Editorial

Editorial (509)

27
November

Islamic Cooperation Organization, OIC, this year has entered the age of 50 years. The 50th anniversary of the OIC which was originally called the Organization of the Islamic Conference, was held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Governor of the Mecca Region, Prince Khalid al Faisal delivered a speech representing the Arab Group, the African group and the Asian Group.

Since its establishment in Rabbat Morocco on September 25, 1969, the Organization's members have continued to grow. This increase certainly reflects the hope that Islamic state organizations can play an active role in solving various problems that exist in Islamic countries. The commemoration theme of United for Peace and Development is actually relevant to the situation in a number of member states.

The Middle East conflict that occurred in Syria still shows that unity and peace must still be fought for. Disputes and differences in political lines between countries that are members of the OIC are one of the causes of the ongoing civil war which has not destroyed Syria and caused the suffering of the people. The poverty that still befalls the people of a number of OIC member states, makes the development diction which is the theme of the birth of the OIC this year reflecting the desire to overcome the remaining problems.


This OIC anniversary will be an introduction to the holding of the OIC state high level conference on 8 to 9 December 2019 in Istanbul Turkey. As reported by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, the summit will raise the theme of Investment for Solidarity and Development. From that theme, there is hope that OIC countries will be able to concentrate on economic development. Entrepreneurs from leading companies in the banking, construction, tourism and trade sectors operating in the OKI geography will attend the conference. Also of course 56 OIC member states, as well as five observer countries and international organizations
This is very important so that Islamic countries with better economic conditions can support the economies of poor and developing countries through mutual investment.

It is hoped that the 50th anniversary of the Islamic Cooperation Organization which will be followed by this summit conference can be a momentum for efforts to make the organization provide better benefits. Especially for members who are involved in conflict and civil war, and hit by poverty.

21
November

State-owned enterprises play a vital role to support Indonesian economic development. As state-owned companies, they are responsible to help the government in making the people prosperous. They also keep developing from year to year. Data from State-owned Enterprises Ministry showed that there are 143 state-owned companies with total asset around Rp 8 thousand trillion. Their contribution towards State Budget in 2018 was Rp 420 trillion.

Indonesian state-owned companies have excellent products. In aviation, various aircrafts are produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia, which have been sold abroad. Then, there are also trains made by PT INKA.

In infrastructure and property, Indonesia has PT Adhi Karya, PT Waskita Karya, PT Jasa Marga, and Wijaya Karya that have penetrated some African countries.

These achievements are the reason why the government keeps pushing the state-owned companies to be a great company, not only inside the country but also in global level. To realize such dream, President Joko Widodo appointed two deputy ministers of state-owned enterprises to increase company performance. They are Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, former President Director of PT Bank Mandiri and Budi Gunadi Sadikin, former President Director of PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium.

State-owned Enterprises Ministry is the only ministry in Joko Widodo’s administration that has two deputy ministers. This certainly aims to make Indonesian state-owned enterprises great with global reputation. President Joko Widodo asked the minister and deputy ministers to cooperate in achieving that global reputation.

To realize the vision and mission of President Joko Widodo, Minister of State-owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir takes a brave step by refreshing the leaders’ organization in his ministry. Seven echelons I have been put into new positions at various state-owned companies.

The brave step of Minister Erick Thohir should be supported and the people are waiting for the result. Hopefully, Minister Thohir will be consistent in taking brave step, apart from political intervention that can disturb performance of the state-owned enterprises.

25
November

The discourse about the proposal to add the term of office for the president is heating up again. It is related to the plan for a limited amendment of the 1945 Constitution. The ongoing discourse is related to the changes in presidential terms. Some figures propose the president's term of office to be only one period for eight years and some also propose to be extended to 3 periods.

Based on the current rules, the president and vice president hold a five-year office and can be re-elected for one term. Thus, the president and vice president can serve a maximum of 10 years in two periods as stipulated in Article 7 of the 1945 Constitution. Actually, the proposal related to changes in the term of office of the president does not emerge for the first time. Previously, this matter also came up.

Inevitably, some people are now enthusiastically talking about the discourse which is rejected by several parties, especially political parties. Chairman of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo said the president's tenure for two periods and the direct presidential election by the people are already appropriate.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the majority in parliament as well as the supporting party of President Joko Widodo assesses that the current presidential term is still ideal and it does not need changing.

Senior Golkar Party figure, Andi Mattalata said that the discourse of three periods for presidential tenure could lead to authoritarian rule. According to him; limiting the president's term as now is the main essence of reform and amendment.

The opposition party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) considers the discourse to be a dangerous proposal. The PKS said the decision to limit the president's term of office for two periods was obtained through the struggle in “bloody reform”. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Gerindra Faction at MPR, Ahmad Riza Patria said, the two terms of leadership are the ideal periods for presidential terms. He considers that the decision is final because it is regulated in the 1945 Constitution. Riza also said that the current presidential term of office does not need changing. Because it is in accordance with the spirit of reform; the power and authority must be limited.

The president's tenure of two periods, each for 5 years, is the outcome of the "bloody reforms" in 1998 to step down the Old Order government presided by Suharto who served as president for 32 years. Determination of the term of office of 2 periods also came through in-depth discussions. Currently, the system which has been agreed upon is the most ideal. Extending the term of office to 3 periods is likely to propose the return of Old Order system in which the president will tend to be authoritarian.

