Editorial (461)


Finally, after a series of fierce battles since Tuesday 12 November and killing 34 Palestinians, the Islamic Jihad Militant Group announced a ceasefire agreed with Israel. Islamic Jihad militant spokesman, Musbab Al-Berim said that the ceasefire came into effect on Thursday November 14 at 5:30 local time. Unfortunately, there has been no confirmation from Israel at the ceasefire. Fierce fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad broke out on Tuesday 12 November morning after an Israeli air strike killed a Senior Islamic Jihad Militant Commander, Material Abu el-Atta who was thought to be responsible for a series of rocket attacks and planning large-scale attacks. If Islamic Jihad considers that a ceasefire agreement had been reached, the Israeli side did not comment at all. The Islamic Jihad group submitted a list of demands, including that Israel stop the targeted attacks on Islamic Jihad militant leaders and open the blockade on Gaza, that has been in place for the past 12 years.

The Gaza militant ceasefire agreement with Israel mediated by Egypt almost never ends smoothly. A truce is rarely recognized by Israel. Even last year, exactly 15 November 2018, Israeli Minister of Defense, Avidgor Lieberman announced his resignation from the right-wing coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Avidgor protested the ceasefire in Gaza at that time. He instead asked Israel to be more aggressive in Gaza.

Learning from the previous conditions, it is appropriate for the international community to be pessimistic about the ceasefire reached in Gaza today. The presence of international institutions, especially the UN peacekeeping force is jointly needed to ensure the peace realization between Palestine and Israel in Gaza.


In a limited meeting with the agenda of delivering programs and activities in the field of politics, law and security at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday (31/10), President Joko Widodo requested his staff to prevent the radicalism movement. The president's request shows how serious the development of radicalism is in Indonesia today.

The eradication of radicalism and intolerance is one of the focuses of the second period of Joko Widodo's government. In fact, President Joko Widodo highlighted a discourse to change the term radicalism to "religious manipulator" as one solution to overcome such doctrine.

The radicalism movement continues to grow on a wider and more massive scale in line with the era of the industrial revolution 4.0. Indonesia must also be prepared to fortify itself from the effects of negative global influences, including the development of radicalism. It is appropriate that President Joko Widodo and the ranks under Coordinating Ministry of  Political, Legal and Security Affairs redefine and reevaluate the issue of radicalism. Thus, it is hoped that the government can better recognize the substance of the issue of radicalism.

A new government approach to change the paradigm that associates radical adherents from certain religious groups needs to be done. Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD has emphasized that radicalism is not identical with Islam and certain religions or certain people and mass organizations.

In addition, the de-radicalization program must also be evaluated and revised so that it is in line with the paradigm changes chosen by the government.

New approaches and paradigms in dealing with radicalism should also be targeted at the root of the problem such as injustice in the economic,  political, legal, and social aspects.

The root of the problem is actually already well-recognized by the government. However, this problem cannot yet be dealt with  and resolved comprehensively. With a new paradigm and more substantive approach, the prevention and eradication of radicalism will be more effective.



Coinciding with the commemoration of the Youth Pledge on October 28, on Monday afternoon local time, President Joko Widodo inaugurated Youtefa Bridge in Jayapura City, Papua. The name ‘Youtefa’ was taken at the request of the local customary community because the bridge is above the Youtefa Bay.

In his welcoming address, President Joko Widodo said that this bridge becomes a milestone in Papua, which is not only a major symbol of unifying the nation, but also a symbol of the importance of progress towards developing Papua.

The Youtefa Bridge was built in 2015. President Joko Widodo laid the first stone to mark the beginning of the construction of the bridge with 732 meters long and 21 meters wide. This development spent around Rp1.8 trillion. The bridge connects the main area of Jayapura City with Muara Tami District. The budget fund for building the bridge was spent from both the central and regional governments. The composition of the financing is a symbol of good synergy between the central and regional governments. Now, Papua has a new icon, Youtefa Bridge. This bridge with characteristic red curved poles can be an amazing attraction for tourists. In addition, this bridge can also boost economic relations between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, which so far has been through Skouw Cross-border Post (PLBN) located in Muara Tami.

