Editorial (461)


On August 16, 2019, President Joko Widodo officially asked permission from the parliament members to move the central government to Kalimantan. One week later, Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning / Head of the National Land Agency, Sofyan Djalil said that the new location of Indonesia’s capital would certainly in East Kalimantan Province. However, he emphasized that the land acquisition for the new capital is still awaiting official announcement from President Joko Widodo. President Joko Widodo confirmed that his side is doing a series of studies. But not revealed anything that has not been completed about the transfer plan of the capital. To be sure, President Joko Widodo will immediately announce it when he has received the full results of the study. The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), which is the largest environmental movement organization in Indonesia, also responded the  statements of the state officials. On one hand, WALHI doubted the government's concern for the environmental impact behind the transfer plan of Indonesia’s new capital. On the other hand, Deputy Chairman of Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR), Herman Khaeron asked the government to first propose the concept of capital relocation openly to the DPR. Although the transfer plan of the capital has been widely reported and is becoming public consumption, Herman emphasized that his side has not received official written notification regarding the government's plan to move the capital of Jakarta to Kalimantan. He considers that the right process is that the government must first propose the concept of moving the capital to the DPR for comprehensive discussion. He also emphasized that the policy of moving the country's capital must be determined by law. Obviously, there are still important matters that must be resolved to seriously move the nation's capital to the right and safe territory for long term. So, moving the capital does not need to be done in a hurry, let alone to cause confusing statements by the public.


The United States of America tested medium-range cruise missiles on Sunday (18/8), a few weeks after withdrawing from the Cold War era nuclear treaty with Russia, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The US Department of Defense reported that the missile was launched from the US Navy base on San Nicolas Island, California. The missile is capable of reaching distances of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will provide information for the development of medium-range missile capabilities for the US Department of Defense. After leaving INF on August 2, US President Donald Trump insisted that his side canceled the treaty because he suspected Russia violated a number of requirements. Russia and China have asked the United Nations Security Council (UN) to meet on Thursday (22/8) to discuss "statements by United States (US) officials to develop and use medium-range missiles". The two countries want to bring together 15 councilors on the agenda to discuss "threats to international peace and security. Moscow and Beijing have also asked Head of UN Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu to urge Washington to reconsider its missile development.Of course, the US medium-range missile test has raised international concern, especially when the United States has left the INF, because the treaty actually bans the development of missiles both conventional and modern nuclear that can reach between 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Since the United States disobeys the INF, some possibilities may happen next.A thorough ban on nuclear test is an indispensible step in achieving the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons both medium and long distance. Efforts by the international community to realize the ban on nuclear test have been carried out since the early years of the establishment of the United Nations -UN. In its development, the UN created the Partial Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (PTBT) in 1963. This treaty bans nuclear tests in the air, in space and at sea. Then, the Threshold Test-Ban Treaty (TTBT) created in 1976 also bans nuclear tests above a capacity of 150 kilotons, and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty in 1976 bans nuclear tests for military purposes.Of course in general, the world community and in particular, the international organizations such as the United Nations as the world's police must reach a binding consensus that development and nuclear test of any kinds must be prevented immediately. If not, this will trigger and exacerbate military tension either inter-nation or inter-continent. 


Since the end of the Cold War, marked by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 90s, the threat of a potential world war through a nuclear weapons has declined. The hegemony of 2 superpowers has disappeared, but fears of a nuclear war remain. It is known that several countries of the Soviet Union fraction are apparently still storing nuclear warheads which security is very doubtful. But Russia took over the position of the superpower after the breakup of the Soviet Union and continued to ask the United States to comply with the nuclear treaty agreement Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-START I and II. The first was signed on July 31, 1991 by George H. W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachov. This agreement is valid from 5 December 1994 and ends 5 December 2009. On 8 April 2010 START II was signed by Russia and America in Prague. After ratification, START II entered into force 5 February 2011 until 2021.But the nuclear threat came back after President Donald Trump declared his exit from the nuclear agreement in early August and shortly after August 18 the United States tested its new cruise missile.After the nuclear testing, the US Defense Ministry reported that the launch of missiles from the US Navy base on San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles, California was a success. According to the US government, the data collected and lessons learned from this trial will provide information for the development of medium-range missile capabilities carried out by the Ministry of Defense.Meanwhile, the US missile launch test will invite sharp criticism from UN Security Council members.The Chinese government criticized the test of land-based cruise missiles conducted by the United States (US). China assesses that it will have a serious negative impact on the international and regional security situation. According to a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geng Shuang, Tuesday, August 20, what was done by the US will trigger a new round of arms races that will lead to increased military confrontation. Washington must let go of its cold war mentality to create a situation conducive to international and regional peace and tranquility.The effect of the missile test on the international community is the emergence of anxiety about the potential return of nuclear war. Although some countries such as North Korea, India, Pakistan have done the same thing,but the fear that emerged not as strong as the US and Russia did. Moreover, the world situation is currently being hit by various crises, ranging from the economic crisis, the energy crisis, especially fossil energy, and environmental problems that threaten the survival of the world's population.Hopefully what Russian President Putin has said, that there will be a "Global Disaster" if the US does not want to sit together again to discuss the nuclear agreement, will never become a reality.


