Editorial

Editorial (390)

07
June

 

In Western Europe people may be paying attention to the visit of US President Donald Trump to Britain. As well as to  the 75th anniversary of the Allied troops landing in Normandy. In the east, two leaders whose countries share less warm relations with the United States and Western Europe met. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.

The United States is moving  away from China with a trade war and later because of the case of a telecommunications equipment company that was considered to carry out espionage activities. Russia shunned the United States and Western Europe for their support of militias in Ukraine and occupation of the Crimean peninsula. At a meeting with Putin on Wednesday (June 5, 2019), President Xi Jinping regarded Putin as a friend. Putin responded by saying he was happy because the relations between the two countries had increased.

This relationship will likely more increase because this feeling of being shunned will encourage closer relations in various sectors including the military. Among others by  allowing a Russian telecommunications company to be supported by a Chinese company in developing the 5G network. Thursday Xi Jinping spoke at the economic forum in St. Petersburg. Nevertheless Russia's dependence on China is greater than that of China to Russia. So far the Chinese products has been aimed more at the US and the European Union  market than Russia. While Russia sent 15% of its exports to China.

This visit has indeed become a new chapter for Sino-Russian bilateral relations. This is a solution for the two countries to be able to withstand sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. The world would  look forward to this closeness in a positive perspective and not at the two unite to conflict with the Western alliance.

 

06
June

 

World Environment Day is commemorated every June 5 to increase global awareness on the need to take positive environmental action for nature protection and the planet Earth. The commemoration began when UN General Assembly during Stockholm Conference in 1972 designed 5 of June as World Environment Day. All human being is expected to be part of global act in voicing protection for earth, sustainable use of natural resources, and eco-friendly lifestyle. Then, how is the active role of Indonesian government in supporting the Day this year?

Twenty-four years after the day designation, Indonesia held Environment and Forestry Week, a part of routine agenda from the government through its Environment and Forestry Ministry to commemorate the World Environment Day. Until now, the event has been held for 23 times. The Environment and Forestry Week will be held at Jakarta Convention Centre, on July 11-13 2019. During the event, there will be various environment management product and services being showcased. One hundred participants join the event and they are from ministries, related non-ministerial government bodies, friend countries, regional governments of Indonesia, state-owned enterprises, private companies, NGO on environment and energy, and higher education. There will be exhibition on environment management performance, seminar, talk show, and many more.

Theme for this year’s Environment and Forestry Week is Clean Environment Free from Waste. Why? It’s to support waste reduction campaign. During Ramadan month, there had been many education events for the people on waste management and reduction. The events targeted many markets to convey the message on reducing plastic bag, using reusable bottles, and others. Meanwhile, for the homecoming people, there had been campaign on the same matter across some toll road rest areas.

All that moves are necessary because the global worry on waste, especially the plastic ones, has strong basis. Data from worldenvironmentday.global showed, everyone on this planet bought 1 million plastic bottle and 50% of them are single-use types. Everyone also used 500 billion plastic bags, and plastic is 10% of the total waste we produce. Not only that, plastic pollution has been threatening the nature. Many plastics washed into the sea can kill millions of seabirds and thousands sea mammals every single year.

With all that threats against the planet, its nature, and even us, increasing awareness and keep promoting environment preservation should go beyond a mere plan. They need real action which is done together. It can begin from ourselves, but it’ll be far better if done together.

 

05
June

 

In Indonesia yesterday was the end of Ramadan month and  the arrival of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims throughout the world welcome the day with  traditions of each country or nation. Indonesian Muslims who are the majority of the population,   celebrate  it with silaturakhim. It means getting together with family and friends, asking forgiveness or forgiving each other for any mistakes in the past. In Indonesia Eid al-Fitr is characterized by the movement of people from  cities to villages. The homeward bound journey is often called “mudik”.  It is one of the largest human movement in the world.

Whatever differences between various nations, Eid Al-Fitr should be marked by a spirit of togetherness and peace. Fasting and Ramadhan worship, as taught by Muhammad the Prophet, gave guidance that fasting is to make  human morality become  better. Muslims are expected to make Ramadhan a momentum  to increase piety. To realize that  people should  understand, love, and appreciate each other because they are all  God's creations. People must live in peace and harmony,  try to find similarities in life rather than to  focus  on differences .

