Editorial

Editorial (371)

25
October

 

Fulfillment of electricity needs is highly dependent on the availability of energy needed so that the synergy of fossil energy use, such as coal, natural gas and petroleum with renewable energy and new energy is increasingly important to ensure the sustainable growth of the Indonesian electricity sector. Related to the National Electricity Day October 27, Chairperson of the Indonesian Electricity Society (MKI), Supangkat Iwan Santoso said that the sustainability of the electricity sector is one of the main drivers of national economy and development. Currently, Indonesia's national electrification ratio only reaches 97.15%. Around 3% of electrification ratio needs to be pursued. This means that there are still around 7.5 million Indonesians who cannot enjoy electricity.

Meanwhile, addressing the national electricity problem, the government of Indonesia is trying to push electricity prices to be affordable and evenly distributed throughout Indonesia. Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ignasius Jonan when opening the 73rd National Electricity Day (HLN) program on Tuesday (October 23) at the Power - Gen Asia 2018 program, emphasized that electricity use must be evenly distributed at affordable prices.

Since 2014, the government has made the infrastructure design run with a 35,000 Megawatt (MW) project. This is aimed at reaching the national electricity equity and the most important impact is the effect of national economic resurgence. Towards the end of 2018, the government will decide to postpone a number of 35,000 megawatt (MW) electricity projects. But this does not mean that the project is stopped nationally. Minister Jonan emphasized that the postponement of several projects that would originally be carried out in 2019 to 2021, and even to 2026. Because, this is aimed at controlling imports in a bid to save the rupiah exchange rate against the unstable United States dollar. This postponement is a smart step to prioritize more macro-economic matters so that the economic stability of development that has been announced the government can be fulfilled.

What the government has done should also be supported by the private sectors. If the government cannot fulfill all of them, the private sectors need also to play their major role to address the shortcomings. Adequacy of electricity supply will ensure that the industry continues to grow, harmonize between urban and remote areas, such as access to communication, better lighting and transportation and to increase state revenues. But more importantly, electricity must be available to reach people who have not received electricity and is affordable for all of them throughout Indonesia.

That’s Commentary.

24
October

October 25 will be a new chapter towards the reconciliation of two countries on the Korean Peninsula that have been hostile for decades. The step forward of the two nations separated by the war will be realized after North Korea and South Korea held talks two days ago. The talks which also included the United Nation Command (UNC) were reported to have agreed on one important matter. Both Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to withdraw weapons and guard posts in Panmunjom. Panmunjom is an area designated as a Joint Security Area or also called a City of Armistice. The agreement agreed upon from the closed meeting was an attempt by the two countries to further reduce tensions since the two countries in Korea split due to the Korean war in 1950 - 1953. This encouraging step is a follow-up to the summit held last April. Previously, the army of the two countries since the beginning of this month had also begun to clear mines that were widely planted in the border area. The new step in the peace process has been officially announced by the South Korean Ministry of Defense. The official explanation also said that two days after troop withdrawals at the Panmunjom post, North Korea, South Korea and the UN Command would verify. From the agreement between the two governments and concrete steps taken, the international community may be more optimistic that the two Korean peace efforts will continue to progress. The two Korean people who are truly brothers can later visit each other more freely. Panmunjom which is a border city will no longer be a tense area. Peace measures that are very likely to eliminate or at least gradually reduce the economic sanctions imposed on North Korea are expected to encourage economic development and make people in North Korea more prosperous. How long will that hope be realized, we are still looking forward to the stages of the peace process.

22
October

 

Today, October 22, 2018, the Indonesian nation commemorates National Santri Day. Since the National Santri Day was launched by President Joko Widodo in 2015, the government and the people have specifically organized various activities to commemorate the National Santri Day. The theme for this year's commemoration is "Being with Santri, Indonesian Peaceful” The commemorative peak was held in Bandung, West Java on Sunday night.

Of course, there is a strong reason why specifically stipulated October 22nd as National Santri Day. This cannot be separated from the struggle to maintain Indonesian independence which was proclaimed on August 17, 1945. History has noted that in achieving and maintaining Indonesian independence, the ulamas, kiai, and santri have a major role. The stipulation on October 22 is based on the Jihad Resolution presented by the founder of Nahdlatul Ulama, Kiai Haji Hasyim Asy'ari in Surabaya, East Java on October 22, 1945. Hasyim Asy'ari called on his students to join in the struggle to prevent Dutch troops from returning to Indonesia through ' Netherlands Indies Civil Administration '-NICA. Quoting President Joko Widodo's statement at the Santri Nusantara Grand Event in the context of 2018 National Santri Day in Solo Vastenburg Fortress, Central Java on Saturday night, the establishment of National Santri Day is a state respect and appreciation to the kiai, the ulema, the santri and all components of the nation who follow their good role models.

