Editorial (479)


ASEAN leaders will again hold High Level Conference in 2019. The ASEAN Summit which will be held starting from June 20 in Bangkok, Thailand takes the theme "advancing partnership for sustainability". Thailand's decision or determination to host the summit took place about a year ago at the ASEAN Summit that took place in Singapore. Attention is certainly not solely on the relay of ASEAN leadership and the determination of Thailand as the host, but more importantly is the essence of the results of the 2019 Summit. The theme, strengthening partnerships for the sustainability of ASEAN economic growth, is interesting to note. Data shows that the ASEAN economy is currently in the top six in the world. The opportunity to continue to increase is certainly wide open. In fact, Thailand is optimistic that by 2030, the ASEAN economy will rise to become one of the world's top four in the economic field. Opportunities to continue to grow is along with various challenges. The dynamics of the global economy that are colored by the occurrence of trade wars between China and the United States, need to be anticipated. The political dynamics both within ASEAN and in other regions have become a challenge for ASEAN. It cannot be denied, that external economic and political dynamics will still have an influence on ASEAN's economic future. Apart from that among several ASEAN countries themselves, the issue of the South China Sea also still requires attention. In such a perspective, the ASEAN Summit in Thailand, which is about to begin, needs to get attention. Not just the formulation of the declaration but the commitment of the ASEAN leaders to bring it to reality.


One week ago (June 7, 2019), British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced her resignation from the position of Chairwoman of the Conservative Party. That means that the position of the Prime Minister of England is automatically vacant, because the leader of the majority party or coalition of parties winning the general election occupies the position of the prime minister. Theresa May still sits as Prime Minister until the election of a Conservative Party Chairperson. May resigned because several times her efforts convinced the parliament that the UK left the European Union with an agreement not to reach the expected support.May's resignation opens opportunities for several party chairmen candidates such as Boris Johnson, and Jeremy Hunt who is currently serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs or Michael Gove who is serving as minister of the Environment. Boris Johnson is a supporter of Hard Brexit, which is to leave the European Union without a deal. Others may compromise with Brexit. This is a challenge if Boris Johnson wins. On October 31, this means that the British will leave. Whereas if the conservative leader is more inclined to agreement, the United Kingdom must renegotiate with the European Union. But that does not mean the problem has been resolved, because the European Union also seems not to open new opportunity to the agreement. Why? Because at least, Theresa May has tried to build an agreement with the EU, but instead of having no support from the British parliament. In the parliament, there are three camps. Some Conservative members support Hard Brexit. Labor supports Brexit with an agreement. There are some Conservative members supporting Brexit with an agreement. This is what caused May not to get the majority support.Now, the problem is entirely dependent on the British parliament. They will actually determine who the next British Prime Minister is. The chosen Prime Minister means Brexit with or without agreement.


