Editorial

Editorial (461)

18
December

Entering the last days of 2019, the world received encouraging news about the United States-China trade war. US President Donald Trump claimed there had been an agreement with China. Trump's remarks can be a good sign of easing tensions between the two big nations which have been fighting in a trade war for 18 months. The United States and China, as Donald Trump stated, have agreed to make agreements in the field of energy and other manufacturing goods and cancel the penalty rate. Although the two sides have not yet officially signed the completion of the trade war, various positive comments have emerged. From Beijing, Chinese Deputy Trade Minister Wang Shouwen stated that his country would import more wheat, corn and rice from the United States. United States government trustee Robert Emmet Lightizer told Reuters news agency that China would buy US $ 32 billion worth of agricultural products in the next two years. Trump's and government officials in Beijing’s statements, became a strong signal about the decrease in tension between Beijing and Washington. Indeed this is only a sign, because until Wednesday 18 December 2019 there has been no confirmation of the signing of an official agreement by the two countries.

After all, what is developing between the United States and China, although not yet official, can be said to be the first phase of a trade agreement between the two countries. In order for the trade war to truly end, further agreement is needed. Hopes for the next phase emerged from Donald Trump's tweet on his Twitter account. Washington asks Beijing to buy more US agricultural products for further negotiations. This means that there will be a further stage, before the United States China trade war is really over. What policies to be carried out by the two countries, of course, still have to be waited for. Both Washington and Beijing must still discuss agreements on intellectual property, financial services and technology. Especially with regard to intellectual property right, it is a sensitive matter that must be discussed carefully.

During this first phase, it is very likely that new surprises will emerge that could have an impact on the global economy. In this perspective, it cannot be denied that the role of these two big countries in the global trade economy is very significant. Developing countries with a medium economic level must continue to be vigilant and fix their respective economic fundamentals.

 

13
December

Since Wednesday (11/120), International Court of Justice -ICJ has tried Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's civilian leader for Genocide charges towards Rohinga ethnics in Rakhine State, Myanmar. The ICJ has received complaints from Gambia, one of the Islamic countries which reported that 700,000 Rohinga ethnics had fled Myanmar out of their way to join another 200 thousand following the violence of Myanmar's military in Rakhine State in 2017. A fact of atrocity was discovered by the UN Fact Finding Team in 2018.

However, Suuk Kyi refused and admitted that in Rakhine military action took place against the Rohinga ethnic group. However, this is not a structured ethnic cleansing movement as alleged by Gambia.

Looking at the process of Genocide accusations at the International Court of Justice, we might remember the case of the Serbs who were accused of cleaning up ethnics of Bosnian Muslims in the Yugoslav region several years ago. At that time, the Serbian leader denied that the violence did not only target ethnic Bosnian Muslims. There was no systemic instruction for the violence. The violence in the Yugoslav region of fracture occurred because of military action in the conflict area. Finally, the IJC in The Hague declared Serbia was free from Genocidal accusations. Then in 2017, the Serbian military leader, Ratko Mladic was named a war criminal because he was proven to be carrying out the ethnic cleansing.

Will the same process happen to Aung San Suu Kyi?

That might happen. International pressure on the tribunal for violence experienced by the Rohinga ethnic group in Rakhine State will be very influential. Rohinga ethnic refugees have been accepted in many Muslim countries. They become an indisputable fact. We are waiting for the proceedings of the judicial process in the International Court of Justice.

16
December

Ahead 2019 year-end, many parties are predicting Indonesia's economic growth in 2020. The Central Statistics Agency on Thursday (5/12) reported data on Indonesia's economic growth in the third quarter of 2019, which reached 5.02%. This figure decreased in comparison with the first and second quarters of 2019 which were 5.07 % and 5.05%.

Asian Development Bank economist in Indonesia, Emma R Allen projects that Indonesia's economic growth in 2020 will reach 5.2 percent with encouragement from the investment sector and private consumption figures that remain strong. She also explained this after a discussion on "Indonesia’s Economic and Political Outlook 2020" held by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia along with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Jakarta, Friday (13/12). The projection is based on investment that will increase after the appointment of cabinet members in the second term of President Joko Widodo’s government. Another factor is the announcement of the planned enactment of the Omnibus Law, predicted to make the Indonesian business sector more attractive and fascinating foreign investors.

While the Indonesian Employers' Association (Apindo) said that next year, Indonesia's economic growth will not be much different from the conditions this year. From Apindo's study data, the growth is estimated to be in the range of 4.85%-5.1%.