The Youtefa Bridge is a form of the commitment of President Joko Widodo's administration in building infrastructure in Papua. Although there have been security disturbances in Papua lately, which has attracted international attention and criticism of his government, President Joko Widodo has repeated the commitment in the second term of his administration. Papua becomes the first location he visited after his inauguration as president for the 2019-2024 term with Vice President Ma'ruf Amin. It is hoped that with the operation of the Youtefa Bridge, the mobility of both people and goods of Papua can run smoothly and Papua can catch up with the advanced regions in Indonesia.


Youths have an important role in the journey of a nation. History records that Indonesia's independence was achieved thanks to the role of the youths. Thanks to the insistence of youths who "kidnapped" Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta to Rengasdengklok, West Java, Indonesia then succeeded in proclaiming its independence in 1945.

Indeed, the role of youths in pursuing independence had existed long before 1945, starting from the establishment of the Boedi Oetomo youth organization in 1908, until the holding of the Youth Congress One and Two, which then produced a pledge known as the Youth Pledge.

The Youth Pledge initiated on 28 October 1928 became an instrument and encouragement for the Indonesian people to be independent. With the promulgation of the Youth Pledge, the struggle of the Indonesian nation which was formerly regional in nature was successfully put together to realize an independent Indonesia.

Of course, today's youths are different from the youths 91 years ago, Today's youths are living in the era of fast-paced technology 4.0. What was experienced by young people in 1928 is certainly different from today's youths when information technology is so advanced.

On one hand, the rapid development of information technology has positive and negative impacts. On the one hand, the speed of information technology enables young people to enhance their knowledge, development of resources, and competitiveness. However, the development of information technology also has a negative impact if what is received is destructive. Take for example; the information is about radicalism. Thus, Indonesian youths must now be smart to filter, sort and choose the information. They might differentiate which information is useful, less useful or dangerous.

In addition, Indonesian youths must have strong character, faith and piety, high integrity, honesty, politeness, leadership, intellectuality and responsibility. They must be disciplined and able to innovate in a bid to play an active role at the international level. Youths are the hope and future of the nation and state. Happy Youth Pledge Day!


The ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit will take place in Busan City, South Korea on November 25-27. The meeting will mark the close relations between ASEAN and South Korea, which have been running since 1989. The summit will also draw up a blueprint for the ASEAN-Korea relations for the next 3 decades. This was conveyed by Lim Sung-nam, South Korean Ambassador to ASEAN based in Jakarta in a dialogue forum held by the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC) in Jakarta on Thursday (10/24). Since November 2017, there has been a change in the flow of Korea's foreign policy through the New Southern Policy. The implementation of the 'New Southern Policy' focuses on 3Ps: people, peace, and prosperity. Especially with Indonesia and ASEAN, Lim Sung-nam also expressed his commitment to build an economic partnership between South Korea and ASEAN, which is led by Indonesia, equivalent to 4 powerful countries around it. The close relationship between ASEAN and South Korea will strengthen cooperation in the fields of labor exchanges, technology and cultural arts. He also hopes to build a community of mutual prosperity through mutual economic cooperation with Indonesia, and to further contribute to peace throughout Asia by security cooperation. Bilateral trade volume is targeted to reach US$30 billion dollars by 2022 and more than US$50 billion dollars in the long run.

How about North Korea? In the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2018, President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo proposed that Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un be invited to the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-South Korea cooperation this November. According to President Joko Widodo, the invitation will encourage peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula; he also encouraged the meeting to make North Korea be committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. For 5 decades, Indonesia has established bilateral relations with North Korea and fully supports the ongoing peaceful situation on the Korean Peninsula. Although it was mentioned that he would attend the summit, until now there is no certainty whether Leader Kim Jong-un will fulfill the invitation. There is still one month ahead to improve communication between the parties' diplomacy towards North Korea, so that the 33rd ASEAN Summit will be able to run optimally. We hope that Indonesia can play a strategic role in this matter. In the end, the ASEAN - Republic of Korea Summit will bring peace to the ASEAN region, the Korean Peninsula, including the international world.


Finally, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced his cabinet members three days after his inauguration. Along with Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin, the president did something unusual when announcing his aides for the next five years. President Joko Widodo announced his ministers and institutional leaders by sitting on the stairs in front of the State Palace. There were 34 ministers and 4 ministerial-level positions. They will work together in the administration of Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin to bring Indonesia forward.

