Editorial (415)


World Heritage Day

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Recommendation of  UNESCO to member countries to participate in commemorating International Council on Monuments and Sites-ICOMOS symposium result, held in Tunisia on 18 April 1982, has set April 18 to commemorate as a World Heritage Day. The purpose of this International Day is to encourage humanity throughout the world, both community groups and individuals to realize the importance of Cultural Heritage to their lives, identities and communities.

Because Cultural Heritage in the form of monuments or sites is vulnerable to damage, efforts are needed to protect and preserve it. Awareness of the diversity of World Heritage on earth which is in parallel shows the diversity of the world community. This needs to be improved. It is very important to respect and maintain all Cultural Heritage well, through national law and international agreements.

The World Heritage in Indonesia is also the Indonesian National Culture. As part of a strategic step in maintaining cultural heritage, the Indonesian  government has stipulated its law No.5 of 2017 concerning the Promotion of Culture.

The theme of the commemoration of 2019 World Heritage Day is ‘Rural Landscapes’. The rural landscapes are defined as land and water areas resulting from human and natural interactions in producing food and other sources. Now, the World Heritage Day commemoration in Indonesia is centered in Bali. Why? Bali with a Subak irrigation system is in accordance with the theme ‘Rural Landscapes’.

Indonesia is a part of the world community that has 8 world heritage sites. In addition, Indonesia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. It is natural that Indonesia is very interested in safeguarding the results of the Indonesian nation's thinking which produces a high culture and is recognized by the international community. With or without the cultural promotion law, the Indonesian people must respect the national heritage.


Election Day

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April 17, 2019, is a historic day for the Indonesian people. As one of the largest democracies in the world, today Indonesia holds general elections. There are more than 190 million people who have the right to vote. The voting this time is special because it is carried out simultaneously at one time. Domestically, the elections for  president and  vice president, national and regional legislative council (DPR, DPRD) and Regional Representative Council (DPD) are only conducted in one day, April 17, 2019. As for more than 2 million Indonesian citizens overseas the voting  was implemented earlier. Enthusiasm was shown by these voters by queuing at Indonesian representative offices in each country. When compared to general elections in India that are still ongoing today, there are system and time differences. First, India holds general elections to elect legislators. A party that wins a majority in parliament will rule, either singly or in coalition. So there is no presidential election. Second, the time provided for elections is around 1 month, which is until next May. Both in Indonesia and India the problem is the distribution of election equipment, which is widespread even to areas that are quite isolated. Meanwhile, both in Indonesia and in India, the people do not only live in urban areas. The majority live in rural areas even in remote areas that are relatively difficult to reach. Not to discuss the differences in the two countries' systems, but the essence of general elections both in Indonesia and in India is constitutional distribution of citizens' rights. Giving the opportunity to the people to choose the best candidate for running  the country. The people determine who they choose and the party they support. They also have the right to reject candidates who perform poorly, or parties that ignore the expectations of the people. That is actually the essence of democracy. The people are in power even though it may be seen on the election day.


The campaign period for the participants in the 2019 General Elections that began in September 2018 for about 7 months has ended. The General Election Commission -KPU stipulates April 14-16 is the quiet period of the 2019 General Elections.  The election participants are prohibited from campaigning in any form during the quiet period. They can be sanctioned if they violate the rules stipulated through the General Election Commission Law and Regulation (PKPU). What are the rules for the quiet period for the election participants?Based on the Election Law No. 7/2017, during the quiet period, the organizers, participants, and election campaign teams of the president and vice president are prohibited from promising or giving rewards to voters: not exercising their rights to vote, choosing candidates, choosing certain political parties and selecting certain candidates for DPR / DPRD / DPD. This is stated in Article 278 of the Election Law No. 7/2017.Then based on Article 523 paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 278 paragraph (2) of the Election Law, those who violate will be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 4 years and a maximum fine of Rp. 48 million. Based on the rules, the KPU regulates the prohibition on campaigning on social media. The ban is contained in Article 53 paragraph (4) PKPU No. 23/2018.The Election Supervisory Board -Bawaslu will oversee campaigns on social media during the quiet period. Bawaslu collaborates with the Ministry of Communication and Informatics to oversee advertisements on social media.During the quiet period, the election participants or partisans are prohibited from disseminating a person's track record or image. If there is an illegal campaign, there are two sanctions that will be imposed: Election administrative sanctions and criminal sanctions. Bawaslu's Commissioner, Fritz Edwar Siregar said that he would immediately send a letter to the social media platform not to accept any form of advertisement during the quiet period.The campaign period for more than 7 months which has consumed energy, thoughts and strategies and even the finance of the people involved is certainly enough to attract and convince the potential voters to choose presidential and vice-presidential candidates as well as candidates for legislative members. Thus, this quiet period must not be harmed with non-commendable actions that can damage the values of honesty and justice in the 2019 General Elections.


