10
July

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) told his ministers and heads of other government agencies to improve system of utilization of budget funds to stop the practice of waiting toward the end of year to start use the budget.

"Improve the system of using the budget fund not to let work pile up toward the end of year, but keep observing the quality of output," Jokowi said at a limited cabinet meeting discussing realization and prognosis of implementation of the 2018 state budget at the Bogor State Palace on Monday.

The head of state said he wanted all programs and strategic projects to be executed and completed as scheduled but with good governance.

"Transfers of funds to the regions and rural funds must not be delayed and minimize government funds idle in banks," he said.

The President said he appreciated acceleration of development program and services to the people and 12.1 percent growth in 2018 budget spending by ministries and state agencies in the first half of 2018 , far exceeding realization which grew only 0.4 percent in the same period last year.

"I ask the momentum of achievement in the first semester of 2018 to be maintained and improved in the second half of the year," he said.

Jokowi reminded the ministers of the big challenges ahead , especially related to global economic uncertainties that calls for harder work and great focus on work to finish all programs as scheduled.

He also reminded the ministers of the need for efficiency such as in goods procurement , unnecessary official travels, meetings and package meetings and other non productive procurement.

He thanked the ministers and heads of government agencies, governors, regents/city mayors for improved performance shown in the first half of this year.

"I see improvements in the implementation of the state budget in the first semester of 2018 in comparison with the same period last year," he said.

Implementation of the state budget in the first half of 2018 improved with lower budget deficit, down 36.8 percent, primary balance also was "very good" becoming positive from being negative in three consecutive years before.

The president also pointed to smaller budget financing in the past two years and largest unspent budget .

The improvement in the implementation of the state budget in the first half of this year was also attributable to 16 percent increase in the state income .

The increase in the state income itself was attributable to strong 14.3 percent rise in tax revenues, as against a growth of 9.6 percent in the same period in 2017 .

"State spending continued to increase , up 5.7 percent or higher than a growth of only 3.2 percent in the same period last year," the president said. (ANTARA)

08
July

President Responds to 98 Activist's Requests

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo answered the request of a number of ‘’98 activists at the 98 National Activists Meeting on Saturday, July 7th in Jakarta. A number of requests were made regarding the establishment of a national hero entitle for a number of students who were victims of the 1998 reform movement. Responding to the request, President Joko Widodo said he would follow up the proposal with the relevant parties. He said that 98 reformation has become part of the history of Indonesian nation that gave birth to freedom of expression, democracy and openness. Jokowi also hopes that in the current era of openness, all parties can use it to contribute to the progress of the nation.

“Regarding the title as a national hero or Bintang Jasa (honorary medal). It will soon be followed up and I will also pass it on to all 98 activists. Therefore it is a marker that 98 has opened the greatest space for freedom of expression, a more democratic society, freedom of the press. I think we should have a marker that the era is the beginning of an era of openness, and an era of freedom in our country. And we hope that in the long term it will give a space to contribute to our nation and people, President Joko Widodo said.

In addition to setting the national hero title for students who died in the 98  incident, the 98th National Consultative Council also requested that the 7th of July be commemorated as the Day of Unity in Diversity. They also asked President Joko Widodo to thoroughly investigate the human rights violations that have occurred. The activists also expressed their commitment to keep the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia from the threat of intolerance, radicalism and terrorism and reject the use of ethnicity, religion and race issues in political practice in Indonesia. The activists are also committed to continuing the 98 reformation struggle against the practice of corruption, collusion and nepotism in the state. (VOI/Ndy/DP)

08
July

President Joko Widodo confirmed to have pocketed the name of his companion candidate for presidential and vice-presidential candidate for 2019-2024 period. It was delivered after attending the closing ceremony of the National Conference of ‘’98 Activists on Saturday, July 7th in Jakarta. On the occasion, Jokowi also expressed the hope that all parties can hold back until the right time for the announcement of the name of the vice presidential candidate who will accompany him in the 2019 presidential election.

“At the right moment we will announce. Just wait, for the right time. I already have and it will be announced,” President Joko Widodo said.

Meanwhile, responding to the vetting discourse of Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, President Joko Widodo said he appreciated the plan. Jokowi said, the addition of candidates for presidential candidates and vice presidential candidates who will fight in the 2019 presidential election will increasingly provide opportunities for people to exercise their right to vote based on their respective choices. Election Commission will open the registration forpresidential and vice presidential candidates for 2019 presidential election on August 4 to 10, 2018. The commission is scheduled to appoint Presidential Candidate 2019 on September 20th which will be followed by the start of legislative election and presidential campaign process on  September 23rd. (VOI/Ndy/DP)

07
July

Singaporean Consul General in Medan, North Sumatra, Mark Low ended his six-year term in Medan. He is succeeded by the new Consul General, Richard Grosse. The farewell-welcome event of Singaporean Consul General took place in Medan, North Sumatra on Thursday. In his speech, Mark Low said that during his six-year assignment in Medan, he witnessed the intensive development in this city, especially the airport. He is optimistic that Richard Groose has good ideas on how to improve cooperation between Singapore and North Sumatra. Mark Low will return to Singapore, and he will serve as Consul General of Singapore in Batam.

“For me, this six-year term is very pleasant in Medan. With the new Consul General, Richard will bring new ideas and ways of working to make this relationship better,” Mark Low said.

Meanwhile, representing North Sumatera Governor, North Sumatra Province's Economic Development Assistant, Ibnu Sri Hutomo expressed his gratitude for the good relationship developed by the government of Singapore and North Sumatra administration as well the people of North Sumatra. Ibnu is optimistic that the relationship will be better in the future. (KBRN/Dewi/Trans by Rhm)