Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Jakarta, 30/4/2019 (Antara) - With a population of some 260 million people, Indonesia is one of the worlds largest producers of garbage, which includes plastic waste.
In fact, a study conducted by the office of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, in cooperation with the World Bank, showed that 80 percent of plastic waste thrown into Indonesias oceans came from 87 cities mostly on Java island.

While the Government has made various efforts to reduce this waste, the issue needs to be dealt with more seriously as it could damage the environment and spell doom for future generations.

The Governments recent strategy has been to handle garbage in the form of waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, which have been confirmed by the enactment of Presidential Regulation No. 35 of 2018 or the Acceleration of Eco-friendly Waste-to-Energy Power Plant Development.

The Bantargebang Landfill waste-to-energy plant, which is a pilot project of thermal process waste management, was dedicated by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, on March 25, 2019.

Jakarta generates about 7,000 kg of waste per day, which includes more than enough municipal waste input for WTE.

Monday, April 29, 2019


Jakarta, 29/4/2019 (Antara) - Indonesias simultaneous legislative and presidential elections were not only the largest single-day democratic exercise but also resulted in unexpected martyrs -- 253 polling officers, 55 election supervisors, and 18 police officers -- dying of alleged exhaustion.

The elections, held on Apr 17, added complexity and increased the burden on over 192  million eligible voters, who had to decide on their president, vice president, members of the House of Representatives (DPR), senators of the Regional Representative Council (DPD), members of Provincial Legislative Council (DPR I), and members of the District/Municipality Legislative Council (DPRD II).

Indonesia's foremost simultaneous legislative and presidential elections were chiefly held to save time, reduce energy, and curtail costs, but in reality, the contrary took place, with the execution being frenzied, costly, and siphoning off the lives of at least 326 executors.

Different parties have vehemently called for conducting a complete and comprehensive assessment of the elections organized in over 810 thousand polling stations across Indonesia and overseas.

"We should hold a total evaluation. We will ready a format to prioritize electoral efficiency, albeit involving multi-stage execution," Chairman of Gerindra Party's Executive Board Ahmad Riza Patria noted in a recent statement.

Patria confirmed that his side had called to conduct an absolute assessment of the elections, with a reported voter turnout of some 80 percent.

"We will conduct an assessment in the Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR), along with the Government, General Election Commission (KPU), and Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), and call for legislative and presidential elections to be held separately next time," he remarked.

Adopting a similar stance, DPR Speaker Bambang Soesatyo had put forth a formal request to the Indonesian government and KPU to hold a joint assessment of the execution of the 2019 Election.

"This specifically pertains to the call for immediately applying an electoral system that is not financially burdensome, effective, and far from complicated in addition to ensuring that large number of martyrs, in terms of the election organizers, supervisors, and security forces, do not have to pay the ultimate price for the world's most complicated democratic party," he remarked, calling on the need to no longer follow the concept of the 2019 elections in future.

Soesatyo opined that the electoral process can be streamlined by putting in place an e-voting system, thus making it redundant for several organizing committees, supervisors, witnesses, and extensive security to procure voting booths, ballot boxes, ballots, and ink.

To this end, the speaker believes that the electoral process can be simplified and expedited, in terms of calculation and recapitulation of votes, by the application of an e-voting system and also not mean literal death for several of the executors.

"Hence, following the declaration of election results on May 22, I appeal to the KPU to prepare facilities and infrastructure along with conducting a comprehensive study of the planned execution of elections and polling with the application of an e-voting system," he remarked. Soesatyo further appealed to factions in the Indonesian Parliament, as an extension of political parties, to ascertain that the presidential and legislative elections are executed akin to earlier elections.

In the meantime, a political observer noted that officers, tasked with implementing the elections, were ill-prepared to fulfill mammoth tasks entailed in these elections.

"The fatal end of so many election executors exposes the grim reality that they were unprepared to execute such a colossal event on a single day," Anggalana, University of Bandarlampung's political scientist, stated. Anggalana viewed that theoretically, the Commission should have been able to execute the elections without any glitches, but those on field were overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.

The observer pointed out that the stress, fatigue, and lack of sleep while fulfilling their electoral duties in the face of time restraints arising from adopting the single-day election approach ultimately took toll of their lives, so henceforth, the ballot counting and polling should be held on separate days.

"With over a day in hand, officers will be able to take a break. In the recently concluded elections, the organizers literally broke their backs, slogging long hours, from dawn until 10 p.m. local time and also extending until the next morning to continue the ballot counting process," he pointed out.

In addition, the KPU should increase the number of polling stations, so that on-field officers are not overburdened on the polling day, he stated.

