Friday, May 31, 2019


Jumat, 31 Mei 2019 19:20
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah Assegaf
Jakarta, 31/5 (Antara) - Palestine's struggle for independence has been at the very core of Indonesia's foreign policy, so the Palestinian cause is omnipresent in all aspects of Indonesian diplomacy.
Indonesia is a non-permanent member of the United Security Council (UNSC) for the 2019-2020 period and currently holds the UNSC chairmanship for the month of May 2019.

Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim-majority nation, has outlined four priority issues and one special-attention issue during its UNSC membership starting January 1, 2019, and ending on December 31, 2020. The special issue is Palestines fight for freedom from illegal occupation by Israel.

On May 9, 2019, Retno Marsudi presided over a meeting, jointly held by Indonesia, Kuwait, and South Africa, that was attended by Palestines Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki at the UN Headquarters in New York.

"The continued development of Israeli illegal settlements in Palestinian territories is unacceptable," she emphasized during the informal meeting of the Arria Formula themed "Israeli settlements and settlers: Core of the occupation, protection crisis and obstruction of peace."

The number of illegal Israeli settlements has grown steadily, from 110 thousand in 1993, to 620 thousand in 2017. This rising figure is a major impediment in the path to reaching a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Rabu, 29 Mei 2019 22:38
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 29/5 (Antara) -
Jakarta's post-election rally, which ended in violence from May 21 to 22, 2019, claimed eight lives and resulted in hundreds of protestors, and nine police officers, being injured. The police claimed, however, that seven people were dead, while others said the fatalities reached more than 10.

Of those injured, 294 victims were between 20 and 24 years old, and 170 others were below 19 years, while the deaths included three teens, according to the Governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the final results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections on May 22 at 1:28 a.m., declaring that the Jokowi-Maruf Amin pair had secured 85 million votes, or 55.5 percent of the national vote, as compared to contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno receiving 68 million votes, or 44.5 percent.

The Jokowi-Amin pair has since declared victory, while the Prabowo-Sandi pair rejected the KPU's official tabulation result and issued a legal challenge at the Constitutional Court (MK).

This unfinished political process sparked a mass protest from the Prabowo supporters, who alleged massive fraud in the presidential elections.

The police allowed them to stage a rally until they finished performing Tarawih, the evening prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, on the evening of May 21. As revealed by National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the peaceful demonstrators left the front of the Bawaslu (Election Supervisory Agency) building around 9 p.m.

Monday, May 27, 2019


Senin, 27 Mei 2019 23:27
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 27/5 (Antara) - Indonesia, which has been aggressively developing its halal tourism industry over the last five years, has been named the world's best halal tourist destination, based upon the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, outclassing 130 destinations throughout the world.
Mastercard-Crescent rating agency put Indonesia at first place, based upon GMTI standards with a score of 78, along with Malaysia in the upper rankings, Crescent Rating CEO Fazal Bahardeen said, while delivering a GMTI Report 2019 in Jakarta in April.

"After joining GMTI this year, Indonesia should be proud, because it was finally able to rank first in the world's halal tourism, along with Malaysia, with a total score of 78," Fazal Bahardeen stated.

In addition to Indonesia, other countries included in the the 10 best halal tourist destinations are Malaysia, also with a score of 78, Turkey (75), Saudi Arabia (72), United Arab Emirates (71), Qatar (68), Morocco (67), Bahrain (66), Oman (66), and Brunei Darussalam (65).

In defining the ranking, it evaluated four factors -- access, communications, the environment and service.

Indonesias priority halal tourist destinations in 2018 included Aceh, Riau, Riau Islands, West Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi Provinces.


Senin, 27 Mei 2019 21:56
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 27/5 (Antara) - Indonesian Muslims, who account for over 85 percent of the country's 260 million population, began observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan on May 6, 2019. At the end of the fasting month, on June 5 or 6, they will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr Islamic festivities.
Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Eid al-Fitr in their hometowns with their relatives. As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of year.

The government has predicted that more than 22.83 million Eid al-Fitr holidaymakers will travel by public transportation this year, up four percent compared to last year.

"Based on the results of our survey, 4.4 million (holidaymakers) choose to travel by bus," Director General of Land Transportation of the Transportation Ministry Budi Karya Sumadi said at a coordination meeting on Eid-al-Fitr transportation 2019 in Bandarlampung, Lampung Province, Sumatra Island, recently.

Of the total travelers, 2.4 million will choose to travel by train, 1.4 million by plane, 4.3 million by private cars and 940 thousand by motorcycle.

"Until now, motorcyclists still dominated Java's northern coastal highway during the homecoming period," the minister said.

Over the last few years, the government has encouraged homebound travelers to travel by motorcycles on their long journeys home. For this purpose, it has provided free rides to motorcyclists heading home for the holidays. Private companies have also been urged to offer free buses to transport their low-income employees, so they can return to their hometowns.

Budi Sumadi said this year's homecoming traveling, locally known as mudik, is themed "Safe and Harmonious Homecoming Traveling" in accordance with President Joko Widodo's directives. As such, the public will feel more secure during their trips. He hoped the Eid al-Fitr exodus will run smoothly and remain safe.