Who doesn't know Bali? The island, known as the Island of the Gods, has indeed been famous for its beauty throughout the world for a long time, even since the Dutch colonial era.Bali is famous not only for its natural beauty and beaches, but also for its culture and arts. Almost all types of art are on this island, ranging from dance, sculpture to the art of music. The richness of culture and art needs to be preserved amid the current flow of modernization and globalization. One of the efforts made is by organizing the Bali Arts Festival, an annual event that has been held since 1979.The Bali Arts Festival or abbreviated as PKB is an annual parade or art festival initiated by the Bali Provincial Government. This activity is also used as a forum for the activities and creativities of artists in a bid to support the government’s programs in terms of excavation, preservation and development of Balinese artistic values.The Bali Arts Festival was held for the first time in 1979. In the history of this Balinese art event in general it is always opened by high-ranking state officials.This year's Bali Arts Festival was opened by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at Balinese people’s struggling monument, Niti Mandala Reno in Denpasar, Bali. This art festival is held on June 15-July 13 2019 is attended by 41 participants consisting of 9 participants from regencies / cities in Bali, 21 participants from outside the region, and 11 overseas participants. The 11 foreign participants include the People's Republic of China, Japan, India, Singapore and the United States. There are 7 main agendas in the 2019 Bali Arts Festival. They are parades, competitions, performances, exhibitions, and workshops.The Bali Arts Festival is also a medium to preserve culture such as Janger Kedaton dance that has existed since 1906. Janger Kedaton is also known as the Janger Sesungsungan Krama Banjar Kedaton. The dance is one of the assets and cultural heritage of Denpasar.Through 41 years of history, the Bali Arts Festival has become a medium to re-discover and preserve the unique and famous Balinese arts and culture while enhancing the welfare of its people. It is aimed at exploring and preserving cultural arts and improving people's welfare. The preservation of cultural arts includes philosophy, noble and universal values, basic concepts, cultural heritage both objects or non-objects of high historical value, science and art as a representation of civilization and the development of art through creation, innovation, cultural adaptation with the hope that it will remain alive and sustainable in the context of changing times and situation.Hopefully, the authenticity, wisdom and philosophy of Bali will continue to be preserved and to grow as well as to spread throughout the world.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is making a historic step by visiting Iran. It can be called historic, because Shinzo Abe will be the first Japanese Prime Minister visiting  Iran after 41 years. Although diplomatic relations between Japan and Iran have been going on for 90 years, since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago, none of the Japanese Prime Ministers has visited Tehran. As an official government source said in Tokyo, during the visit that began on Wednesday  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was slated to hold talks with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. From the breakthrough made by Abe’s visit  to Tehran, Japan hopes for a positive impact, especially in an economic perspective. As is known, since the enactment of US sanctions against Iran, Japan has no longer imported oil from Iran. Japan transferred it to other Middle Eastern countries. In this connection,  Shinzo Abe's visit to Tehran, of course, intends to encourage to reduce the tension between the United States and Iran. Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased and is becoming  widespread, after the United States no longer recognized a nuclear agreement with Iran last year. Since then, the United States has extended economic sanctions to Iran. As a close ally of the United States, Japan certainly supports the sanctions imposed, including stopping oil imports from Iran. So it  is small wonder  if  before the visit to Tehran, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had spoken by telephone with Donald Trump, to discuss the Iranian Issue. And as conveyed by Chief of Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo, Donald Trump welcomed the bold initiative of Shinzo Abe to meet Iranian officials and make approaches to reduce the tensions that occurred. Will Shinzo Abe's mission succeed? Will relations between the United States and Iran improve due to  to Shinzo Abe's mediating role? That question certainly will not be answered only because Shinzo Abe has met and talked with the Supreme Leader of Iran and the President of Iran. Because the escalation of tension will certainly depend on the attitudes and decisions of each leader of  both Iran and the United States. One thing  can be ascertained,however,  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe breakthrough step will certainly have a positive impact on Japan itself. Because of the visit, the bilateral relations between Japan and Iran will be maintained. Even,  the image of the Abe government in the eyes of Ali Khamenei and Hasan Rouhani will increase. With this,  the relationship and cooperation between the two governments will very likely improve and increase.


Amid the change in global economic growth projections by international institutions, Indonesia's Financial Services Authority (OJK) is still optimistic that domestic growth will remain positive. According to Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Financial Services Authority (OJK), Wimboh Santoso, the dynamics that have occurred in the global economy have little direct effect on Indonesia. At present, the demand for goods and services for domestic consumption still dominates Indonesia's economic growth.Credit growth rates reflect the transmission of the domestic economy, especially domestic consumption. The high credit growth indicates that the business expansion climate in Indonesia is still passionate. Indonesia certainly cannot rely too heavily on investment; exports to a number of countries must also be maintained. Amid the heated trade war between China and the United States, Indonesia must continue to look for new markets for export purposes as a component of economic growth.Based on the latest data from Bank Indonesia, as of March 2019, the average bank credit growth reached 11.5 percent. This decreases compared to February 2019 which reached 12.1 percent. Even so, Bank Indonesia predicts that bank credit growth in 2019 will still be in the range of 10-12 percent.What does BI need to do to maintain and simultaneously encourage growth?The Financial Services Authority certainly needs to support various government policies that provide incentives to improve the competitiveness of Indonesian products in the global market. It is hoped that, in the future, Indonesia's exports will no longer be too dependent on China, which is currently involved in the trade war against the United States.



In Western Europe people may be paying attention to the visit of US President Donald Trump to Britain. As well as to  the 75th anniversary of the Allied troops landing in Normandy. In the east, two leaders whose countries share less warm relations with the United States and Western Europe met. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.

The United States is moving  away from China with a trade war and later because of the case of a telecommunications equipment company that was considered to carry out espionage activities. Russia shunned the United States and Western Europe for their support of militias in Ukraine and occupation of the Crimean peninsula. At a meeting with Putin on Wednesday (June 5, 2019), President Xi Jinping regarded Putin as a friend. Putin responded by saying he was happy because the relations between the two countries had increased.

