Sunday, May 31, 2020

Indonesia strongly opposes Israeli annexation plan of West Bank by Fardah

Jakarta, May 31, 2020 (ANTARA) - Israel’s lust for more Arab land seems endless. They have occupied and colonized most of Palestinian land and unilaterally claimed Syria’s Golan Height, annexed Jerusalem, and now they plan to annex parts of Jordan Valley and West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud’s Knesset faction on May 26 that the annexation of West Bank will begin on July 1 this year.

“We don’t intend to change it.” Netnyahu was quoted by Israeli media Haaretz, adding that “this is an opportunity that can’t be missed.”

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, has opined that Israel's plan to annex more land from the illegally occupied West Bank will bring a new calamity for Palestinians, similar to their mass exodus in 1948, known as Nakba, which is commemorated on May 15 annually.

To create the State of Israel, Zionist forces attacked major Palestinian cities, destroyed some 530 villages, and killed approximately 13,000 Palestinians in 1948, with more than 750,000 expelled from their homes and becoming refugees.

At present, the refugees and their descendants number more than seven million. Many still languish in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries, such as Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, waiting to return to their homeland.

Nakba's 72nd anniversary has come at a time when an extreme right-wing government in Israel looks to expand its territory to the Jordan Valley.

"The annexation of Jordan Valley is an attempt to complete the catastrophe (Nakba) of 1948 and to completely liquidate the Palestinian cause," Hanan Ashrawi, prominent politician and thinker, said as reported by Aljazeera.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Indonesians asked to prepare for new normal by Fardah

Jakarta , May 25, 2020 (ANTARA) -

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked Indonesians, and businesses entities in particular, to prepare to coexist with COVID-19, which would necessitate a new normal of social distancing and observance of health protocols.

For the country, which has been battling the pandemic since early March this year, finding ways to coexist with COVID-19 would not imply giving up the fight against the deadly virus, he asserted.

Instead, it would involve carrying out normal activities peacefully, safely, productively, and comfortably by following the new health protocols to safeguard against coronavirus spread, as, currently, no vaccines have been developed against the infection.

The safety of the public must remain priority, the President remarked.

In preparation for the transition toward a new normal amid the lingering pandemic, the government is drafting protocols for various activities to ensure that people stay safe and healthy, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said.

"This will be discussed in detail and will be decided by the President. We are now studying the concept technically and comprehensively," Airlangga said, adding that the new normal will demand strong discipline on part of the public.

In Jakarta, the country’s capital and COVID-19 epicenter, Governor Anies Bawesdan has projected that normalcy will be restored and local residents will resume activities after the third round of large-scale social distancing (PSBB) ends.

"If we all remain disciplined, Jakarta can return to a new normal. Many people usually call it a new normal to refer to a new situation instead of a pre-pandemic situation," he remarked at the Jakarta City Hall on May 20, 2020.

However, Jakarta residents are expected to not reduce their adherence to a disciplined lifestyle under new normal conditions, he said.

“This (COVID-19 fight) is not yet over. I want to underscore that there is no relaxation. Do not think it is relaxed. Do not feel that it is over," he cautioned.

Indonesia braces for extreme dry season amid COVID-19 by Fardah

Jakarta , May 25, 2020 (ANTARA) -

As it battles the coronavirus pandemic, Indonesia, which is currently entering the dry season, is bracing for a possible prolonged drought.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has forecast that 30 percent of the country’s regions entering the dry season in the next three months will experience drier-than-usual weather conditions.

This year, the dry season started in April, and is forecast to be dominant in May, June, and July, and peak during the period from August to September.

The hydrological drought is forecast to chiefly impact 10 provinces -- West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, South Sulawesi, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Maluku, and Papua -- with affected areas spread across 90 districts and cities.

Agricultural land forecast to be affected by drought in the 10 provinces cover 1.14 million hectares of irrigation areas.

"Hence, steps to mitigate the impact must be thoroughly prepared, so that the stability of food prices is not affected," President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on May 5, 2020, while chairing a virtual limited meeting on "Anticipating the Impact of Drought on the Availability of Staple Food". The meeting was attended byVice President Ma'ruf Amin and ministers.

The impact of COVID-19 and a prolonged drought could deal a double blow to the country by prompting a food crisis, if the problems are not anticipated and managed properly.

To prevent a food shortage, the government has outlined two strategies: encouraging planting of crops earlier, before the 2020 dry season sets in; and, delivering the necessary infrastructure and facilities promptly to support the planting process.

"The planting season should be accelerated. We must capitalize on the rainfall that still exists today. We must ensure that farmers continue to produce and plant by applying health protocols," Jokowi remarked.

The Agriculture Ministry is implementing the Paddy Planting Acceleration Movement in several regions to encourage early planting.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto had earlier announced that the government will offer incentives worth Rp600 thousand to 2.44 million farmers to facilitate planting in the next period.

