Editorial

Editorial (416)

08
October

Asian Para Games 2018 was officially opened last Saturday (6/10). President Joko Widodo using sign language opened the third Asian Disabled Sports event. For more than a week, until October 13, 2018, the attention of the Asian community, especially sports lovers will return to Indonesia, especially Jakarta. After last month, the Asian Games 2018 ended its implementation, with a record of Indonesia's success, being a successful host, and success in medal achievements. Indonesia is again committed to being successful as an organizer and medal gainer through the Asian Para Games. The Asian Para Games 2018 is an arena for more than 2,700 athletes from 43 countries to compete in 18 sports. In the sports event that is held once every 4 years, athletes who have physical limitations display their best to win medals for their country. The community is certainly waiting for the record of achievements. The opening ceremony of the 2018 Asian Para Games has been witnessed by many people who assessed the success of organizing a sports event from its opening ceremony. Indonesia has successfully held the opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games 2018. The opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games 2018 had a lot of meanings from the theme “We Are One” until the programs. This theme embodies not only the motto of the Indonesian people, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika –Unity in Diversity, but also the unity of nations in Asia. One of the contents of the Asian Para Games 2018 opening event that attracted the attention of many people was the presence of the word "Ability". President Joko WI dodo along with the disabled athletes and a small girl with a disability tore down the "DIS" from the word "Disability". So, what was left behind was the word "Ability". Through the ability word, Indonesia reminds that those who have physical limitations still have the ability, ability and ability. The word reminds that everyone has the ability in his or her way, and has the right to get equal treatment. Disability is no longer shortage, but is strength. All Asians can take advantage of the momentum of the Asian Para Games 2018 to provide equality and opportunity for anyone. They may compete in a healthy manner, support equality and unite Asia. More importantly, they strengthen brotherhood. As stated by President Joko Widodo, a lot of values have emerged from the 2018 Asian Para Games event: the spirit of competition, human values and brotherhood. Everyone can certainly do that. Have a fair competition and record achievements at the Asian Para Games 2018!

05
October

Iraq carried out the first parliamentary election in May this year. The result of the election was not immediately announced, because disputes occurred among the participants of the general election. This is the first election in Iraq, since ISIS, which controlled Iraq, could be defeated. Based on the result of this election, none of the parties won absolutely. Among 329 parliamentary seats, the clerical group Shia, Moqtada Al Sadr won 54 parliamentary seats, the Shiite group won 47 seats and the former Prime Minister Alliance Group, Haider al Abadi won 42 seats. The remaining was  won by other groups, including Kurdish parties. In accordance with conventions made since the United States intervened in the Iraqi issue, the President's position will be held by the Kurds, the Prime Minister by the Shiites and the Speaker of Parliament by the Sunnis. However, there is no agreement on who the Kurdish representative  becomes president. This has made two Kurdish parties: the Democratic Party of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Patriotic Union in parliament propose their respective candidates. Voting was conducted to determine who the President of Iraq is. As a result, Barham Salih, a veteran politician who was the Deputy Minister won 219 votes against 22 votes obtained by Fuad Hussein. Salih has 15 days to appoint a Prime Minister. During the next 2 weeks, Salih will move quickly by appointing a senior Shia politician, Adel Abdul Mahdi as the prime minister who has 30 days to form a government. Although no one is a majority winner in the parliament, and there may be challenges in forming a government. This is good news for the democratic festivity in Iraq. We do not expect any more splitting in Iraq because heavy duty awaits anyone who is the leader of Iraq. Rebuilding Iraq that was destroyed by war requires hard work by all parties.

03
October

After more than one year of the referendum that resulted in  Britain out of the European Union, or Brexit, the two sides continue to negotiate. The talks are expected to pave the way so that  Brexit does not to make economic relations between the UK and European Union member states fall apart. Michel Barnier, who was appointed as European Union Brexit Chief Negotiator, recently  met Spain's Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Maroto Reyes. As written on his Twitter account, Michel Barnier implies his view that Brexit must not damage the economic order of the European Union countries. He said that the European Union continues to strive so that the formal exit of  the British government will still ensure good economic cooperation. In fact, the referendum did not necessarily make Britain leave the European Union. It takes a long time to prepare both sides. Politically, some EU countries want Brexit not to make domestic politics shaken. Various approaches in negotiations were also considered so that the British Prime Minister Theresa May would not go deeper into internal political conflicts. As is known, there has been a difference between Theresa May and two Brexit supporters that led to a government crisis. David Davis and Boris Johnson, two of Brexit's main supporters in the Theresa May government had resigned in protest, When negotiations take place with the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May must be able to ensure that her government is in a stable and safe condition. Theresa May's political efforts were carried out as the Conservative Party Congress took place 3 days ago. Theresa is facing a tough test both domestically and out. The grace period until the signing of the agreement between the UK and the European Union in November, will really determine whether the Brexit referendum decision will run smoothly, or cause new problems, both for Britain and European Union countries. This is where ideality interferes with reality.