August is a sacred month for the Indonesian people. Seventy-four years ago, precisely on August 17, 1945, the Indonesian people declared their independence, after more than 350 years of colonialism by the Dutch. The independence that has been achieved by the warriors and founders of the nation is certainly not just empty sentences without meaning. In the achieved independence, there is a long history full of endless struggle. History records that Indonesian independence was not easily obtained, especially as a gift. Warriors and founders of the nation were willing to sacrifice their lives and property to achieve independence, free from the occupation of other nations.Independence becomes one of the moments that make all Indonesian people united. Even for hundreds of years, the Indonesian people fought for independence. However, these efforts were less successful because the struggle was regional at the time. As a consequence, the Indonesian people were not united. After the establishment of the organization 'Boedi Oetomo' in 1908 and the holding of the Second Youth Congress which produced the 'Youth Pledge' in 1928, the Indonesian people began to understand the meaning of unity in a bid to gain independence.Now, after 74 years of Indonesian independence, unity and integrity of the nation is absolutely mandatory, especially after the simultaneous general elections in April 2019. At that time, the Indonesian people seemed to be divided into two camps, due to differences in the choice of prospective national leaders. Now, it is the time for the Indonesian people to re-establish the unity. As President Joko Widodo said shortly before the commencement of the Republic of Indonesia's Independence Day Commemoration Ceremony at the State Palace in Jakarta on Saturday (August 17), the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) is above everything. He advised not to sacrifice the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, only because of differences in the choice of leaders such as regents, mayors, governors, and presidents.Hopefully in the 74th anniversary of Indonesian Independence, the Indonesian people will increasingly understand the meaning of unity in a bid to achieve the targeted goal towards ‘Advanced Indonesia’. In the past, the predecessors of the Indonesian nation fought for independence. Now, the Indonesian nation struggles to be able to maintain and fill independence with concrete work towards ‘Advanced Indonesia’.


Tourism sector in Indonesia keeps receiving serious attention from the government, because the contribution of this sector in state revenue also keeps increasing. Tourism integrated with creative industries can be an amazing attraction and good competitiveness. Both of them are inseparable, because they support one another. Therefore, awareness and commitment need to be built to advance both sectors. The progress of these two sectors is very positive in increasing the country's foreign exchange. Indonesia, which is rich in cultural diversity and natural attractions, can be a magnet for foreign tourists. The natural beauty and excellent service from the creative industry sector can make tourists stay longer and in the end, they can spend more money for shopping, too.

Creative industry development in one region can create tourism attractions. This was said by Director of Inter-Institutional Relations of the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf), Hassan Abud. The regional government has mapped the needs of creative industry. One of them is West Java provincial government which has grouped the potential of creative industries spread across 27 regencies / cities, such as the rattan industry center in Cirebon, the bamboo industry center in Tasikmalaya, and the performing arts in Karawang. Yogyakarta, Bali, Riau, Surabaya and Banyuwangi are also considered ready. The holding of 99 festivals to attract tourists and make tourists stay longer in Banyuwangi proves that creativity can drive the tourism sector.

Besides, the Banyuwangi government has made the location of the agro-tourism park, Taman Suruh at the base of Mt. Ijen for the 'Agro Expo Festival' as a tourism destination every weekend. Economic activity takes place in line with the increasing number of domestic and foreign tourists to Banyuwangi. Another region that also benefits from tourism activities is North Sulawesi. In 2015, there were 20 thousand foreign tourists visiting this area and by 2018, this number had risen to 120 thousand. This year, North Sulawesi holds 14 main activities in 15 cities and regencies.

Therefore, the tourism sector and the creative industry must synergize in creating a variety of interesting activities and innovative products that can be competitive. Certainly, the tourism potential and distinctive culture owned by each region must be preserved and demonstrated to both domestic and foreign tourists. In the end, every region both in cities and regencies throughout Indonesia can become a favorite tourism destination.


