Editorial

Editorial (390)

01
April

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


 

27
March

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

26
March

 

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

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


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


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


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

25
March

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

20
March


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


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


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


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

21
March

 


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

18
March

The debate of Vice-Presidential Candidates was held in Jakarta on Sunday night (17/3). Many observers consider the debate to be flat. However, the debate took place smoothly. The debate of Vice-Presidential Candidates who were not accompanied by each presidential candidate highlighted major issues: Education, Employment, Health, and Socio-culture. The issues raised are essential now, considering the situation and conditions of the issues abroad have spread rapidly throughout the world through the role of information media. In the debate, Vice-Presidential candidate No. 01, Ma'ruf Amin encourages the development of pilot companies in the supply of employment related to employment issue. Meanwhile in the education sector, he will revitalize vocational schools and polytechnics that may lead to create a ready-made and educated workforce and the development of national research bodies. For health issue, he will continue to improve and expand the Healthy Indonesia Card and other health programs that have been launched into the Community. Ma'ruf Amin also offers three new cards, namely the KIP for university students’ card, pre-employment, and cheap basic necessities.Meanwhile, Vice-Presidential candidate No. 02 offers ideas to raise the fund of research and technology by encouraging collaboration with the business world. While in education, he proposes the abolition of the national exam and this is replaced by a program of talent and interest. In the field of employment, Sandiaga Uno will encourage Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to absorb employment and Link and Match between the world of education and the world of work. Vice President 02 also offers one card, which is the identity card, KTP that can be accessed by all programs.Apart from the many parties assessing the spread of the vice presidential debate, at least, the ideas of both vice-presidential candidates have been able to prove that they are ready to accompany their partners. The ideas of debate can also show that their capacity is not just a presidential counterpart. However, the debate did not touch the media of information as a supporting factor in the issues highlighted. In fact, information media through social media can, at least, support the implementation of issues that run well in terms of distribution, control and evaluation. 

15
March

On Wednesday (March 13, 2019), the Algerian people held a mass rally in several cities in Algeria. They rejected the package of political solutions put forward by the ruling President, Abelaziz Bouteflika on Monday. What exactly was put forward by the President so the Algerian people refused? President Abelaziz decided to postpone the implementation of the general election. They rallied against the decision by stating violations of the constitution on articles No. 107 and 110. Their demands are that the general elections be held on April 18, 2019 as stated before and the incumbent President cannot participate in the general election. He already accommodated the wishes of the protesters not to run again. However, that is not enough because they considered the postponement of the general election only to extend his term of office. This crisis is triggered by President Bouteflika's desire to take part in the upcoming general election. However, many wishes are not expected by many people because President Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years and his health condition is less stable after suffering a stroke six years ago. Although he finally chooses not to take part in the election again and even overhauled the composition of the cabinet, President Bouteflika does not clearly specify how long the election will be postponed. So, there is concern if he then appoints a certain successor to replace him. Another concern is that delaying the general election can threaten democracy in Algeria. Algeria experienced a political crisis in the 80s which led to armed conflict in the 90s and ended in 2002. Of course, no one expects a similar conflict in Algeria. Now, the important role in the hands of the elite in the country is to find the best solution so that the political crisis can be resolved immediately without bloodshed and the Algerian people can accept the solution.

15
March

 

On Wednesday (March 13, 2019), the Algerian people held a mass rally in several cities in Algeria. They rejected the package of political solutions put forward by the ruling President, Abelaziz Bouteflika on Monday. What exactly was put forward by the President so the Algerian people refused? President Abelaziz decided to postpone the implementation of the general election.

They rallied against the decision by stating violations of the constitution on articles No. 107 and 110. Their demands are that the general elections be held on April 18, 2019 as stated before and the incumbent President cannot participate in the general election. He already accommodated the wishes of the protesters not to run again. However, that is not enough because they considered the postponement of the general election only to extend his term of office.

This crisis is triggered by President Bouteflika's desire to take part in the upcoming general election. However, many wishes are not expected by many people because President Bouteflika has been in power for 20 years and his health condition is less stable after suffering a stroke six years ago. Although he finally chooses not to take part in the election again and even overhauled the composition of the cabinet, President Bouteflika does not clearly specify how long the election will be postponed. So, there is concern if he then appoints a certain successor to replace him. Another concern is that delaying the general election can threaten democracy in Algeria.

Algeria experienced a political crisis in the 80s which led to armed conflict in the 90s and ended in 2002. Of course, no one expects a similar conflict in Algeria. Now, the important role in the hands of the elite in the country is to find the best solution so that the political crisis can be resolved immediately without bloodshed and the Algerian people can accept the solution.

14
March

 

World Consumer Rights Day (HHKS) is commemorated in Indonesia and 130 other countries on every March 15th. The initial stipulation of Consumer Rights Day was from the speech of the former US President, John F. Kennedy on March 15, 1962. It was stated that consumers are the largest economic group that influences and is influenced by almost every public and private economic decision. However, they are the only important group whose views are not heard. Thus, Consumers International as an organization that fights for the rights of international consumers has set this date as the day of consumer rights worldwide. Of course, the commemoration of consumer rights day is the right moment as a reminder to increase consumer protection in various countries, including in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, the rights of a consumer are regulated in Law No. 8/1999 regarding with Indonesian Consumer Protection. The efforts made by the government in protecting consumer rights are by stipulating regulations, conducting regular supervision and taking firm actions against consumer rights violations. Therefore, the aim of establishing a National Consumer Protection Agency (BPKN) is to protect consumer rights. The Government and consumers are expected to be critical and brave. Thus, business actors will always pay attention to regulations in protecting consumers, such as in the pre-production phase, offers, transaction and post-transaction and provision of good services for consumers.

The rights to choose goods, to receive compensation, to be served and treated properly without discrimination, as well as the rights to obtain information properly are main parts of the consumers’ rights. It is very important for consumers to know main information regarding the products they buy. Manufacturers are not allowed to cover some information regarding their products or services. In this digital era, consumers must actually benefit a lot from the application of various features and information.

If the Government carries out formal protection through the National Consumer Protection Agency, the Non-governmental Consumer Protection Agency

(LPKSM) can be a motor for protecting consumers’ rights by providing advocacy, mediation and assistance to the consumers.

If the synergy among the government, business-people, consumers, and the Non-governmental Consumer Protection Agency goes well, of course the position of consumers will be elevated and consumer rights can be guaranteed.

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