Editorial

Editorial (442)

25
March

 

The Corona virus, Covid-19 pandemic has an impact on various aspects of life and human activities, whether individual and social, local, regional and even international. All countries affected severely limit the movement of their population, and prohibit  mass activities. The world sporting event, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was planned to take place from July 24 to August 9, has to be postponed. Although initially reluctant, Japan as the host of the Olympics and Paralympic sport this time, finally agreed  to postpone the sporting event that had been planned several years ahead.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the postponement of the 2020 Olympics was due to the Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic. However, Japan remained committed to hosting the world biggest sports event. In a joint statement between the Tokyo government and the Olympic organizers, the IOC, it was agreed that the delay would be carried out until the summer of 2021 at the latest. Japan stated that it remained committed to be the host  and requested that the international event remain called Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The postponement of local, regional and international sports activities actually does not only occur with the Olympics and paralympic games 2020. European football match event, the Euro 2020,  was postponed until the summer of 2021. The first session of the Formula One race car, the grand prix in Monaco, was also delayed.

Postponement of large-scale sports activities is reasonable. Because these are  always attended by many people. The Olympics would even be attended by athletes from various countries in the world,  mostly affected by Covid 19. Indeed, sports events other than sports competitions are also an  opportunity where people from various nations meet. But in a situation like today, when the world is threatened by Covid 19, the safety of the athletes and the international community in general is certainly far more important. After all, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was not canceled but postponed. Hopefully the Corona Covid 19 outbreak will soon pass.

18
March

Malaysia’s Lockdown

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Indonesia’s  nearest neighbor, Malaysia, has  taken  an important step to prevent the widespread of the Corona Covid-19 virus. The Malaysian government has officially imposed a national lockdown since Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin announced it  live on state television Radio RTM and Bernama TV. The national lockdown is valid until March 31, 2020.

During this time, all business activities and movements in or out of the country are stopped in order to prevent the wider spread of the Corona Covid-19 virus which had taken many lives. The Malaysian government's decision is based on the 1988 and 1967 Laws on infectious diseases. The lockdown order  is expected to reduce the number of infected people.

With the lockdown  order, the Malaysian government has stopped all business activities except supermarkets and grocery stores that sell basic daily necessities. All government and private buildings are closed. Only government offices and those providing important services may operate. Such as banking, transportation, pharmacies, ports and airports as well as food providers.

During the lockdown period the Government of Malaysia banned its citizens from traveling abroad. Likewise, no foreigners, including tourists, are allowed to enter Malaysia. Malaysians returning from overseas must quarantine themselves for 14 days.

The decision of the Malaysian government is considered appropriate to prevent the growing number of  people infected with Covid-19. Malaysia is indeed known as one of the popular destinations visited by many  foreign tourists. During this time, various tourist attractions in the country have drawn many  visitors. Especially foreign tourists, including from Indonesia and other Asian countries.

Lockdown or restrictions on the movement of people, domestically, as well as  in and out Malaysia, of course, has  its  impact on the country's economy. However, in order to protect its citizens from the catastrophe caused by the Corona virus, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyidin finally made the decision.

20
March

More than 100 countries in the world reportedly got the Corona Covid19 virus attack. Starting from Wuhan, China,  now the spread of the virus reaches almost the entire world. With a chain effect, the virus is difficult to limit in one place and not spread to other places. Meanwhile, the condition of Wuhan in particular, and China in general, has improved. Although quarantine and other restrictions still apply. The community has begun to appear again in the streets. School and office activities have also begun. China quickly rose after being hit by the Corona virus. Although it is still too early, some residents claimed that they had won against  the COvid 19 virus attack.

When it is the turn of other countries to experience similar attacks, it seems they must learn something  from Wuhan. The city that suddenly became the world's spotlight which took the lockdown step as the most effective way to limit the spread of Corona or Covid19 viruses.

But there are differences in the implementation and support of the people in one country and another. Wuhan residents are known to be compliant with the fixed procedure of handling the virus. Whereas in Italy for example, before the lockdown was put in place, many  people left Milan which is  the center of the virus outbreak, towards the outskirts of the city. Either to evacuate or even think of it as an opportunity for a holiday. As a result, the spread of the virus actually sped up  to various places. Death toll is increasing faster. The call to wash hands and wear face or medical masks that have been promoted by the government and WHO often tends to be ignored. The same thing reportedly also happened in several European countries.