Furthermore, the Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry has readied several dams, reservoirs, water retention basins, bore wells, and other facilities to store water, particularly for irrigation purposes.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Jakarta, 16/5/2020 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has again placed the Rohingya under the media spotlight, as several ASEAN members are refusing helpless Rohingyas aboard boats from landing on their lands on pretext of the disease outbreak.
On April 16, 2020, the Malaysian navy had intercepted a boat, carrying aboard some 200 Rohingya refugees, off the coast of Malaysia and prevented it from entering the Malaysian waters.

Bangladeshi coast guards had earlier intercepted another boatload of refugees that, the survivors averred, had been turned away from the Malaysian waters almost two months earlier. A total of 382 starving Rohingya refugees were taken off the boat, and survivors reported that at least 30 people onboard had died before the rescue.

Following those incidents and fueled by misinformation, fake news, and provocations, the rising hostility towards refugees in Malaysia surfaced through several anti-Rohingya petitions and hate speeches on social media.

The COVID-19 pandemic does not create a justification for risking the lives of refugees on overcrowded boats, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated while expressing its concern.

Malaysias claims to support the rights of Rohingya mean shockingly little when they push desperate refugees back to sea, Phil Robertson, the deputy director of HRWs Asia division, affirmed.

In Indonesia, Acehs waters and air police currently intensified patrolling to stop some 500 Rohingya refugees aboard two boats, reportedly sailing nearby while en route to Malaysia, from making transits on Aceh soil.


Jakarta, 16/5/2020 (Antara) - The novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, has infected 17,025 Indonesians so far, with the number of dead reaching 1,089, including scores of medical workers.
The Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response on May 6, 2020 stated that 55 medical workers 38 doctors and 12 nurses have succumbed to COVID-19.
The medical workers got infected due to several reasons, including contact with patients who did not accurately report their condition and lack of proper hazmat suits to protect them while treating patients.
President Joko Widodo has instructed that optimum protection be extended to doctors and medical workers at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic, according to Doni Monardo, head of the COVID-19 task force.
The protection encompasses ensuring the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers handling COVID-19 patients.
"We do not want to see more doctors die owing to a lack of protection. We need to cooperate with all parties to ensure that doctors receive better protection," he remarked on May 6, 2020.
In addition to lack of PPEs, Indonesia is also facing shortages of other medical devices, such as COVID-19 test kits, ventilators, and medical masks, as well as medicines.

In early April, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto relaxed a regulation on the export and import of health equipment and PPEs to resolve the problem of their scarcity.
The Trade Minister's Regulation No. 34 of 2020 temporarily bans the exports of antiseptics, mask raw materials, PPE, masks, and ethyl alcohol, until June 30, 2020, as domestic demand has jumped owing to the pandemic.

The Trade Minister's Regulation No. 28 of 2020 on the import of certain products has temporarily scrapped the obligation to submit a Surveyor Report (LS) for the import of masks and PPE products and other health equipment until June 30.

The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), however, has urged the government to mass-produce COVID-19 equipment, instead of relying on imports.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Jakarta, 13/5/2020 (Antara) - Many Indonesians have shown a preference for online shopping ever since the Indonesian Government imposed large-scale social distancing measures to restrict public movement and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.
Data provided by ADA (Analytic Data Advertising) indicates a 300-400-percent increase in internet usage by adaptive shoppers last March, while internet use by WFH (work-from-home) professionals has climbed 400 percent.
Amid the jump in online shoppers, the Indonesian public was recently shocked to learn about the leaking of personal data of millions of users of e-commerce platform, Tokopedia.
According to some reports, a hacker put up a database containing the personal data of 91 million Tokopedia users for sale on the dark Web for US$5,000. Some reports say the data of 15 million users was breached.

Concerns over personal data safety have been gaining ground since the past several years, especially in view of the numerous credit and loan offers floating around via telephone and random short messages.
Last year, the Home Affairs Ministry, which is in charge of storing personal data of Indonesian citizens, admitted that at least 1,227 institutions, both government and private, have access to data on Indonesian citizenship.
However, private institutions still have to seek permission from the ministry to access citizens data, the then home affairs minister, Tjahjo Kumolo, said in July, 2019.
The protection of people's data is regulated in Law Number 24 of 2013 concerning Population Administration and the Minister of Home Affairs Regulation Number 61 of 2015, among others, but there is no strict sanction for any institution found leaking personal data.
Therefore, Sukamta, member of Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR), has suggested that the Bill on Personal Data Protection (PDP) encompass regulations on obligations of data managers and sanctions for data breach.
He pointed to the recent data breach at Tokopedia while sharing his concerns.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo deserted amid COVID-19 outbreak by Fardah

Jakarta , May 8, 2020 (ANTARA) - Marcia Stephanie, owner of iDive Komodo diving operator, sent her employees home, as her business lost customers following the temporary closure of the Komodo National Park as a measure to break the COVID-19 transmission chain.
“We have had no trip since March 22 when the Komodo National Park director announced the park’s closure due to COVID-19,” she told Bisnis journalist on April 6, 2020.

Her employees received full salaries for the last time in February, while they got just quarter of their salaries in April.

All diving operations in Komodo Island and Labuan Bajo in West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province, closed since no tourist had visited the two destinations owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Komodo National Park has been closed from March 22 to May 29, 2020, to support the central government’s policy of large-scale social distancing measure imposed following announcement of the country’s first confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 2, 2020.

