Editorial

Editorial (399)

31
January

 

Financial Services Authority –OJK will revise a regulation No. 39/2017 about single bank ownership or single presence policy. Based on the regulation, each party can only become a controlling shareholder of one bank. The ownership of two banks can be done if one of them is a mixed bank or a bank with sharia principles. If the controlling shareholder of a bank wants to take over another bank, he or she is obliged to choose one option through mergers, parent formation in the banking, or holding function.

This regulation aims to encourage banks to compete in Indonesia and abroad. Many banks in Indonesia are difficult to compete because they have little capital. There are still a large number of banks with little capital in Indonesia. The number of commercial banks in Indonesia currently reaches 115 banks. Although it has experienced a significant decline from the previous 250 banks, the number of 115 banks is still too many. Indonesia is ranked first as the country with the highest number of banks in Southeast Asia. The large number of banks in Indonesia is caused by banking deregulation policy in the New Order era. During the New Order era, establishing a new bank only needed capital worth Rp 10 billion.

Since the stipulation of the regulation No. 39/2017, the number of banks is still stagnant at 115. This means that there are no banks that have merged. Even if banks form a parent company, or merge, they will have large capital and they are able to be competitive.

Why aren't any small banks merging according to OJK regulations, even though the condition of the bank is unable to compete?

The factor of obligation to merge, and the establishment of a holding company are considered to be a barrier. Thus, the plan to revise the single presence policy is expected to provide flexibility for the controlling shareholders of a bank to choose other options besides mergers and the establishment of a holding company.

If the OJK does not revise regulation No. 39/2017, OJK needs to provide banking incentives. In addition, the OJK also needs to be firmer in encouraging banks to merge. 

30
January

 

After the melting of South Korea's relations with North Korea, Japan seems to be trying to improve its relationship with North Korea. Although still a discourse, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to discuss a number of issues between the two countries. Shinzo Abe's wish was expressed in an official forum, namely the opening of the Parliament session last Monday. Shinzo Abe said he would immediately meet Kim Jong-Un to encourage the start of a new phase of relations between the two countries. One that will become a priority according to Abe is the restoration of diplomatic relations. There is also the issue  of two Japanese citizens who were traveling to North Korea kidnapping. Furthermore the Japanese Prime Minister said that his  planned  visit to North Korea was an effort to normalize diplomatic normalizationship. Shinzo Abe's statement is very different from what he affirmed with a strong tone last year and a threat to North Korea.

The two countries have been hostile toward each other  since the end of the Japanese aggression on the Korean Peninsula during the second world war. Efforts to end  the hostility  were carried out in the 90s through negotiations. But they failed because North Korea demanded that Japan compensate for what it called damage during a period of aggression. While Japan insisted on asking North Korea to stop nuclear tests before compensation was given. Tensions between the two countries after the negotiations that suffered a deadlock have escalated due to the kidnapping of some Japanese citizens who visited North Korea, allegedly by North Korean agents. Pyong Yang's government strongly denied it.

Tensions over the issue of kidnapping were softened by news that Pyong Yang would release a Japanese tourist, as reported  by the official North Korean government news agency KCNA. It was said the arrest of a Japanese tourist by the North Korean authorities was caused by accusations that the man  had videotaped one of North Korea's military facilities.

Whether the statement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the possibility of   the release of the  Japanese citizen detained in North Korea are signs   for the resumption of relations between the two countries, are  still awaiting further processing. When the recovery of the relationship can be realized, there will certainly be geopolitical changes in Asia, especially in East Asia.

29
January

 

Entering 2019, Indonesia is actively carrying g out promotion overseas. The promotion is carried out by the Indonesian Embassy in the country of placement and in international meetings. Some of the programs that received remarks from the local community included the Promotion of 10 New Bali in Table-Top Meeting in Lithuania, Indonesian Product Exhibition in Pakistan, and Indonesian Product Exhibition at the 36th Khartoum International Trade Fair in Sudan, including ‘Indonesia Night’ that has just taken place on the sidelines of the implementation of the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, Switzerland.

Indonesia must indeed promote itself. Many targets have been announced for this year. For example, in the field of tourism, Indonesia targets 20 million foreign tourist visits. Although the number of foreign tourist arrivals until November 2018 has only reached 14.4 million, Indonesia remains optimistic, the target of 20 million foreign tourist visits can be achieved.

The Indonesia Night was also welcomed by the international community. Indonesia is indeed using the event held every year to expand networking and promotion of various leading sectors. At the same time, it attracted the interest of global business people who were present at the World Economic Forum to collaborate or invest in areas of interest in Indonesia.

In his opening speech, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, WTO and other organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Hasan Kleib emphasized that the Indonesia Night was more than just a promotion of Indonesia's posture and profile in Davos. The event is also a momentum to keep showing Indonesia's bright future at the global level. The Indonesia Night also provides an opportunity to build networks and improve connections among business stakeholders by exploring every potential and business opportunity with Indonesia.

It is hoped that the international community will not only be interested, but take concrete actions to visit and invest in Indonesia. Indonesia must show its potential and advantages as an investment destination. With regulations that simplify the licensing process, Indonesia must also take advantage of the momentum of the trade wars between China and the United States. For example, by showing that Indonesia has the potential as the right destination for business relocation. In addition, Indonesia must actively promote industrial investment 4.0 and shape the image of Indonesia in line with technological developments and global innovation in various fields.

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.

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