Editorial (338)


After about one-month demonstration staged by the Algerian people, President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika finally resigned. The announcement of his resignation was submitted to the Algerian Constitutional Council earlier this week. Apart from pressure from the people through the mass demonstration, there was a statement from the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah that Bouteflika was considered unable to lead Algeria anymore.Thus, Bouteflika will no longer participate in the election of the fifth period. The era of Bouteflika has ended and he had been in power for 20 years. It must be admitted that Bouteflika was considered a strong man in Algeria, but a stroke of 6 years ago made him begin to rarely appear in public.After the resignation of Bouteflika, the Constitutional Council announced the vacant position of the President. Furthermore, the Board submits to the Ummah Assembly (the Parliament). If the parliament ratifies the decision of the Constitutional Council, the Speaker of the Parliament will serve as interim President for 90 days and use that time to hold an election. However, the Speaker of the Parliament as interim President is prohibited from running for the election.Bouteflika's resignation has been carried out in accordance with the demands of the Algerian people. But this does not mean the problem is over. Many figures hold important positions such as the Chairperson of the Constitutional Council, the Speaker of the Parliament, and the Prime Minister. They are considered to be the cronies of Bouteflika. Thus, the demands for cleaning up the government from the elements of Bouteflika are still voiced by the people and opposition party.Now, the thing that must be taken into consideration is that this uncertain situation may be used for the benefit of one group. Despite being dominated by one party for 20 years, hopes are still there to carry out democracy in Algeria. It is time for the people of Algeria to determine their future by choosing leaders who bring Algeria to progress instead of destruction. Who is he or she? We are looking forward to the results of the Algerian General Election in the near future.


World Children's Book Day is commemorated every April 2. This commemoration is aimed at fostering the habit of reading and cultivating interest in reading.

In regard to the reading interest, several studies show that the reading interest in Indonesian people is quite low. However, research conducted by Global English Editing in 2018 about the country that spends time reading, the result is quite disappointing. The study shows that Indonesia ranks 16th, better than Argentina, Germany and Canada. The country with the highest reading interest is India with time spent reading above 10 hours per week. Meanwhile, Indonesia is above 6 hours per week. However, this is not the final achievement; there must be ongoing efforts to maintain and even enhance reading interest.

This enhancement in reading interest is, of course, inseparable from the role of the government, the private sector and the community. Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) of the Republic of Indonesia, for example, continues to optimize the culture of literacy.

Since 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture has intensified the National Literacy Movement (GLN). In terms of budget, no less than Rp10 trillion is allocated for the development of book literacy. Law No.3 / 2017 concerning the Bookkeeping System states that educational books in Indonesia must be of high quality, affordable and evenly distributed. Thus, as an effort to support the National Literacy Movement (GLN), the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Indonesian Publishers Association (IKAPI) signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday (2/04) in a bid to improve the function and role of books in education and culture in Indonesia.

The National Literacy Movement is an effort to strengthen the synergy between the main units of the agents of the literacy movement by gathering all potential and expanding public involvement in developing and cultivating literacy in Indonesia. This movement is carried out thoroughly and simultaneously, from the family sphere to schools and communities in all regions of Indonesia.

Improving national literacy needs to be framed in an integrated national movement. The literacy movement is the responsibility of not only the government, but also all stakeholders, including the business world, universities, social organizations, literacy activists, parents, and society. Therefore, public involvement in every literacy activity is very important to ensure the positive impact of the movement to increase national competitiveness.


More than 57 million Turkish  used  their  right to vote and  elect mayors and city council members throughout the country on Sunday (03/31/2019). The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost in the capital city of Ankara and Istanbul. This defeat was seen as a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his 16 years in power. As per the political tradition in Turkey, the struggle for the position of governor or mayor in metropolitan Ankara and Istanbul was highlighted by local elections because it was a barometer of people's aspirations towards the political and economic policies of the central government. However, in general,  from local elections held throughout the country, the AKP and its coalition are still superior with more than 51 percent votes. This election, considered to be very decisive for the future of Erdogan's government, was held when the Turkish economy was deteriorating. The currency exchange rate has continued to decline lately and Turkey has been hit by economic recession in the last three months. The defeat in the country's capital certainly could not be accepted  by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). AKP Secretary General Fatih Sahin via his Twitter account said he immediately protested and would reject  the results of the vote in Istanbul and the Igdir province in the east part  of the country. Erdogan in response to the defeat of his support party insists that he prefers the 2023 general election. Meanwhile, chairman of the opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu,  stressed that "spring" was sweeping Ankara and Istanbul. He even equated what happened in the two cities with the 2011 Arab spring revolution  which toppled dictatorial regimes in several Arab countries. The results of local elections in Turkey are suspected as a reflection of the rejection of urban communities in Ankara, Istanbul and several other major cities to the efforts of the Justice and Development Party and Erdogan to cover Turkey's economic crisis with issues of security, terrorism and foreign conspiracy. "Spring" in Ankara and Istanbul will certainly be an evaluation material for Erdogan in the face of the 2023 general election.