"It is common knowledge that fatigue primarily resulted in the deaths of officers," he remarked. Anggalana drew attention to the fact that a polling station handled 200-300 eligible voters during the day of the 2019 concurrent election, when it should have ideally been serving no more than 100-120 voters to ensure efficient workflow.

He also suggested organizing the next elections digitally if Indonesia would hold another simultaneous election subsequently, with close to seven different ballot cards.

Monday, April 22, 2019


Senin, 22 Apr 2019 22:35
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 22/4 (Antara) - Indonesia held the world's biggest and most complex single-day vote on April 17, 2019, where 192 million people queued up at some 810 thousand polling stations across its 34 provinces in the country and overseas.

Yansen Adrys David, heading Polling Station (TPS) No. 5 in Bengkalis City, Riau Province, passed away on April 20 of a heart attack, after working for two days at a stretch after serving several hundreds of voters on polling day.

In Bantan Tua Village, Bantan Sub-district, also Bengkalis District, Suratinizar, head of the TPS No. 2, lost his life in a traffic accident on April 18, 2019. There were indications that he may have been exhausted. He returned home from the polling station at 2 a.m. local time (On April 18). He later headed to his office for work, and in the afternoon, en route home, he lost his life in a traffic accident.

Bengkalis General Election Office (KPU) Head Fadihilah Al Mausuly confirmed the deaths of two heads of the Bengkalis polling station working committees (KPPS) from exhaustion after clocking lengthy hours on polling day.

In Riau, five people were reported to have died in election-related incidents, while 13 officers fell ill from exhaustion. No less than three officers reportedly blacked out during counting of ballots in Pekanbaru, Kampar, and Pelalawan District, Riau, respectively.

Rustam Efendi, secretary of the KPU office in Manokwari, West Papua confirmed that the electoral process was very exhausting because it took a long time and needed extra accuracy.
"It took more than 10 hours to run a polling station, from the voting process and the ballot counting to the recapitulation of all the ballots," he noted.

The polling stations opened their doors at 7 a.m. local time and many finished the counting process at 4 a.m., or 6 a.m. and some even at 10 a.m. the following day.

The election officers had a tough task because they had to serve voters and finish the counting of the ballots. They only had breaks for meals, while Muslims had prayer breaks, he said.

Basically, election officers had to work continuously for nearly 48 hours, as they had to arrange the logistics and facilities for the electoral process, one day prior to polling day.

"They did not sleep well for at least two days and two nights as they were thinking about their tasks," he said.

On polling day, voters cast their ballot for the president and vice president, members of the House of Representatives (DPR), senators of the Regional Representative Councils (DPD), members of the Provincial Legislative Council (DPRD 1), and members of the District/Municipality Legislative Council (DPRD II).

Numerous voters were taken aback by the complex nature of the elections along with low knowledge on whom to elect, apart from the president and vice president.

They were given five ballots of different colors. In Pondok Gede, Bekasi City, West Java Province, for instance, a ballot for DPD has 50 pictures of senator candidates, while ballots of DPR, DPRD I, and DPRD II, bore pictures of 20 political parties in every ballot, and each party fielded nearly 11 legislator candidates.

With the polling stations closing down in the afternoon on voting day, officers had to begin counting votes that generally lasted until the next day.

Throughout Indonesia, the death toll was 54 TPS officers and 10 police officers, while 34 others were reported to have taken ill from overwork, according to Viryan Azis, KPU Commissioner in Jakarta, April 22.

House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo has condoled the deaths of the election officers. "I convey my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Their sacrifice in upholding democracy in Indonesia will not be in vain," Soesatyo said in a statement.

"The election system is complex and polling stations located in regions with a difficult terrain can result in exhaustion and physical pressures that are unavoidable. Organizing an election can be time-consuming and can even claim lives," he remarked.

He appealed to the government to compensate the families of those who lost their lives. The senior Golkar politician also urged local administrations to provide free medical services to election officers, police and military personnel, who fell ill during election duty.

"In fact, from the onset, they should have been covered with life and medical insurances. Families of the officers who are either sick or dead should have been helped by the State," he added.

While the duration of the campaign was seven months, the election process itself was complicated, and the field officers were not covered by any insurance schemes, he noted.

The government should learn a lesson from this year's elections and make a note for the future, he said.

The public would like to see a better-organized election the next time, and this necessitates a change in the system, he stated. The changes must be carried out from top to bottom and safety of field officers must be made a priority, he added.

Sharing the House Speakers view, Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla has sought to conduct an evaluation of the implementation of the election since it was labeled a complicated process.

Kalla suggested that the 2024 presidential and legislative election should be held separately.

The just-ended elections were not only exhausting, but also allegedly marred by problems such as delayed delivery of election logistics, natural disasters, or cases of poll violations.