Friday, May 10, 2019


Jumat, 10 Mei 2019 21:04
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 10/5 (Antara) - After entrusting private companies with supplying clean water to Jakarta residents for two decades, the Jakarta administration has decided to give the task to its own clean water supply company, PT PAM Jaya.

The plan to restore water management concessions in Jakarta continues to run smoothly. PT. Aetra Air Jakarta signed a head of agreement (HoA) with PAM Jaya on April 12, 2019, in Jakarta, PT PAM Jaya recently said in a statement.

Managing Director of PT. PAM Jaya Priyatno Bambang Hernowo, who signed the HoA, outlined four points of the initial agreement.

The points include PAM Jaya and Aetra agreeing to return water management concessions in Jakarta to PAM Jaya, and arranging a transition in the management of the Drinking Water Supply System in the capital city after ending the privatization of water.

Since 1998, the management of drinking water in Jakarta was managed by two private companies, namely Aetra for the eastern region of Jakarta, and PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya (Palyja) for the western region of Jakarta, while PAM Jaya acted as a supervisor.

A study conducted by an evaluation team set up by Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan concluded that it is unlikely for private partners to reach targets set at the beginning of the agreement under the current cooperation scheme.

Hence, the governor has asked PAM Jaya to take over piped water management. This is part of a larger global trend toward remunicipalization, under which local authorities can retake control of previously privatized water and sanitation services.

The remunicipalization plan is part of the city's efforts to achieve at least 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023, which is also in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), targeting 100 percent coverage by 2030.

During the 1998-2018 period, the coverage of clean water supply service only increased by 14.9 percent. In 1998, the coverage was 44.5 percent, and in 2017, it went up to 59.4 percent, far from the coverage target of 82 percent by 2023.

The two-decade privatization of Jakartas clean water supply has failed to meet the target of 100 percent coverage of tap water supply.

Governor Anies Baswedan was pleased that the private operators responded positively. Water services should be perceived as a basic need, not as a mere business, he remarked.

Tommy Albert Tobing, a member of the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ), said direct remunicipalization would ensure the profits from the lucrative tap water business would be used for the good of the citys residents, rather than for the benefit of a handful of people.

The profits from PAM Jaya will be for the residents, Tobing said.

He said the plan would also return Rp 1.77 trillion in assets to the city administration that was currently in the hands of PAM Jayas private partners.

Fahira Idris, Jakartas senator, also lauded the governor's decision to take over clean water supply management and service. The move was in accordance with Baswedans pledge during the Jakarta gubernatorial race campaign called "The City Advances, The Inhabitants are Happy", she said.

The decision is good news for the residents of Jakarta after two decades of having depended on private companies to get clean water, the senator remarked.

"It is the right decision because it has been taken following a comprehensive study and the takeover was done through a civil process with talks held with Palyja and Aetra," she noted.

It is a bold decision, as the governor does not have to wait for the termination of the contract in 2023, according to the member of the Jakarta Representative Council, or DPD.

"The decision to stop the privatization of water supply has demonstrated that Governor Anies has chosen to stand with the people," she emphasized.

Idris believes that until the time clean water is an expensive and exclusive commodity, a city will never advance, as clean water is a basic necessity for human beings. When clean water becomes expensive and exclusive, the productivity and economy of its residents will be affected, as they have to allocate a large sum of money to avail of clean water, she pointed out.

"Hence, over a decade ago, major cities in the world had kicked out the privatization of water, and they preferred to independently manage the supply of clean water for their residents," she remarked.

In line with the Constitution, the state must meet the public need for clean water, she said, adding that no significant progress has been achieved since private companies took over the management of clean water supply.

"The Jakarta provincial administration has taken a strong stance to take over the management and service of clean water supply for its residents to ensure that every person has access to clean water supply," she stated.

Monday, May 6, 2019


Senin, 6 Mei 2019 21:45
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah Assegaf
Jakarta, 6/5 (Antara) - With the largest Muslim population with moderate views in the world, Indonesia has a growing ambition to emerge as a global Muslim fashion capital.
At least 85 percent of the over 260 million Indonesians are Muslims and a majority of them wear dresses in line with moderate Islamic teachings. Moreover, an increasing number of Indonesian Muslim women, including young girls, are opting to wear Islamic clothing as it is fashionable, decent, practical, comfortable, and alluring. Besides, Indonesia's hijabs are unique, colorful, and varied, compared with those of other countries.

With the support of the Industry Ministry, the Fourth Muslim Fashion Festival (Muffest) was organized at the Assembly Hall of the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) from May 1 to 4, 2019.

Organized annually by the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC), the 2018 Muffest recorded transactions worth Rp38.9 billion, and saw 51,389 visitors, an increase from Rp28.3 billion in business transactions and 47,100 visitors in 2017, Ali Charisma, the National Chairman of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber, said in his opening report of the 2019 Muffest.