MRT Jakarta, New Civilization of Jakarta

Since 2008, every April 2nd, the world has commemorated the World Autism Awareness Day. This year, the commemoration is themed, "Assistive Technologies, Active Participation" In connection with the commemoration, the United Nations (UN) urged the world community to ensure the participation of people with autism in a bid to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In its official website, the United Nations says that for many people on the autism spectrum, access to inexpensive assisting technology is a prerequisite for being able to use their human rights and participate fully in society. Thus, this contributes to the realization of the SDGs. The assisting technology can reduce or eliminate barriers to their participation on the basis of equality with others.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires countries participating in the Convention to promote the availability and use of the assisting technology at affordable costs. They must also facilitate access to assisting technology by promoting technology research and development.

While technology continues to grow, there are still major obstacles to the use of the assisting technology, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and lack of training in its use. Data from the United Nations shows that in some developing countries, more than 50 percent of people with disabilities who need assisting device cannot receive it.

In Indonesia in 2015, according to the Kompas Daily (11/3), there was 1 in 250 children with autism and there were approximately 12,800 children with autism and 134,000 people overall. Unfortunately in Indonesia, there is no accurate data regarding the increase in children with autism every year. However, handling autism in Indonesia is the same as other countries. Currently, there has been a lot of information circulating regarding the handling of autism in Indonesia, such as the opening of various therapy centers, the formation of various foundations that care about handling children with autism, and there are some seminars from home and abroad that discuss autism.

Handling that was once considered impossible, finally, can be applied to children who have symptoms of autism from an early age. Despite the fact, fewer parties are able to implement it with the right method, especially in Indonesia.

This is the importance of the initiative and the role of the government in regulating services related to autism both in the form of physical facilities and laws. Thus, all people with autism get the rights to coped with. So, Indonesia can finally carry out its commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially related to people with disabilities namely Leaving No One Behind.(rini/rhm)


On December 31, 2018, Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati signed the Minister of Finance Regulation (PMK) No. 210/2018 concerning the Tax Treatment of Trade Transactions through Electronic Systems (e-Commerce). But on March 29, 2019, the government announced that the plan to implement the PMK is fully canceled on April 1, 2019.The reason for the cancellation, according to Minister Sri Mulyani, was the lack of socialization. As a result, many stakeholders misunderstood the regulation. So, enough additional time is needed for the socialization.Actually, the policy taken by the government through the Minister of Finance was aimed to create equal treatment between employers through electronic systems (e-Commerce) and conventional one. Although the aim is good, the government through the Minister of Finance does not insist on continuing to implement it as planned.Substantially, PMK No. 210/2018 is intended not to burden e-commerce entrepreneurs. Its contents focus more on regulating general rights and obligations, and emphasizing registration as a taxpayer for entrepreneurs. Because, many parties do not understand the substance, the polemic still arises. The government does not want the polemic to have a detrimental effect on e-commerce that has been so popular nowadays.Indonesia is the 10th largest country in e-commerce growth, even reaching 78%. The e-commerce sector contribution to the Indonesian economy has the potential to continue to increase, as the population increases using the internet and increasing penetration of e-commerce. According to the McKinsey study, in 2022 online trading will create 26 million jobs both directly and indirectly.



