Editorial

Editorial (415)

25
March

The open campaign for the 2019 General Elections has begun since Sunday (24/3). This open campaign takes place from April 24-13. This campaign will be a crucial stage for both sides of the presidential candidate pair 01 Joko Widodo-Maaruf Amin and presidential candidate pair 02 Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno with their supporting political parties. Why is it called 'crucial'? Because this open campaign involves mobilizing large numbers of people so that violation or clash may occur. To avoid the mass meeting of the two candidate pairs, the General Election Commission -KPU has made a campaign schedule based on regional zoning.The open campaign is like a "war" to gain voters. All contestants try to optimally attract the groups of ‘undecided voters’ or ‘swing voters’. The great effort to gain voters’ support is a concern of the succeeding team. Those who have not decided their choice will be persuaded to vote according to the wishes of the majority.The succeeding teams, supporting political parties and volunteers are certainly legitimate to win the support of the undecided voters. However, it should be kept in mind that the efforts must continue to prioritize ethics and comply with the existing regulations so that clashes or violence can be avoided. For example, the competition situation during the campaign period since September last year has made polarization heated up in the society.All contestants should return to the campaign philosophy as part of the community's political education and the campaign must be carried out responsibly. However, violations during the open campaigns must be dealt with. Election law must be enforced. The open campaigns must avoid the practice of money politics, intimidation and violence.The main essence of the campaign is to provide literacy for prospective voters so that they can make choices rationally, instead of a campaign that simply uses the voters’ emotion. This is feared to bring about fanaticism that has the potential for conflict in the election. Thus, the participants in the election should consistently carry out integrity pacts that they have signed to create peaceful elections, without hoaxes, politicization of tribe, religion, race, and intergroup -SARA, and money politics.

20
March


People still remember the fear of the world community about the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, the same action even though it did not take many casualties occurred again in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Monday March 18. Violence which killed around 3 people and 9 injured with 3 of them in serious condition. Perpetrators of Turkish descent with double passports were arrested by police around 8 hours after taking action on a Tram.


Actions in the City of Utrecht and Christchurch have similarities, which are both using firearms in carrying out their actions and together causing casualties and injuries. But what distinguishes it is that one is done at the other public transportation facilities in the house of worship. In New Zealand, the highest authority has stated that the action of immigrants from Australia is an act of terrorism. Whereas in the Netherlands, the Authority still excludes it as an act of non-terrorism. According to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as quoted by the BBC, many questions and rumors. It is still unclear the motive behind the armed attack in Utrecht, terrorists or others, is still under investigation, although it also cannot rule out other motives behind the action.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish intelligence agencies were investigating the shooting to ascertain whether it was a terror attack or related to a family dispute. According to a source quoted from The Telegraphe, the shooter Gorkmen Tanis had many criminal records in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, according to a source from the BBC, the perpetrator had joined an armed group in Chechnya.


Regardless of the issue of the shooting action, whether it is categorized as terrorism or merely an act of criminal violence, this is a problem that the circulation of firearms is increasingly prevalent in the community. There is no denying the easy access to illegal firearms from the black market and online sites. They have firearms for various reasons, one of which is to defend themselves from increasingly uncomfortable situations. Although in some countries it is permissible for civilians to have weapons with strict conditions. But whatever happens to a firearm is dangerous and a strong and responsible personality is needed if you have a firearm. Because if you are in a place that is wrong and owned by a problem person, it will be very dangerous. We can also see that state regulations such as in New Zealand and the Netherlands even in European countries and the United States that have implemented and rigorous selection for owners of firearms can still be "missed", what about in African, Asian, and Latin American countries 

21
March

 


After the provision Village Fund and Sub-district Fund, the government plans to allocate the District Fund. The discourse on the district fund allocation came up at a national coordinating meeting of the heads of district, Ciputra Hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday (03/20/2019). Minister of Home Affairs, Tjahjo Kumolo explained that his side is currently processing the proposed district fund budget. He views that this budget is different from Village Fund and Sub-district Fund which are budgeted from the State Revenue. The district fund will be budgeted from the regional state revenue of each region.

On the same occasion, Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati gave a positive signal to the proposal of the Minister of Home Affairs. Minister Sri said that she would review the funding allocation for the district. Therefore, she would discuss the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs to choose the most effective instrument to be used as the district budget.


