Friday, May 28, 2021



Jakarta, 28/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - Natural disasters are a day-to-day occurrence in Indonesia, as some 10 natural disasters occurred daily in January-March 2021, up from nine per day during 2020, of the total of 3,253 natural disasters that took place.

The world's largest archipelagic nation comprising over 17 thousand islands is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped region of converging tectonic plates and several volcanoes.

The country has four disaster clusters: geology and volcanology (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis); hydro-meteorology I (forest fires and drought), hydro-meteorology II (flash floods, landslides, and coastal abrasion); and non-natural disasters (waste, epidemics, and technological failures).

"In fact, outsiders call Indonesia a 'disaster supermarket' because of our complex demographic contours. We are one of the 35 countries, with the highest level of potential disaster risks in the world according to the World Bank's indicators," National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) Head Lt Gen. Doni Monardo stated on May 6, 2021, while speaking at an online seminar on "The Importance of Building Disaster Competencies and Skills in Indonesia" organized by the School of Environmental Sciences (SIL) of the University of Indonesia (UI).

During the January-April 14, 2021, period, a total of 1,118 natural disasters had struck various parts of Indonesia, according to the BNPB data.

The natural disasters comprised 473 occurrences of floods, 305 whirlwinds, 217 landslides, 17 earthquakes, 90 forest and land fires, one incident of drought, and 15 high tides and abrasions. On April 13, 2021, the government declared the spread of COVID-19 as a non-natural national disaster.

At least 472 people lost their lives, 60 people went missing, and 12,872 others sustained injuries in the disasters. The natural disasters forced 4,901,400 people to flee their homes and damaged 137,719 homes, with 24,987 houses sustaining severe damage, 25,926 houses experiencing moderate damage, and 86,806 houses suffering light damage. A total of 2,547 public facilities were also damaged, comprising 1,316 educational facilities, 926 places of worship, 305 health facilities, 402 offices, and 297 bridges, according to the BNPB.

Most of the natural disasters were reported in West Java, reaching 284; followed by 157 in East Java; 156 in Central Java; and 76 in Aceh.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati earlier stated that disasters had led to losses amounting to Rp28.8 trillion annually.

Indonesians earlier paid no attention to weather forecasts. However, since the frequency of natural disasters, such as cyclones, whirlwinds, and tornadoes, had been increasing, several people are currently left with no choice but to follow the weather forecast news.

Hence, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has sought easier public access to weather forecast and warnings of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) to raise awareness on potential disasters.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Jakarta, 26/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - The Joko Widodo administration's decision to upgrade the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) into the Ministry of Investment has been welcomed by the business community as it is expected to create positive sentiment among domestic as well as foreign investors.

The new ministry, announced by President Widodo on April 28, 2021, has been created to improve the ease of doing business in Indonesia as it struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. BKPM chief Bahlil Lahadalia has been appointed as the Investment Minister.

Indonesia has been working to realize economic growth of around five percent this year through direct investment, among other things.

The newly formed Investment Ministry is expected to attract investment into the country and create jobs, which are key to driving economic growth in 2021, according to Widodo.

"The key to growth, our economic growth, is investment. Because it is impossible for us to drastically increase our state budget. This means that the key is in investment and creating as many job opportunities as possible, the President said recently.

He then asked that trade policies be formulated to invite investment inflows. Such policies must also help recover economic sectors that contracted last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia has formulated a strategy to increase the investment target up to Rp900 trillion for 2021 and Rp5 thousand trillion in 2024.

The new minister has a five-point plan to increase added value with downstream orientation to drive Indonesias economic transformation.

"The first one is investment in the health sector. We know that almost all of our medical devices and medicinal raw materials are imported," he said.

Sunday, May 23, 2021



Jakarta, 23/5, 2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government is optimistic the economy will grow positively this year with indications of an improvement emerging amid the pandemic and containment measures, which have plunged the global economy into a deep contraction.

After Indonesia recorded its first coronavirus cases in March, 2020, economic growth spiraled to minus 5.32 percent in the second quarter to reach minus 3.49 percent in the third quarter and minus 2.19 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Overall, the Indonesian economy shrunk 2.07 percent year-on-year (yoy) in 2020, a figure that is considered better than several other countries.

In the first quarter of this year, the country saw a significant improvement, with the economy recording a smaller contraction of 0.74 percent as the Retail Sales Index, Consumer Confidence Index, and manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index strengthened. A rise in car sales, electricity consumption, and cement production also provided a positive impetus to Indonesia's economic recovery.

The government is optimistic that the national economy would continue to improve and grow at a high rate of 4.5 percent-5.3 percent by the end of 2021.

However, to achieve this figure, the economy needs to grow positively in the range of 6.9 percent-7.8 percent in the second quarter of 2021.

The government believes that positive economic growth can be attained through state budget stimulus programs, acceleration of the vaccination program, and consistent implementation of the health protocols.

Furthermore, the government plans to encourage the strengthening of local industries in various key strategic fields, such as palm oil, chemicals, aluminum, electronics, and footwear, to help boost the economy.

