Editorial

Editorial (461)

29
January

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of a new peace plan initiated by President Donald Trump, said to be more promising peace in the Middle East, the Government of Israel gives the green light for its citizens to travel to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But the permit is only for Muslim Israelis travelling for pilgrimage or  to worship.
All this time, Israeli Muslims have been traveling for Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage using  the Jordanian state's temporary documents. According to the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Aryeh Deri, Sunday (1/26/2020), besides doing religious activities, Israeli Muslim citizens are also allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia for business activities, provided that there is an official invitation from the Saudi Arabian Agency. The  permits meanwhile, are   for approximately 90 days. As is known, Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations so there are difficulties for Israelis traveling to Saudi Arabia.
But the news from the Israeli authorities was responded  by the government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia that they still have not given permission to Isareli citizens  to enter the kingdom directly. As quoted by AFP, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stressed that for now, royal policy still does not allow Israelis to enter Saudi Arabia because there is no diplomatic relations. But he did not deny however, that  the Israeli and Palestinian conflict resolution can be solved  peacefully,  and that all matters can be discussed and negotiated with the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Indeed, Israel has not made an agreement with Saudi Arabia although  with Egypt and Jordan, it has. But that does not mean the two parties do not have relations. In fact, for several years now, since the reign of King Salman, drastic changes have taken place in Saudi Arabia. Various concessions have been made in the application of sharia or Islamic law, including in business. It seems that this has something to do with the weakening world oil price which is the main source of foreign exchange for Saudi Arabia. In addition, it is suspected that Saudi Arabia and Israel have been meeting and even cooperating in secret. The secret meeting was not only for business matters but also politics and peace. Especially at this time, Israel and Saudi Arabia are facing  the same enemy, Iran. Israel finds difficulties in confronting Iran, both with regard to the Palestinian issue with its Hezbollah forces, as well as other interests in the world. While Saudi Arabia is facing undermining the Shi'a problem at home.

24
January

Singapore confirmed on Thursday (23/1/2020 that it had found a corona virus case that had killed 17 people so far in China. The Singapore Ministry of Health said that a 66-year-old man from Wuhan who entered Singapore on January 20, 2020 was infected with the corona virus. Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China, is believed to be the main source of the epidemic of the corona virus which has the technical name '2019-nCoV'. Singapore is the latest country to declare an outbreak case of corona virus after China, the United States, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Macau. In addition to the male patient, Singapore also said, there was a 53-year-old woman from Wuhan who was detected positive of initial corona virus tests. This woman is now also in an area of isolation to prevent the spread. Singapore estimates that there will be more corona virus cases, considering that the country has many international passengers. Changi Airport in Singapore receives 430 traffic flights from China every week. Changi Airport authority has actually been monitoring flights from Wulan since the beginning of the year, but on Wednesday (1/22) all flights from China were tightened. China detained about 20 million people at the virus spread center in Wuhan on Thursday (1/23). However, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, the spread of this virus has not officially become a matter of health emergencies.

Singapore as a country that has just announced that there are citizens affected by the corona virus outbreak, is trying to anticipate the epidemic in many ways, especially at airports.

What is our common concern, of course, is that preventive measures must be taken immediately by the international community regarding the outbreak of this virus when the corona virus has increasingly spread globally. It is proper that there are joint step and commitment to prevent the outbreak of this corona virus.

27
January

The year 2020 has just begun and it has already shocked the world with an outbreak of a new type of Coronavirus, known as the Novel coronavirus. The virus which allegedly originated in Wuhan, China has already claimed the lives of about 80 people, as reported by the BBC.

The Novel coronavirus was first identified on December 31 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. With an estimated population of 11 million, Wuhan is decked with connections to every part of the globe. This raises concerns about the spread of this virus to other cities in China, as well as outside the country.

With characteristics similar to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the same risk of death, the virus is reported to have already spread to various countries. As of Sunday (26/01), there were 13 countries that confirmed the existence of coronavirus cases, including Indonesia’s neighbours, Singapore and Malaysia.

How about in Indonesia? What actions are being taken by the government to prevent the entry of this deadly disease?