The plan of the United States to place ground missiles in the Asian region could trigger an escalation of tension between countries, especially in Asia. The pros and cons on Washington's intention arose after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper put forward the plan during a recent visit to Australia. Mark Esper announced that the United States government would soon place ground missiles which  range could reach 5,500 kilometers. The statement was made without mentioning the country that will be the location. Earlier  Mark Esper had said America wanted to deploy its  missiles in the Pacific or Asia region. Reportedly from Canbera, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was no request from Washington for the missile to be placed in Australia. Meanwhile, ASEAN member countries will certainly not be willing to be the place for  US missiles. This can be ensured given the commitment of the organization of Southeast Asian countries to make the region  nuclear weapons-free. In a meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Bangkok last week, it was explicitly stated that ASEAN was a territory free of nuclear weapons. With this joint commitment, no ASEAN member will be able to accept the presence of nuclear weapons, including those planned by the United States. The United States announced the plan after last week officially resigning from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. with Russia that bans the use of land missiles with a range of between 500 kilometers to 5,500 kilometers. Before announcing plans to place land nuclear missiles in Asia, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper had accused China of carrying out activities that could disrupt regional stability. US allegations have been refuted by China by calling it slander. However, the end of the United States-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty., followed by Washington's statement that it will immediately place land missiles, marks an increase or escalation of tense relations between the two major nations. The United States, China and Russia in fact are trying to increase their influence in the world. All three are constantly trying to show strength and influence and increasing competition. For this reason, ASEAN as a regional organization that prioritizes stability and peace must be able to show its stance  and take strategic steps. In order to maintain balance and peace in Southeast Asia in particular and Asia in general.


Indonesia is one of the countries prone to earthquakes. An earthquake with 6.9 on the Richter scale, whose vibrations were felt by the people of Jakarta and surrounding areas, shook a number of areas in West Java, Banten and Lampung on Friday night (2/8).
Initially, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.4. According to data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), there were 6 people killed and more than 1,000 people displaced.Why does Indonesia often experience earthquakes and tsunamis? It is well known that Indonesia is surrounded by three tectonic plates which are constantly moving, namely the Indo-Australian plate, the Eurasian plate and the Pacific plate. The Indo-Australian Plate moves relatively northward and infiltrates the Eurasian plate. Meanwhile, the Pacific plate moves relative to the west. The lane meeting point is in the sea so that if there is a large earthquake with shallow depth, it will potentially cause a tsunami.History records that the tsunami had hit the coast of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, and Papua for hundreds of years ago. Natural disasters such as tsunamis and large earthquakes are phenomena with repetitive cycles. This means that hundreds of years ago, earthquakes happened; over the past few years, earthquakes have happened, and in the future, the earthquakes will definitely happen again.Of course, neither the government nor the Indonesian people can remain silent and resign themselves to the risk of an earthquake and tsunami. President Joko Widodo at Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java on Sunday (4/8/2019) ordered his staff, especially the National Disaster Mitigation Agency and the Coordinating Ministries to keep educating people in areas prone to earthquakes and tsunamis so that they are ready when facing the disaster. . The community must understand that disasters are no longer regarded as something that should be taken for granted, but must be anticipated so that the number of victims and the impacts can be minimized. The community also needs to understand what needs to be done in the event of an earthquake and tsunami and what must be prepared before the natural disaster occurs.Dissemination and education about earthquake and tsunami must also be carried out in schools. Students must know what to do when an earthquake occurs, and where they need to save themselves. Disaster simulations must be routinely carried out by the community, students in schools and employees in the government offices or institutions. Thus, the community is better prepared to face the earthquake and tsunami which in turn can reduce the number of victims and affected areas.


