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Editorial (922)

10
September

 

Not even a month since the new Taliban government took control of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, the cabinet formed and announced on Wednesday (7/9) local time by the Taliban was considered by many to be a conservative and non-inclusive cabinet.

The cabinet was considered not to have fulfilled the Taliban's promise when declaring its victory in Afghanistan. Previously, the Taliban had promised to form an inclusive and representative government. But among 33 officials of their new government, not a single one is a woman. In addition, all of them are members or figures who have relations with the Taliban.

Quoting Antara News Agency, Head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Ali Shamkhani said that  the Taliban government has clearly shown no respect for human rights, especially women. For example, they prohibit Afghan women, including the country's cricket team, from carrying out sports activities.

In addition, the Taliban also do not allow demonstrations and other protests unless they have permission from the authorities.

Tehran has previously called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, with the participation of all political and ethnic groups in the country. Ali Shamkhani also expressed concern over foreign interference and the use of military means in addressing the demands of Afghanistan's various ethnic groups.

Apart from Tehran, a number of countries, such as the United States, the European Union, Qatar and Indonesia said that the new government formed by the Taliban had failed to fulfill their promise to build an inclusive government, a government that is able to accept various forms of diversity and difference.

The absence of women in the Afghan government certainly raises questions about the Taliban's commitment to protecting and respecting the rights of women and girls. The commitment that has been conveyed is clearly the wrong signal about their purported goal of building an inclusive, strong and prosperous society.

The world is waiting for the Taliban to realize their promises and commitments to international law, while hoping that Afghan society will become an open society. The Taliban government should not protect or become a base for terrorist groups inside or outside Afghanistan.

09
September

 

Indonesia is one of the countries with the biggest digital economy power in the world. According to a report released by Temasek, Google, and Bain & Co in 2019, Indonesian digital economic growth is predicted to reach 49 percent year on year; while e-commerce growth will surpass US$130 billion in 2025. 

Minister of Trade, Muhammad Lutfi said on June that Indonesian digital economy is projected to grow by eight folds in 2030 namely from Rp 632 trillion into Rp 4,531 trillion. E-commerce will also play a great role by reaching 34% or around Rp 1,900 trillion.

Digital economy is one of national saviors amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It keeps growing despite some sectors being sluggish. Therefore, all national elements must maintain the momentum of the ongoing digital economic growth in Indonesia.

The Indonesian government, as stated by Deputy Minister of Trade, Jerry Sambuaga on Tuesday (7/9), keeps supporting digital economic growth through funding, training for digital economy business people, digital transformation, and personal data protection.

Personal data protection is crucial in creating a sense of security for customers. Personal data must be well-guarded. One's privacy rights must be guaranteed.

Basically, Indonesia has already owned laws that protect personal data confidentiality, such as the Electronic Information and Transaction Law (UU ITE), that regulates personal data use based on the consent of the person; and the Population Administration Law that also regulates personal data. Similar regulations on personal data protection are also written in other legal documents, such as the Communication and Informatics Ministerial Decree.

However, a more comprehensive law is still needed to be able to regulate more detail on how the protection is implemented, such as the responsibility of the personal data controller in protecting user's personal data, followed by the punishment for neglect or violation.

A comprehensive Personal Data Protection Bill is being discussed by the House of Representatives -DPR. This bill is expected to pay attention to the dynamics in the national digital economy. Thus if effective, the law can really protect and even encourage a more rapid digital economic growth.

08
September

POST COUP GUINEA

Written by
Published in Editorial

 

The impression that countries on the African continent are always plagued by conflict, civil war, food shortages, and coups, has not disappeared.

The chaos in Ethiopia, due to rebel resistance on the northern border that caused refugees and the danger of famine, is now followed by a coup in one of the countries on the west coast of the continent, namely Guinea. Guinean military elements, arrested President-elect Alpha Conde and coup d'etat his government on Sunday, September 5, 2021. The coup was led by a Colonel, commander of the country's elite troops, Mamady Doumbouya. Following information through the mass media regarding the detention of Alpha Conde, Colonel Mamady confirmed the takeover of power at a press conference in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

He promised the mass media that he would soon form a government to undergo a transition period before the formation of a new government. The coup leader barred all government officials from leaving the country.