Meanwhile, Ministry of National Development Planning expressed optimism in Jakarta on Sunday (15/12) that Indonesia's economic growth could reach 6 percent. At the same time, in a media briefing in Jakarta, Deputy for Maritime and Natural Resources at the Ministry of National Development Planning, Arifin Rudiyanto outlined a number of strategies so that the Indonesian economy would grow averagely six percent in the National Medium-Term Development Plan 2020-2024. The strategy includes encouraging investment growth, especially in the manufacturing sector. This is because the manufacturing sector has high added-value and downstream sector is still potential to be explored by seeking high technology and large investments. Another point is to improve the investment climate by simplifying investment regulations and procedures as well as selecting locations that focus on industrial zones and special economic zones.

Whatever the prediction is, the Indonesian people and government must keep being optimistic that Indonesia's economic growth in 2020 will increase compared to 2019. Admittedly, this is not easy amid today's uncertain global conditions, especially with the ongoing trade war between the United States and China and geopolitical turmoil in a number of regions.

11
December

There are no disputes that cannot be resolved. This phrase can at least be used in connection with Russian President Vladimir Putin's meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenski in Paris, France, Monday 9 December 2019. Facilitated by French President Emmanuel Macron, the two heads of state have agreed to a ceasefire.

When war was raging between the two countries, a ceasefire agreement was good news. For nearly six years hostilities have led to a war that has killed at least 13 thousand people. During this time Ukrainian troops fought against rebels who had strong support from Russia. The war was the result of a conflict in 2014, when Russian troops annexed Crimea, which is Ukraine’s. Earlier the President of Ukraine then, Yanukovych, was ousted by protests in Kiev called the "Maidan Revolution." Russian-backed separatist groups later established an independent state from Ukraine, but until now the world has not recognized it. Since then the war has occurred. The Moscow government has clearly supported the rebels by sending weapons. The agreement between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine is a breath of fresh air for the people of the two countries who have been suffering from the prolonged war.

Before reaching an agreement, Russia and Ukraine had exchanged prisoners and withdrew their military forces from the front lines of the war. In the agreement in Paris the two countries are also willing to release each prisoner until the end of December 2019. The release of prisoners will be carried out along with withdrawal of troops from several war zones in Ukraine until March 2020.

The question is, why should Russia negotiate with the Ukrainian government? Isn't what happened was a civil war between the Ukrainian army and the rebels? In this case the role of President Macron of France is quite significant. The willingness of Vlaidimir Putin to sit at the same table with President Volodymir Zelenski at a high-level meeting in Paris was at the initiative of President Macron. This confirms that the world does not recognize the claims of rebels who founded a new state in Ukraine. Besides, Russia has acknowledged its direct involvement in the civil war, and appeared to provide a peaceful solution to the war that had caused damage, suffering and tens of thousands of lives.

The High level meeting in Paris between the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine has become a new round of conflict resolution and is expected to create lasting peace in Ukraine.

10
December

 

 

Since December 10, 1950, the world has commemorated International Human Rights Day. In Indonesia, the National Human Rights Commission -Komnas HAM commemorates the day on Monday 9 December, attended by Vice-President Ma'ruf Amin.

 

In his remarks, VP Ma'ruf Amin emphasized the government's commitment to resolve the issue of past human rights violations. He also emphasized that the government continues to seek the best solution through studies by various competent agencies. To support the solution, VP Ma'ruf Amin expects the support of the National Human Rights Commission in conducting studies, research and mediation. He also said that the government is committed to making concrete efforts to fulfill human rights in the fields of civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, which have not yet been fully achieved. He also assessed the need for an ongoing process to achieve better human rights standards or qualities.

 

Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Ahmad Taufan Damanik said that past extraordinary human rights violations are still the homework of the Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin government.

 

In addition, there are still other problems related to agrarian conflicts and natural resources. More importantly, there are problems of intolerance, discrimination and extremism with violence that can disrupt economic and political development.

 

Komnas HAM recorded 11 cases of extraordinary human rights violations which have been handled such as the 1965 Tragedy, Talangsari Case, Mysterious Shooting (Petrus), May 1998 Riots, Missing Activists, and the murder of human rights activist, Munir. These cases have not been resolved until now.

 

Damanik supports the plan of Coordinating Minister for Political Law and Human Rights, Machfud MD who will establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR). So, the cases of human rights violations can be resolved without delay. For Damanik, this is a step forward by the government.However, Damanik believes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should start revealing the truth first. What will be reconciled if the truth is not revealed?

 

Indonesia's step forward in fulfilling human rights is also recognized by the world. Indonesia has been elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2020-2022. This means that the world entrusts international human rights defense to Indonesia as a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Therefore, the Indonesian government must maintain the world's trust by showing its seriousness in resolving cases of extraordinary human rights violations at home. This is consistent with what is mandated in the 1945 Constitution and International Human Rights.