Being a santri means attending an Islamic education at Islamic boarding schools or Pesantren. Staying in the place until the education is complete has become the choice of some Indonesian people. The knowledge transfer is also more developed. Arabic and English become compulsory lessons in many Pesantrens today. In addition to the teachings of Islam, the students are taught to develop life skills and get vocational education. The goal is that students can become professional entrepreneurs in various fields. Santri and Pesantren continue to develop their major role not only in teaching Islam, but also as a socio-cultural institution in the formation of an ideal society. Islamic boarding schools have great potential to create new entrepreneurs and grow small and medium-sized industrial sectors.

With the enactment of the National Santri Day, this will further motivate the santri to strengthen their existence. As their predecessors did, they fought and maintained Indonesian independence. National Santri Day is expected to further strengthen the position of the santri in their major role of guarding the country, and the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. Being with Santri, Indonesian is peaceful. Happy National Santri Day!

18
October

Indonesia will host the 5th Ocean Conference -OOC to be held in Bali on October 29-30 2018. The event will be attended by delegates from 160 countries. Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti stated that since October 16, 2018, 1,696 delegates have registered. Some of them are heads of state and ministers from delegation countries.

In the conference later, there are 6 discussion topics that will be explored by forum participants: sustainable capture fisheries, climate change, marine security, marine economic sustainability, pollution maritime, and protected marine areas. The thing that becomes focus is Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

The fifth conference in Bali is expected to not only build commitment, but more importantly, implement the commitments that have been built. As for four times the OOC was held, 663 commitments were identified. The number of marine rescue commitments is a positive thing because at the very least, it can be seen as a form of improvement awareness of the state regarding the importance of maintaining, caring for, and building sustainable sea potential. However, there is concern that the commitments built are not based on joint consensus to respond to the main problems faced.

The absence of joint consensus for the four-time OOC implementation beforehand resulted in an assessment that the OCC in Bali will experience the same outcome, only commitment. Commitment without joint consensus is only on paper without action. Indonesia does not want the 5th OOC to create only new commitment. In a recent bilateral meeting, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti and EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, Karmenu Velladari agreed that the OOC forum in Bali will not become forum that is just talking about any commitment but will focus on implementation in safeguarding the world's oceans. Therefore, Indonesia can encourage the OOC to build one of the joint consensuses to eradicate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

 

 

 
 
 
16
October

 

Indonesian and Palestinian relations have been going on for a long time. Since Indonesia's independence on August 17, 1945, the Palestinians have supported it. But in fact, after World War II when many Asian-African countries gained independence, the Palestinians have lost their land rights to date.

Support for Palestinian independence has been strongly echoed when the Asian-African Conference was held in Bandung, West Java in 1955. Since then, Indonesia has kept sounding its support for Palestinian independence. To further emphasize, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds a Palestinian Solidarity Week which takes place on 13-17 October 2018. This special event held for the Palestinians is increasingly meaningful with the presence of the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Malki in Indonesia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno LP Marsudi in her press release said that the Palestinian Solidarity Week is enlivened by fun walk in Jakarta on Car Free Day, Sunday (14/10), interfaith meetings and dialogue. In addition, there is also the inauguration of Palestine Walk: Road to Freedom in Bandung. All of that is a form of continuity of Indonesia's commitment to Palestine in order to improve the understanding and care of the Indonesian people for the struggle of the Palestinian people.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad Malki said that the Palestinians are grateful for the efforts made by Indonesia for the realization of Palestinian independence. He also believes that the election of Indonesia as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council –UNSC for the period 2019-2020, sounds not only the aspirations of the Indonesian people but also the Palestinian people. With Indonesia's position as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, according to Riad, the opportunity for the Palestinian people to be independent and free from the Zionist Israeli occupation is getting bigger and more open.

Previously, when receiving the visit of the US Secretary of State, Pompeo in early August 2018, Minister Retno L.P Marsudi reiterated that the rights of life of the Palestinian people must be respected. The independence of a Palestinian state is the main point for the creation of peace in the Middle East. But President of the United States, Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, after meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Natanyahu said that the United States has prepared a peace plan in the Middle East before the end of 2018. One of them is a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What should be underlined is that the struggle of the Palestinians’ independence is not on the name of one religion, but it involves all the beliefs of the Palestinian people, which has always been a multi-religious society. Hopefully, Indonesia's position as a non-permanent member of the UNSC 2019-2020 will be able to help and smooth the independence of the Palestinian people.