After last week's leadership transition took place in Algeria, North Africa, now, the same process has taken place in East Africa. On Thursday (April 11, 2019), Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir had to surrender his power to the military. The move came after demonstration was staged by Sudanese people since December last year. With the surrender of power, the regime of Omar al-Bashir, who has been in power for almost three decades, has ended.Omar al-Bashir ruled after overthrowing the elected government in June 1989. During his reign, there was a split between North Sudan, the majority Muslim and South Sudan with most Christians. In 2003, he tried to repress the rebellion and around 30 thousand people were killed. In 2005, he signed a peace agreement with rebels in South Sudan. 6 months later, a new state of South Sudan proclaimed its independence. In 2009, Omar al Bashir was convicted of war crimes by the International Court which issued an arrest warrant for him. Uniquely in 2010, he was elected president despite being opposed by the opposition. In 2015, he was still elected president for the second period.Joy arose among those who hoped for the fall of al Bashir's government. But that hasn't been the end of the struggle. Protest groups under the organization of the Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) continued to stage a demonstration to encourage the formation of a civilian government. After taking over the power, the military authority establishes a state of emergency for 3 months and freezes the Constitution.Now, the world hopes that during the transition period, the situation will get better and the General Election to be able to determine the civilian government can be realized. The problem is whether the military can create a conducive atmosphere after the transition of power. If not, the military will continue to take control of the government, which eventually forms a new military regime like 30 years ago. The key point is that the Sudanese people must be patient and the country's military knows that the future of Sudan is determined by the people of Sudan.



This week, the campaign for the 2019 General Elections of the Legislative and Presidential Elections enters the final week. In accordance with the schedule set by the General Election Commission -KPU, April 13, 2019 is the last day of the open campaign. It’s only seven days before the voting day. The faces of legislative candidates are displayed everywhere, such as at billboards, banners, or on television. All of them want to convince the voters to entrust their votes to sit in the parliament. Two presidential candidates - vice presidential candidates: Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno have been also active to campaign in several regions across Indonesia.

The atmosphere of the campaign is increasingly dynamic. The supporters of each candidate also increasingly show their support. As happened at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday (7/4), the community supporting Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno met. Meanwhile, the incumbent presidential candidate, Joko Widodo conducted an open campaign before their supporters in Tangerang, Banten. The oration of each presidential and vice-presidential candidate becomes the main event in the open campaign. The level of contestation increases dramatically as the two candidates are determined to win the election.

The open campaigns must be used maximally by presidential and vice-presidential candidates, including legislative candidates. Because the mass of the open campaigns can reach their supporters for a few days ahead.  To further convince the supporters, they will not be mistaken if they vote on the 17th of April. At present, the efforts to gain the votes of the swing voters and undecided voters are maximized. It is estimated that the swing voters can change their support for political parties or candidates in the previous elections and undecided voters can make their choices. Their number reaches around 11 to 15 percent of the total voters. The open campaign is the final medium to win the sympathy of the voters.

The success of holding open campaigns is often associated with the number of people present. Their number can be a measure of how many voters support each presidential and vice-presidential candidate. Thus, the succeeding team may use mass mobilization, and convoy to further convince the potential voters.

Expectations and appeals by many parties to the open campaign for the 2019 election can now be said to be fulfilled. The peaceful and dignified atmosphere called for by the Election Supervisory Agency –Bawaslu can be realized. The open campaign that has been taking place since March 24, 2019 has strengthened the voters’ confidence to entrust their votes. The open campaign also shows the readiness of the Indonesian people to face a five-year democratic party. 
The democratic party will be the starting point to determine Indonesia in the next five years.


