Editorial

Editorial (270)

28
January

The General Election will take place in the next two and a half months. However, some cases of bad behaviour in some legislative candidates have emerged.Several candidates committed violations of General Election’s law No. 7/2017. For example; in their campaign, candidates have been caught using government facilities, places of worship, and distributed some items of basic food, and even coupons for Umroh.Some have already been convicted and sentenced, but have continued to commit violations. As a candidate for members of the House of Representatives they should not break the law. If they are elected in the future, they will involve in writing bills. But, before being elected, they have violated previous DPR laws. So, it is possible they could commit serious violations after being elected.Of course, it is no secret if there are several members of DPR involved in breaking in the law. A lot of them have been jailed because of their shameful actions.On April 17, 2019, the Indonesian people will cast their votes to elect candidates for President and Vice President and members of the DPR. The track record of the two candidates for President and Vice President is certainly clear. But, for the prospective parliament members, there may be many voters are not aware of the corruption. In a conversation with a senior reporter of Voice of Indonesia, Daulat Pane, one of the Commissioners of the General Election Commission, Viryan Azis urged the public to educate themselves before voting. This is to avoid making a bad decision, or "buying something in a sack".

25
January

The leaders of a number of countries and a number of businessmen and environmentalists are discussing various economic issues which are expected to reduce this year. The world’s leaders are gathering and discussing the issues at the World Economic Forum, in Davos Switzerland from 22 to 23 january, 2019. Unlike previous years, at least 3 leaders of developed countries are not present at the World Economic Forum meeting which started to convene since 1971. The three absent leaders are British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emanuel Macron, and US President Donald Trump. Theresa May and Macron are not present at Davos due to crucial problems at home. Whereas Donald Trump, besides still having to struggle to overcome the frozen part of the Federal government due to the turmoil of Immigration and the Border of the United States and Mexico, his absence can also be seen from other aspects. Trump's absence at this annual meeting can be seen from the attitude of Donald Trump, who, from the beginning of his administration is seen to maintain a distance from Europe. In this conference, the United States is represented by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who got the opportunity to give a speech after the opening ceremony, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. From Asia Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is present while from Latin America the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro. Unlike other Summit, the World Economic Forum in Davos is attended by a number of prominent businessmen such as Bill Gates and environmentalists and broadcast practitioner Sir David Attenborough. David Atenborough called on the world leaders to find practical steps to protect environmental damage due to the symptom of industrial development of climate change. The Davos meeting which is held annually in the mountainous region of Switzerland, initially has sought to find solutions to the impact of industrial and economic development on the environment and humanity. In the economic field, this year's meeting will certainly pay attention to predictions of declining economic growth. The trade war between China and the United States, which still has not found an agreement on how to end it, should be highlighted in this year's meeting. Nevertheless, the world certainly cannot really hope that this year's World Economic Forum meeting will be able to influence the economic policies of countries that have a major influence in the economic field. Donald Trump's absence, among others, gives clues about that.

24
January

 

Improving People's Nutrition to become a Healthy and Outstanding Nation is the theme of the National Nutrition Day 2019 to be commemorated on January the 25th 2019. Meanwhile, Nutrition Awareness, Healthy and Productive Indonesia is the sub-theme of the event. Director General of People's Health the Indonesian Health Minister, Kirana Pritasari, said that in a bid to improve the nutrition of Indonesian people, commitment and dedication from all stakeholders are required. The Indonesian Health Ministry is trying to introduce a program called Healthy Indonesia to Indonesian families. The program has four priorities namely reducing the mortality rate of infant and mother effectively, improving nutrition in a bid to prevent stunting, and overcoming infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Stunting is the impairment of children's growth. It is a condition when infants and children cannot grow properly due to the lack of nutrition. However, stunting is preventable since pregnancy by consuming healthy foods which contain essential nutrients like iron and providing exclusive breastfeeding for the infants.

A number of health issues especially children's health issues have become a serious challenge for Indonesia. Although child's health has improved particularly regarding the fulfillment of nutrition, it has not yet been maximum in accordance to the standard of the World Health Organization. Nutrition affects children's growth and development therefore children must acquire sufficient nutrition to support their growth since their first 1,000 days.