This relationship will likely more increase because this feeling of being shunned will encourage closer relations in various sectors including the military. Among others by  allowing a Russian telecommunications company to be supported by a Chinese company in developing the 5G network. Thursday Xi Jinping spoke at the economic forum in St. Petersburg. Nevertheless Russia's dependence on China is greater than that of China to Russia. So far the Chinese products has been aimed more at the US and the European Union  market than Russia. While Russia sent 15% of its exports to China.

This visit has indeed become a new chapter for Sino-Russian bilateral relations. This is a solution for the two countries to be able to withstand sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. The world would  look forward to this closeness in a positive perspective and not at the two unite to conflict with the Western alliance.




World Environment Day is commemorated every June 5 to increase global awareness on the need to take positive environmental action for nature protection and the planet Earth. The commemoration began when UN General Assembly during Stockholm Conference in 1972 designed 5 of June as World Environment Day. All human being is expected to be part of global act in voicing protection for earth, sustainable use of natural resources, and eco-friendly lifestyle. Then, how is the active role of Indonesian government in supporting the Day this year?

Twenty-four years after the day designation, Indonesia held Environment and Forestry Week, a part of routine agenda from the government through its Environment and Forestry Ministry to commemorate the World Environment Day. Until now, the event has been held for 23 times. The Environment and Forestry Week will be held at Jakarta Convention Centre, on July 11-13 2019. During the event, there will be various environment management product and services being showcased. One hundred participants join the event and they are from ministries, related non-ministerial government bodies, friend countries, regional governments of Indonesia, state-owned enterprises, private companies, NGO on environment and energy, and higher education. There will be exhibition on environment management performance, seminar, talk show, and many more.

Theme for this year’s Environment and Forestry Week is Clean Environment Free from Waste. Why? It’s to support waste reduction campaign. During Ramadan month, there had been many education events for the people on waste management and reduction. The events targeted many markets to convey the message on reducing plastic bag, using reusable bottles, and others. Meanwhile, for the homecoming people, there had been campaign on the same matter across some toll road rest areas.

All that moves are necessary because the global worry on waste, especially the plastic ones, has strong basis. Data from worldenvironmentday.global showed, everyone on this planet bought 1 million plastic bottle and 50% of them are single-use types. Everyone also used 500 billion plastic bags, and plastic is 10% of the total waste we produce. Not only that, plastic pollution has been threatening the nature. Many plastics washed into the sea can kill millions of seabirds and thousands sea mammals every single year.

With all that threats against the planet, its nature, and even us, increasing awareness and keep promoting environment preservation should go beyond a mere plan. They need real action which is done together. It can begin from ourselves, but it’ll be far better if done together.




In Indonesia yesterday was the end of Ramadan month and  the arrival of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims throughout the world welcome the day with  traditions of each country or nation. Indonesian Muslims who are the majority of the population,   celebrate  it with silaturakhim. It means getting together with family and friends, asking forgiveness or forgiving each other for any mistakes in the past. In Indonesia Eid al-Fitr is characterized by the movement of people from  cities to villages. The homeward bound journey is often called “mudik”.  It is one of the largest human movement in the world.

Whatever differences between various nations, Eid Al-Fitr should be marked by a spirit of togetherness and peace. Fasting and Ramadhan worship, as taught by Muhammad the Prophet, gave guidance that fasting is to make  human morality become  better. Muslims are expected to make Ramadhan a momentum  to increase piety. To realize that  people should  understand, love, and appreciate each other because they are all  God's creations. People must live in peace and harmony,  try to find similarities in life rather than to  focus  on differences .

But the ideals of Ramadhan and Eid al-Fitr clash with the reality of the continuing conflicts, upheaval, hostility and war, among fellow Muslims. What happened in Syria is a real example. The Muslim Civil War continues. Thousands of people have died as a result of armed conflicts. In Sudan, ahead of Eid al-Fitr, there was a turmoil that killed some demonstrators.

During Ramadan, Palestinian Muslims in the Gaza Strip have become victims of Israeli military attacks.

Meanwhile, some Muslims in other part of the world  have to celebrate Eid al-Fitr within economic constraints, even poverty. Rohingya refugees of Myanmar for instance, are difficult to  fully welcome  Eid al-Fitr with great happiness in their make-shift  camps in Bangladesh.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that today many  Muslims who are part of a minority in a majority non-Muslim country can carry out Ramadan worship solemnly, and peacefully before   welcoming  Eid al-Fitr with joy.