For countries in Asia, Malaysia and the Philippines have decided to impose lockdown at least until the end of this month. This is due to the increasing number of Covid 19 cases found there. How the results and impacts are,   still need to be seen, but at least there have been efforts to break the chain of distribution and reduce the number of cases.

What China has done especially in Wuhan  to rise from the attack of the COvid 19,  is a combination of extraordinary efforts and dedication to resolve the spread  of the virus. Now, each country faces its test.

Indeed, there is no storm that does not pass. However, how many victims must fall due to this virus attack? How long will it take to overcome and get things back to normal? It really depends on the ability and readiness of each country. It seems that the world needs to learn how Wuhan, China dealing  with  it.

16
March

The Government of Indonesia on Saturday [14/3 declared the spread of Corona virus Covid-19 in Indonesia as a national disaster. Corona's Handling Spokesperson, Achmad Urianto said that this was declared in response to a letter from the World Health Organization -WHO asking President Joko Widodo to declare a national emergency against Covid-19.


Director General of WHO, Thedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a letter March 10, 2020 urged countries in the world, especially those with large populations and the ability of the health system to be uneven, to focus on case detection and 
to increase laboratory test capacity.


In areas where Covid-19 is undetected or difficult to detect, WHO recommends applying a national emergency status. WHO also encourages the Indonesian government to keep educating the public and actively informing the spread of Covid-19. The government has also been asked to be more active in finding people with corona virus, tracking people who have been in contact with the sufferers, quarantining and isolating those who have been infected. In addition, WHO also asked President Joko Widodo to add laboratory facilities for checking corona virus cases to detect the emergence of new transmission clusters in Indonesia.


WHO appeals are very reasonable, considering the number of people infected with Covid-19 in Indonesia
 and the  citizens (WNI) who have contracted COVID-19 abroad. Until Sunday morning (3/15/2020), there have been 96 people who are positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia.


To deal with the spread of Covid-19, President Joko Widodo in a press conference on Sunday afternoon [15/3] asked regional heads from the provincial to regency/city level to coordinate with the Ministry of Health and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency to determine whether conditions in each area categorized as a non-natural disaster emergency response. In addition, the head of state also asked the public to enhance awareness and cooperate so that the handling of Covid-9 can be controlled quickly.

It is obvious that the communities’ involvement in suppressing the spread of the Corona virus is very important. The communities should remain vigilant, maintain personal health and the environment, so that they are not easily transmitted By reducing activities outside the house  that are not too important, it is expected that tje spread of Covid-19 could be reduced.

13
March

When the Corona-virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China, and the country had to isolate, and close the way in and out of Wuhan, the world community had begun to imagine the economic impact that would occur. The threat of recession is predicted to happen not only in China, but also in other countries. This is even more apparent when a virus attack begins to cross and attack several other countries. Italy and South Korea are two countries that also experience the worst effects of corona virus attacks outside China. In fact, Italy must also impose lock down, or close access in and out, just like Wuhan. Another country which has also been declared a heavy attack is Iran. Some of the country's top officials are even declared to have contracted the dangerous virus. Around 100 countries are reported to suffer from the corona-virus attack with quite a number of victims exposed.


Economists were forced to make corrections to their predictions of the global economy. How serious is the impact of the spread of the virus on economic growth? Most believe there is a contraction in the first and second quarter of this year. The peak economic impact is predicted to be still within a few months. Yet with the current conditions, world economists have seen the recession begin to occur in Japan and Italy. Even, Europe as a whole will be hit economically. The longer this pandemic lasts, with dramatic efforts to overcome it, the greater the effect is on the global economy.


China is the hardest-hit country by this outbreak. Throughout February, the country's activities were disrupted and experienced its first economic contraction since the 1970s. Now, the number of corona-virus cases globally has risen above 100,000, and the governments of other countries outside China have announced more restrictions. Economists begin to consider more severe pressures on the global economy. It is estimated that the growth will experience a big surprise in the first half of 2020.


The shadow of the global recession that must be faced by world community will depend on whether the medical scientists are able to find the fastest way to overcome the corona-virus attack. Hopefully, an anti-virus vaccine will soon be discovered in addition to a healthy lifestyle that is expected to slow the spread of the corona-virus.

09
March

Gender equalities are human rights which mean that women have the same rights as men to live in dignity, freedom from fear and freedom to make choices about life. Unfortunately, until now, especially in traditional societies, women are often regarded as weak human beings and only become complementary figures. Moreover, there is a mindset that says that the role of women is limited to working in the kitchen and taking care of the family.