22
October

Today, October 22, 2018, the Indonesian nation commemorates National Santri Day. Since the National Santri Day was launched by President Joko Widodo in 2015, the government and the people have specifically organized various activities to commemorate the National Santri Day. The theme for this year's commemoration is "Being with Santri, Indonesian Peaceful” The commemorative peak was held in Bandung, West Java on Sunday night. Of course, there is a strong reason why specifically stipulated October 22nd as National Santri Day. This cannot be separated from the struggle to maintain Indonesian independence which was proclaimed on August 17, 1945. History has noted that in achieving and maintaining Indonesian independence, the ulamas, kiai, and santri have a major role. The stipulation on October 22 is based on the Jihad Resolution presented by the founder of Nahdlatul Ulama, Kiai Haji Hasyim Asy'ari in Surabaya, East Java on October 22, 1945. Hasyim Asy'ari called on his students to join in the struggle to prevent Dutch troops from returning to Indonesia through ' Netherlands Indies Civil Administration '-NICA. Quoting President Joko Widodo's statement at the Santri Nusantara Grand Event in the context of 2018 National Santri Day in Solo Vastenburg Fortress, Central Java on Saturday night, the establishment of National Santri Day is a state respect and appreciation to the kiai, the ulema, the santri and all components of the nation who follow their good role models. Being a santri means attending an Islamic education at Islamic boarding schools or Pesantren. Staying in the place until the education is complete has become the choice of some Indonesian people. The knowledge transfer is also more developed. Arabic and English become compulsory lessons in many Pesantrens today. In addition to the teachings of Islam, the students are taught to develop life skills and get vocational education. The goal is that students can become professional entrepreneurs in various fields. Santri and Pesantren continue to develop their major role not only in teaching Islam, but also as a socio-cultural institution in the formation of an ideal society. Islamic boarding schools have great potential to create new entrepreneurs and grow small and medium-sized industrial sectors. With the enactment of the National Santri Day, this will further motivate the santri to strengthen their existence. As their predecessors did, they fought and maintained Indonesian independence. National Santri Day is expected to further strengthen the position of the santri in their major role of guarding the country, and the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. Being with Santri, Indonesian is peaceful. Happy National Santri Day!

19
October

Public debate has been heated again among Britons after Prime Minister Theresa May showed signs of considering the transition period of Britain's exit from the European Union (Brexit). May plans to extend it in the next few months. However, the extension plan proposed by May turned out to be sharply criticized by the British public, both Brexit supporters and European Union (EU) supporters.EU supporters expressed frustration with the prolonged Brexit negotiations. On the other hand, Brexit supporters say Britain must pay billions of pounds if it is to stay in the European Union.The reaction to May's plan does not only stop there. She also faced resistance from her coalition partner in parliament. The Northern Ireland United Democratic Party (DUP), threatened to oppose the government budget. European Union MP from DUP, Diane Dodds, views the extension of the transition period would actually disrupt her party. Even the opposition accused Theresa of "betraying" Brexit.Less than 6 months before the UK's formal exit from the European Union, Brexit negotiations are still not showing much progress regarding the border issue between the British Northern Ireland Province and Ireland. The problem is centered on a backstop policy that guarantees that there will be no redevelopment of physical boundaries on the Irish Island if future trade relations do not go well. With this extension, Britain will also remain in the EU single market and be the subject of EU rules and regulations, for three years after the official Brexit date in March 2019.The European Union has stressed that the backstop policy must be agreed by the UK if it wants to get a Brexit agreement with the EU, inspite of the extended transition period . Last February 1, 2017, the vote count in the British parliament showed that 498 members gave approval to Prime Minister Theresa May to start negotiations on Brexit, while the remaining 114 opposed.This means that PM Theresa May has the support of a majority of British parliamentary members and the public, to leave the European Union. But after running for almost 2 years, the reality in the field was not that easy.Will Britain really leave the European Union? PM Theresa May still has time to make the final decision until summer 2019.


17
October

Good relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States are being tested. The alleged death of journalist Jamal Kashogi involving the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul has triggered the test of bilateral relations between the two countries. The United States threatens to sanction its partner if it is proven that the alleged death of the Washington Post journalist was due to Saudi Arabia's actions. Jamal Kashogi is a Washington Post journalist, who is critical of the Saudi Arabian government. Although Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations, President Donald Trump has said he would give punishment if Riyadh was proven involved in the disappearance of Jamal Kashogi.The Trump threat has reduced good relations between the two countries which have been exacerbated by Saudi Arabian interference in Yemen. The threat has caused strong reactions in Riyadh. An unnamed government official for instance, responded to Washington's threat, saying he would do the same in return. As reported by the AFP news agency, Saudi Arabian government officials said they would retaliate if the United States gave economic sanctions. One form of retaliation is by transferring good relations to Iran. Iran is now a common enemy of Saudi Arabia and the United States. Al Arabiya television said further that the oil-rich Saudi Arabian government had 30 steps to repay the United States and Western countries if the sanctions were imposed. The rhetoric about the retaliatory action is being questioned.If Saudi Arabia had not been involved in the case of the disappearance of Jamal Kashogi in Istanbul Turkey since October 2, then Riyadh should not have reacted strongly to the threat of Trump. There are two steps that can be taken taken: First, through diplomatic channels. In the name of friendship and good relations, the government in Riyadh can actually convey its position and state that the alleged murder of Jamal Kashogi by the elements of his government is not true. The second step is to allow a transparent and open investigation into the alleged Jamal Kashogi murder. With this investigation it will be proven that Turkey's accusation that the Saudi Arabian government has fabricated the loss of Kahogi, killed and dismissed it is not true. Saudi Arabia should understand why then Donald Trump threatened Saudi Arabia. Domestically, Trump is politically pressured by a number of lawmakers in Capitol Hill.Will the relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia continue to deteriorate, of course is yet to be seen from the efforts of Saudi Arabia to follow up on the alleged Jamal Kashogi murder.