01
October

Indonesia is in grief again. A tectonic earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter Scale shook Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi on Friday, September 28, 2018 at around 17.02 WIB. This earthquake caused a tsunami that hit Palu and Donggala. The earthquake with tsunami left more than 830 people dead and hundreds more injured. This disaster is one of the most tragic tragedies in the history of Indonesia. The central government immediately assisted local governments in Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi to deal with earthquake and tsunami affected the victims. This is needed considering that the disaster causes significant infrastructure destruction and hampers the distribution process. President Joko Widodo came directly on the hit locations to monitor the current situation at several points affected by the disaster, including the evacuation posts and hospitals. The earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Palu and Donggala become the world's spotlight. Some foreign media highlighted how the tsunami in Palu and Donggala occurred dramatically. Meanwhile, other media reported that the death toll was estimated, at least, 1,000 and more than 800 bodies had been found in Palu, not including in Donggala area and others that are difficult to access. Among the victims, there are 71 foreign nationals who are casualties of the earthquake and tsunami in Palu City and Donggala Regency. Some foreigners are still unknown. Head of the Data, Information and Public Relations Center of the National Disaster Mitigation  Agency -BNPB, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said that most of the foreigners in Central Sulawesi during the earthquake in Palu and Donggala were reported to be safe. Some foreign tourists have also been evacuated to Jakarta. The grief of Palu and Donggala is the sorrow of not only the people of Central Sulawesi Province, but also all Indonesian nation and the world. Expression of sympathy and sorrow over the disasters that struck Palu and Donggala, even offers of humanitarian assistance from various circles and friendly countries begin to arrive. The European Union, for example, will distribute emergency assistance amounting to 1.5 million Euros or Rp25.97 billion for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Palu and Donggala. In addition, the United States and China also offers assistance to the Indonesian government. The earthquake and tsunami in Palu and Donggala should further strengthen the brotherhood. Amidst the political temperature that is starting to heat up ahead of the legislative general elections and 2019 Presidential Elections, the Indonesian nation should be increasingly united by helping each other who are in trouble. Because the grief of Palu and Donggala is the grief for all.

28
September

More dominant control of China in Asia through the initiative of One Belt, One Road Policy seems to trigger less conducive situation for European Union. The reason is that China’s initiative brings about debt burden for countries joining in the program. Some countries in Asia have taken part in the cooperation scheme. Sri Lanka, for instance, builds a seaport worth US$1,5 billion dollars. In fact, the country cannot return its foreign debt and has to let China control the seaport for 99 years, exactly until 2116. Another project in Malaysia is also put off by Malaysian government under the leadership of Prime Minister  Mahatir Mohamad. In Indonesia, project of express train funded by China has not shown significant progress and it has been criticized. Another country in Asia, Pakistan tries to consider some aspects before continuing the project with China. Why does European Union pay more attention to Asia? Asian is the region that has developed dynamically. Total population of Asia reaches about 4,5 billion people, including 600 million people of ASEAN, as one of the regions of the world’s economic driver. Huge population can be potential market for European Union and its growth is less favorable. European Union is aware that China’s control is easy to be overcome because China is royal to help some Asian regions. Meanwhile, European Union with some problems are difficult to disburse huge funds to cope with China. What has European Union offered to Asia? European Union has offered employment, economic growth with environmental and social standards. According to European Union, these points become crucial for China. European Union expects its member states to support Asian Connectivity Strategy. Based on the planning, the draft will be one of main discussions in the summit of European Union and Asian leaders in  October. Of course, there is no rivalry between China and European Union for good initiative to trigger new conflict in the region. Both sides should develop multilateral cooperation in Asia which being shaken by US President, Donald Trump. 

27
September

 

The commemoration of World Tourism Day which has taken  place on every 27th September since 1980 can be a significant momentum for Indonesian people in developing tourism potential spread throughout Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke and from Miangas to Rote Island by applying the principles of tourism development. Indonesian nature which has natural potential, flora and fauna, and a fairly sustainable environment is the main capital that can be utilized sustainably.