Until Sunday night there has been no official confirmation from the government regarding cases of Indonesian citizens, overseas, especially China, or at home, who were positively exposed to the coronavirus. Several regions in Indonesia reported suspected coronavirus cases, such as in Jambi and Jakarta. Most patients are suspected to have a history of travel to and from China. But so far no one has been confirmed positive contracting the coronavirus. Various attempts have been made by the Indonesian government to prevent the entry of this new type of coronavirus. Among others by installing Thermal Scanners in several airports in Indonesia. In addition, as many as 100 hospitals have been prepared by the Indonesian Ministry of Health as a reference for infectious diseases with emerging symptoms. Patients suspected of being infected with this virus can be immediately examined and isolated at the referral hospitals.

The government's action to prevent the entry of the deadly coronavirus into Indonesia should be appreciated. However, besides prevention efforts at home, another thing to consider is the fate of Indonesian citizens in China. Like Indonesian students who are continuing their education at several universities in Wuhan, the city that was the source of the coronavirus. They are trapped in Wuhan and are unable to get out because the city has now been isolated. For this reason, the Indonesian government must take the necessary actions to ensure the safety of its citizens wherever they are.

Last but not least, the public also need to get enough information about what the coronavirus is, the symptoms, and how to prevent it.

Hopefully, the efforts made by the government and the community can prevent Indonesia from becoming a country that is confirmed to have patients infected with this deadly coronavirus.

23
January

Should OJK be dissolved?

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The Financial Services Authority (OJK) was established in 2011 through Law No. 21/2011. The OJK is an independent financial institution that seeks to replace the role of the Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Agency (Bapepam-LK). With the establishment of the OJK, the regulation and supervision of the Capital Market and Non-Bank Financial Industry automatically switches to the OJK. The people of Indonesia expect the OJK to be able to oversee the financial and banking sector in Indonesia. Unfortunately, this hope has lately been tarnished after PT Asuransi Jiwasraya failed to pay its customers. As a result of this, discourse arises whether OJK is still needed to oversee various financial institutions. The discourse about the dissolution of the OJK emerged from the parliament. Deputy Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad acknowledged that the OJK discourse was dissolved and that the OJK's duty and authority may be returned to Bank Indonesia (BI). The OJK which has the authority to oversee banks, capital markets and non-bank financial institutions such as insurance companies is deemed to have failed to carry out its supervisory duties. This is proven by PT Asuransi Jiwasraya's failure to pay its customers. But the question arises whether OJK needs to be dissolved (?)

Other countries also have supervisory institutions such as the OJK. Some financial supervision institutions that have been operating successfully until now are the BaFin in Germany and the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) in Japan. However, some were disbanded after failing to carry out their supervisory duties, for example, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in The United Kingdom. Seeing the experience of other countries such as Britain, the discourse to dissolve the OJK could be a reality. However, even though there is a possibility of dissolving, it is expected that the OJK will not be dissolved.

There are two main reasons why OJK may not be dissolved. The first reason is that the OJK has been existing for eight years and has some achievements. So far, the regulation and supervision conducted by the OJK in the banking sector has been quite adequate. There are weaknesses in the non-bank financial industry, as recognized by Chairman of the OJK Board of Commissioner, Wimboh Santoso, during a working meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) at the Parliamentary Complex in Jakarta, Wednesday (1/22/2020). The OJK has admitted that it is carrying out reforms in the non-bank financial industry. These reforms have been carried out by the OJK since 2018. Now, with the problem of PT Asuransi Jiwasraya's failure to pay, the reform efforts in the non-bank financial industry needs to be accelerated. The second reason is that the development of the financial industry in Indonesia is quite rapid and complex. Thus, the presence of an institution such as the OJK is indispensable to the rapid development of the financial industry.

21
January

The government has finished the draft of the Omnibus Law to Create Employment. This week, the draft will be submitted to the House of Representatives (DPR) and is targeted to be completed within three months. Omnibus law is a law created to target one major issue that might revoke or amend several laws to be simplified. So far, the government has scrutinized 74 laws that will be affected by the omnibus law. According to President Joko Widodo, if the government only combines the laws one by one and then submits a revision to the DPR, the process can take time more than 50 years. Based on the omnibus law, the existing laws that are viewed to hamper can be revised simultaneously.