15
October

Indonesia successfully held two major events in October 2018. The first one is the Asian Para Games held in Jakarta on 6-13 October 2018. While the second one is the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group (IMF-WBG) in Nusa Dua, Bali, 8-14 October 2018. At the 2018 Asian Para Games, Indonesia succeeded in becoming a good host for 43 countries participating in the event. This is evidenced by the statement of the President of the Asian Paralympic Committee -APC, Majid Rashed to the media before the closing ceremony. Rashed was very impressed by the organizing of the third Asian disability sports event in Jakarta October 6-13 2018. According to Rashed, the Asian Para Games Organizing Committee (INAPGOC) has worked very well and professionally. He also said that the 2018 Asian Para Games was much bigger in terms of the number of participants, the number of media that covered and the number of spectators who watched, and more lively than the two previous Asian Para Games. The second event was the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Annual Meeting –IMF-WBG held in Nusa Dua, Bali, 8-14 October 2018. Managing Director of IMF, Christine Lagarde and President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim also expressed their appreciation for Indonesia's success in organizing the international meeting. This appreciation was even followed by the provision of assistance worth US$1 billion dollars for disaster victims in Central Sulawesi and Lombok by the World Bank. The praise and appreciation for the two big events are given because of the hard work and good cooperation among the organizing committee, the government, the security, and the Indonesian people as a whole. At the closing of the Asian Para Games on Saturday, October 13, 2018, Vice President Jusuf Kalla affirmed that the Asian Para Games was more than sports event among Asian countries. He considered that the Asian Para Games 2018 gives a spirit of equality in humanity and is an important momentum or part of the history of Asian nations, especially Indonesia. Hopefully, the 2018 Asian Para Games and the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group can give a good impression, not only to the guests who come, but also to the country and the people of Indonesia. The success achieved is a proof that Indonesia is a country that deserves to be taken into account and has more value in international world now and in the future.

12
October

Yuan Devaluation

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Published in Editorial

The United States of America feels inconvenient to see the value of Yuan fall. US Treasury Secretary, Steven Munchin in Nusa Dua, Bali on Wednesday (10 October 2018) warned China not to devaluate its Yuan. The US wants this monetary move is discussed in the US-China trade agenda. In fact, that China devaluated its Yuan is not done for the first time when  the US has imposed tariffs on Chinese products. Several years earlier, China also devalued its  Yuan against the US dollar. In August 2015, this action was carried out by China in a bid to boost the performance of Chinese exports which experienced a decline. A weaker Yuan makes the competitive edge of products made in China be able to compete in the global market. When this was carried out, Trump has not been in power in the US and has not yet begun trade war between US and China. As a result, Yuan's devaluation at that time made the flow of funds worth US$8 trillion dollars withdrawn from stock exchanges throughout world. Last April, US President Donald Trump accused Russia and China devalued their currencies, when the US raised interest rates. Since in January 2017,  Trump has served as US president, the US dollar value actually has dropped against Yuan, reaching more than 8%. Why does the United States object to the devaluation of the Yuan, Ruble or other foreign currencies? The answer is if the value of the foreign currencies is low, the products are more competitive. High interest rates in the US make the dollar value rise and make US products more expensive. In addition, if Yuan is evaluated, the application of high tariffs carried out by President Trump towards Chinese products will be in vain. This is due to the high price of Chinese products because of the US tariff, it drops as the value of low Yuan makes the tariffs decrease. In addition to the Yuan or Ruble whose value may be deliberately lowered, Indonesia does not reduce the value of its money. But, Indonesia’s need for dollars is high because of the debt payment needs and imported product. Consequently, this causes the US dollar value has risen significantly so far. Actually, this makes the value of Indonesian products is more competitive. The question is that whether we will take the opportunity to devaluate rupiah to boost revenue though there is an economic slowdown due to the US-China trade war.

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