As reported by a number of international mass media, many people  in Conakry welcomed the military's actions. They took to the streets hailing the military troops patrolling the capital. The coup leader stated that the act was carried out to save the country, including from abuse of authority and corruption. Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, stated that he  had frozen the state law.

Interestingly, President Alpha Conde is the first Guinean President to rise to power thanks to popular elections in 2010, and has served two terms in office. Conde has only serving  one year in his third term through the 2020 election. However, his last term was obtained after the Law on the Office of the President was changed on his initiative, from two terms to three consecutive terms. The amendments to the law have come under fire from the opposition, who criticized it for being carried out at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

The coup in West African Guinea is nothing new. The first occurred on September 23, 2008 by the military led by a major. What is different from the 2021 coup, the 2008 coup, happened just  after the then President Lansana Conte, died. At that time, the United States only voiced its hope for a peaceful transition period. But regarding  the 2021 coup, the United States condemned the military action. The United Nations, African Union and regional agency Ecowas have also joined in condemning this coup and calling for the return of civilian rule. After all, Alpha Conde was Guinea's first democratically elected president by election in 2010 and in the following two terms.

Will Guinea get better, with the military's promise to end abuse of power and corruption? And will the people who welcome the coup d'etat also have a better life in the future? Only time will tell.

07
September


In recent days, the daily cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia have shown a decline. Yesterday (6/9), there were 4,413 new positive cases. This data is certainly relieving. President Joko Widodo said the daily cases of Covid-19 for the past three days had decreased. In a Limited Meeting on the Evaluation of the Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions (PPKM) with his aides via video conference from the State Palace, Jakarta, Monday (6/9), President Joko Widodo viewed that the national bed occupancy rate has also dropped to 20 percent.

The decline is certainly encouraging news, after in recent months the increasing number of daily cases has saddened the Indonesian people. But the most important point is that the decline in daily cases should not let the Indonesian people careless. As stated by Deputy Minister of Health, Dante Saksono Harbuwono in a press statement regarding the latest PPKM development yesterday, he reminded all parties to remain cautious in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that this is the time for the Indonesian people to strengthen medical resilience.

All components of the nation must be involved in strengthening medical resilience. The policies taken and implemented by the government must be fully supported by the Indonesian people in carrying out the PPKM with high discipline. The lowering of the PPKM level status in a number of regions in Indonesia must be accompanied by high discipline in implementing the set health protocols.

Consciously, the Indonesian people must also take part in detection efforts to suppress the spread of Covid-19. One of them is by downloading the PeduliLindung application which is used to monitor the community, mitigate and evaluate the mobility status of each individual. Public awareness to use the PeduliLindung application in activities in the trade, transportation, tourism, office, education and religious sectors, will facilitate the tracking and handling of Covid-19.

Discipline and vigilance remain the main keys to suppress the spread of Covid-19. This must be firmly entrenched in oneself, thoughts and steps taken by every individual in Indonesia. Thus, the spike in cases that occurred again in several countries, such as the United States, Britain and Israel does not occur in Indonesia. With the strengthening of Indonesia's medical resilience, this can also detect and prevent new variant of the Covid-19 virus, such as the Mu Virus. May the Indonesian people get healthier!

06
September

 

Good news has come from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The Indonesian mixed doubles pair, Hary Susanto/Leani Ratri Oktila, won the SL3-SU5 badminton gold medal on Sunday afternoon (5/9/2021). In the final match at Yoyogi National Stadium, Hary/Leani appeared very solid and managed to beat the French pair, Lucaz Mazur/Faustine Noel. The Indonesian mixed doubles pair successfully won in a straight set, with a score of 23-21 and 21-17.

For Leani Ratri, the gold medal from the mixed doubles is the second she has won at the world sporting event for people with disabilities, which is still called the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, although it was postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19n pandemic. The day before, Leani Ratri won a gold medal when paired with Khalimatus Sadiyah in the women's doubles SL3-SU5 number. They managed to get a gold medal after defeating representatives of China, Cheng Hefang / Ma Huihui, with a score of 21-18, 21-12. In addition to the two gold medals, Leani also won a silver medal from the women's singles SL 4 number last Sunday (29/8).