May all  Muslims anywhere in the world can be happy in  welcoming  Eid al-Fitr. The spirit of peace and togetherness, should spread from  Eid al-Fitr.



The Indonesian government has set 1 Shawwal 1440 Hijriah on June 5, 2019. This means that in Indonesia which is predominantly Moslems, Moslems are going to jointly celebrate Idul Fitri on that day. For Moslems all over the world, Idul Fitri reflects a victory over a month-long struggle to resist lust.

Welcoming this special day, in particular, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo congratulated 'Idul Fitri' to the people of Indonesia. In his message, he prayed for the safety of those who returned home to celebrate Idul Fitri and stay in touch with all their families, neighbors and friends. Homecoming is a typical tradition for some Indonesians, especially those who live in cities. But more interestingly, he suggests making Idul Fitri a medium to strengthen the unity and brotherhood among Indonesian people. President Joko Widodo also calls on all Indonesians with a clean heart after undergoing fasting in a bid to build a better, more advanced and prosperous Indonesian nation.

This year's Idul Fitri for Indonesia is a special value. Because, Indonesia just held a presidential and legislative elections on 17 April. The national election results were already announced by the General Election Commission -KPU on May 21st, 2019. Candidate pairs: Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf won the election with 55.50 percent, defeating candidate pair: Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno. The determination of the 2019 presidential election winner is still awaiting the outcome of the dispute trial, which is scheduled to be announced on June 15, 2019.

The appeal of President Joko Widodo to re-strengthen unity and brotherhood as a nation has enormous meaning. Because since September 2018 until the announcement of the election, some Indonesians had different choices with fanaticism towards each of the candidate they supported. Narration war to support their candidates on social media is also very sharp. It is very appropriate in his Idul Fitri message that President Joko Widodo appeals for all Indonesians to strengthen unity and brotherhood as one of the foundations for the Unitary Republic of Indonesia to become a strong and advanced country. The president's appeal must be sounded. We do not expect someone's fanaticism to defeat his or her obligation to build the Indonesian nation and state towards being peaceful and prosperous.

Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriah becomes the right momentum for the Indonesian nation with a clean heart, and full of determination to strengthen brotherhood and unity towards a strong nation and to play a major role regionally and globally, especially in every effort to create peace.

Happy celebrating Idul Fitri for all Moslems in the world!


Goodbye Ani Yudhoyono

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Published in Editorial

Indonesian people were surprised by the news of the death of the First Lady of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2004-2014, Ani Yudhoyono at the age of 67 years. The wife of the 6th President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono passed away in treatment at Singapore's National University Hospital on Saturday afternoon (02/06) at 11.50 Singapore time after the last four months, she struggled with blood cancer she suffered.Ani Yudhoyono's body on Saturday night was rested at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and then taken to Jakarta that night to be rested again in Puri Cikeas, Bogor, West Java before being buried at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in East Jakarta on Sunday afternoon (2/6).As a former First Lady, Ani Yudhoyono was polite and modest, sympathetic to the people of Indonesia and the world. President Joko WI dodo expressed deep condolence. Besides, expressions of condolence were also conveyed by several world’s leaders, such as President of Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and also Heads of foreign representatives in Indonesia as well as the Indonesian community at home and abroad. In addition, several state officials, including community leaders and the general public were seen at home and cemetery to express their deep sorrow to the family of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and to give final respect to the late Ani Yodhoyono.Kristiani Herrawati, better known as Ani Yudhoyono, has great attention to education and environment. While accompanying Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his duties as president, Ani Yudhoyono showed high concern for the education through the Smart Car and Smart House program. That is the education care program initiated by Ani along with the wives of the ministers of United Indonesia Cabinet (KIB). The establishment of Smart Houses and Smart Cars has become a means of education for people outside formal schools. The facility serves as a place of learning and library to foster interest in reading. In addition to the Smart Indonesia program, there have been several programs initiated by Ani Yudhoyono such as Green Indonesia, Indonesia Care, Healthy Indonesia, and Creative Indonesia.Tigers die leaving stripes; elephants die leaving ivory. Humans leave names. Ani Yudhoyono leaves sweet memories that will continue to be remembered for good. During her life, Ani Yudhoyono dedicated her life to humanitarian values; she was active in eradicating illiteracy, developing national crafts, empowering and prospering families, especially women and children. For services and great dedication to the nation and state, in 2011, the Indonesian government awarded the Bintang Mahaputra Adipradana Award to Ani Yudhoyono.

Goodbye Ani Yudhoyono!

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