20
November

Iran has again been hit by demonstrations. People took to the streets in Tehran and other cities. The demonstration, marked by the destruction of public facilities, was triggered by the government's decision to raise fuel prices. It was reported, in the demonstration that began 3 days ago, more than 10 people were reportedly died . In addition to deploying security forces, the Iranian government has also closed national internet networks in almost all regions of the country. At least 100 demonstrators have been arrested by security forces.
 
Widespread demonstrations in Iran have not only happened once. The economic hardships that hit the middle and lower classes had previously led to demonstrations. In the midst of this difficult economic situation, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the decision to raise fuel prices. The decision was actually a difficult
one. But the government was forced to do it.  The main reason was for overcoming the country's economic problems. As a result of the imposition of US sanctions, Iran can no longer export oil. While in fact  oil exports are the mainstay of the government to sustain and maintain the country's economy.


The policy of the Iranian President w
hich  was  also supported by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,  immediately ignited the demonstration as a form of rejection. Rising fuel prices by around 50 percent were indeed very unpopular. Even though President Rouhanni has stated that the proceeds from the sale of domestic oil will be used to subsidize the poor.
 
The latest conditions in Iran which were rocked by massive demonstrations also marked the deterioration in Tehran's relations with Washington. Tehran accuses Washington of supporting
the  rallies. The accusation is indeed reasonable. In Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even made it clear that the United States government was with the protesters. Pompeo accused the Iranian government of using violence against the protesters.
 
The demonstration that caused death in Tehran has led to a new dispute between Iran and the United States. This condition certainly makes it increasingly difficult to overcome or at least reduce tensions between the two countries. Previously the Tehran government
had succeeded in quelling demonstrations which had also been  triggered by the deteriorating economy due to US sanctions. How about this time? It is yet  still to be seen.

19
November

World Children's Day

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Published in Editorial

Tomorrow on November 20, 2019, the world communities commemorate World Children’s Day. This commemoration is to promote the welfare of children throughout the world. The aim is to respect the rights that must be received by a child. World Children's Day was established by the United Nations -UN in 1954. Five years later, in 1959, the UN adopted the declaration of children's rights and set November 20 as World Children's Day. Under the Convention on the Rights of Children, those under the age of 18 are children.

Indonesia has high expectations for children today. The theme of the commemoration of Indonesia's Independence Day this year, "Excellent Human Resources, and Advanced Indonesia" is one of the proofs. Those who are at the age of the child today are expected and directed to become excellent human resources to bring Indonesia to be more advanced. The challenges and hopes to make Indonesian excellent people must be acknowledged by all relevant stakeholders such as parents, teachers, government officials and environmentalists.

The government of Indonesia, through the Ministry of Education and Culture is committed to freeing the education unit to design innovations in education sector. Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, Nadiem Makarim in his remarks at the 107th anniversary of Muhammadiyah in Yogyakarta on Monday (11/18) said that his side wants to continue to proclaim and advance character education. One of them has been done through Early Childhood Education -PAUD.

Through the PAUD, there are five main values of character to be built. They are religiosity, nationalism, independence, mutual cooperation, and integrity. These values are expected to strengthen Indonesian children into human resources who do not give up easily in facing challenges. Excellent human resources must be formed since the golden period of children. For Indonesia, it is not just awareness about this that must be strengthened, but concrete actions that must be taken. It is hoped that through early childhood education carried out in more than 230 thousand education units or schools throughout Indonesia, generations of religious, nationalist, independent, strongly cooperative and highly integrated will be created. Of course, the character that is built from an early age must develop even better in the next level of education. Each education unit must continue to innovate in a bid to motivate every student to develop their abilities, skills and characters to be the frontline that will bring Indonesia to reach Indonesia Golden 2045.

With the efforts of all related stakeholders, hopefully the Indonesian children today will become not only the leaders of Indonesia, but also the world’s leaders. Happy World Children's Day!

18
November


More recently, earthquakes have shaken several parts of Indonesia. Last week, another earthquake occurred in the provincial capital of Maluku, Ambon, Indonesia. Around 90 houses in Ambon City were damaged by the earthquake. Parts of Bali and North Sulawesi were also hit by the earthquake which caused damage to people's homes and public facilities. Some areas hit by the earthquake are tourism spots. In addition to the earthquake, the disaster was also caused by a volcanic eruption. Mt. Merapi in Central Java often erupts. Hot clouds have caused the area around the volcano to be affected by dust. Like Bali and North Sulawesi, the area around Mt. Merapi is also a tourism destination, one of which is Borobudur Temple which is the target of foreign tourists’ visit.


Natural disasters are one of the frightening events for tourists who intend to visit Indonesia. Perhaps, information about the disaster has delayed a planned visit or canceled a scheduled trip. But for some tourists, the earthquake or eruption of Mt. Merapi is no longer a factor that can discourage to make a visit to Indonesia. Bali which is often shaken by either an earthquake or the eruption of Mt. Agung remains a favorite location for tourists.


The enthusiasm of visiting Indonesia is not reduced due to a better information system. The Indonesian government agencies responsible for disaster information have sought to improve performance and equip its institutions with good and early detection equipment. The slightest earthquake that occurs is always detected. In regard to this, preventive efforts are also carried out quickly.


Indonesia is one country that is often hit by earthquakes and mountain eruptions. Certainly, it is not as frequent as Japan for instance. However, this is certainly not the main reason to make Indonesia scary.

15
November

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.

04
November

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.

29
October

 

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.

28
October

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!

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