In fact, there are two Omnibus Laws submitted by the government to the DPR. They are Omnibus Law to Create Employment and Omnibus Law of Taxation. However, the Omnibus Law to Create Employment is criticized by a lot of people, remembering that there are some points in the omnibus law draft, that are unacceptable. Because, they think that this will threaten the welfare of workers, such as the imposition of workers’ hourly wages. The workers assume there is an effort to eliminate the minimum wage by setting the hourly wage. In other words, if the workers work fewer than 40 hours a week, their wages will automatically be below the minimum wage. On the contrary, according to the government, this hourly wage regulation does not eliminate the minimum wage rule. This rule gives flexibility to business entities or companies in providing salaries to temporary workers. The rules for hourly wage schemes are intended to accommodate certain types of work, such as consultants and part-time workers. In addition, the hourly wage payment rules are intended to accommodate new types of work in the digital economy industry with millennial workers who want flexible working hours. Based on this, socialization is needed for the community to understand correctly what the objectives of the government are in making regulations. Thus, bias information amid the community can be prevented. Now, the DPR's task to study the draft Omnibus Law proposed by the government is whether it is advantageous or disadvantageous to the community. The task of the parliament members is also to provide a correct explanation to the people they represent, and the reasons for their decision on the draft of the omnibus law.

22
January

A mysterious virus outbreak suddenly shook the world. Corona Virus, as it was called, made the World Health Organization -WHO hold an emergency session to discuss the case. From China, it was reported that there are 17 new cases. Chinese officials claim that the Corona virus has caused SARS-like symptoms and caused the sufferer to be in a critical condition. Anxiety arises because of its relationship with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-SARS, which killed nearly 650 people throughout mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. In China itself Corona was declared to attack people aged between 30 to 79 years, and reportedly has infected 62 people, eight of whom are in critical condition. The French news agency AFP even reported that the virus had infected at least 218 people. China's official said that the virus could spread quickly to three neighboring countries of China.

The development of this mysterious Corona virus led WHO to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. It is likely that WHO will determine whether the Corona virus is a virus that can cause a crisis and endanger the community, so it must become a national and even international concern.

 The virus, with its  technical name,  2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV,  was confirmed by the Chinese government by stating that the first case was found on January 20, 2020 in South Guang Dong province.

If the WHO at its meeting in its headquarters in Geneva stated that the Corona virus caused a world health emergency situation, then it could be ascertained that it was the cause of a very dangerous pandemic.

As with the Ebola virus, which once worried the world, there must be a very serious effort to deal with Corona.

20
January

The simultaneous General Elections of the President and the Legislature took place just eight months ago, in April 2019. While the next General Election is still four years away, the excitement in the political arena has already begun.
The discourse of an increase in the parliamentary threshold from 4 percent to 5 percent is circulating among political parties in the Indonesian House of Representatives.

The discussions have developed since the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) held its first National Working Meeting in 2020 between January 10-12.

It produced nine recommendations, one of which was that the parliamentary threshold was to be increased to 5 percent. The PDI-P proposal received both positive and negative responses from a number of political parties in the DPR.

Some parties appreciate it for it may help improve the quality of democracy in Indonesia. However, there were also some parties that objected to the proposed increase in parliamentary threshold.

According to those who support this discourse, an increase in the parliamentary threshold will help reduce the number of political parties. But those who did not get a large number of votes in the 2019 elections, the proposed increase would not be effective enough to simplify the number of political parties. Instead, it will only make the votes won by parties that do not qualify be wasted.

Indeed, the increase in parliamentary thresholds has happened several times in the electoral system in Indonesia. Since 2009 until now the number has continued to increase from 2.5 percent to 3 percent, and then to 4 percent.

It should be noted that in the 2014 elections, there were only 12 national parties and three local parties in Aceh that participated in the election. While in the 2019 elections, with a threshold of 4 percent, the number of parties participating in the contestation actually increased to 16 national parties and four parties in Aceh. This shows that an increase in parliamentary threshold is not very effective in reducing the number of political parties participating in elections. It only made the votes casted for parties which fell below the threshold become wasted.

An increase in the parliamentary threshold from 4 percent to 5 percent might improve the quality of democracy in Indonesia. However, the reality on the ground also needs to be considered.

17
January

There is no endless storm. There is no war that lasts forever. Maybe, that's the right phrase to describe the new phase of the United States and China trade war that has occurred for two years and caused a slowdown in the global economy. United States President, Donald Trump and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, Liu He signed the first phase of a trade peace agreement on Wednesday 15 January at a meeting at the White House. Even though this phase I agreement has been signed, the US will still impose tariffs on imported goods from China until there is a phase II agreement. However, the US agreed to suspend tariffs on a number of electronic products worth $ 160 billion US dollars. The tariff is valid on December 15, 2019. This phase I agreement is expected to be a good start after the two countries are involved in a trade war. However , many parties still doubted what would happen after the signing of this first phase of the trade agreement.