Indonesia has enacted various laws to protect women from violence. The Government through the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has regulated women's rights and gender equalities, namely rights in Employment, Health, Education, Marriage and family as well as public and political life. However, violence against women and discrimination and gender disparities still occur in the labor market, such as the discriminatory practice in accepting and promoting employees on a gender basis.

In addition, women trafficking and prostitution also pose a serious threat to Indonesian women, especially those who are poor and less educated.

Quoted from the UN Women website, in his remarks commemorating the International Women's Day which fell on March 8, Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that until now, gender equality has not yet been realized.

However, according to UN Women data, there have been some positive changes, such as the maternal mortality rate which has dropped 38 percent since 2000. Besides, 131 countries have supported the elimination of gender discrimination. Laws governing discrimination against women have been institutionalized in many countries over the past 25 years and more than three-quarters of the world have  laws  against violence in the household. Moreover, the number of girls in school is now more than before.

Gender equalities and equal rights do not mean that women absolutely must be equal to men. Because basically, men and women are born physically different. Generally, women will not be ready if they have to bear the heavy burden of earning a living that is usually borne by men, especially those involving physical strength. Or conversely, men will have difficulties if they have to take care of the household every day and educate children. This responsibility requires not only physical strength but also gentleness and patience. This is something that is usually owned by women in nature.

Indeed, women and men are different. But, there is no discrimination against each other. What is needed here is mutual respect for the rights and obligations between men and women. Happy Women's Day!

06
March


Many countries did not think that the new Corona virus -Covid-19 virus could not be conquered until March 2020. After shocking the world since the discovery of this deadly virus in Wuhan, China, until now, tension after tension has not subsided.


The spread of Covid-19 only moves from one country to another.
 Previously, the concentration about the spread of the Corona virus was in China. Now, the Covid-19 is spread to Iran, Italy and South Korea and other countries. It's hard to predict where else the Corona virus will spread next. Even, Malaysia and Indonesia closed the door for tourists from the 3 countries and tourists from China.

Precautions are reasonable. This virus has caused death in various countries in large numbers. In Thailand, the health of school children must be checked before entering their school. In Saudi Arabia, the government has closed the door for the world’s pilgrimage. Until now, there is no definitive information on when the door to Umroh will be opened for international worshipers. Meanwhile, the peak of the Hajj this year is also getting closer. Of course, this is awaited by Muslims around the world. However, the Saudi Arabian government has its own considerations to deal with the Corona spread in the Holy Land.


Another case is with France. This country seems calm from the start with the Corona virus. To this day, school activities in France continue as usual. Based on a public survey conducted by the French government, it turns out that the French public still feels safe in dealing with the Corona virus. Although the Corona case has been found in France, the French border with Italy as a country that is already quite bad because the Corona invasion is also not closed. According to the French Minister of Transportation, Élisabeth Borne, closing the border gate is not the right step to deal with the Corona virus.


Finally, people in various parts of the world have to jointly face the corona virus. We hope that the concern of the world community will soon be followed by information from various countries that this virus can be conquered and information about corona cases that have been successfully treated can be spread to various countries.

04
March

The struggle of Palestine and its supporting countries faces severe challenges after the Israeli General Election which was held last Monday (2/3). Benyamin Netanyahu has exceled temporarily in quick counts. News about the Israeli elections said, for the moment, the Coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu won 59 seats in Parliament.

The calculation of the number of seats is a combination of votes obtained by Netanyahu's Likud Party with a group of right-wing coalition blocks. The number of seats was slightly superior to Netanyahu's competitors who temporarily acquired 54 seats.

The vote count is still ongoing, but Netanyahu via social media said he had won the vote and defeated his opponents.

Although not final, Netanyahu has even immediately thanked his supporters via Twitter. He claimed that his victory was a great victory for Israel. Political opponents who are members of the Blue and White Party and with only a little difference in the votes from the Likud Party, expressed disappointment over  the results of the general election this time.

 The victory of Benyamin Netanyahu, is very likely to be driven by the campaign he carried out before the election. For instance, a statement as the incumbent that the Netanyahu government agreed with the plan to build 1800 new settlements in the West Bank. The decision was taken Thursday, February 27, five days before the people of Israel voted.

This also implies the direction of Israeli politics towards the Palestinian state and people. Previously, Netanyahu had even agreed to the construction plan of 3500 house Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Netanyahu's decision has come under fire from international organizations because it is getting closer to the territory of the Palestinian state and the West Bank. Netanyahu's actions and acknowledgment of his victory, imply Israeli policy will not change, may even be more aggressive against Palestine.