Improved awareness of various parties on the environment and issues concerning environmentally sound development has contributed to the view of the importance of sustainable tourism principles. Tourism development and environmental management have two major points: mutually complement and attract tourists. Precisely, we can say that the more sustainable the environment is, the more prosperous the people are. With good-quality tourism management and development, Marine Tourism, Environmental Tourism, Eco Tourism, Exploration, Adventure, Cultural Heritage, Religion & Pilgrimage Tours, Art & Culinary Tourism, Urban & Rural Tourism, Sports tourism can certainly attract more foreign tourists to come to visit Indonesia.

In regard to the world of tourism, Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya targets  that in 2019, 20 million foreign tourists will visit Indonesia. Until now, Bali is still a favorite destination for foreign tourists visiting Indonesia. There are 10 tourist destinations in Indonesia that are set to be a priority known as 10 New Bali. The ten destinations are Lake Toba in North Sumatra), Belitung Island in Bangka Belitung, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Seribu Islands in Jakarta, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Lombok Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Komodo Island in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, and Morotai in North Maluku. Of the ten destinations, four destinations will be the main projects to be developed. They are Mandalika, Lake Toba, Borobudur, and Labuan Bajo Island of Komodo. The government is now building various supporting infrastructure and facilities such as roads and hotels to implement the program.

We hope that the World Tourism Day commemoration can be a better momentum to improve understanding of the importance of sustainable tourism development. In addition, the country's foreign exchange will increased with the arrival of foreign tourists to Indonesia. In 2018 at least, the tourism sector is expected to contribute US$17 billion dollars. The following year, it will be US$20 billion dollars. All can only be realized if it is supported by a conducive security in all tourist destinations, including in the 10 new destinations that have been attempted.

25
September

 

Today at local time in New York, United Nations Organization commences 2018 General Assembly. About 200 high-level representatives of members of the world body are present and they take turns to express their views in the general debate in a bid to discuss various international issues. Of the most important events in the world, we can say that the public debate in this year's general assembly will cover at least five main issues. The five points that become the main agenda seem to be the Rohingya problem, the Civil War in Syria, Iran and the actions of the American and its allies, North Korea and of course the Palestinian Issues.

Discussions about Myanmar and Rohingya correlate with the statement of the fact-finding body of the UN human rights body which says that the Rohingya military is fully responsible for the mass murder of the ethnic Muslim group, Rohingya in Rakhine state. The issue of Syria will be also a debate because until now, the war is still raging, even refugees continue to be a problem in a number of countries. The intervention of other countries, including the United States, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia is predicted to make the debate warm, and can even address the issue of the humanitarian tragedy of the Syrian people. As for the Palestinian issue, the talks will remain warm. We hope the debate will create solutions that benefit the Palestinians. Regarding the issue of Iran, Tehran in the UN General Assembly may get fresh air because European countries disagree with the United States which insists imposing sanctions on Tehran. The debate about Iran might get different perspectives. The fifth crucial issue that will emerge in the UN General Assembly is, of course the issue between South and North Koreas. The last reconciliation process of both countries is marked by the visit of the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in to North Korea.

Of the five crucial issues that we expect to be the main items of debate, Indonesia will certainly express its position. Vice President Yusuf Kalla, who leads the Indonesian delegation, will convey Indonesia's attitudes and views on this crucial issue. Speaking to the World Peace Summit to commemorate Nelson Mandela's 100th anniversary the day before the General Assembly, VP Jusuf Kalla called for the importance of reconciliation and justice dialogue to build the world peace. This appeal certainly needs to be reaffirmed through a speech before the UN General Assembly. Indonesia's experience in realizing peace in Aceh, improving good relations among religions and maintaining the quality of democracy, becomes a good trust when Indonesia is present before the highest leaders of UN member states.

26
September

The United States and Iran are still in conflict. The United Nations General Assembly this year which began Tuesday was one of the signs of the two countries' conflict. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated that he will not hold a meeting with Donald Trump during the General Assembly. Iran also remains in a position to oppose the United States' initiative to continue the boycott. Iran may feel that the refusal of some European Union countries on the continuation of sanctions to him, is one of the reason in its resistance to the United States. In the meantime, the United States will continue to carry out Donald Trump's policy of hostile to Iran. There was news that Washington would force Tehran to negotiate. A government source in Washington said that the United States Government would use the same method as it did to North Korea. The United States argues that Washington has succeeded in forcing Pyongyang to end nuclear disarmament. Also under pressure from the United States, the reconciliation process took place, marked by the visit of the President of South Korea to North Korea. The coercive actions on Iran have been seen from the announcement of the US sanctions for the automotive sector, gold trading, precious metals and several other commodities. Donald Trump has also announced its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement agreed upon in the Barack Obama era. Pressure on Iran is no longer because of the nuclear production, but the United States accuses the Tehran government of interfering in the Middle East conflict especially in Syria and Yemen. The ongoing 2018 UN General Assembly will raise the issue of two crucial issues, namely the conflict in Syria and the position of Iran. From the statements of the United States and Iran and the countries that are allied with it, it will be known where the Syrian conflict and the Iranian issue will be directed. Is it true that eventually Iran will obey to the pressure of the United States and finally be treated like North Korea, we are still waiting for further developments.