If so, the District Fund will be disbursed to create a balance of development. It is known that the village and sub-district have received funding allocations from the State Budget.


At the end of last year, the government policy related to the sub-district funds became polemic. Even though the district fund policy is good, this is a polemic because the fund will be issued ahead of the presidential election. Thus, before the election, there is an assumption that this policy benefits the incumbent in the 2019 presidential election.


Although it is a mere discourse, this has the potential to cause polemic because it is highlighted prior to the April 2019 General Election. To dismiss this allegation, Minister Tjahjo said that he had lobbied the district fund to Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani for the past two years. Based on Minister Tjahjo's statement, it seems that this discourse does not appear suddenly in the context of elections. The critical question is that how useful this district fund is if it is realized.


Based on the Government Regulation No.19/2008 concerning districts, in addition to carrying out their role as fostering agents and supervisors of village governance, the district government also carries out various matters of population administration and licensing, as well as basic sector services, such as order and security affairs, education, health, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and concrete efforts to prosper the regional community.Viewing the major roles delegated to the district government, of course the district needs sufficient financial support. So far, the district government has received funding from the regional budget. Isn’t the fund enough so that there is a discourse about the provision of the district fund? What is the function of the district budget?


To answer the question, the government must conduct in-depth study. The effectiveness of the fund also needs to be studied in depth even though the proposal of the district fund is aimed at accelerating the development and public services at the lower levels.

18
March

The debate of Vice-Presidential Candidates was held in Jakarta on Sunday night (17/3). Many observers consider the debate to be flat. However, the debate took place smoothly. The debate of Vice-Presidential Candidates who were not accompanied by each presidential candidate highlighted major issues: Education, Employment, Health, and Socio-culture. The issues raised are essential now, considering the situation and conditions of the issues abroad have spread rapidly throughout the world through the role of information media. In the debate, Vice-Presidential candidate No. 01, Ma'ruf Amin encourages the development of pilot companies in the supply of employment related to employment issue. Meanwhile in the education sector, he will revitalize vocational schools and polytechnics that may lead to create a ready-made and educated workforce and the development of national research bodies. For health issue, he will continue to improve and expand the Healthy Indonesia Card and other health programs that have been launched into the Community. Ma'ruf Amin also offers three new cards, namely the KIP for university students’ card, pre-employment, and cheap basic necessities.Meanwhile, Vice-Presidential candidate No. 02 offers ideas to raise the fund of research and technology by encouraging collaboration with the business world. While in education, he proposes the abolition of the national exam and this is replaced by a program of talent and interest. In the field of employment, Sandiaga Uno will encourage Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to absorb employment and Link and Match between the world of education and the world of work. Vice President 02 also offers one card, which is the identity card, KTP that can be accessed by all programs.Apart from the many parties assessing the spread of the vice presidential debate, at least, the ideas of both vice-presidential candidates have been able to prove that they are ready to accompany their partners. The ideas of debate can also show that their capacity is not just a presidential counterpart. However, the debate did not touch the media of information as a supporting factor in the issues highlighted. In fact, information media through social media can, at least, support the implementation of issues that run well in terms of distribution, control and evaluation. 

15
March

On Wednesday (March 13, 2019), the Algerian people held a mass rally in several cities in Algeria. They rejected the package of political solutions put forward by the ruling President, Abelaziz Bouteflika on Monday. What exactly was put forward by the President so the Algerian people refused? President Abelaziz decided to postpone the implementation of the general election. They rallied against the decision by stating violations of the constitution on articles No. 107 and 110. Their demands are that the general elections be held on April 18, 2019 as stated before and the incumbent President cannot participate in the general election. He already accommodated the wishes of the protesters not to run again. However, that is not enough because they considered the postponement of the general election only to extend his term of office. This crisis is triggered by President Bouteflika's desire to take part in the upcoming general election. However, many wishes are not expected by many people because President Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years and his health condition is less stable after suffering a stroke six years ago. Although he finally chooses not to take part in the election again and even overhauled the composition of the cabinet, President Bouteflika does not clearly specify how long the election will be postponed. So, there is concern if he then appoints a certain successor to replace him. Another concern is that delaying the general election can threaten democracy in Algeria. Algeria experienced a political crisis in the 80s which led to armed conflict in the 90s and ended in 2002. Of course, no one expects a similar conflict in Algeria. Now, the important role in the hands of the elite in the country is to find the best solution so that the political crisis can be resolved immediately without bloodshed and the Algerian people can accept the solution.