The development of health by improving the quality of Indonesia's human resources contributes to providing long-term and sustainable benefits. One of the most important aspects in developing Indonesian people health is by fulfilling their nutrition.

Indonesian youths hold the key to support the development of this nation. Without having proper nutrition, they cannot develop their potentials to advance the country. The time has come for us to be more aware about the importance of implementing a healthy and balance lifestyle so that we can achieve a better, healthier, and more quality life.

21
January

 

Indonesia’s tourism sector celebrated an outstanding achievement in the beginning of 2019. Indonesia’s tourism sector won the ASEAN Tourism Award 2019 for four different categories. The ASEAN Tourism Award 2019 was organized by the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF). The four award categories comprise Community Based Tourism, Homestay, Spa, and Public Toilet. The award was directly received by Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, Arief Yahya, in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, on Friday (January the 18th). Tourism has been a featured sector in Indonesia. Indonesia’s tourism sector shows significant progress each year. The sector provides substantial contributions for the country’s economy compared to other sources of income such as oil, gas, coal, and palm oil commodities whose performances keep declining. In addition to having significant progress, tourism is thought to be an advantageous sector as most of the activities in this sector are service-oriented.Therefore, it provides sustainable and extensive contributions for all levels of society. Indonesia’s wonderful and diverse natural beauty is a great potential that can lure foreign tourists to explore the country. Indonesia’s tourism sector is incredibly promising as it significantly contributes to providing high Gross Domestic Product (GDP), foreign exchange reserves, and job opportunities. The development of Indonesia’s tourism sector is supported by the increasing amount of foreign tourists. Based on the data of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia keeps rising. In 2017, as many as 14.04 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia. The amount increased by 23% than the one in 2016. The achievement of Indonesia’s tourism sector could be realized by establishing cooperation amongstakeholders. Indonesia’s competitive index ascended sharply from the 70th rank in 2013 to the 42th rank in 2017.The achievement surely boosts Indonesia’s confidence to keep improving its tourism industry. We hope Indonesia’s tourism industry shall prosper and improve in a bid to enhance the country’s foreign reserves.

18
January

After decades, for the first time, an Australian Prime Minister set foot on Fiji and Vanuatu. This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the two countries. For Australia this is like keeping the promise made two months ago. At that time Australia was committed to pouring funds of up to 2 billion US dollars in grants and soft loans to Pacific countries. What made Australia suddenly open its maneuver to the east, which had been neglected? Apparently the People's Republic of China has approached the Pacific region in eastern Australia since 8 years ago. The money poured out by Beijing for cooperation with countries in the Pacific has reached 1.3 billion US dollars. That amount places China as the number 2 donor country after Australia. Another thing is President Xi Jin Ping's 4-day visit in Papua New Guinea in the series of his attendance at the APEC Summit in Port Moresby. Australia is actually in a dilemma. If it disturbs Beijing in the Pacific region, Australia will also accept the consequences because Beijing is a key trading partner. Yet, Australia and its main ally, the United States are worried that China will not only build trade relations but also place military bases in the region. Australia must also be clever to play a role so that its relationship remains good with both the US and China which currently are involved in a trade war. China entered the Pacific to reduce Taiwan's influence in the region. Taiwan, a country that is not recognized by Beijing, has helped many Pacific countries. Of course with the aim that they support Taipei. The presence of Beijing has prompted several Pacific countries to cease their  support for Taiwan. If Australia is in a state of anxiety, this is not the case with Pacific countries. They were suddenly like having a windfall because of the kindness  race between Australia and Beijing. The problem is, a  good deed usually  deserves another.

