Wenny Zulianti

Wenny Zulianti

06
December

Indonesian crude oil prices reached US$63.26 per barrel in November, the highest figure since May, mainly driven by market optimism for a cool down in the United States-China trade frictions.

Crude oil price movements will affect the government's oil and gas revenue as well as the energy subsidy it needs to spend during the fiscal year.

November saw an increase in crude oil prices of 5.7 percent month-to-month, which aligned with the rising prices of international benchmark Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which respectively rose 5.5 percent and 5.7 percent over the same period.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the US expected to complete “phase-one” of a trade deal with China before US tariffs on Chinese products were set to rise on Dec. 15. The deal is slated to happen despite US President Donald Trump’s comment about closing a trade deal after next year’s US presidential election.

The trade spat between the world's two-largest economies has weakened international trade and eventually slowed global economic growth.

The International Monetary fund (IMF) said in its October World Economic Outlook that it expected global growth to stand at 3 percent this year, the lowest level since 2009 and down 0.3 percentage points from the April 2019 World Economic Outlook. While global growth is projected to pick up to 3.4 percent in 2020, that would still be 0.2 percentage points less than predicted in the April assessment.

“Rising trade and geopolitical tensions have increased uncertainty about the future of the global trading system and international cooperation, taking a toll on business confidence, investment decisions and global trade,” the IMF report says.

In addition to cooling tensions between the US and China, several developments with regard to geopolitical issues also have provided optimism.

“The European Union’s decision to delay Brexit until the end of the English Parliament’s elections in early January 2020 also prevented the development of substantial short-term economic risks,” the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said in a statement.

According to the country's state budget, the government has set crude oil price assumptions at $70 per barrel this year and $65 per barrel next year.

06
December

Nusa Penida in Klungkung regency, Bali, has topped the list of 20 best destinations for backpackers to visit in 2020 released by Dublin-based online hostel reservation platform Hostelworld.

In the past 12 months, the number of bookings made by British tourists for accommodation in Nusa Penida increased by up to 610 percent, according to the company, confirming the region as the most popular destination among UK citizens during the period.

Located in the southeast part of Bali, Nusa Penida's Banjar Nyuh Port is reachable by speed boat from Sanur Port in Bali. Domestic and foreign tourists can be found enjoying a day trip there or spending at least one night on the island, which is especially famous for its Kelingking Beach, which boasts a Tyrannosaurus Rex-shaped cliff and is home to manta rays and Bali starlings, locally known as jalak Bali. 

Regarding accommodation, Hostelworld said the island does not disappoint. "It’s a boutique hostel with gorgeous bungalows, a beautiful Bali-esque pool and outdoor social spaces where you can enjoy your free daily breakfast," reads the description on its website.

 

During their stay, holidaymakers can rent motorcycles or cars to explore the island

Following behind Nusa Penida on the best backpacker destination list based on the biggest growth in bookings were Surat Thani in Thailand and Maribor in Slovenia. 

05
December

Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim spoke of his keen intent to give university students the freedom to learn in line with their aspirations, capabilities, and interests.

"University students should study in accordance with their respective wishes and interests. We must make this change," the minister noted in his remarks at the inauguration of the new rector of the University of Indonesia (UI) Prof. Ari Kuncoro at UI Campus, Depok, here, Wednesday.

The minister stressed on the need for university students to also have the freedom to conduct various activities beyond the realm of education programs.

A university capable of providing education to students plays a crucial role in realizing President Joko Widodo’s vision to produce sound human resources, he remarked.

"The president's vision has two interpretations, specifically freedom in learning and teachers as activators," he stated.

Streamlining regulations and bureaucracy are deemed necessary for freedom in study, from the lowest educational level until university, Makarim remarked.

"Within the next five years, indeed, it would not be convenient at all for various education institutions. However, the change must be brought about," he stated.

Speaking in connection with teachers and lecturers as the stimuli, Makarim said they would strive to seek knowledge and science to bring about improvements in learning activities in classes.


"He would not waste time in class. Hence, in class, he would organize a discussion or group study and implement various projects outside though by involving his students to enable them to have different experiences," he stated.

Teachers and lecturers should feel a sense of pride if their students are smarter than them, and they would not feel threatened, he remarked.

In the meantime, on Nov 19, while speaking at the commemoration of the 107th anniversary of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization, Makarim voiced his commitment to freeing the country's education system to drive novel innovations in the education sector.

"In accordance with the president's directives, our mission in the Education and Culture Ministry is to free the education unit, to free teachers, and to free students. This is my commitment," he remarked.

Freedom is paramount to materializing innovations in every education unit.

To prepare future national leaders, the former boss of Gojek Internet technology-based company vowed to further promote character building education.

However, character building education cannot merely be taught but must be applied on an ongoing basis.

"Character education cannot be taught. The best character education is to give example and to lead by it," he noted.


05
December

The 1st International Jatiluhur Jazz Festival (IJJF) 2019 took place on November 30 & December 1 at Indonesia's largest dam, the Jatiluhur Dam, in Purwarkarta, West Java. The IJJF was produced by Jasa Tirta II, the State-Owned Enterprise (SoE) which manages the Dam and its regions.

Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (MSoE) Erick Thohir stated that the Festival was a form of SoE synergy to boost the potential of economic hubs outside Jakarta. "SoEs can never stand alone like an ivory tower; SoEs are inarguably meant to be contributive to the society and the nation," said the minister.

IJJF 2019 was the inspiration of Jasa Tirta II, the sole SoE officially appointed by the Government of Indonesia to manage the Jatiluhur Dam. Jatiluhur Dam is located 70 km from the country's capital city, Jakarta, and has pivotal roles in provisioning hydroelectric power generation, water supply, and flood control, to name a few, for the West Java and Jakarta.

CEO of Jasa Tirta II, U. Saefudin Noer said, "Themed 'Green, Water & Life', the Festival is held to help promote Jatiluhur Dam as one of West Java's leading tourist destinations. The theme represents Jasa Tirta II's commitment to conserving nature in everything that we do. And through such an event, we believe that we can spread this spirit to the audience."

Jasa Tirta II had the pleasure to collaborate with top Indonesian musician Dwiki Dharmawan as the artistic director of the Festival, and in leading the line up of performers with his band World Peace Project feat. Steve Thornton.

Sharing the stage were Palestinian musician Kamal Musallam, Wizzy, Syaharani & Queenfireworks, Java Jive, Mus Mujiono, Krakatau, 57kustik, Moccondoss 40, Selaawi Ethnic Ensemble, Ermy Kullit, Indro Hardjodikoro feat. Kayla Dias, Farabi Big Band feat. Ita Purnamasari, Idea Percussion, Uban Project, Marcell, Via Vallen and Zaskia Gotik.

Regent of Purwakarta Anne Ratna Mustika said that IJJF 2019 is believed bring a significantly positive impact to the locals, and greatly appreciates Jasa Tirta II's initiative to support the regency's mission to promote the tourism sector. "An event this big will absolutely affect the local economy, especially the small and medium-sized industries," she concluded.