"Our economic growth rate indicates a positive trend. It is expected to reach seven percent (in the 2021 second quarter)," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, observed on May 15, 2021.

As of March, 2021, the realization of foreign direct investment reached 54.6 percent, while the consumer confidence index among people with expenses below Rp5 million was recorded at 90.1, inching towards the normal zone of 100, the minister stated.

A positive trend was also evident in the growth of Indonesia's exports and imports, gross fixed capital formation (GFCF), and government spending, Hartarto pointed out.

A surge in the prices of commodities, such as palm oil, rubber, nickel, copper, and coal also bolstered the government's efforts to revive the economy. The rising prices of those commodities helped improve economic conditions in several regions during the first quarter of 2021.

The economic improvement was also supported by the realization of the national economic recovery budget (PEN), which, as of May 11, 2021, touched Rp172.35 trillion, an increase of Rp49.01 trillion compared to the first quarter of 2021, or late March this year, Hartarto told the press following a limited ministerial cabinet meeting on May 17, 2021.

The PEN realization accounted for 24 percent of the total state budget of Rp699.43 trillion allocated for the program this year.

Friday, May 21, 2021



Jumat, 21 Mei 2021 22:17
Daerah : Jakarta

Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since March last year. To stem the transmission of the lethal virus, the government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program since January 13 this year.

In the first and second phase of the nationwide vaccination program, the government is targeting to cover 40,349,049 citizens, including human resources in the health sector, senior citizens, and public service workers.

According to the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, a total of 9,366,635 citizens have received two vaccine shots (have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19) and as many as 14,099,754 citizens have been administered the first vaccine shot as of May 20, 2021.

The government-funded vaccination program is using Sinovax vaccines bought from China and AstraZeneca vaccines received through the WHO-coordinated COVAX Facility.

Indonesia has so far secured 54 million vaccine doses free of cost through the World Health Organization (WHO) and spent nearly Rp77 trillion on procuring additional vaccine doses to cater to the large population of the country, which are being distributed free of charge.

The launch of the self-funded Gotong Royong vaccination campaign on May 18, 2021, witnessed by President Joko Widodo at PR Unilever Indonesia complex, Bekasi, West Java, is expected to expedite national efforts to contain COVID-19.

Supported by private and state-owned companies, the Gotong Royong program is seen as crucial for helping the government achieve the target of inoculating 181.5 million people to build herd immunity against the coronavirus.

President Widodo said he is optimistic that once workers begin receiving the self-funded Gotong Royong vaccines, the number of vaccine recipients could reach 70 million by September, 2021.

"We expect to be able to vaccinate 70 million citizens by this August or no later than September (2021),” he said.

Widodo said he also hopes to see the COVID curve flattening during the August-September period and normalcy being restored in industrial productivity.

Chairperson of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Rosan Perkasa Roeslani, said that at least 22,736 private companies have signed up for the program as of May 17, 2021.

The first phase of the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program will be implemented in 18 companies.

Based on the Indonesian Health Ministry's Regulation No.10/2021 on the Gotong Royong Vaccination Scheme, all vaccine costs will be borne by participating companies under the program.

Meanwhile, State-owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir has said that his ministry has no plans to commercialize COVID-19 vaccines.

"Regarding prices, from the beginning, we in the SOE Ministry have been very open. We are not thinking about commercializing the COVID-19 vaccines," Thohir said at a press conference on May 19, 2021.

For the self-funded program, the SOE Ministry and Kadin have kept vaccine prices transparent and they are being audited by the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP), he added.

The Indonesian government has set the price for Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines that will be provided under the Gotong Royong Vaccination Program at Rp500 thousand per shot.

The price includes Rp375 thousand as the cost of each vaccine dose and Rp125 thousand as the cost of inoculation, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, informed at an online press conference originating from the Presidential Palace recently.

The government has signed a contract with Sinopharm for 7.5 million doses and with CanSino for five million vaccine doses, he said.

Indonesia's Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) has issued emergency-use authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China's Sinopharm.

"Today, we have issued EUA for the vaccine produced by Beijing Bio-Institute Biological Products, which is a unit of Sinopharm, a subsidiary of the China National Biotech Group. This is the Sinopharm vaccine," BPOM head Penny Lukito stated during an online press conference on April 29, 2021.

On April 30, a total of 482,400 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Jakarta from China, and on May 1, Indonesia was gifted 500 thousand doses of the Sinopharm vaccine by the United Arab Emirates. This June, Indonesia is expected to receive another one million doses as part of its order with Sinopharm.

From July to September this year, Indonesia is hoping to receive Moderna and Novavax vaccines to support the Gotong Royong vaccination program. It is also planning to allow Pfizer and Sputnix vaccines for the Gotong Royong program.

Earlier, the Health Ministry had appealed to people to not be picky about the COVID-19 vaccines offered by the government, saying the WHO has declared all currently authorized and recommended vaccines safe.