The fourth Muffest, which hopes to achieve total business transactions worth Rp45 billion and record over 55 thousand visitors, was enlivened with fashion shows, fashion presentations, retail exhibitions, business-to-business meetings, talk shows, seminars and fashion design competitions, including the Modest Young Designer Competition, which is a talent search event for young designers in Indonesia.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Indonesian workers continue fighting for decent wage, better benefits by Fardah

Jakarta, May 4, 2019 (ANTARA) - International Labor Day or May Day is celebrated annually on May 1 by workers across countries to highlight certain causes—better wages, better benefits and improved working conditions.

In more than 80 countries, including Indonesia, May Day is a national holiday. This year’s theme of International Labor Day 2019 is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.

Many workers in Indonesia, however, do not have pension benefits and, in fact, are still struggling for basic rights such as decent wages.

Thousands of Indonesian workers across the country commemorated Labor Day on May 1. In Jakarta, at least 40 thousands workers, including journalists, expressed concern as many of them are underpaid, and lack social benefits and protection.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) demanded that media companies abide by the Law on Manpower and be consistent in implementing the regulation.

President of the Confederation of All Indonesia Labor Union (KSPI) Said Iqbal said May Day was a reminder to labor activists to continue fighting for their cause.

“The welfare of workers, including contract workers, must be improved. Social insurance for health and manpower must be improved and electricity tariff must be reduced,” Iqbal said, adding that the outsourcing system must also be abolished.

KSPI invited presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto to speak before workers during the May Day gathering held at the Indoor Tennis court in Senayan, Jakarta, on May 1.

"Workers are the backbone of the national economy. Laborers, together with farmers and fishermen, produce products for the nation and the people," Subianto said.

'Happy labors day. May the workers' struggle for the certainty of the future of the workers and their families materialize,” the retired general said.

May Day rallies across Indonesia, and particularly in Jakarta, were relatively peaceful and orderly, except for Bandung (West Java), where unknown intruders triggered chaos.

"The security situation in Indonesia while commemorating May Day could be termed as highly conducive," Head of the National Police Information Bureau Brigadier General Dedi remarked.

A total of 80 thousand joint personnel of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), Indonesian National Police, and municipal police units were stationed to ensure that the security situation was under control.

"May this atmosphere be maintained during every commemoration of May Day," Manpower Minister M. Hanif Dhakiri said, lauding the conducive conditions during May Day.

Human resources development is high on the list of the government's priorities in 2019, the minister said.

"Right now, we need quality human resources in adequate numbers, which are evenly distributed across Indonesia," he said.

According to him, the real problem currently facing Indonesia in the manpower sector is inadequate expertise.

The problem is not merely the responsibility of the government, but of labor unions and employers as well, he said.

To deal with the disparities in expertise, the Jokowi Administration is continuing to improve the classification of vocational training, he said.

"Vocational training is aimed at providing the labor force with soft and hard skills to enable them to find jobs and open businesses," he said.

The Jokowi government has also taken various steps to improve the welfare of workers, including raising their wages every year, launching a worker housing program and expanding social security for workers, according to the minister.

Meanwhile, the Jokowi Administration has pledged to materialize three agreements reached during a meeting between President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and several leaders of labor unions in Bogor, West Java, on April 26, 2019, Chief of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko said.

"The meeting yielded three agreements and all of them will most likely be materialized," Moeldoko said at the Jakarta Police Headquarters on May Day, following the inauguration of a help desk for workers at the police office.

First, the President agreed to revise the Government Regulation (PP) No 78 year 2015 on salaries, as soon as possible.

"The Government needs to review and even revise the PP No 78 Year 2015. We want to look for a new formula, which will mutually benefit both workers and businessmen. The role of the Government to find a new balance is not easy," he said.

Second, the President is considering establishing childcare rooms in every company and in the industrial zone so children are not neglected because their parents are working.

Third, the Government has decided to set up help desks for workers in every police office across Indonesia to sort out complaints from workers. Sixteen help desks for laborers have been established in several provinces.

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Kamis, 2 Mei 2019 08:14
Daerah : Jakarta
By Fardah
Jakarta, 2/5 (Antara) - The Indonesian Government is considering developing a new capital city located outside Java Island, to replace Jakarta which will celebrate its 492th anniversary this year.
Jakarta is seen as no longer fit to maintain its status as the country's capital city. The metropolitan city is very crowded with roads only constituting 6.2 percent of its total area, while it should ideally be 15 percent at least.

Losses as a result of Jakarta's traffic jams are estimated to reach some Rp100 trillion in 2019. Besides, 50 percent of Jakarta is prone to flooding.

Up to 90 percent of water in Jakarta's rivers are polluted; hence, it poses a danger due to bad sanitation. Jakarta is also sinking with a subsidence rate at seven centimeters a year. During the 1989-2007 period, the soil level in Jakarta subsided by 60 centimeters.

The government favors the plan on moving the capital city outside Java Island, which is the worlds most crowded island, based on various grounds.
With regard to the environment, traffic, and water, Java Island, with a population of some 149 million people, comprising 57 percent of the country's total population, is unlikely to support the development of a new capital city.

The government organized the first cabinet meeting on April 29, 2019, for holding discussions on the plan to shift the capital city.