15
March

 

On Wednesday (March 13, 2019), the Algerian people held a mass rally in several cities in Algeria. They rejected the package of political solutions put forward by the ruling President, Abelaziz Bouteflika on Monday. What exactly was put forward by the President so the Algerian people refused? President Abelaziz decided to postpone the implementation of the general election.

They rallied against the decision by stating violations of the constitution on articles No. 107 and 110. Their demands are that the general elections be held on April 18, 2019 as stated before and the incumbent President cannot participate in the general election. He already accommodated the wishes of the protesters not to run again. However, that is not enough because they considered the postponement of the general election only to extend his term of office.

This crisis is triggered by President Bouteflika's desire to take part in the upcoming general election. However, many wishes are not expected by many people because President Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years and his health condition is less stable after suffering a stroke six years ago. Although he finally chooses not to take part in the election again and even overhauled the composition of the cabinet, President Bouteflika does not clearly specify how long the election will be postponed. So, there is concern if he then appoints a certain successor to replace him. Another concern is that delaying the general election can threaten democracy in Algeria.

Algeria experienced a political crisis in the 80s which led to armed conflict in the 90s and ended in 2002. Of course, no one expects a similar conflict in Algeria. Now, the important role in the hands of the elite in the country is to find the best solution so that the political crisis can be resolved immediately without bloodshed and the Algerian people can accept the solution.

14
March

 

World Consumer Rights Day (HHKS) is commemorated in Indonesia and 130 other countries on every March 15th. The initial stipulation of Consumer Rights Day was from the speech of the former US President, John F. Kennedy on March 15, 1962. It was stated that consumers are the largest economic group that influences and is influenced by almost every public and private economic decision. However, they are the only important group whose views are not heard. Thus, Consumers International as an organization that fights for the rights of international consumers has set this date as the day of consumer rights worldwide. Of course, the commemoration of consumer rights day is the right moment as a reminder to increase consumer protection in various countries, including in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, the rights of a consumer are regulated in Law No. 8/1999 regarding with Indonesian Consumer Protection. The efforts made by the government in protecting consumer rights are by stipulating regulations, conducting regular supervision and taking firm actions against consumer rights violations. Therefore, the aim of establishing a National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) is to protect consumer rights. The Government and consumers are expected to be critical and brave. Thus, business actors will always pay attention to regulations in protecting consumers, such as in the pre-production phase, offers, transaction and post-transaction and provision of good services for consumers.

The rights to choose goods, to receive compensation, to be served and treated properly without discrimination, as well as the rights to obtain information properly are main parts of the consumers’ rights. It is very important for consumers to know main information regarding the products they buy. Manufacturers are not allowed to cover some information regarding their products or services. In this digital era, consumers must actually benefit a lot from the application of various features and information.

If the Government carries out formal protection through the National Consumer Protection Agency, the Non-governmental Consumer Protection Agency

(LPKSM) can be a motor for protecting consumers’ rights by providing advocacy, mediation and assistance to the consumers.

If the synergy among the government, business-people, consumers, and the Non-governmental Consumer Protection Agency goes well, of course the position of consumers will be elevated and consumer rights can be guaranteed.

12
March

 

Indonesia participates again in the London Book Fair. At present, Indonesia is bringing 450 book titles in an exhibition held at Olympia, Kensington, London on 12 to 14 March 2019. Indonesia's presence becomes special. Because Indonesia is chosen as the first country from Southeast Asia to receive priority as Market Focus Country.

The Creative Economy Agency, as the representative of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia prepares around 100 events to promote Indonesia's presence in the exhibition that Indonesia has participated in since 2016. Chairman of the Creative Economy Agency, Triawan Munaf said that participating in the exhibition is an effort to encourage Indonesia's creative economy products worldwide, especially in the literature. He wants the Indonesian literature to go international and at the same time, to attract foreign people to come.