09
December

Today 9 December, the world communities commemorate anti-corruption day. Indonesia is one of the countries that has made the anti-corruption day commemoration as a momentum. The movement to eradicate corruption can certainly be stimulated through the commemoration of international corruption day.

For Indonesia, fighting corruption is a joint commitment. Through law, Indonesia has formed the Corruption Eradication Commission -KPK. This anti-corruption institution is mandated to carry out prevention and enforcement. Trials of cases pursued by the KPK are processed through the TIPIKOR court. There have been many results realized by the KPK. In the course of carrying out its duties, the KPK underwent various dynamics, or we call ‘tests and pressures’. The case of Novel Baswedan is one of the highlights of both Indonesian community and international community. The case has not been revealed until early December 2019. On Monday (9/12), President Joko Widodo called the Indonesian Police Chief, Idham Aziz to ask for an explanation of the results of the Baswedan Novel case investigation. This case is one of several issues faced by the KPK. The latest controversy is the revision of the KPK Law which triggered a huge demonstration in Jakarta and a number of other big cities in Indonesia. The rejection of the KPK Law revision that led to insist President Joko Widodo in a bid to issue a Government Law ( Perpu) until early December 2019, had not yet been completed.

Whatever happens is that the spirit to eradicate corruption must continue to be sounded. Corruption as white-collar crime is an enemy of virtue and advancement. Indonesia with bad corruption index needs to keep learning from other countries that have better index. For Indonesia, comparing itself with countries that have almost achieved zero corruption such as Norway and Sweden is certainly not balanced. What is really interesting is learning how prevention efforts are carried out. Instilling values of honesty and shame in violating the rules needs to be done continuously.

From such matters, the commemoration of World Corruption Day can be a momentum to build joint spirit to eradicate or at least reduce the number of corruption.

05
December

Millennial generation seems to be less interested in agriculture. This is one of the biggest challenges in agricultural development in Indonesia as an agricultural country. If this continues, in the future Indonesia will lack of farmers. Being less interested for millennial generation in farming in the long run will make it difficult for the domestic agricultural sector to develop, both in quality and quantity.


To anticipate the problem of the lack of farmers in the future, the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Agriculture launched the "Millennial Farmers Movement" which was carried out early in 2019 and has been promoted in various regions in Indonesia.


The definition of millennial farmers according to the Ministry of Agriculture is young farmers with age between 19 and 39 years or farmers who are not in that age range but having millennial spirit, being responsive to digital technology, and to agricultural tools and machinery.


Through the Millennial Farmers Movement, millennial farmers are considered capable of improving the nation's economy. They are considered to have an adaptive spirit in understanding digital technology, making it easy to identify and verify technology.


To realize this Millennial Farmer Movement, the government recruits millennial youths to be given training or technical guidance, especially in the application of modern farming, so that it is more advanced, creative and innovative.The movement to create millennial farmers by the Ministry of Agriculture is very relevant to be applied because they are very adaptive in understanding digital technology, supporting the transformation of agriculture from traditional patterns to modern agriculture that is being promoted in Indonesia. Modern farming patterns practiced by millennial farmers can increase production and added value. After about one-year running, the "Millennial Farmers Movement" begins to bring about results in several areas, one of which is Central Java which is able to increase its agricultural production from 9.8 million tons to 9.11 million tons.


In addition to increasing production, modern agricultural patterns practiced by millennial farmers contribute to increasing the value of exports of various agricultural commodities in Central Java to a number of destination countries.The results of the Millennial Farmers Movement are clear evidence that only by applying modern farming patterns, Indonesian farmers are able to realize Indonesia as World Food Barn in 2045, and the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 in all fields.


The Millennial Farmers Movement needs support from the center to the regions, especially the villages. Support from the villages can be provided by expanding wide access of land which is one of the biggest problems in agriculture. Village-owned enterprises must be able to become a bridge to attract young people, by opening access to capital and markets.

02
December

The 30th SEA Games in 2019 was officially opened by President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte at the Philippine Arena, Bulacan in the Philippines. The Southeast Asian Games which take place every two years involve 11 countries in Southeast Asian region.

The 2019 SEA Games takes place from 30 November to 11 December with 56 sports. The number is a record throughout history, breaking the implementation of the 2011 SEA Games in Jakarta which competed 44 sports. More than 5600 athletes compete for 529 gold medals. At this SEA Games, Indonesia sent the second largest contingent after the Philippines consisting of 1.702 athletes.

