -Uno pair is supported by only four political parties, notably Gerindra, which is founded by Subianto; the National Mandate Party (PAN); the Justice Prosperous Party (PKS); and the Democratic Party (PD) established by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY).
         In addition to the political parties, the two candidates have competed in gaining support from major mass organizations, such as the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia¿s largest Muslim organization, and Muhammadiyah, the second largest after NU.
         Muhammadiyah has so far maintained its neutral stance and has let its members to decide their choices.

Friday, December 14, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 14, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesian waters occupy at least 70 percent of its national territory, and in most parts of the country, there are numerous people who earn a livelihood related to and dependent on the oceans.   
     The world's largest archipelagic country with a 260-million population and over 17 islands has 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory, and some 92 thousand km-long beach and coastal areas, or the world's second longest coast line after Canada.
               Indonesia has various coral reefs, which are spread across an area of 25 thousand square kilometers, or around 10 percent of the world's coral reefs measuring 284,300 square kilometers.
              Besides, Indonesia has the highest number of coral reef species on the planet, notably 569 species from 82 families and 15 tribes, out of the total 845 coral reef species in the world.    
    Coral reefs are not just beautiful but are also crucial for maintaining the food supply of millions of people living along the coast all over the world.
              Coral reef fisheries are a critical source of protein for tens of millions of people, and coral reef tourism provides a significant source of foreign exchange for Indonesia.  
     Besides, biologically diverse coral reefs are also vital for protecting the shoreline of the country's low-lying islands.
              To help manage its costal region and preserve coral reefs, Indonesia carried out the Coral Reef Management and Rehabilitation Program (COREMAP), which is supported by a multi-donor group.     
  The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), as one of the executive agencies of the COREMP, has claimed that the program has been able to improve the rehabilitation and management of coral reefs in the country.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


  Jakarta, Dec 13, 2018 (Antara) - Indonesia is a haven for those preferring to use plastic, as plastic products can be found easily and bought at relatively low prices in the country, with a population of some 260 million.
         As an oil producing nation, Indonesia has manufactured various types of goods made of plastics, whose basic ingredient is crude petroleum.
        Despite several benefits that plastics have offered and made life easier, plastic use has environmental consequences, such as land and marine pollution due to plastic waste and deaths of wildlife after ingesting plastics or becoming entangled in plastic trash.
        Plastic has toxic pollutants that harm the environment and cause land, water, and air pollution. It can take hundreds or also thousands of years for plastic to break down, so damage to the environment is long-lasting.
        As to dangers it poses to wildlife, recent public outcry and protests erupted against the effects on wildlife from ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic debris.
         In Indonesia, three sea turtles were found dead some 150 meters off Pari Island, Seribu (One Thousand) Islands District, Jakarta, on November 27, 2018, apparently due to plastic litter found in their mouths and front claws.
         On Nov 19, a carcass of a 9.5-meter-long sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) was discovered by local fishermen, as it was washed ashore the Kapota Isle, Wakatobi District, Southeast Sulawesi. A total of 5.9 kilograms of plastic waste were found in the whale's stomach, including flip-flops and 115 drinking cups.
        As concern over plastic waste is mounting, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has ordered inclusion of plastic waste education in the school curriculum.


Jakarta, Dec 13, 2018 (Antara) - Cyberattacks have threatened elections in several countries, and one of the major hacking cases was alleged foreign interference using cyber networks during the US presidential elections in 2016.
          Any form of interference in the election results, be it through money politics or cyberattacks, could endanger democratic well-being of the targeted country. Hence, cybersecurity must be taken seriously to take precautionary measures and prevent threat of cyberattacks.
       On April 17, 2019, Indonesia will hold simultaneous presidential and legislative elections believed to be among the most complex and largest elections in the world. Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous nation, with some 260 million people, and the world's largest archipelagic country, with over 17 thousand islands.
         Four months prior to the elections, cyberattacks have already increased in Indonesia, according to the National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN).
        "From January to October 2018, BSSN had detected 207.9 million trojan attacks and 36 million malware activities, mostly targeting domains of,, and," Djoko Setiadi, the chairman of BSSN, revealed while addressing participants of a seminar themed "Materializing Conducive Cyber Space To Support Implementation of the 2019 Legislative and Presidential Elections," organized in Jakarta on December 12, 2018.
       Earlier, the agency had reported that a total of 143.6 million cyberattacks occurred during the January-June 2018 period.
        Moreover, some 2,363 complaints were lodged by the public, of which 61 percent were related to cyber fraud.
        He expressed concern over cyberattacks having developed fast, even swifter than the progress in technology and the capability to take precautionary measures, so it is risky and could trigger a crisis in every field at a massive scale of dissemination.

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Jakarta, Dec 6, 2018 (Antara) - The fact that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has visited Papua nine times since December 2014 shows that his administration gives special attention to the development programs in the country's easternmost province.
        Jokowi's first visit was in December 2014, just over a month after he was sworn in as Indonesia's seventh president in October 2014. At that time, the president promised the Papuans that he would frequently visit the province. 
    His latest visit was on Nov 16, 2018, where he personally reviewed the construction works of Trans-Papua road development project. The section he checked was on Kilometer 23 between Merauke and Sota in the district of Merauke.  
  The Trans-Papua road, spanning 4.6 thousand kilometers, is expected to improve connectivity on Papua Island, which comprises Papua and West Papua Provinces.
       Trans-Papua will cut time in the transportation of goods, logistics, and people's movement in Papua, which has difficult terrain as a large part of its land area is still covered by thick forest and swamps.
        The implementation of the Trans-Papua development project has so far been smooth, until Dec 2, 2018, when the public was shocked by reports of murders of more than a dozen workers of the road development project.
        Indonesia's security officers have, so far, discovered 16 bodies of slain workers employed by PT Istaka Karya Construction Company.
        Jimy Aritonang, one of the survivors of the terror attack, recalled that some 50 armed men belonging to an outlawed group, led by Egunius Kogoya, had taken 25 workers from their camp to Mount Kabo.
       On arriving in the remote mountainous area, the criminals shot the workers, whose hands were bound. Some 14 men died on the spot, while 11 others pretended to be dead and later attempted to escape. However, five were later recaptured and killed by the criminals, while several others managed to reach a military post.
       The criminals chased them and later got engaged in a shootout with several military officers. One officer, identified as First Sergeant Handoko, was killed in the attack, while another one was injured.
         Jokowi on Dec 5, 2018, expressed condolences on behalf of the Indonesian people, who mourned the deaths of the workers.