The US  President Donald Trump’s  statement  recognizing the Golan Heights as  Israel’s territory  has sparked opposition. Accompanied by visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Washington on Monday clearly issued a statement that the United States recognized the Golan Heights as an area of Israeli sovereignty. It was  symbolized by the signing of a proclamation, which was warmly  welcomed by Netanyahu,. This, however, immediately invited rejection and criticism from many sides. Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and Poland simultaneously refused. The five countries which are members of the UN Security Council, Tuesday, March 26, expressed their concerns over Donald Trump's statement.  In fact, the five European countries also said they did not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the territory on the Golan Heights,  occupied by Israel since 1967.  As it is  known,  in 1967 after the  six-day war with Syria, Israel had annexed the Golan Heights, and in 1981 effectively annexed the region. The refusal of Donald Trump's unilateral statement regarding the Golan Heights, was also  immediately conveyed by Russia and China. The two permanent members of the UN Security Council have signaled that they would mmediately discuss it  at a UN Security Council session. The two countries apparently can not  accept any reason from Donald Trump. It was said that one of the reasons  for the controversial statement is because it is considered as a form of opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran who are supporters of Al Assad. Indonesia certainly strongly opposed the unilateral decision of the United States. Indonesia from the beginning has  consistently supported Palestinian independence. Donald Trump's statement, which expresses his partiality to Israel, is not only controversial and very unilateral, but has sparked new tensions, especially in the Middle East. Gulf countries have  also shown opposition. Very likely, the conflict in the Middle East will be even bigger due to the  US statement. The UN Security Council must immediately hold a hearing not only to respond to the United States' decision, but also to reject it.



"Today, we start a new civilization, namely by the operation of the MRT Jakarta, the first phase", this was affirmed by President Joko Widodo in the opening ceremony of Mass Rapid Transportation -MRT Jakarta on March 24, 2019. The first phase of MRT reaching 15.7 kilometers from Lebak Bulus Terminal to Hotel Indonesia Roundabout has 13 stations, including 1 Depot. At the same time, the second phase of the MRT development, from Hotel Indonesia Roundabout to City Station line is also planned and will be completed in 2024.

Compared to countries in ASEAN, Indonesia is rather late in having integrated transportation mode. Although the plan to develop transportation mode integrated with Transjakarta buses, commuter lines and trains to the airport have been initiated since 1985, the Indonesian people, especially Jakarta residents have to wait for 34 years to have this rail-based transportation mode. Naturally, this mode of transportation will bring about many changes in Jakarta.

What changes are expected to occur in Jakarta? The first is, of course, the problem of congestion. According to Tomtom Traffic Index data, Jakarta is in third place as the most jammed city in the world. That position is under Mexico City and Bangkok. Jakarta's congestion rate reaches 58 percent, with morning congestion 63 percent and 95 percent in the afternoon. Inevitably, economic growth and increasing population cause more traffic and urbanization to Jakarta. It is estimated that more than 18 million motor-vehicles operate in Jakarta. The National Development Planning Agency - Bappenas said that every year, losses reaches more than Ro 65 trillion due to congestion in Jabodetabek –Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi. The amount of money must be wasted into smoke every year. With its ticket price of Rp 8,500, the MRT will make Jakarta be able to reduce losses due to congestion.

Another expected change is the lifestyle of Jabodetabek residents, including passengers from outside Jabodetabek. Indonesia has been reported to be ranked as one of the laziest countries in the world. Only around 3,513 steps are on average per day of the Indonesian population, of which 10,000 steps should be recommended. Such a condition as the metabolic syndrome becomes a problem that increasingly has the potential to threaten the people of Indonesia, even to the youths.

The existence of the MRT is expected to bring about a lot of comfort and safety to not only the residents of Jabodetabek, but also foreign business people who come to Jakarta. The route passed by the MRT is a business area in Jakarta. Reduced congestion and easy use of public transportation will certainly create added-value to Jakarta as a favorite tourist destination. Moreover, the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout is close to many historical tourist destinations in Jakarta, such as museums, culinary tours and shopping tours. Hopefully,
 the expectation of becoming Jakarta as a business center and world tourism destination can be realized.


The open campaign for the 2019 General Elections has begun since Sunday (24/3). This open campaign takes place from April 24-13. This campaign will be a crucial stage for both sides of the presidential candidate pair 01 Joko Widodo-Maaruf Amin and presidential candidate pair 02 Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno with their supporting political parties. Why is it called 'crucial'? Because this open campaign involves mobilizing large numbers of people so that violation or clash may occur. To avoid the mass meeting of the two candidate pairs, the General Election Commission -KPU has made a campaign schedule based on regional zoning.The open campaign is like a "war" to gain voters. All contestants try to optimally attract the groups of ‘undecided voters’ or ‘swing voters’. The great effort to gain voters’ support is a concern of the succeeding team. Those who have not decided their choice will be persuaded to vote according to the wishes of the majority.The succeeding teams, supporting political parties and volunteers are certainly legitimate to win the support of the undecided voters. However, it should be kept in mind that the efforts must continue to prioritize ethics and comply with the existing regulations so that clashes or violence can be avoided. For example, the competition situation during the campaign period since September last year has made polarization heated up in the society.All contestants should return to the campaign philosophy as part of the community's political education and the campaign must be carried out responsibly. However, violations during the open campaigns must be dealt with. Election law must be enforced. The open campaigns must avoid the practice of money politics, intimidation and violence.The main essence of the campaign is to provide literacy for prospective voters so that they can make choices rationally, instead of a campaign that simply uses the voters’ emotion. This is feared to bring about fanaticism that has the potential for conflict in the election. Thus, the participants in the election should consistently carry out integrity pacts that they have signed to create peaceful elections, without hoaxes, politicization of tribe, religion, race, and intergroup -SARA, and money politics.