But the ideals of Ramadhan and Eid al-Fitr clash with the reality of the continuing conflicts, upheaval, hostility and war, among fellow Muslims. What happened in Syria is a real example. The Muslim Civil War continues. Thousands of people have died as a result of armed conflicts. In Sudan, ahead of Eid al-Fitr, there was a turmoil that killed some demonstrators.

During Ramadan, Palestinian Muslims in the Gaza Strip have become victims of Israeli military attacks.

Meanwhile, some Muslims in other part of the world  have to celebrate Eid al-Fitr within economic constraints, even poverty. Rohingya refugees of Myanmar for instance, are difficult to  fully welcome  Eid al-Fitr with great happiness in their make-shift  camps in Bangladesh.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that today many  Muslims who are part of a minority in a majority non-Muslim country can carry out Ramadan worship solemnly, and peacefully before   welcoming  Eid al-Fitr with joy.

May all  Muslims anywhere in the world can be happy in  welcoming  Eid al-Fitr. The spirit of peace and togetherness, should spread from  Eid al-Fitr.

04
June

 


The Indonesian government has set 1 Shawwal 1440 Hijriah on June 5, 2019. This means that in Indonesia which is predominantly Moslems, Moslems are going to jointly celebrate Idul Fitri on that day. For Moslems all over the world, Idul Fitri reflects a victory over a month-long struggle to resist lust.


Welcoming this special day, in particular, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo congratulated 'Idul Fitri' to the people of Indonesia. In his message, he prayed for the safety of those who returned home to celebrate Idul Fitri and stay in touch with all their families, neighbors and friends. Homecoming is a typical tradition for some Indonesians, especially those who live in cities. But more interestingly, he suggests making Idul Fitri a medium to strengthen the unity and brotherhood among Indonesian people. President Joko Widodo also calls on all Indonesians with a clean heart after undergoing fasting in a bid to build a better, more advanced and prosperous Indonesian nation.


This year's Idul Fitri for Indonesia is a special value. Because, Indonesia just held a presidential and legislative elections on 17 April. The national election results were already announced by the General Election Commission -KPU on May 21st, 2019. Candidate pairs: Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf won the election with 55.50 percent, defeating candidate pair: Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno. The determination of the 2019 presidential election winner is still awaiting the outcome of the dispute trial, which is scheduled to be announced on June 15, 2019.


The appeal of President Joko Widodo to re-strengthen unity and brotherhood as a nation has enormous meaning. Because since September 2018 until the announcement of the election, some Indonesians had different choices with fanaticism towards each of the candidate they supported. Narration war to support their candidates on social media is also very sharp. It is very appropriate in his Idul Fitri message that President Joko Widodo appeals for all Indonesians to strengthen unity and brotherhood as one of the foundations for the Unitary Republic of Indonesia to become a strong and advanced country. The president's appeal must be sounded. We do not expect someone's fanaticism to defeat his or her obligation to build the Indonesian nation and state towards being peaceful and prosperous.


Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriah becomes the right momentum for the Indonesian nation with a clean heart, and full of determination to strengthen brotherhood and unity towards a strong nation and to play a major role regionally and globally, especially in every effort to create peace.


Happy celebrating Idul Fitri for all Moslems in the world!

03
June

Goodbye Ani Yudhoyono

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Published in Editorial

Indonesian people were surprised by the news of the death of the First Lady of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2004-2014, Ani Yudhoyono at the age of 67 years. The wife of the 6th President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono passed away in treatment at Singapore's National University Hospital on Saturday afternoon (02/06) at 11.50 Singapore time after the last four months, she struggled with blood cancer she suffered.Ani Yudhoyono's body on Saturday night was rested at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and then taken to Jakarta that night to be rested again in Puri Cikeas, Bogor, West Java before being buried at Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in East Jakarta on Sunday afternoon (2/6).As a former First Lady, Ani Yudhoyono was polite and modest, sympathetic to the people of Indonesia and the world. President Joko WI dodo expressed deep condolence. Besides, expressions of condolence were also conveyed by several world’s leaders, such as President of Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and also Heads of foreign representatives in Indonesia as well as the Indonesian community at home and abroad. In addition, several state officials, including community leaders and the general public were seen at home and cemetery to express their deep sorrow to the family of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and to give final respect to the late Ani Yodhoyono.Kristiani Herrawati, better known as Ani Yudhoyono, has great attention to education and environment. While accompanying Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his duties as president, Ani Yudhoyono showed high concern for the education through the Smart Car and Smart House program. That is the education care program initiated by Ani along with the wives of the ministers of United Indonesia Cabinet (KIB). The establishment of Smart Houses and Smart Cars has become a means of education for people outside formal schools. The facility serves as a place of learning and library to foster interest in reading. In addition to the Smart Indonesia program, there have been several programs initiated by Ani Yudhoyono such as Green Indonesia, Indonesia Care, Healthy Indonesia, and Creative Indonesia.Tigers die leaving stripes; elephants die leaving ivory. Humans leave names. Ani Yudhoyono leaves sweet memories that will continue to be remembered for good. During her life, Ani Yudhoyono dedicated her life to humanitarian values; she was active in eradicating illiteracy, developing national crafts, empowering and prospering families, especially women and children. For services and great dedication to the nation and state, in 2011, the Indonesian government awarded the Bintang Mahaputra Adipradana Award to Ani Yudhoyono.