After losing support in Parliament regarding her agreement with the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May, tried hard to find a way out by approaching German and French leaders. On Wednesday 10 April 2019 local time, Theresa May, who also failed to get the support of her own party, tried to win over the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuelle Macron. From the President's office in Paris, confirmation was obtained that Emanuelle Macron was willing to meet Theresa May. Previously in Berlin, the British Prime Minister who had lost support in the British Parliament had met Angela Merkel. Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the two leaders had exchanged ideas about the possibility of an extension of UK deadline to exit Brexit. To her German counterpart, Theresa May requested that Merkelconvince EU leaders to give an extension of the time originally set for April 12. Predictably, the same request will also be presented by Theresa May, when meeting Emanuelle Macron in Paris. From Berlin, news was received that Germany had asked Britain to show substantial steps towards resolving its political deadlock domestically. Previously, until the end of the meeting in Brussels, European Union leaders stressed that they would not provide an extension of time for Britain, without a clear agenda from the government or parliament. So far, Theresa May has lost support in Parliament, including from the Party she leads.In this situation, Theresa May must try her best to convince the French President and German Chancellor that at home, she will be able to find a breakthrough to end the political deadlock. However, from the German Chancellor's Office, there was news that Germany had not yet obtained clarity about the substantive steps that would be taken by Theresa May in her country. If in the end the EU leaders decide that they will not extend the deadline for the official release of Britain from the European Union, then the UK must leave the European Union on April 12 without any agreement at all. The European Union had previously agreed to extend the deadline for Britain to exit Brexit. Theresa May only had two days until April 14, before European leaders held a summit to decide Britain's fate. It was a very short time that would determine the future of Brexit and also Theresa May's political career as the Prime Minister of England.


Every April 6, Indonesia commemorates National Fisherman Day. In 2019, the commemoration was used as a momentum for the rise of fishermen in Indonesia, especially after the government has supported the welfare of fishermen and their family members through various policies.The 2012 data of the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that Indonesia is ranked third in the world in fisheries production, below China and India. This potential should make Indonesian fishermen able to produce large quantities of fish which can ultimately improve their welfare.In Article 33 paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution, it is stated that the earth and water and natural resources contained therein are controlled by the state and are used for the prosperity of the people. However, it cannot be denied that Indonesia's marine wealth is dominated by some foreign parties. Some of them are illegal and they tend to prioritize personal and group interests.Last weekends, two foreign fishing vessels with Malaysian flags were captured by Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) in the Malacca Strait. The arrest adds to the number of illegal vessels that were successfully captured by the KKP during 2019. From January to April 7, 2019, 27 illegal vessels were captured when attempting to illegally steal fish resources.Indonesia is a country rich in marine wealth. Geographically, Indonesia is an archipelagic country with two-thirds of its territory consisting of oceans, larger than land. This can be seen by the presence of coastlines on almost every island in Indonesia, with a total length of approximately 81,000 kilometers. This makes Indonesia second only to Canada as the country that has the longest coastline in the world. This has become Indonesia's great strength and potential to advance its economy.The capture carried out by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) against foreign vessels carrying out illegal fishing shows the government's attention in improving services and protection of Indonesian fishermen. Fish theft carried out by foreign vessels certainly reduces the produce of Indonesian fishermen. The arrest also shows the presence of the state amidst the national fishermen.The 2019 National Fisherman Day must be a great momentum for the rise of Indonesian fishermen to be sovereign in their own country, especially by continuing to expel foreign ships that illegally search Indonesia's marine resources. Happy National Fisherman Day.