For three days, the people of Indonesia watched figures answering summon from the State Palace. Many speculated the right figures to support the president for the next five years.

President Joko Widodo fulfilled his promise that his cabinet will have more professionals and fewer politicians. More than 56 percent are professionals. However, the most interesting part is that Joko Widodo appointed Prabowo Subianto, his former rival, to become Minister of Defense. This is a very strategic position in a government. Former National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian as Home Affairs Minister became a hot topic.

As we know, President Joko Widodo has prerogative rights. It seems he did not want to be dictated by his supporters, since it will be fatal for his government. Along with Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin, the President also let young generation joining in as national development engine. More overly, with the upcoming national demographic bonus, the government wants to plant strong will to move fast, so that Indonesia can catch up with her neighboring countries.

Despite of pros and cons about the chosen ministers of Indonesia Onward, no one is perfect. Everyone has their own weakness and strength. Instead, the most important thing is that professionalism of president’s aides in executing better bureaucracy is what can bring Indonesia onward. With slogan “Work, work, work…,” hopefully bureaucracy inside the government will speed up every matter and ease the development and economy.


The inauguration of Indonesian President, Joko Widodo and Vice President, Ma’ruf Amin for the period 2019 - 2024 has taken place smoothly and safely. What has been a serious discussion is that who will be chosen by President Joko Widodo to help him work in his cabinet. After the inauguration, President Joko Widodo said that he would introduce the nominated ministers.

The Indonesian people have to wait for those who are going to lead the ministries and high state institutions. On the previous occasion, President Joko Widodo asked the public to patiently wait for the cabinet announcement. He emphasized that Indonesia has many great people and are able to lead the ministries and institutions; they are willing to serve the nation. President Joko Widodo also mentioned that the ministers who would help him come from academicians, bureaucrats, politicians, Santri, officers of Indonesian Armed Forces –TNI army and the National Police -Polri. He also emphasized that those people are not difficult to find.

Who will fill the position in the cabinet under Joko Widodo - Ma'ruf Amin’s administration? Of course, those who are expected to be are that they will work to answer the needs of the Indonesian people. They are able to fully interpret and carry out what President Joko Widodo wants in his Nawa Cita, the Nine Programs. The second term of President Joko Widodo’s administration becomes very crucial to accelerate in order to achieve the desired targets and objectives.

The next cabinet is expected to move quickly to the five focuses of government: development of human resources and infrastructure, streamlining regulatory constraints, simplifying bureaucracy and economic transformation. The next ministers are also expected to work in the interests of the state and nation, ignoring the interests of the groups or parties that carry them. So, they will work for five years sincerely. High hopes rely on their shoulders, who would later occupy the positions in the government cabinet of Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin. They are expected to bring Indonesia with more excellent human resources to move forward.


On Sunday, October 20, Joko Widodo and Ma'aruf Amin took the oath as President and Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia. Thus, both of them officially become the President and Vice President of the 2019-2024 period. Oath swearing took place wisely in the plenary session at the MPR / DPR RI Building, Senayan in Central Jakarta, Sunday (10/20/2019). Even though the inauguration was a bit behind the schedule, the event took place smoothly and safely.

The plenary session of Jokowi-Ma'ruf's inauguration was attended by 16 honored guests, representatives from friendly countries, from heads of state to special envoys and ambassadors. In addition, from within the country, the 5th President of Indonesia -Megawati Soekarnoputri and the 6th President of Indonesia -Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono were also present. Even, Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno who became Jokowi-Ma'ruf's rivals during the 2019 Presidential Election were also present. Of course, this proves that competition is over and it's time to unite to build the country.

President Joko Widodo in his speech said that the dreams and ideals of the Indonesian people in 2045, exactly one century of Indonesia's independence, is that Indonesia has emerged from the middle class income trap. Indonesia has become a developed country with an income of around Rp320 million per capita per year or around Rp27 million per capita per month. According to him, Indonesia's Gross Domestic Product -GDP in 2045 will reach US$ 7 trillion. At the time, Indonesia is in the top 5 world economies with poverty approaching zero percent. He also emphasized that the target is very rational and possible to achieve. However, this certainly cannot be achieved easily; the Indonesian people must work hard as always delivered by President Joko Widodo at every opportunity.
In addition, he also said that in a world that is full of risk, very dynamic, and competitive, the Indonesian people must continue to develop new ways and values, instead of trapping in a monotonous routine.