"So, there is no reason for the public to hesitate to participate in the vaccination program," Siti Nadia Tarmizi, spokesperson for the ministry, said .

The huge number of vaccine doses needed by Indonesia cannot be supplied by just one vaccine manufacturer, she said. In fact, countries around the world have been competing fiercely to secure vaccine supplies for their populations, she pointed out.

"At first, Indonesia received the Sinovac vaccine. Then, at the end of March and early April, 2021, we had the AstraZeneca vaccine, and in June or July, 2021, other vaccines are scheduled to arrive, (which) include Novavax and Pfizer," she noted.

The government is calling all vaccines as COVID-19 vaccines, so that they are no longer identified on the basis of producers, Tarmizi said. (INE)



Monday, May 17, 2021


 Jakarta, 18/5/2021 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has expressed concern over the mounting tensions in occupied Palestine, especially Gaza, where children and women have fallen victims to Israeli airstrikes since the first week of May 2021.

Israeli airstrikes have continued to bomb civilian apartments, refugee camps, and also a tower hosting offices of international media outlets, such as Aljazeera and AP, over the last 10 days while Palestinian Muslims were fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and planning to celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan on May 13, 2021.

The Israeli aggression has claimed 212 lives, including 61 children and 36 women, injured at least 1,305, and displaced some 40 thousand Palestinians in Gaza as of May 17, 2021. In West Bank, 11 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces, while 10 Israelis were also killed in rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Palestine is currently the only country in the world that is still being colonized. All sufferings endured by the Palestinian people are due to Israel as the occupying power, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi noted in her speech at an emergency meeting of the OIC Executive Committee held virtually on May 16, 2021.

Indonesia reaffirmed its staunch support for the Palestinians' struggle for independence and called for the unity of OIC member countries and various Palestinian elements in the fight against Israeli colonization.

"Justice must prevail for the Palestinian people. I emphasize that Indonesia will continue to support the Palestinian cause," the minister remarked.

Marsudi also urged OIC members to leverage their influence to press for a cease-fire and halt Israeli aggressions against Palestinians at the earliest.

"Together, we have to act now," Marsudi stated before 15 other foreign ministers and deputy ministers of the OIC member countries.

Tensions have been escalating in occupied Palestine following the Israeli courts orders for eviction of six Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab, and for Jewish families to move into those homes.

The attempted eviction has prompted strong protests internationally and especially by Palestinians that had congregated in the complex of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third Islamic holiest site, where they also spent the nights for Lailatul Qadr prayers during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

However, Israeli forces launched tear gas and stun grenades at the Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while attempting to block worshipers from performing prayers in the mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had urged Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa.

Thursday, May 6, 2021



Jakarta, 7/5/2021 (ANTARA) - Mbok Ija, a housemaid who worked without a break for the last two consecutive years, was excited when her son told her on the phone to pack her bags for Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

He was sending a chartered car to ferry her to her rural home in East Java so she could join in the festivities with relatives.

Ija said her son was aware that the government has once again banned homebound travel, locally known as mudik, which usually involves a mass exodus as millions of people leave big cities and head for their rural hometowns for Eid al-Fitr.

To avoid any trouble, Mbok Ija left for East Java at 4 a.m. on May 1, 2021, ahead of the mudik ban, which is being enforced from May 6-17, 2021, as part of restrictions to check the spread of COVID-19.

Homecoming activities, wherein travelers meet their relatives, usually involve direct physical contact, such as shaking hands and hugging, which could transmit the coronavirus more quickly.

This concern has prompted President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to urge regional leaders to intensify dissemination of information on the mudik ban and health protocols campaigns to avert any further rise in coronavirus transmission.

He has also asked the regions to continue with COVID-19 mass vaccination programs.

Monday, May 3, 2021



Jakarta, 4/5/2021 (ANTARA) - Indonesia is indubitably catching up with other countries in the development of the sharia economy, although the world's largest Muslim population nation was considered as being rather late in paying heed to Islamic economics.

The world's fourth most populous country has realized the need to tap the potential of sharia economy, as the State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2020-2021 indicated that Muslim consumers' expenditure on halal food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, and tourism had reached US$2.02 trillion in 2019.

With a population of 271 million, of which almost 90 percent are Muslims, Indonesia is the world's biggest market for halal products, especially food, tourism, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

Refusing to be a mere market, Indonesia is determined to play a bigger role in the sharia economy domestically and also globally, by developing four aspects: halal industry, sharia finance, sharia social finance, and sharia entrepreneurship.

The government's support is apparent from the several policies to develop the halal industry, including establishment of the Special Economic Zones (KEK) for the halal industry.

Moreover, President Joko Widodo, as head of the National Islamic Finance Committee (KNKS), had launched the Indonesian Islamic Economics Master Plan (MEKSI) 2019-2024 in May 2019, which is the country's first road map for Islamic economy that aims to strengthen the national economy.

In February 2020, the KNKS was transformed into the National Committee for Sharia Economy and Finance (KNEKS).