The success of Leani Ratri and Khalimatus Sadiyah became a new history for Indonesia's participation in the Paralympic badminton branch. Both of them were the first Indonesian badminton athletes to win the Paralympic gold medal. The success of the women's doubles also ended the 41-year wait to see Indonesian athletes win gold medals in the Paralympics. Previously, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last August, Indonesian women's doubles Gresya Polii and Apriyani also created a new history of badminton. For the first time since badminton was competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Indonesian women's doubles won a gold medal.

The good news for the gold medal from the badminton branch by the Indonesian women's doubles pair at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics was appreciated by President Joko Widodo in his Instagram account @jokowi and a video call congratulated Leani Ratri Oktila and Khalimatus Sadiyah. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Puan Maharani said that the victory of Ratri/Khalimatus Sadiyah was the pride of all Indonesian people. She also expressed her deepest gratitude to both of them for making the Indonesia Raya national anthem heard on the world sports stage.

Congratulations to the Indonesian team who fought in the Tokyo Paralympics! Hopefully, the achievements made today can be continued in the next international sporting events.

03
September

 

The European Union -EU has not yet decided whether to formally recognize the Taliban government, after the group took over Afghanistan last month. But EU’s aid money will determine what conditions may apply in Afghanistan.

Quoting the Antara News Agency, Slovenia's Foreign Minister, Anze Logar, whose country holds the EU presidency for six months, said that accusations of the Taliban as a terrorist organization by several European Union countries made the new government in Afghanistan need recognition of legal status. This is not only a diplomatic issue, but also a legal issue.

As a group of 27 democracies, the European Union should continue to strive to uphold human rights around the world. Although condemning the Taliban, which is considered to have oppressed women when in power from 1996 to 2001, yet, when it comes to human rights, the sanctions given must still take into account human values for Afghan people as a whole.

For the European Union, the recognition of the Taliban government by other countries will certainly have important consequences, such as allowing the Taliban access to foreign aid on which the previous Afghan government depended.

Meanwhile, for the violence carried out by the Taliban, strict sanctions can also be given, considering the European Union is the largest aid donor in the world. Undeniably, without aid, it would be the biggest blow to the Taliban government, and impact on the Afghan people. But of course, all help has conditions.

European Union policies must always be based on the values they commonly refer to as human rights, democracy, rule of law, solidarity and freedom of expression. Unfortunately, some of these values cannot be applied by the EU itself. One of the EU members, Slovenia, for example, stated that it is not open to refugees from Afghanistan. The EU commitment to Afghan refugees also seems to only apply to those who have worked with European troops, NATO, governments and institutions in Afghanistan. In fact, a few other Afghans feel scared and want to flee their country because they are not in line with the Taliban.

02
September

 

After vaccination has been carried out since the first quarter of 2021 and the strict implementation of Community Activity Restrictions -PPKM, the number of people exposed to the Covid-19 virus has decreased significantly. In addition, continuous socialization carried out by the government and all elements of society is important to maintain health protocols in a bid to prevent wider transmission. This has brought about a positive impact on the red zone turning to a green zone.

Considering the positive situation and conditions, several regions have started face-to-face learning in schools. Although parents are still worried about learning amid the pandemic, a strong desire and enthusiasm for learning continues to emerge amid the confusion about the future of education due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In view of the face-to-face learning, this must be monitored carefully and closely by many parties to prevent the emergence of new clusters of Covid-19.

In fact, some countries have already carried out face-to-face learning after the decline in the number of virus exposures. However, new cases of the Covid-19 cluster in schools can happen, as happened in South Korea. In Indonesia, it happened in several regions and related stakeholders immediately stopped the face-to-face teaching and learning process, especially no vaccination at the time. But now, it has changed; the strict policy of PPKM and vaccination with 2 injection phases has given a positive signal, especially in Java and Bali. This means that the policies taken by the government have run well.