The Komodo Labuan Bajo International Airport has also temporarily ceased its operations from April 24 to June 1, 2020, in line with restricting the movement of people.

The Komodo National Park and its adjacent Labuan Bajo, both with unique and enthralling scenery, fauna, and flora, were recently designated by the central government as premium tourist destinations.

However, with the global economy, including the tourism industry, bearing a severe brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists visiting the two destinations has dropped drastically, up to some 50 percent, since February.

"The number of foreign tourists to Labuan Bajo has decreased by nearly 50 percent," Agustinus Rinus, head of the West Manggarai tourism office, stated on April 6.

Thursday, May 7, 2020


Jakarta, 7/5/2020 (Antara) - The tourism industry in several countries, including Indonesia, has been seriously crippled by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, compelling people globally to stay at home and forego traveling to prevent transmission of the lethal virus.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indonesia had outlined a target to receive at least 17 million foreign tourists in 2020.

However, in the wake of the viral outbreak, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia had dropped sharply in March to 470,900, or equal to the figure in 2007, according to the Central Statistics Office (BPS) on April 4, 2020.

The March figure indicated a 45.5-percent drop as compared to February and 64.11 percent from that in March 2019, according to BPS Head Suhariyanto.

A decline in the number of foreign tourist arrivals was recorded at nearly all main airports, with a 64.72-percent drop at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport, 75 percent decrease at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta Airport, and 64.11 percent decline at Kualanamu Airport, Medan.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals by sea also dropped drastically. Batam seaport in Riau Islands Province recorded a 75-percent drop, while a 92-percent decrease was witnessed at Tanjung Uban. A similar trend was observed among those coming by land, such as in Atambua and Entikong in Kalimantan that shares its border with Malaysia.

Based on nationality, the sharpest decline was observed in the number of tourists arriving from China, reaching 97.46 percent; followed by Hong Kong, down 96 percent; and Kuwait, down 89 percent, according to the BPS.

Bingka telur pandan by Nithaks

4 butir telur ayam/bebek
100 gr gula pasir / 8 sdm
500 ml santan (me 2 kara + 370 ml air)
2-3 sdm tepung terigu
1/2 sdt garam
50 ml jus pandan/suji (dr 3 lebar daun pandan + 2 lembar daun suji)

cara membuat:

-  masukkan telur dan gula dalam wadah dan kocok
 -  tambahkan santan, jus pandan dan garam, kocok lagi
- tambahkan tepung terigu, kocok sampai rata
-saring adonan
- masukkan dalam loyang
kukus selama 30 menit, dengan api besar, dan tutup diberi serbet agar uap panas tidak menetes ke adonan

Friday, May 1, 2020


Jakarta, 1/5/2020 (Antara) - As Indonesia battles the novel coronavirus disease, another health threat looms for the tropical nation with the change in season that of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
In the transitional period from rainy to dry season, which the country is currently experiencing, there is usually a high prevalence of both dengue and malaria, which translate into high morbidity and mortality for many patients around the world.
The main mosquito vector of malaria is Anopheles, whereas dengue is spread by Aedes aegypty. Dengue occurs year-round in Indonesia, with peak transmissions in the rainy season, from November through April.
Achmad Yurianto, the government spokesperson for COVID-19 response, has repeatedly urged the Indonesian people to remain vigilant against dengue.
"Combination of dengue and COVID-19 infections could be fatal for the health system," Yurianto, concurrently the Indonesian Health Ministrys director general for Disease Control and Prevention, said on April 29, 2020.
Moreover, dengue fever and COVID-19 are difficult to distinguish because they share clinical and laboratory features. There have been cases which were wrongly diagnosed as dengue, but later confirmed to be COVID-19.
Hence, as people practice social distancing by staying at home, he called for ridding homes of rubbish and destroying mosquito-breeding grounds, including clogged drains and unkept compounds.
In every house, office, school, and other public places, it is necessary to form a Jumantik, or larvae monitor, to ensure there are no mosquito larvae. If found, it needs to be destroyed immediately because environmental factors greatly influence the development of mosquitoes, Yurianto advised.
Stay at home and destroy mosquito nests, he reiterated.
Based on data from the Indonesian Health Ministry, the country has recorded 49,563 dengue cases and 310 deaths in the January 1-April 27, 2020 period.

Of the total cases, West Java has reported the highest number of infections at 6,337, followed by Bali (6,050), East Nusa Tenggara (4,679), Lampung (4,115), and East Java (3,715).

Forty-eight people have died of dengue in East Nusa Tenggara, 39 in Central Java, 33 in West Java, 31 in East Java, and 17 in Lampung.

During a recent visit to Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara, Doni Monardo, chief of the Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response, urged the provincial government to remain vigilant for dengue fever outbreaks.

"We need to remind the NTT government to not only focus on COVID-19 cases, but also to anticipate the emergence of dengue during the transition season," said Doni Monardo, during a teleconference with the Deputy Governor of Nusa Tenggara, Josef A Nae Soi.