On Wednesday (24/7), a negotiation of US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer and Finance Minister, Steven Mnuchin in Shanghai, China - a first face-to-face meeting with Chinese officials after the G20 meeting ended anticlimax. The US-Chinese trade war can be expected to get more heated.In the trade negotiation that ended on Wednesday (7/31), although the two countries described the negotiations as being constructive, after the meeting, US President Donald Trump threatened again to impose a new 10% tariff on imported Chinese goods worth US$ 300 billion dollars starting September 1. This is the impact of the failure of the US and Chinese negotiators. The levy will hit a number of consumer goods such as cellphones, laptops, toys and footwear. This increases tension in the trade war that has disrupted the global supply chain and shaken the financial markets for more than a year. Another round of negotiations between negotiators is scheduled to take place in September. Although the United States and China agreed to meet again in September 2019, nothing can be sure that the meeting will create progress compared to the two-day trade talk in Shanghai, China. The most likely happening is to lead to a trade war that drags on and burdens global markets.It should be remembered that negotiations between the US and China began to heat up in May after US officials accused China of withdrawing from previous commitments. Furthermore, the US violently raised tariffs on imports of goods from China worth US $ 200 billion dollars and China also responded. So, the trade tension increases. Furthermore in September, President Trump also threatened to impose a 25% tariff sanction on Chinese goods worth US $ 300 billion dollars, which has caused unease for American retailers, Walmart and other major US companies. The trade war between the United States and China has brought about negative impact on businesspeople who have been worried about the reality. A number of industrial sectors have been affected, ranging from manufacturing, technology, services to retail. One of the most severe impacts is the manufacturing sector such as telecommunication producers and consumer products.The International Monetary Fund -IMF at the beginning of 2019 had warned that the US-China trade war would bring about an impact on many countries, especially countries such as Argentina, Turkey and Brazil which were vulnerable to sudden pressure. Slowing world economic growth has lowered its forecast for global economic growth by 3.7 percent this year and to 3.6 percent in 2022-2023. Indonesia's trade performance with China also experienced a deficit of US $ 8.48 billion dollars in the January-May 2019 period due to the US-China trade war. We can conclude that the US-China trade war will continue to have a sustainable impact on various parties, and now it is no longer a matter of two countries.


Amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States, Russia has stepped up military cooperation with Iran. In the near future, Tehran and Moscow will conduct joint military exercises in the Persian Gulf region. The Iranian Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi in a statement broadcast by PressTv stated that on the basis of the two governments' agreement, naval joint training would be held later this year. The armed forces leaders of the two countries have signed agreements on joint naval exercises in the Indian Ocean, Makran waters, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. The joint exercises of the Iranian and Russian navies were the first to be carried out, marking an increase in military cooperation between the two countries.Information about the military cooperation between Iran and Russia, might provoke a reaction from the United States which had previously invited its European allies to increase security in the Gulf region. While the Washington invitation, submitted some time ago, still has not received adequate reactions, Iran and Russia have taken more concrete steps, in the form of signing a joint training agreement.Moscow’s agreement to engage in military cooperation with Iran, however, can be seen as a form of political support for Iran which continues to be under pressure from the United States. So far, Russia and Iran are known to have collaborated militarily in the conflict in Syria. Iran certainly is still waiting for Washington's reaction to this new military collaboration with Russia.For Iran, military cooperation with Russia was clearly carried out as an effort to offset the pressure of the United States. As for Russia, support for Iran can be seen as a step to maintain its position in geopolitics, especially in the Middle East region.


The punishment for sinking vessels that illegally fish in Indonesian waters does not seem to deter foreign fishermen. Recently, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) has again succeeded in capturing 6 foreign fishing vessels. Three vessels from Vietnam and 3 others from the Philippines were arrested in 2 different water locations due to illegal activities.
The three vessels from Vietnam transported 36 crews with Vietnamese citizenship. They were secured and then escorted to Batam Marine and Fisheries Resource Monitoring Base (PSDKP) for investigation process by Fisheries Civil Servant Investigators (PPNS). Meanwhile, 3 vessels from the Philippines, pump-boat along with 11 Filipino crew members were taken to  Bitung PSDKP Base in North Sulawesi.The capture of the vessels from Vietnam and the Philippines increased the number that had been captured by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for illegal activities in Indonesian waters. At least, from January to the end of July 2019, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has succeeded in capturing 43 foreign fishing vessels.In accordance with the Indonesian Fisheries Act, the perpetrators could face a maximum jail sentence of six years and a maximum fine of Rp. 20 billion. Meanwhile, the captured vessels can be auctioned or sunk if they already have legal binding.However, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries prefers to sink the illegal vessels because the foreign vessels that have been auctioned off have the potential to be re-used for similar crimes. Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pujiastuti once revealed that illegal fishing vessels were auctioned at a price of only Rp. 100 to Rp. 500 million. Meanwhile, their profits reached Rp. 1-2 billion from once fishing by stealing in the territory of Indonesia. This means that their activities are truly detrimental to the state.The decision to sink foreign vessels carrying out illegal fishing in Indonesian waters is viewed as an appropriate choice. However, this action does not seem to bring about a deterrent effect. This is evidenced by the arrests carried out recently by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.In addition to giving punishments, it seems that diplomatic steps also need to be strengthened so that the relevant countries provide education to their citizens about the dangers and legal consequences of illegal fishing activities. In fact, diplomatic relations need to be enhanced so that illegal fishing in other countries' waters can be avoided.

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