16
January

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The decision of the majority of the British people to get their country out of the European Union, the EU, entered a new phase. A problem arose when most British parliamentarians did not heed the call of British Prime Minister Theresa May to support her agreement with the European Community. In a vote late on Tuesday in London, the majority of the British Parliament rejected the proposed agreement made by the government with the European Union. The refusal was carried out not only by opposition MPs, but also by government parties. Earlier Prime Minister Theresa May stated that the rejection of the agreements she made with the European Community would disappoint the British people. One point of the agreement between the British government and the European Union is that Britain will pay a “divorce bill” to  the European Union around £27bn. In addition, the two parties agreed on the existence of a transition period that provides opportunities for both parties to avoid disruption to the business sector and trade. Indeed there will be no significant change with the agreement which scheduled to  start on  March 29, 2019 until December 31, 2020. Prime Minister Theresa May and her supporters are certainly thinking hard about the rejection by a majority of members of the British parliament. In addition to anticipating problems in the country, Theresa May also thought hard to convince the European Union of the implementation of the  agreement. It is possible that the British Prime Minister will approach and attempt to make some adjustments. This is still possible because the agreement between the British Government and the European Union is political in nature. Domestically,  criticism was raised over Brexit because members of Parliament considered Theresa May fail to fulfill hopes that Britain would regain full control of the bag of economic and trade policies held by the European Union. Another issue that is considered very crucial after Brexit is the regulation of borders in the Northern Ireland region. While it  was still  in the European Union, the border between the United Kingdom and northern Ireland is not physical. However, after exiting the European Union the border will become evident in the form of a control mechanism specifically to check the flow of goods. Prime Minister Theresa May must now make every effort to implement the results  of the referendum  two years ago. This is a test for her government because the impact of not agreeing to an agreement with the European Union is a threat of a vote of no confidence from Parliament.

14
January

On Wednesday, January the 9th 2019, the homes of Two Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Leaders, Agus Rahardjo and Laode M. Syarif were terrorized by bombs. A vynil pipe-like bomb was hung on the fence of Agus Rahardjo’s home which is located at Graha Indah, Jatiasih, Bekasi City. Meanwhile, two molotov bombs were thrown at the house of Deputy Chairman of KPK, Laode which is located in Kalibata, South Jakarta. After receiving the information striking the houses of the two Corruption Eradication Commission Leaders, President Joko Widodo immediately instructed Indonesian National Police Chief, Tito Karnavian to investigate the terror case. According to President Joko Widodo, the terror was clearly an intimidation for Law Enforcement Agencies, therefore the terror could not be tolerated. President Jokowi believes that the effort of eradicating corruption would not be impeded due to the terror attack. It was not the first time that members of KPK were threatened by terror. Previously, KPK’s investigator, Novel Baswedan was attacked by unknown men who threw acid on his face and the case still has not yet been solved. Recently, as many as 65 officers were appointed by Indonesian National Police Chief, Tito Karnavian to investigate the terror case of Novel Baswedan thoroughly. Based on the Letter of Appointment signed by Chief of the Indonesian National Police, Tito Karnavian on Tuesday, January the 8th 2019, the Join-Fact Finding Team (TGPF) consists of Policemen, KPK, and experts on the related fields. However, the effectivity of the team in resolving the terror case remains a question. Serious commitment from the authorized parties in solving crimes is required especially the ones which engage in corruption eradication, considering corruption is an extraordinary crime in Indonesia. We do hope the Indonesian Police and other law enforcement agencies will take intensive actions to solve the terror case so that KPK investigators can perform their duty in eradicating corruption effectively without any disturbances.

11
January

 

Earlier this week, North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un paid a visit to Beijing, China. During the three-day stay, he met Chinese President, Xi Jin Ping. This is the second visit of North Korean leader to Beijing. Last year, ahead of Kim Jong-un's meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, Kim Jong-un had also met President Xi Jin Ping.

From this second meeting, North Korea received support from China to continue negotiations with the United States. In addition to discussing the issue of negotiations, Kim Jong-un also invited President Xi Jin Ping to visit Pyongyang. President Xi Jin Ping agreed without mentioning when he will pay the visit. Kim had felt the need to go to Beijing because North Korea had made Beijing its partner.

Kim Jong-un had expressed his disappointment in his New Year's speech, because the nuclear negotiations seem to be slowing down, not as expected. Kim Jong-un even   threatens that his attitude will change if Washington does not alter the sanctions imposed on his country.

While South Korean President, Moon Jae-in who had acted as the mediator, at a press conference on Thursday (January 10, 2018), said that Kim Jong-un's second meeting with President Donald Trump will be held again. He emphasized that Seoul would cooperate with Washington on sanctions against Pyongyang.

