Editorial

Editorial (124)

02
April

 

Indonesia Supreme Court (MA) deserves being appreciated since it has issued a ban on fugitives listed on the People Search List (DPO) to file a pre-trial lawsuit. Supreme Court’s Circular No. 1/2018 dated on March 23, 2018 closes the fugitives’ opportunity to file a pre-trial. The letter also confirms that if a pretrial petition is still filed by the lawyer of fugitive suspect, the judge does not accept it. The suspect also cannot file a legal action regarding the verdict.

So far, people have often got very angry because many fugitives, especially corruptors escape abroad. They file a pretrial through their lawyer or family. As a result, some of them win the pretrial. One of them is Sudjiono Timan convicted of corruption case of Bank Indonesia Liquidity Assistance (BLBI) that made the state money worth Rp 1.2 trillion lose. He fled a few days before being convicted by the Supreme Court (MA) on a higher court with the sentence 15 years in prison. In his escape, Timan's wife filed a Judicial Review (PK) and the Supreme Court accepted the judicial review on July 31, 2013, and Timan was free without attending the court.

The judicial review (PK) is a legal effort which can be taken by a convicted person in a legal case against a court’s verdict that has permanent legal force within the judicial system in Indonesia. The court ruling which has the permanent legal force is the verdict of the District Court that has not been filed an appeal, the verdict of the Supreme Court which is not appealed at higher court or the higher verdict of the Supreme Court.

The circular of the Supreme Court No. 1/2018 that bans the fugitives to file a pre-trial lawsuit should be appreciated by all circles. This is an appropriate step for law enforcers to legally process the fugitives without being in absentia. A fugitive in exile could file a pretrial and then he or she wins. Of course, this cannot be tolerated because it will make the concerned do anything. If this is allowed to occur, there will be inequality and even injustice because such persons are still given access to leeway.

29
March

As the current global economic growth is less encouraging, Indonesia tries to improve the economy by cutting barriers that make domestic economic growth rise. One of the government’s efforts is by streamlining regulations that tend to hinder domestic and foreign investment at both the central and regional levels. The effort is aimed at developing and improving economic growth in the country.

In the work meeting of the government on ’Acceleration in Implementing Business in some Regions at JIExpo Kemayoran in Jakarta on Wednesday, attended by Vice President Jusuf Kalla, cabinet ministers and Regents/Mayors and Chairmen of DPRDs throughout Indonesia, President Joko Widodo asked each minister to streamline at least 100 regulations in a bid to improve climate of domestic investment. In addition, the President also asked the regional heads for each month to have the courage to make major reforms in order to facilitate the business climate, investment climate with online system methods and to avoid many obstacles that impose or burden the business world, and the people.

Earlier, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Darmin Nasution said that the government found it difficult to remove or streamline various regulations due to the many different standards in each ministry or related institutions. In addition, he views that the removal requirements should also refer to the existing regulations in the region to avoid overlapping and instead of becoming a burden in the country, especially for import export policy. Therefore, each of the central and regional stakeholders in the implementation of the streamlined policy should communicate and coordinate well.

President Joko Widodo said that currently, Indonesia still has 42,000 regulations that might hamper the business world and make the government unable to move quickly. All of these must be addressed immediately. The regulations are at the central and regional levels. Seeing a great number of regulations that tend to hinder investment, logically, if President Joko Widodo is worried about Indonesia's economic growth that has been pegged 5% cannot be achieved. In addition, the mindset and the way of doing business must also change. In the modern and fast era, online process is now a major and appropriate choice. The importance of streamlining unnecessary regulations

27
March

 

Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya on Monday (March 26, 2018) responded to the writing of Audrey Young, the political redactor of the NZ Herald. The response was issued towards Audrey Young's writing entitled "Visiting leaders show disrespect by failing to share the platform with Jacinda Ardern" published in the NZ Herald Daily on 25 March. Ambassador Tantowi Yahya stated that he had loudly protested to the redactor and urged him to make a clarification because what he wrote did not match the true reality.