In the current stagnant condition of the world economy, and even tends to decline due to trade war, of course hard work and innovation are needed to reach the top 5 of the world economy in the next 25 years.Happy working -President Joko Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin! The target has been made. Now, it's only how to achieve it.




Eventually, PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines can resume its operations after 10 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) synergized to help it be active again. Garuda Indonesia along with nine other SOEs synergized to form a strategic partnership in a bid to restructure the business of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines. The cooperation agreement includes collaboration in the field of air cargo services, ground-handling, overhaul maintenance, and training centers. The cooperation agreement was signed directly by President Director of PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, Ari Askhara, Managing Director of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Asep Ekanugraha, and directors of nine other SOEs in Jakarta, Wednesday (10/16/2019).

PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines has ceased operations since February 1, 2014. This is due to Merpati's debt to a number of creditors, which reached Rp10.72 trillion.

PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines had experienced its golden time in 1989-1992. At that time, Merpati had various types of aircraft, from jets to small-sized propeller planes, which totaled 100 aircraft. With a considerable number of fleets at the time, Merpati controlled pioneer flights in Indonesia. Short-distance routes to remote areas could be controlled by Merpati. The airline operated on the routes that were considered uneconomical.

At the time, Merpati's performance was strengthened by the synergy with Garuda Indonesia. Merpati served as a Garuda Indonesia feeder to serve flights to all corners of the country. During its golden time, PT Merpati also served international flights: to the United States and Australia. For the United States, Merpati had served Biak-Honolulu-Los Angeles route.

At present, the aviation business in Indonesia has developed rapidly and is able to increase human mobility efficiently and has proven to contribute positively to the regional economy. Unfortunately, access to remote areas and remote islands is still limited, considering the implementation of pioneering flights has not been optimal.

With the re-operation of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, of course, access to remote areas and remote islands is increasingly open. Certainly, the re-operation of PT Merpati will support the efforts of the Indonesian government to build connectivity across Indonesia. 


It is still about a  week ahead before the inauguration of the Indonesian President and Vice-President which is scheduled to take place on October 20, 2019. But the signal that non-coalition  parties will join the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin coalition, is increasingly clear. President Joko Widodo has invited two chairmen of these  non-coalition parties to discuss their possibility to joing the government.

Last Thursday (October 10), President Joko Widodo met Democratic Party Chairperson, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the State Palace in Jakarta. On Friday (October 11), it was the turn of the General Chairperson of the Gerindra Party, Prabowo Subianto who was invited by President Joko Widodo to the State Palace. The President admitted that in the two meetings, he discussed the possibility of the Democratic Party and Gerindra to enter into his second period of his administration. The meeting certainly became a new chapter of President Joko Widodo's relationship with Prabowo and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who were in a different camp during the 2019 elections.

It is not wrong if President Joko Widodo calls for Gerindra and Democrat parties to join the coalition government later. Gerindra and Democrats are the two major parties outside the coalition of Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf.

Although Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono did not provide information for the outcome of the meeting, in his contemplative speech some time ago, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recommended Democratic cadres and the public to support the Jokowi-Ma'ruf Amin government. In fact, Democratic Party Secretary General, Hinca Pandjaitan told reporters on Friday (11/10)  that  his party is ready to join the cabinet if requested.

Meanwhile before President Joko Widodo, Prabowo said that he is ready to join the government coalition if needed. If in the end his cadres do not engage in  the government, Prabowo promised that Gerindra would still help the government but in a different way.

The possibility of Gerindra and Democratic parties to join the government is believed to change the map of the coalition in the next five years. It is certain that there will be seats in the Jokowi-Ma'ruf cabinet for the cadres of the two parties. That means that the Democratic Party and Gerindra, which originally would become the opposition parties  and are expected to be a counterweight to the Jokowi-Ma'ruf government, will support the government.

In a democratic system, the opposition is very important. Its existence is needed to control the government. So, the possibility of  tyranny  can be minimized. However so far, the political system in Indonesia does not recognize the opposition party. Even in deciding various problems, both in the DPR, the MPR and other forums, Indonesians tend to seek deliberations to reach consensus rather than voting which is considered a last resort. Whereas in a democracy, voting is very normal and natural.

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