People still remember the fear of the world community about the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, the same action even though it did not take many casualties occurred again in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Monday March 18. Violence which killed around 3 people and 9 injured with 3 of them in serious condition. Perpetrators of Turkish descent with double passports were arrested by police around 8 hours after taking action on a Tram.

Actions in the City of Utrecht and Christchurch have similarities, which are both using firearms in carrying out their actions and together causing casualties and injuries. But what distinguishes it is that one is done at the other public transportation facilities in the house of worship. In New Zealand, the highest authority has stated that the action of immigrants from Australia is an act of terrorism. Whereas in the Netherlands, the Authority still excludes it as an act of non-terrorism. According to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as quoted by the BBC, many questions and rumors. It is still unclear the motive behind the armed attack in Utrecht, terrorists or others, is still under investigation, although it also cannot rule out other motives behind the action.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish intelligence agencies were investigating the shooting to ascertain whether it was a terror attack or related to a family dispute. According to a source quoted from The Telegraphe, the shooter Gorkmen Tanis had many criminal records in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, according to a source from the BBC, the perpetrator had joined an armed group in Chechnya.

Regardless of the issue of the shooting action, whether it is categorized as terrorism or merely an act of criminal violence, this is a problem that the circulation of firearms is increasingly prevalent in the community. There is no denying the easy access to illegal firearms from the black market and online sites. They have firearms for various reasons, one of which is to defend themselves from increasingly uncomfortable situations. Although in some countries it is permissible for civilians to have weapons with strict conditions. But whatever happens to a firearm is dangerous and a strong and responsible personality is needed if you have a firearm. Because if you are in a place that is wrong and owned by a problem person, it will be very dangerous. We can also see that state regulations such as in New Zealand and the Netherlands even in European countries and the United States that have implemented and rigorous selection for owners of firearms can still be "missed", what about in African, Asian, and Latin American countries 



After the provision Village Fund and Sub-district Fund, the government plans to allocate the District Fund. The discourse on the district fund allocation came up at a national coordinating meeting of the heads of district, Ciputra Hotel in Jakarta on Wednesday (03/20/2019). Minister of Home Affairs, Tjahjo Kumolo explained that his side is currently processing the proposed district fund budget. He views that this budget is different from Village Fund and Sub-district Fund which are budgeted from the State Revenue. The district fund will be budgeted from the regional state revenue of each region.

On the same occasion, Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati gave a positive signal to the proposal of the Minister of Home Affairs. Minister Sri said that she would review the funding allocation for the district. Therefore, she would discuss the matter with the Ministry of Home Affairs to choose the most effective instrument to be used as the district budget.

If so, the District Fund will be disbursed to create a balance of development. It is known that the village and sub-district have received funding allocations from the State Budget.

At the end of last year, the government policy related to the sub-district funds became polemic. Even though the district fund policy is good, this is a polemic because the fund will be issued ahead of the presidential election. Thus, before the election, there is an assumption that this policy benefits the incumbent in the 2019 presidential election.

Although it is a mere discourse, this has the potential to cause polemic because it is highlighted prior to the April 2019 General Election. To dismiss this allegation, Minister Tjahjo said that he had lobbied the district fund to Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani for the past two years. Based on Minister Tjahjo's statement, it seems that this discourse does not appear suddenly in the context of elections. The critical question is that how useful this district fund is if it is realized.

Based on the Government Regulation No.19/2008 concerning districts, in addition to carrying out their role as fostering agents and supervisors of village governance, the district government also carries out various matters of population administration and licensing, as well as basic sector services, such as order and security affairs, education, health, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and concrete efforts to prosper the regional community.Viewing the major roles delegated to the district government, of course the district needs sufficient financial support. So far, the district government has received funding from the regional budget. Isn’t the fund enough so that there is a discourse about the provision of the district fund? What is the function of the district budget?

To answer the question, the government must conduct in-depth study. The effectiveness of the fund also needs to be studied in depth even though the proposal of the district fund is aimed at accelerating the development and public services at the lower levels.

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