Rapid steps from Ambassador Tantowi Yahya should be appreciated. Because, this could pose a misperception about President Joko Widodo. Ambassador Tantowi Yahya underlined Audrey Young's writing about the President Joko Widodo’s refusal to meet the press and to give explanation   after a bilateral meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern at Parliament House on March 19, 2018. This attitude was later translated by Audrey Young as the president’s disrespect.

Ambassador Tantowi Yahya denied the allegations, and gave an explanation of the decision not to make the press statement. This is a proposal from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which was then adopted into a joint decision. For public consumption, the results of the meeting will be summarized in a joint statement which will be posted on the official website of both countries. He added that Indonesia appreciates the position taken by the host, and fully supports it because there is nothing wrong with that attitude.

Indonesia through the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Wellington has issued the joint statements. Both President Widodo and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted the importance of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and New Zealand. This is something that has to be built on a strong foundation of relationships between nations and has developed into the most valuable relationship for both countries. President Widodo's visit to New Zealand also marked an increase in bilateral relations with the comprehensive partnership.

Firm stance should indeed be taken to anyone who might pose a wrong opinion about Indonesia. Moreover, if the opinion is published in the media, this may lead to different perceptions.

26
March

World Wildlife Fund of Nature -WWF, an international non-governmental organization that deals with issues of conservation, research and environmental restoration reports that the earth is in crisis. The damage to the earth has gone so fast. Based on the report of the WWF-UK -Living Planet Report, 80 percent of the water species are destroyed, while more than 50 percent of the land animal population has went extinct. 40 per cent of forests have been transformed into agricultural land and 15 million trees as raw materials get lost each year. In addition, climate change makes one of the six species in the world under threat of extinction. To save the earth, WWF does an activity called ‘Earth Hour’. Actually, what is Earth Hour and what is the purpose of the activity? Earth Hour, which means in Indonesian language ‘Jam Bumi’, is a global event organized by the WWF at last Saturday of March each year. This activity is in the form of blackouts in homes and offices for one hour to raise awareness of the need for serious action against climate change. The WWF initiative was first held in 2007. At that time, 2.2 million Sydney residents participated in by extinguishing all unnecessary lights. After Sydney, several cities around the world participated in the Earth Hour 2008. This year, Earth Hour is held in 180 countries, including in Indonesia. As in previous years, several cities in Indonesia participated in the Earth Hour activities. On Saturday night (24/3/2018) from 20:30 to 21:30 local time, the commemoration of the Earth Hour Indonesia 2018 is held simultaneously in Indonesia. This year, there are 60 cities to participate in the Earth Hour Indonesia 2018, including Jakarta, Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan, Yogyakarta and Pontianak in West Kalimantan. Quoted from the official website of the WWF, turning off the lights for 60 minutes becomes a symbol that shows solidarity for the earth planet. Although it is only done for 1 hour and once every year, the Earth Hour activity is proven to have a very huge impact, especially in saving energy. For the area of ​​Jakarta, blackouts are conducted at Bung Karno Main Stadium, Town Hall Building, National Monument -Monas, Welcoming Monument, and Simpang Susun Semanggi. As a result, Jakarta provincial government is estimated to save 170 megawatts of electricity. In addition to saving in terms of cost and power, power outages by the city government also have a major impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. What about in the world? In addition to saving energy, for about 10 years of action, the Earth Hour has helped create 3.4 million hectares of Argentina's marine protected area, 2,700-hectare forest in Uganda and new laws for marine and forest protection in Russia. Seeing the great benefits of the Earth Hour, in the future, not only government offices and buildings, but also other places belonging to individuals or private companies will participate in this Earth Hour activity. Energy savings should be done not only once a year for an hour, but also every single day for an hour continuously. The Earth Hour is just one of the few efforts that can be done to save the earth. Let's do something, so the Earth becomes a comfortable place to live on.