After about one-month demonstration staged by the Algerian people, President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika finally resigned. The announcement of his resignation was submitted to the Algerian Constitutional Council earlier this week. Apart from pressure from the people through the mass demonstration, there was a statement from the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah that Bouteflika was considered unable to lead Algeria anymore.Thus, Bouteflika will no longer participate in the election of the fifth period. The era of Bouteflika has ended and he had been in power for 20 years. It must be admitted that Bouteflika was considered a strong man in Algeria, but a stroke of 6 years ago made him begin to rarely appear in public.After the resignation of Bouteflika, the Constitutional Council announced the vacant position of the President. Furthermore, the Board submits to the Ummah Assembly (the Parliament). If the parliament ratifies the decision of the Constitutional Council, the Speaker of the Parliament will serve as interim President for 90 days and use that time to hold an election. However, the Speaker of the Parliament as interim President is prohibited from running for the election.Bouteflika's resignation has been carried out in accordance with the demands of the Algerian people. But this does not mean the problem is over. Many figures hold important positions such as the Chairperson of the Constitutional Council, the Speaker of the Parliament, and the Prime Minister. They are considered to be the cronies of Bouteflika. Thus, the demands for cleaning up the government from the elements of Bouteflika are still voiced by the people and opposition party.Now, the thing that must be taken into consideration is that this uncertain situation may be used for the benefit of one group. Despite being dominated by one party for 20 years, hopes are still there to carry out democracy in Algeria. It is time for the people of Algeria to determine their future by choosing leaders who bring Algeria to progress instead of destruction. Who is he or she? We are looking forward to the results of the Algerian General Election in the near future.


World Children's Book Day is commemorated every April 2. This commemoration is aimed at fostering the habit of reading and cultivating interest in reading.

In regard to the reading interest, several studies show that the reading interest in Indonesian people is quite low. However, research conducted by Global English Editing in 2018 about the country that spends time reading, the result is quite disappointing. The study shows that Indonesia ranks 16th, better than Argentina, Germany and Canada. The country with the highest reading interest is India with time spent reading above 10 hours per week. Meanwhile, Indonesia is above 6 hours per week. However, this is not the final achievement; there must be ongoing efforts to maintain and even enhance reading interest.

This enhancement in reading interest is, of course, inseparable from the role of the government, the private sector and the community. Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) of the Republic of Indonesia, for example, continues to optimize the culture of literacy.

Since 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture has intensified the National Literacy Movement (GLN). In terms of budget, no less than Rp10 trillion is allocated for the development of book literacy. Law No.3 / 2017 concerning the Bookkeeping System states that educational books in Indonesia must be of high quality, affordable and evenly distributed. Thus, as an effort to support the National Literacy Movement (GLN), the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Indonesian Publishers Association (IKAPI) signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday (2/04) in a bid to improve the function and role of books in education and culture in Indonesia.

The National Literacy Movement is an effort to strengthen the synergy between the main units of the agents of the literacy movement by gathering all potential and expanding public involvement in developing and cultivating literacy in Indonesia. This movement is carried out thoroughly and simultaneously, from the family sphere to schools and communities in all regions of Indonesia.

Improving national literacy needs to be framed in an integrated national movement. The literacy movement is the responsibility of not only the government, but also all stakeholders, including the business world, universities, social organizations, literacy activists, parents, and society. Therefore, public involvement in every literacy activity is very important to ensure the positive impact of the movement to increase national competitiveness.


More than 57 million Turkish  used  their  right to vote and  elect mayors and city council members throughout the country on Sunday (03/31/2019). The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost in the capital city of Ankara and Istanbul. This defeat was seen as a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his 16 years in power. As per the political tradition in Turkey, the struggle for the position of governor or mayor in metropolitan Ankara and Istanbul was highlighted by local elections because it was a barometer of people's aspirations towards the political and economic policies of the central government. However, in general,  from local elections held throughout the country, the AKP and its coalition are still superior with more than 51 percent votes. This election, considered to be very decisive for the future of Erdogan's government, was held when the Turkish economy was deteriorating. The currency exchange rate has continued to decline lately and Turkey has been hit by economic recession in the last three months. The defeat in the country's capital certainly could not be accepted  by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). AKP Secretary General Fatih Sahin via his Twitter account said he immediately protested and would reject  the results of the vote in Istanbul and the Igdir province in the east part  of the country. Erdogan in response to the defeat of his support party insists that he prefers the 2023 general election. Meanwhile, chairman of the opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu,  stressed that "spring" was sweeping Ankara and Istanbul. He even equated what happened in the two cities with the 2011 Arab spring revolution  which toppled dictatorial regimes in several Arab countries. The results of local elections in Turkey are suspected as a reflection of the rejection of urban communities in Ankara, Istanbul and several other major cities to the efforts of the Justice and Development Party and Erdogan to cover Turkey's economic crisis with issues of security, terrorism and foreign conspiracy. "Spring" in Ankara and Istanbul will certainly be an evaluation material for Erdogan in the face of the 2023 general election.

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