There are specific targets to be achieved by Indonesia in the 2019 London Book Fair, the biggest exhibition for the sale of copyrights. Indonesia targets 50 titles to be sold for copyrights. Chairman of the National Book Committee, Laura Bangun Prinsloo affirmed that the target of 50 book titles for the 2019 London Book Fair might sound not many. But actually, the target is already quite high, considering that Indonesia has only participated in this exhibition starting in 2016. That number will add to the 1,200 titles sold to foreign publishers over the last five years.

In the past few years, Indonesia has always been present at the International Book Exhibition. Indonesia routinely takes part in the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2018, the copyrights for the publication of 36 titles were purchased by several countries participating in the oldest book exhibition. Indonesia is also present at the Beijing International Book Fair. In the Brunei 2019 Book Exhibition, thousands of Indonesian book titles were sold.

The presence of the works of Indonesian writers in international book exhibitions must be improved. Because through their work, the world community can get to know Indonesia more with its diversity of cultures, tribes and religions. Books have become a means of promotion and diplomacy for the wealth of more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia. The presence of works by Indonesian writers in the international arena is expected to increase the number of world-class writers. Take for example; Pramodya Ananta Toer is a well-known writer who successfully published at least 50 works, and his books have been translated into 41 foreign languages. In addition, the writer, such as Andrea Herata also successfully introduced one region in Indonesia, Belitung through his book "Laskar Pelangi" which has been translated into 34 foreign languages and published in 130 countries. Taufik Ismail's poem entitled "With My Poetry,..." has been translated into 52 foreign languages.

More importantly, through books by Indonesian writers, Indonesia’s display will be more open and more readers and lovers of the world book will look into it.

That’s Commentary!

13
March

Relations between Iran and Iraq begin a new phase. For the first time, since the end of the war between the two countries in the 80s, an Iranian  President visited Iraq. Apparently  ignoring  the US warnings, Iraqi President Barham Salih received Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warmly. Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters that the two Presidents had had good talks, and agreed to increase cooperation in the economic and political fields. Turkish Radio  Television, through its website, even reported that the two Presidents had agreed to apply for visa-free visits for their citizens. Both countries seem to want to forget the war that lasted eight years until 1988 which caused many casualties. Moreover, the Iranian President's historic visit to Iraq also showed the two countries' courageous attitude towards the United States. To Baghdad, Washington has warned that it should refrain from relations with its neighbor. Meanwhile, Iran has shown an indifferent attitude towards economic sanctions given by the United States. Besides opposing US pressure, Iran also wants to show that it still has influence in the Middle East. From the meeting, it can be said that the two countries want to show their independence without having to be influenced and pressured by outsiders in establishing and enhancing bilateral relations. Of course in the name of the interests of the people of both countries. During the talks, which were  followed by technical meetings, the two countries agreed to increase trade relations. Both plan to increase the trade value nearly 100 percent from the previous 12 billion US dollars, especially through gas and energy exports from Iran. On the other hand, Iran's prime minister's visit to Iraq after the war between the two in the 80s, could possibly lead to geopolitical changes in the Middle East, as well as their relations with Western Europe and the United States.

06
March

Kashmir is in turmoil  again. India and Pakistan are two neighboring countries in South Asia that  have been in  disputes over the region for decades. Their conflicts not only in words but also in arms. There have been a number of victims fell  since two weeks ago. An armed conflict began when Indian paramilitary troops convoying in the Kashmir region were killed in a suicide attack on February 14. 40 people were killed  in the incident. The angry Indian Prime Minister then  not only issued a statement that would retaliate,  but manifested his anger by bombarding Jaish Mohammad's group headquarters. The Jais Mohammad militant group has indeed claimed responsibility for the  suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries. The latest attack that killed dozens of residents was part  of Indian Pakistani conflicts which have been going on for seven decades. The two countries were trying to  control part of Kashmir since India and Pakistan gained  independence from Britain in 1947. Tensions are increasingly felt  with the presence of Kashmiri militia groups in Pakistan. There are people who live in the region who have fled,  but not a few who remain in the midst of the  conflict that is often characterized by riots and violence. Until now the two countries have not found a meeting point in resolving their  border disputes. The latest armed conflict triggered by a militant suicide bombing shows that a dialogue approach is needed for resolving the ongoing crisis in Kashmir.

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