23
March

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman made a trip to the United States for three weeks. Last Tuesday (March 20, 2018), Prince Mohammed met with US President, Donald Trump. Of course, Washington opened a wider door for the Prince's arrival. President Trump gladly welcomed Prince Mohammed and showed proudly on a large board the potential value of the Prince's visit to the United States. President Trump made a joke by saying that the purchase value that reached more than $12 billion dollars was only to buy peanuts. President Trump warmly welcomed Prince Mohammed's arrival by saying Saudi Arabia is a very rich country and it shares its wealth to the United States by buying US military equipment. In this regard, Saudi Arabia extravagantly purchases a lot of weapons. By possessing the military equipment, Saudi Arabia was to bravely launch intervention to Yemen. In addition to talking about the purchase of the military weapons, Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Trump also discussed some important issues, such as the Qatar blockade, the war in Yemen, the Middle East security and the Iranian nuclear pact. Before arriving in the US, the Prince had time to convey the bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and the USA, which have lasted for 80 years. Indeed, during Barrack Obama was in power, Saudi’s relations with the USA were relatively unfavorable. In regard to this, President Trump blamed Barack Obama, which he called making the trade value between both countries decline, and bring about less employment in the USA. The visit to restore good relations between the two countries is positive. That matter is that if the results of the trip bring home weapons which can be used to worsen the situation in the Middle East. If the military approach is prioritized, the problem in the region will be getting worse and worse instead of getting better. This is totally unwanted. It is hoped that Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has sounded the 2030 vision of Saudi Arabia, is to carry out significant reform to become the future leader of the Saudi Arabia. It is a pity if the Prince diminishes the brilliance of his vision with weapons purchased from the USA.

21
March

The Central Election Commission of Russia, Sunday, March 18, reported that 67 percent of voters cast their ballots in the recent election in Russia. Of the transient calculations more than than 75 percent have chosen Vladimir Putin. Although the overall counting is still ongoing, observers have confirmed the former KGB member, the secret service in the Soviet Era, for the third time will rule Russia again  for the next 6 years, setting aside 7 other candidates.

Putin's victory has generated mixed reactions from world leaders. As quoted from Deutche Welle, Vladimir Putin's re-election has aroused mixed feelings across Germany, including at the highest levels of political power. In a government press conference on Monday, 19 March, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would send congratulations on Putin's victory. While Chinese leader Xi Jinping was quoted as saying by XInhua, in addition to congratulating Putin  on the victory, also said China is eager to cooperate with Russia, and improve relations between the two countries to a higher level.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela would improve bilateral ties with Russia after Putin's election victory, especially in the field of international policy for the creation of world peace. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was banned from taking part in the election, had earlier asked his supporters to boycott a vote he called "fake". He claimed to have sent more than 33,000 observers across the country and said there had been "unprecedented violations".

However, Russia's election commission rejects allegations of fraud.  It is said that the emergence of Putin after the collapse of the Soviet Union was predicted by the famous French astrologer Nostradamus in the 15th century. According to that forecast, there will be a leader in Russia who will bring back the glory of the Soviet Union with the same characteristics of the former KGB agent. Regardless of whether or not the prediction is true, the world hopes that Putin's victory can provide a real contribution to world peace. Because after the end of the cold war era, the hegemony of western power seemed to dominate. Almost all western countries contribute to the peace program at the UN in the area of ​​conflict areas ranging from the Middle East to Asian countries. Russia does seem to be very eager to play a role in resolving world conflicts. In addition, the stability of the region becomes the political program of the Russian President-elect in the future. This is suspected as an attempt to restore glory as a superpower.

20
March

Who does not want to take a morning walk with number-one person in this country? Perhaps, every citizen dreams of it. Taking a walk while having conversation with the head of the State is certainly not a regular moment. A number of Indonesians in Australia and New Zealand got the opportunity. They took a morning walk with President Joko Widodo.