Hence, Bawaslu ordered reelection to be held in the provinces of Banten, East Java, South Sulawesi, West Sumatra, Jambi, and Papua, among others.

The House Speaker appealed to the KPU, local KPUs (KPUD), and the Election Supervisory Board (Bawasu) to ensure that revoting is conducted free of any violations and lapses.

In addition, the Indonesian Rector Forum (FRI) has released a statement in which it has asked election executors to maintain neutrality and demonstrate the highest levels of commitment to work.

"Hence, we appeal to those tasked with executing the 2019 elections, specifically the KPU, Bawaslu, and the Honorary Council of Election Executors (DKPP), to remain self-reliant and neutral along with guaranteeing that the vote counting process is held in line with the existent regulations," FRI Chairperson Prof. Dr Dwi Aries Tina Palubuhu MA remarked April 22, 2019.

The FRI also appealed to the public to always put the nation's interests over and above those of particular groups or persons.

The rectors also sought professionalism from the police and military in their work along with maintaining a neutral stance while putting the nation's interest above all.

They also called on presidential candidates and political parties to exercise patience as they await the outcome of the vote counting by the KPU.

Meanwhile, the preliminary election result from the KPU's Ballot Count Information System (Situng) showed Incumbent Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Ma'ruf Amin securing 11,608,261 votes, or 54.76 percent.

The pair of challenger Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno won 9,589,418 votes, or 45.24 percent, according to Situng data monitored on the official KPU website, April 22 at 7:15 a.m. local time.

The KPU Situng had made an entry of the ballots after referring to data received from C1 ballot count forms filled in by election officers at polling stations.

The commission has, until now, entered C1 form data from 111,572 TPS, of the total 813,350 TPS across countries and Indonesian representative offices overseas.

The KPU will release the official results of the final vote recapitulation on May 22, 2019. Nonetheless, both presidential candidates' camps have declared victory in the elections. The voter turnout was expected to surpass 80 percent. (INE)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Selasa, 16 Apr 2019 21:51
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 16/4/2019 (Antara) - Indonesia, the worlds largest archipelagic nation with some 17 thousand islands, has been holding relatively peaceful and smooth general elections since its Independence in 1945.

This year is a little different as Indonesia, the worlds fourth largest democracy, is preparing for its biggest and most complex one-day simultaneous legislative and presidential elections on April 17.

A total of 90,779,969 eligible voters across the country will flock to polling booths to cast their ballots for their representatives at the House of Representatives (DPR), Regional Representatives Council (DPD), as well as provincial and district/city legislative bodies. They will also vote for their preferred pair of presidential and vice presidential candidates.

In addition, 2,086,285 Indonesian nationals overseas are also eligible to exercise their voting rights during the electoral process from April 8-14 in various countries. However, the ballots will be counted along with the votes in Indonesia's 34 provinces on April 17.

Chairman of the General Election Commission (KPU) Arief Budiman recently noted that the commission had set up 809,699 polling stations across the country.

The 2019 race will be a re-play of the contentious 2014 presidential election that exposed the nation's divide, as Joko Widodo (Jokowi) faced retired general Prabowo Subianto. Incumbent Jokowi has picked well-known cleric Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate, while Subianto has paired with successful, young businessman Sandiaga Uno.

Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla has forecast that the 2019 elections will record a voter turnout exceeding 75 percent, or more than 69.8 percent in the 2014 election, and some 70 percent in 2009.


Rabu, 17 Apr 2019 00:06
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 17/4 (Antara) - Indonesians were very enthusiastic to exercise their voting rights during the electoral process held in various nations from April 8 to 14, 2019, ahead of the national election day on April 17.

Based on data of the General Election Commission (KPU), there are a total of 2,086,285 eligible Indonesian voters comprising 902,727 males and 1,155,464 females overseas, compared to 90,779,969 eligible voters inside Indonesia.

There were three methods of voting overseas going to polling stations, mailing, or mobile ballot boxes. A total of 783 polling stations were set up in 130 cities overseas. The Overseas Electoral Committee also served 2,345 mobile ballot boxes, and 429 postal services.

The diaspora cast their ballots for their preferred pair of presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their representatives at the House of Representatives (DPR). The ballots will be counted on April 17, along with the counting of votes in Indonesia's 34 provinces.

Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of Indonesia had assured everyone that the overseas election committee would maintain the utmost integrity while collecting the votes of overseas Indonesians.

"The foreign election committees are formed by Indonesian citizens living abroad. All matters relating to the general election will be conducted impartially," noted MOFA's Director of Indonesian Citizen Protection Lalu Muhammad Iqbal here on April 1, 2019.

Malaysia has the most number of Indonesian voters at nearly one million.