The thing that can be underlined is that in the agreement China will buy more goods from America.
This will slightly cover the impact of trade wars that have been felt by America for 2 years. The impression is that the agreement that was signed last did produce several victories for the US. Because China agreed to buy US goods of around US $ 200 billion. More over, in the next two yearsUS companies will get more access to the Chinese market, and more intellectual property protection. But the Chinese economy is actually also seen as getting a short-term boost from the trade agreement. There are some stimulatory measures, such as more spending by local governments, lower taxes, and more bank credit. A ceasefire can also help reduce the slump in business and investment sentiment in China.

The question now, how is the impact on countries whose economy has also been affected by the American-Chinese trade war so far? In 2020, the tariff rates that have been applied or announced will make global economic growth drop 0.8 percent. This was revealed by IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgiva. Global economic conditions have already been affected by the trade war that has occurred over the past 2 years.

Of course, the world community welcomes phase I of the trade agreement between America and China.
Yet, the effects of a trade war need time to recover. For the internal conditions of China and America and globally as well. Hopefully, the next phase of the trade agreement will immediately accelerate the improvement of the global economy.



   
16
January

In a limited cabinet meeting on Wednesday (16/1), President Joko Widodo instructed his ministers to immediately finish the law which can accelerate national economy in 2020. Omnibus Law is made to target one great issue that can revoke or amend some laws to be simpler. To stimulate economic growth, the Indonesian government must move quickly so that the 5.5 percent economic growth projection in 2020 can be achieved. There are three focuses in the 2020 Omnibus Law, namely tax, providing employment, as well as empowering micro small and medium enterprises. In the limited cabinet meeting, the President targeted the Omnibus Law for employment and tax to be finished before 100 working day of Indonesian cabinet Onward. Therefore, he instructed all ministries and institutions, including National Police, State Intelligence Agency (BIN), and Attorney General Office to build one-way communication, as well as to communicate with involved organizations. President Joko Widodo hoped the Omnibus Law discussion can be finished soon. Because it can make Indonesia a country with good business ecosystem. Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto said that the Omnibus Law bill is ready to be ratified before 2020 Idul Fitri. According to him, the discussion in government’s internal level had been finished. Therefore, he ensured the bill can be submitted to the House of Representatives immediately to be ratified. One of the main priorities under development in the Omnibus Law bill is manpower. The Omnibus Law is needed to increase Indonesian economic growth that was  stagnant in 2019. The bureaucracy complexity that hampers business activities is the main target in the bill making. Therefore, Omnibus Law completion and implementation are very needed for the government as long as for prosperity and welfare of the people. However, it should be carefully checked again if related parties can make win-win solution for the developing and more complex current economic issues.

 

15
January

Peace in Libya

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The sound of gunfire and bomb explosions are not heard anymore at the moment in Libya. Two warring camps. namely, the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA), January 13, 2020 agreed a ceasefire. The agreement was reached at a meeting in Moscow. which was attended by LNA Commander, Khalifa Haftar and GNA Leader Fayez al Serraj. The decision was received positively by various parties including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As is known Russia and Turkey each supports the opposite party.

Although there has been an agreement, and the use of heavy weapons and bombs has not been heard, but sometimes the sound of gunfire can still be heard here and there though on a small scale. Therefore the United Nations urges both parties to abide by the ceasefire. Calls to both parties to keep commitments were also made by the Arab League and the European Union.

In Tripoli various foreign representatives through their respective Ambassadors, urged the Libyan people to use this peaceful opportunity to rise and overcome various problems, such as political, economic and security. Calls to the two warring parties for an immediate end to the fighting were also conveyed by the Arab League. Conflicts and the civil war have occurred in Libya since almost a decade ago. The chaos began when Muamamar Gaddafi, who was the Leader of the Libyan Revolution, was overthrown in 2011 through a revolt. Since then, the oil-rich Lybia split into two camps namely GNA and LNA, which respectively controlled the East and West. The conflicts have destroyed the country's economy and disrupted world oil supplies. It is in this perspective that a number of countries view the resolution of the crisis as very important so that oil supply from Libya to various countries will return to normal.

To what extent did the ceasefire agreed in Moscow become a momentum for peace in Lybia? All depends on the further steps to be taken. The leaders of the two warring sides must be able to use the opportunity of a ceasefire to bring peace to the oil-rich nation.

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