 

In a busy schedule to visit Australia and New Zealand, President Joko Widodo took the morning walk with 18 young people from several areas in Indonesia's Indonesia-Australia Youth Interfaith Dialogue in Sydney. The morning walk was interspersed with various things, including music and sports that the President liked. In particular, President Joko Widodo delivered a message to them to be agents of tolerance and peace who could tell about Indonesia's diverse ethnic, diverse religions, diverse regional languages ​​but Indonesia is still one to a great nation.

 

In New Zealand, the morning walk was the first agenda of President Joko Widodo. 29 Indonesian students in New Zealand, including 15 from Papua, had the opportunity to accompany President Joko Widodo in the morning around the Water Front. In a casual discussion after taking a walk, various topics were discussed; thanksgiving from the Papuan youths was expressed to President Joko Widodo who pays special attention to Papua.

 

Why does President Joko Widodo choose the morning walk as a media to discuss with the youths? Of course, there are many reasons. President Joko Widodo is fond of the morning walk. It could be another reason for wanting to start the day with a good one. An exciting walk without a tight security and a relaxed conversation can be a medium to know the problems that occur in the community. In a relaxed and fresh mood, complaints, ideas, suggestions, or criticisms can be presented openly. Possibly, what is expressed can be a tool for further discussion in a more formal forum.

 

The morning walk is not just used by President Joko Widodo to meet with local people. One year ago, a 30-minute morning walk with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull around the Sydney Opera House became part of his visit to Australia. Diplomacy of the morning walk has become one of the powerful ways to improve the relationship between the two countries in the future.

 

On several occasions, President Joko Widodo did use morning-time moments to meet directly with local communities. 

 

The time that he spends is not too long to see and meet directly with the public through the morning walk, and this can be additional information for each policy that he will decide. The move can also be done by the regional heads, such as governors, mayors and regents to find out the real problems in the area he or she leads. The morning walk of President Joko Widodo not only gives a healthy effect to his body, but also makes Indonesian nation healthier.

19
March

President Joko Widodo continues to promote the concept of Indo-Pacific to ASEAN member countries and Australia. During his visit to Australia attending ASEAN-Australia Summit 2018 on 15-18 March 2018, President Joko Widodo did not forget to disclose the concept of Indo Pacific. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi explained in Sydney, Australia on Sunday (18/3/2018) that the purpose of the concept, which is the President focuses on strengthening cooperation in the Indian Ocean, is based on strong cooperation in the Asia Pacific region.

What and how exactly is the Indo-Pacific Concept?

The concept of Indo Pacific has become a major issue since President Joko Widodo visited India early in 2018. In the ASEAN-India Summit in Rasthrapati Bhawan, India, last January, President Joko Widodo revealed the concept of the Indo-Pacific region. It is through a mechanism led by ASEAN and through ASEAN-India partnership. President Joko Widodo believes that a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region can be achieved. He further said that the Indo-Pacific concept can naturally be developed based on the ASEAN Cooperation and Cooperation Treaty where all the important countries in the region have become related stakeholders to the agreement.

When called by US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson on January 15, 2018, Minister Retno Marsudi expressed the same thing. Similarly, when US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis visited Indonesia shortly thereafter, Minister Retno again pointed out the idea of ​​the Indonesian government to explore more intense international relations in the Indian Ocean, which so far has not been fully regulated.

Indonesia expects the Indo-Pacific region will become one of the main sources of economic growth, trade and industry center of the world. The concept of the Indo-Pacific region was also raised in the annual press speech of Minister Retno Marsudi at the Foreign Ministry Building in Jakarta in early January.

Indonesia is in consultation with ASEAN. Even soon, it will be hosting "one and the half-track diplomacy" which discusses about the Indo Pacific.

The main point of the Indo-Pacific concept that Indonesia has offered is the concept that promotes dialogue and cooperation, instead of competing against one another in which ultimately, the competition will bring about disadvantage for all parties. This concept is jointly shared and no country feels left behind or abandoned by Indonesia.