President Trump and Kim's second meeting has been awaited by many parties. Now, it depends on the United States whether to let Kim Jong-un's patience run out and cause the North Korean nuclear program to be resumed or to respond to Kim Jong-un's invitation to immediately resolve this issue. The world is looking forward to the further development.

10
January

 

Every January 10, the world community, including Indonesia, commemorates ‘One-Million Tree Day. In Indonesia, the government, private sector and various organizations take part in commemorating this important day. On the day, a large number of trees are planted simultaneously.

The commemoration of the one-million tree day by planting trees is very important, considering the number of trees in the world including in Indonesia has decreased dramatically. Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya affirmed that based on the results of a survey in 2013, around 24.3 million hectares of forest and land in Indonesia were in critical condition. The condition of the critical forests is caused by many factors, such as forest fires, illegal logging, the paper industry, new land clearing and other factors.

The Indonesian government through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has made various efforts to improve the condition of the forest. Take for examples, there are construction of multipurpose forests, urban forests, mangrove rehabilitation, and the implementation of the 25-tree-planting movement that was launched by President Joko Widodo on August 2, 2017, involving students,, scouts, personnel of Indonesian Armed Forces -TNI, National Police -Polri, and other mass organizations.

The tree planting from 2014 to 2016, according to Minister Siti Nurbaya, has been realized by reaching an area of 4.20 million hectares. Tree planting activities from 2014 to 2016 will address critical land reaching 24 million hectares.

The question is whether the planted trees live and grow until now (?)

President Joko Widodo at the commemoration of the Indonesian Tree Planting Day in Ponjong Sub-district, Gunungkidul, 9 December 2017 expressed his concern about tree planting activities in the commemoration of the one-million tree day as a ceremonial activity. His concern is very appropriate, because so far, many trees have been planted but there is no follow-up. The tree planting activities have spent a lot of budget, but the results are not worth the costs incurred.

Thus, the commemoration of the One-Million Tree Day this year is a momentum to raise awareness that the planting plant is not enough; there must be a follow-up by caring for the planted trees and ensuring that the tree can grow well.

08
January

 

The World Bank provided clarification about a report entitled ‘Infrastructure Sector Assessment Program (InfraSAP) which was recently quoted by several media. The report states that infrastructure in Indonesia is of low quality and not well planned. The World Bank report released in June 2018 also mentions that the administration of Joko Widodo and Yusuf Kalla relies on State-Owned Enterprises SOEs in building infrastructure. This was reflected in the government's decision to provide direct assignments of a number of projects to the SOEs.

The World Bank immediately issued clarification regarding the news. In its release, the World Bank confirmed that the report had not been officially published and was still in the finalization stage. However, the World Bank did not deny the news.

In a written statement on Monday (7/1), the World Bank reported that in compiling the report, the World Bank collaborated closely and discussed with relevant parties in the government, such as the Ministry of Finance, Bappenas, various Coordinating Ministries, Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) and the Financial Services Authority (OJK).

InfraSAP is a comprehensive analysis related to various obstacles, which can reduce funding for commercial and private infrastructure. This report is one of the possible policy reforms that can be considered and carried out by Indonesia in the short and medium term.

The World Bank has started preparing the report since mid-2017. This is in accordance with the invitation of the Indonesian government to cooperate in finding solutions in a bid to be able to attract more private and commercial funding for infrastructure investment.

Apart from the clarification of the World Bank regarding the report, the Indonesian government has responded positively. Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyan assessed the World Bank report as a positive input for the government. The same statement was expressed by Minister of National Development Planning (PPN / Head of Bappenas), Bambang Brodjonegoro who claimed to have communicated with the World Bank regarding the InfraSAP report.

Indeed, the World Bank has not officially issued the InfraSAP report. But there is nothing wrong for the government to prepare itself for some improvements in infrastructure development planning. Take for example; one of the SOEs that will work on an infrastructure project can cooperate with the regional companies in the location. Thus, the project can have a direct double effect on the area; the infrastructure is built and regional companies can develop.

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