Goodbye Ani Yudhoyono!

31
May


Since Thursday and Friday (May 30 and 31, 2019), three summits have been taking place successively in Saudi Arabia. The first event is the Arab League Summit. The second is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit and the last event on Friday is the Summit of the Islamic Cooperation Organization -OIC. The first summit was held since tensions in the region increased. In fact, the Gulf Cooperation Council summit is called an emergency meeting. Meanwhile, the OIC Summit has been planned to take place in Mecca.The Arab League summit and the Gulf Cooperation Council are closely linked to the increasingly heated situation in the Gulf region. Some days before, at least, 2 incidents triggered an increase in tension. The first was an attack on an oil carrier. Until today, it is unclear who is responsible for the attack. The second is the drone attack from Yemen which is believed to be carried out by the Houthis against Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. The tension was worsened by the presence of US warships that are about to anticipate any attacks in the region.According to Saudi Arabia, Iran is considered to be behind all these attacks. In addition, an expression of a US official also seemed to corner Iran over the attack on the tankers. During the emergency summit, Saudi Arabia suddenly invited Qatar, which has been disliked over the past two years.Iran that was targeted by the black campaign did not remain silent. With several countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, which still have good relations with Tehran, Iran has taken an approach to become a mediator with Saudi Arabia and the United States to reduce the escalating tensions in the region.Whatever is the decision at the three summits should create an opportunity to reduce the tension towards the peace negotiation forum. It proves that there is no lasting conflict. This means that Qatar is invited at these summits. This is not an easy job but can still be carried out as long as the warring parties want to sit together to communicate towards a solution to peace.

28
May

 

A few days before the celebration of Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriah, a lot of remittance of Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI) who work in some countries is sent to some regions throughout Indonesia, such as Sukabumi, West Java. Money transfer service of Sukabumi Post Office reported that there is an increase of 15 percent this Ramadhan month compared to the normal months. The amount of remittance from abroad reaches around Rp 40 to 50 billion per month through the post office. The amount of the migrant workers' remittance is huge, because in addition to the Post Office, several banks can receive the remittance service. In addition, many Indonesian migrant workers send money to their families through their colleagues who come back to Indonesia in a bid to enjoy ‘Lebaran’. Most of the remittance comes from the Middle East countries, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Cianjur Post Office is busy receiving the TKI’s remittance. Through the Cianjur post office for this year's Ramadhan, the amount reaches Rp97 billion. Head of the Cianjur Post Office, Deni Ahmad Zaenudin stated that the remittance in Ramadhan this year is likely to increase compared to last year's Ramadan which reached Rp.113 billion. The remittance comes from Middle East countries and Southeast Asian countries in general.

Other regions in the border point such as Nunukan in North Kalimantan also use the services of the Post Office to receive remittance from abroad. The fact is that from year to year, the number of Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI) who go abroad to work is getting bigger. But if you look at the high rate of remittance through post office services, there are probably not many migrant workers who use banking services. Even though the migrant workers may have accounts at banks, their families in the villages do not necessarily have them.

Government’s data in 2017 showed that the level of financial inclusion in Indonesia has only reached 63 percent. This means that every hundred Indonesian citizens, only 63 have an account at the bank. If the family in the village has a bank account, sending money can be easier and faster. They can also enjoy holidays during Lebaran without worrying about waiting a little longer.

27
May

 


The heated situation of the trade war between the United States (US) and China may bring about an impact on Indonesia's national economic growth. Moreover, the US has raised China's import tariffs to 25 percent more recently. According to some observers, at present, the global conditions make Indonesia's economic growth this year projected to only reach around 5.1 percent or below the government's target set in the 2019 State Budget (APBN), which is 5.3 percent. The argument put forward is that the trade war has made the demands of both countries, the US and China decline and the prices of major export commodities are also low.