16
March

 

British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced plans for the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in a speech to Parliament on last Tuesday (March 13). The allegations for them are quite serious; Russia spies. The move is  the biggest action taken by UKwithin 30 years. Prime Minister May decided to take firm action because she considered Russia would  not clarify its  involvement in attempted murder of former Russian agent living in Britain, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, using Novichok poison, known used to be produced in the Soviet Union.

In addition, PM May also decided to halt all royal officials’ visits to Russia, including for watching the 2018 World Cup match in Russia. Obviously, this is not a trivial  accusation. The challenge for PM Theresa May is to prove what she alleges is true.

Russia through its Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov's statement, clearly denied British accusations of masterminding attacks on Sergei Skripal. The rebuttal was also delivered by Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia who considered the attack to be a provocation against Russia ahead of the World Cup and Presidential Election.Russia must provethat Russian side is  clear of involvement in the attack. However, before   the investigation is complete, Russia has threatened to also expel British diplomats in Russia.

In this regard, England is not alone. The British ally, the United States also opened the issue in the official UN forum on Wednesday (14 March), after UK  urged a meeting of the UN Security Council. The United States considers that Russia is responsible.US Ambassador to the UN, Nicky Haley called for Russia's accountability and President Donald Trump asked Russia to respond. The United States had also expelled Russian diplomats some time ago.

Hopefully, the British investigation can reveal the case and explain whether there are any involvements of other countries. Britain could have expelled Russian diplomats, but Russia could also retaliate. Expelling each other’s diplomats is, of course, causing more problems instead of solving it.

15
March

 

The great event of the democratic party of both legislative and presidential elections in Indonesia is still one year ahead. But the atmosphere of competition has begun. After the announcement of the political parties to participate in the General Election some time ago, the public are enlivened with discussions about the political maneuvers, such as the possibility of any party that will dominate the acquisition of votes and the candidates of vice president and president to challenge the incumbent. In the discussions, there is a classical story about a new political party –Working Party (Partai Berkarya) led by Hutomo Mandala Putra alias Tommy wanting to raise the name of Indonesian second President Soeharto. This new political party’s symbol is almost similar with Golkar Party which was the political vehicle of past ruling government during New Order. In addition, Tommy's presence as the chairperson clearly indicates that Soeharto's name would be his political commodity. Party Secretary General of Partai Berkarya, Baddarudin Andi Picunang admitted that his party will adopt successful programs in the New Order era.

Although some people underestimate the presence of Partai Berkarya, it is interesting to observe to what extent the new political party's action is in the election later. Entering reform era, some old political parties and Suharto’s family have lost their sympathy. However, the recent results of several surveys mention that Suharto was a successful president. So, this can be interpreted that the memory of some people about the Five Star General who had been in power for 32 years is still strongly implanted in their mind in some remote areas across Indonesia. At least, this is visible with the fulfillment of the provisions of the number of Board members and members of the Working Party throughout Indonesia, as a condition to follow the election. Is that a proof? Tommy was imprisoned from 2002 to 2006 for some crimes, such as plotting the murder of Supreme Court Justice, Syafiuddin Kartasasmita on July 26, 2001, possession of firearms and ammunition, and deliberate escaping. Now, he is chairing one of the political parties to participate in the 2019 presidential election.

It is not something new if the former president's son who had been marginalized eventually returns to the center of the political contestation in Indonesia. Likewise, Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of the Indonesian first president, could also ultimately lead and raise one political party –PDIP that took her as the fourth president of Indonesia. Something impossible could be achieved in the New Order.

Now, the point is that how every political party either the new or old ones has to take the wisdom of what has happened. The life keeps going on. But positive aspects or goodness must be put forward. When someone is in power, he or she cannot forget the grass-root people. This must be a reference of the voters in determining who will lead this country. The former president's great name may be the political commodity of general elections’ participants. But constructive criticism must always come up. Because, a famed name is never enough to build a challenging future with different characteristics from one each other.

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