The Palestinian people and the countries that support it must already take this reality into account. One thing is certain, the struggle of the Palestinian nation and state together with their supporting countries will continue until Palestine gains its sovereignty.

02
March

The Saudi Arabian government starting Thursday, 27 February 2020, has temporarily postponed the issuance of tourist visas from countries affected by the corona virus or Covid-19 outbreak and at dangerous levels based on Saudi health authorities' criteria, including Indonesia,  even though so far no Indonesian population has been confirmed positive for the corona virus or Covid-19. In addition, the Saudi government also temporarily banned Umroh pilgrims from entering Mecca City and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. This temporary postponement relates to the efforts of the Saudi Arabian government to prevent the spread of the deadly virus to its territory.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs, as a result of the policy, around 4,000 Indonesian pilgrims were affected and could not depart from several airports in the country. While around 2,000 others who had already left, were stranded in a third country while in transit on Thursday last week.

The Indonesian government, especially the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, is trying to lobby and convince the Saudi government that Indonesia is still free from the corona virus. The embassy in Riyadh requested that the Saudi government accepts pilgrims who already have visas. But the Saudi government remained in its decision.

Indonesian Vice President, Ma'ruf Amin also responded to the matter. He perceived that the Indonesian government respects the Saudi government's policies and will not intervene. He hopes that all parties understood the consideration of the Saudi Arabian government which has temporarily postponed the pilgrimage. The Indonesian government also appealed to those who had not yet left to remain calm and follow the policies adopted by the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. The Ministry of Religious Affairs will keep coordinating to handle the delayed departure of the pilgrimage.

To avoid losses on the pilgrims, the government has coordinated with Umroh Pilgrimage Organizers, airlines, and other related parties. All are expected to take swift steps in overcoming the force majeure without placing additional burdens on the pilgrims. Cooperation from all parties involved is needed so that Indonesian citizens who want to go on a pilgrimage or travel to Saudi Arabia, whose number can exceed 1 million people yearly with business value of trillions of rupiah, can immediately fulfill their Umroh pilgrimage.

26
February

Indonesia’s neighboring country, Malaysia is now in a political crisis. The agreement between Mahathir Muhammad and Anwar Ibrahim ended in a political drama, when Mahathir Muhammad, a 94-year-old senior politician resigned from the position of Prime Minister of Malaysia. Political shocks in Malaysia occurred when Mahathir Muhammad suddenly sent a letter of resignation to the Malaysian King Yang Pertuan Agung Sultan Abdullah on Monday (24/2). Whereas last week, Mahathir said he would continue to become Prime Minister of Malaysia until the holding of the Asia Pacific APEC Summit in Kuala Lumpur in November 2020.

Other political shock after Mahathir Muhammad's resignation was the step taken by Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah. The Malaysian head of state appointed Mahathir Mohammad as an interim Prime Minister. To avoid a government vacuum Mahathir Muhammad was signed to run the government until the election of the new Malaysian Prime Minister and the new cabinet is formed.

Along with Mahathir's appointment as PM ad interim PM, Sultan Abdullah dismissed all cabinet members including Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who is the wife of the President of the People's Justice Party (PKR), Anwar Ibrahim. Before accepting Mahathir Muhammad's resignation, Yang Perttuan Agung Sultan Abdullah had met Anwar Ibrahim and Wan Azizah.

Indications of a political crisis in the neighboring country came as news emerged that Mahathir would form a new coalition which would be supported by the opposition United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). The new coalition will undermine the ruling coalition, Pakatan Harapan, which plans to make Anwar Ibrahim the successor to Mahathir Muhammad in May 2020. Anwar Ibrahim who was disappointed, has criticized the political conspiracy that undermined the commitment to make him Prime Minister of Malaysia replacing Mahathir Muhammad. The new coalition is said to be planned to be formed by Mahathir before his resignation as Prime Minister, allowing Economy Minister Azmin Ali to have the chance to replace Anwar Ibrahim. Some even suggested that Azmin Ali, whose was Anwar Ibrahim trusted friend, was the one who suggested a new coalition which Mahathir Muhammad had originally formed and allowed him to become Prime Minister.

Adagium that there are no eternal friends or enemy in politics, there are only interests, can be used as a reference in looking at the political crisis in Malaysia that is still unclear how it will end.

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