On the contrary, the government is optimistic that this year's economic growth target of 5.3 percent can still be achieved, even though the temperature of the trade war between the United States and China is increasingly heating up. What is the basis of the government's belief that 5.3 percent economic growth can be achieved?


The realization of economic growth in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018, which was maintained positively, seems to strengthen the optimism. To achieve the economic growth target, the government is now committed to encouraging the export of a number of priority industrial groups, especially what has been decided by the Ministry of Industry in Industry 4.0. Five priority industry groups are included in Industry 4.0. They are food and beverage industry, textiles and clothing, electronics, automotive, and the chemical industry. In addition, the government is also committed to encouraging the processing of natural resources such as the construction of smelters and processing of palm oil. These efforts make the government optimistic that the 5.3 economic growth target can be achieved this year.

24
May

 

Since Monday (May 20, 2019), Ukraine has been officially led by Volodymyr Zelensky who won the country's elections. His victory was quite fantastic because he could reach more than 70% of the votes in the second round, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. This was quite surprising because Zelensky defeated his opponent who has a lot of experience  in the political world. However, the fact is that the Ukrainian people prefer a 41-year-old comedian who often plays the role of president to become a real president. Dissatisfaction with the political situation in Ukraine was a factor in Zelensky's victory.

Other surprises also happened after Zelensky was elected. Before being sworn in, the presidential elect disputed with parliament about the date of his inauguration. After being sworn in, the surprise continued with President Zelensky's plan to dissolve the parliament. Instead of waiting for the general election to be held in October, Zelensky chose to dissolve the parliament. Thus to form a new parliament, early elections will be held next July. The President, despite having a large people's mandate, apparently was not too supported in the parliament. So, the agendas, including choosing key officials, are not necessarily going smoothly.

With early elections, an important stage of political and economic reform can be passed. That’s something difficult to do with the current parliament. Some of the most difficult things confronted by Zelensky include: the occupation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia, armed conflict in the eastern part of the country, and the economic crisis that plagued Ukraine.

Being a president in a play may be done by a comedian by following the script storyline. But being a true president, the leader of a country must carry out in accordance with the mandate of the constitution, not just a simple script. The Ukrainian people will judge whether the comedianwho turns to be president can carry out his duties as a true leader by resolving the problems at hand.

23
May

 


Indonesians agricultural sector has kept showing impressive achievements in recent years. This can be seen from the surge in export value and the increase in Gross Domestic Product -GDP which contributes to economic growth and declines poverty rate.


Since 2015, exports of agricultural products have experienced a surge compared to the previous period. In 2015, the volume of agricultural exports reached 40.4 million tons. In 2014, the volume of agricultural export products only reached 36.1 million tons. In 2017, exports of agricultural products reached 41.3 million tons. In 2018, the volume of agricultural product exports rose to 42.5 million tons. If accumulated, the total exports have reached Rp 1,764 trillion over the past four years.


Various achievements in the Indonesian agricultural sector received appreciation from several international delegations who attended the Regional Conference on Strengthening Southeast Asia's Food Security, Nutrition, and Farmers' Welfare through the UN Decade of Family Farming in Jakarta more recently.


Deputy Country Director of World Food Program, Peter Holtsberg admitted, he was impressed with the achievements of Indonesian agriculture sector development in the recent years, especially related to development initiatives focused on infrastructure, capacity building, training, and efforts to bring access for small farmers to local and international markets.

Furthermore, IFAD Country Program Manager for Pacific, Taufiq El-Zabri acknowledged that the efforts made by Indonesian government were enough to inspire and encourage other countries to do the same in pushing the development of the agricultural sector. He was impressed with models of capacity building, training, infrastructure development, and efforts to increase added value. According to him, the support made by the government has been considered successful and shows an increase in farmers' income, improved nutritional status, and better education and livelihoods.

Quoting FFTC website, the Food Sustainability Index released by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2016 placed Indonesian agriculture sector at 25th of 113 countries; and 16th for agriculture sustainability.


When the national exports are weakening, the achievement of the agricultural sector is very encouraging, because Indonesian agricultural products show impressive performance. It is appropriate for agriculture to become the backbone of the Indonesian economy, given that many agricultural products have potential export.

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