Historically, Indonesia's first participation was in  the 1977 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nevertheless, Indonesia immediately entered the top-tier medal table. Even then, several times Indonesia won the title of overall winner of the SEA Games.

Records show that Indonesian contingent won the overall champion 10 times in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, and finally in 2011 when the SEA Games was held in Indonesia.

Will Indonesia be able to win the overall champion again? Regarding the target for the 2019 SEA Games, President Joko Widodo in his remarks when releasing the Indonesian contingent at the Presidential Palace, Bogor, West Java, Wednesday (11/27) alluded to Indonesia's success when competing at home at the Asian Games in 2018. He is optimistic that Indonesian athletes can excel in the SEA Games this time and can win 2nd place with a target of 45-50 gold medals. This is not an easy job, but the President is optimistic that the Indonesian contingent can fulfill it. The target, if achieved, is expected to improve Indonesia's position in the final standings of the SEA Games compared to the SEA Games two years ago.

A number of sports are expected to become gold sources for Indonesian contingents. Those who have the opportunity to gain gold include athletics, swimming, bicycles, surfing, ice skating, triathlons, and badminton.

The 2019 SEA Games have begun. The Indonesian people hope that Indonesian athletes can achieve or exceed the medal target that has been declared.

27
November

Islamic Cooperation Organization, OIC, this year has entered the age of 50 years. The 50th anniversary of the OIC which was originally called the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Governor of the Mecca Region, Prince Khalid al Faisal delivered a speech representing the Arab Group, the African group and the Asian Group.

Since its establishment in Rabbat Morocco on September 25, 1969, the Organization's members have continued to grow. This increase certainly reflects the hope that Islamic state organizations can play an active role in solving various problems that exist in Islamic countries. The commemoration theme of United for Peace and Development is actually relevant to the situation in a number of member states.

The Middle East conflict that occurred in Syria still shows that unity and peace must still be fought for. Disputes and differences in political lines between countries that are members of the OIC are one of the causes of the ongoing civil war which has not destroyed Syria and caused the suffering of the people. The poverty that still befalls the people of a number of OIC member states, makes the development diction which is the theme of the birth of the OIC this year reflecting the desire to overcome the remaining problems.


This OIC anniversary will be an introduction to the holding of the OIC state high level conference on 8 to 9 December 2019 in Istanbul Turkey. As reported by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, the summit will raise the theme of Investment for Solidarity and Development. From that theme, there is hope that OIC countries will be able to concentrate on economic development. Entrepreneurs from leading companies in the banking, construction, tourism and trade sectors operating in the OKI geography will attend the conference. Also of course 56 OIC member states, as well as five observer countries and international organizations
This is very important so that Islamic countries with better economic conditions can support the economies of poor and developing countries through mutual investment.

It is hoped that the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Cooperation Organization which will be followed by this summit conference can be a momentum for efforts to make the organization provide better benefits. Especially for members who are involved in conflict and civil war, and hit by poverty.

21
November

State-owned enterprises play a vital role to support Indonesian economic development. As state-owned companies, they are responsible to help the government in making the people prosperous. They also keep developing from year to year. Data from State-owned Enterprises Ministry showed that there are 143 state-owned companies with total asset around Rp 8 thousand trillion. Their contribution towards State Budget in 2018 was Rp 420 trillion.

Indonesian state-owned companies have excellent products. In aviation, various aircrafts are produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia, which have been sold abroad. Then, there are also trains made by PT INKA.

In infrastructure and property, Indonesia has PT Adhi Karya, PT Waskita Karya, PT Jasa Marga, and Wijaya Karya that have penetrated some African countries.

These achievements are the reason why the government keeps pushing the state-owned companies to be a great company, not only inside the country but also in global level. To realize such dream, President Joko Widodo appointed two deputy ministers of state-owned enterprises to increase company performance. They are Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, former President Director of PT Bank Mandiri and Budi Gunadi Sadikin, former President Director of PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium.

State-owned Enterprises Ministry is the only ministry in Joko Widodo’s administration that has two deputy ministers. This certainly aims to make Indonesian state-owned enterprises great with global reputation. President Joko Widodo asked the minister and deputy ministers to cooperate in achieving that global reputation.

To realize the vision and mission of President Joko Widodo, Minister of State-owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir takes a brave step by refreshing the leaders’ organization in his ministry. Seven echelons I have been put into new positions at various state-owned companies.

The brave step of Minister Erick Thohir should be supported and the people are waiting for the result. Hopefully, Minister Thohir will be consistent in taking brave step, apart from political intervention that can disturb performance of the state-owned enterprises.

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