24
September

Democratic Party in Indonesia, the 2019 Presidential and Legislative Elections has entered the campaign stage. The campaign period starts on 23rd September 2018 to 13th April 2019. This stage is marked by the Declaration of the Peaceful Campaign of 2019 Elections which was read by Chairman of the General Election Commission –KPU, Arief Budiman along with the presidential and vice presidential candidates, and the political party leaders participating in the 2019 Elections at Monas in Central Jakarta on Sunday morning (9/23). The peaceful campaign of 2019 elections began with a carnival of political parties participating in the elections. Chairmen, administrators and supporters of the political parties appeared with traditional clothing from various regions in Indonesia, remembering that the diversity that exists in Indonesia is not a messy one, but a unity. The declaration of the peaceful campaign of 2019 Elections was also marked by releasing some doves as a symbol of hope that the 2019 elections will be peaceful and safe. The theme of the peaceful campaign of 2019 Elections is "Anti-Sara and Anti Hoax Campaign to Make Sovereign Voters for a Strong Country." Why is the anti-crime and anti-hoax issue highlighted in the theme? Experience does teach; these two issues are very easy to ignite one’s emotion. Moreover, their emotion becomes fanatical supporters of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. The problems of ethnicity, religion, race and group are frequently used by some parties to provoke certain people or groups. As more and more internet users in Indonesia, the possibility of the spread of false news or hoax is also getting bigger. At least, currently in Indonesia, internet users have reached more than 143 million. The number allows information, whether true or not and bad or good, to be immediately spread throughout Indonesia in seconds. Strong determination declared by the organizers, political parties participating in the 2019 elections and presidential and vice presidential candidates to realize a strong state is contained in the declaration of the peaceful campaign of 2019 elections. Indonesia is determined to realize elections that are general, free, secret, honest and fair by conducting the election campaigns that are safe, orderly, and peaceful, with integrity, without hoaxes, politicization of ethnicity, religion, race and group -SARA, and money politics based on the available regulations and laws. To realize the 2019 elections that are free of SARA and hoax issues needs full commitment from various stakeholders. The campaign teams of the political parties and presidential and vice presidential candidates must be committed to taking firm action if there are supporters who disseminate hoax campaigns. The police should indiscriminately give legal sanctions to hoax spreaders. Patrols in the cyber world must also be strengthened. But the most important point is that prospective voters must be wiser in responding to the dissemination of information. Being wiser for the prospective voters to receive, filter and disseminate information is the key to the realization of the peaceful campaign of the 2019 elections without hoax and the issue of SARA. Hopefully, Indonesian people are certainly expecting that the peaceful campaign of 2019 elections can be carried out until the voting day. Peaceful and safe elections will prove to the world that in Indonesian democracy is able to realize and maintain peace.

19
September

Although not the first South Korean president to step on Pyongyang, upon arrival in the North Korean capital yesterday (September 18, 2018), President Moon Jae-in received a warm  handshake and a hug from North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. Thousands eyes watched the event. The  meeting in Pyongyang became the third between the two  after those  in April and May this year. In his remarks, Kim Jong-un expressed his gratitude because Moon had agreed to facilitate his meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last June. But unfortunately, President Donald Trump's plan to come to Pyongyang is still not implemented. The US sees no significant progress in the denuclearization process in North Korea. To accelerate this process, US President Donald Trump asked President Moon to become a negotiator for both parties. Denuclearization of North Korea is actually not only the demand of the United States but also the desire of South Korea. The first meeting in Pyongyang was indeed wanted by Kim Jong-un. The North Korean leader said that he was waiting for this moment. Meanwhile, President Moon was very impressed by the welcome prepared by Kim Jong-un. Before his departure to Pyongyang, on his social media account, President Moon hoped that this meeting was not just a temporary change but a permanent peace. However, there are some  who doubt whether it has resulted in progress in the peace process on the Korean peninsula. Many parties expect this meeting to provide an opportunity for better change. That is, with North Korea accelerating the denuclearization of its country, which is a condition of peace on the peninsula. On the other hand, the  United States should keep its promises, if later North Korea really carries out  the process. So that the hope of all parties to witness the peaceful and unified Korean peninsula is  not just a dream.