Truly, each individual should be careful in responding to the decreasing trend of the number of people exposed to Covid-9. President Joko Widodo when announcing the extension of the PPKM on Monday (30/8) expressed his pleasure at the improvement in Indonesia's conditions and situation after the high number of exposed cases.

But on the one hand, he reminded the Indonesian people not to be over-satisfied and they have to remain vigilant about implementing the health protocols, protecting the environment even though they have been vaccinated against the threat of the Covid-19 virus. Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim said that in response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, learning in the new academic year 2021/2022 is dynamic, referring to the PPKM policies in each region, and the Joint Decree (SKB), 4 Ministers regarding Guidelines for the Implementation of Learning in the Covid-19 Pandemic Period. According to Minister Nadiem Anwar, educational units must pay attention to their regional zones in determining learning activities.

On the other hand, observers and health experts respond to the rapid mutation changes of the coronavirus. The thing to worry about is the emergence of new types or variants resulting from crosses between viruses to give rise to new and more dangerous types. Thereby, the Indonesian government, academicians and researchers continue to work hard and to find a credible and effective medicine to fight the coronavirus. Moreover, Indonesian researchers have succeeded in dealing with the bird flu pandemic in the early 2000s. This means that everyone needs to be careful in responding to the infection decline. So stay strong, get vaccinated, and follow the health protocols! The calamity is about to shake off sooner!

01
September

 

The United States withdrew all its troops from Afghanistan on the evening of August 30, one day ahead of schedule. Upon the departure of the United States, the Taliban declared that Afghanistan was fully independent. Now, what the Taliban has to do is prove that without the US and its allies, Afghanistan will be better off politically, economically, socially and religiously. The international community is waiting for the Taliban's promise.

From a security standpoint, the Taliban must demonstrate that Afghanistan will be safe from the intrusion of ISIS, which a week earlier had admitted responsibility for the two suicide bombings that exploded outside Kabul's international airport. The incident killed many people including a number of American soldiers. The takeover of Hamid Karzai international airport by the Taliban after the departure of the United States will be a testament to how the Taliban maintain security and open the airport to the needs of the refugees. The UN Security Council passed a safe passage resolution on Monday asking the Taliban to ensure the safety of refugees leaving Afghanistan. In addition, the Taliban were also asked to guarantee the distribution of humanitarian aid and the implementation of human rights principles.

The Taliban must also quickly demonstrate that they are capable of managing and operating Kabul's international airport and administering Afghanistan through a widely recognized government. This requires cooperation with other countries. It is said, the Taliban were in talks with Turkey regarding cooperation in the management and operation of its airport.

Since 2002, Turkey has included its troops with NATO not as a combat force, but in handling logistics matters. On the basis of urgent need, it is very possible that the Taliban will have to cooperate with Turkey. The country certainly sees Afghanistan, after the end of the war with the United States, as very strategic in terms of its geopolitical interests. Cooperation with the Taliban, will make Turkey have a new foothold in playing its influence, especially in Central and South Asia.

31
August


Over the past two months of implementing Community Activity  Restrictions (PPKM) in  Java and Bali, Monday evening President Joko Widodo announced improvements in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the PPKM remains in effect until September 6, there are some favours of various fields.

Positive data on the transmission of Covid-19 until Monday evening (30/8) showed a number that was far below the positive number in mid-July to mid-August. Yesterday, the number of confirmed positive reached 5,436 within a day. This figure is far below the confirmed figure that has reached more than 57,000 within a day.

President Joko Widodo also remarked that the national hospital bed occupancy rate was only 27 percent. This progress is certainly welcomed by the community. It can be imagined that people may return to their normal activities. They can go to earn a living without any more barriers on the road. School children can go back to school to share face-to-face learnings. In fact, the Banten provincial government has announced that it will implement face-to-face learnings starting from September 1 tomorrow for Senior High Schools or High Vocational Schools -SMA/SMK.

This improving pandemic situation shows that so far, the policies implemented by the Indonesian government have been viewed appropriately and have brought about good results. The health protocols were successfully enforced. About 96.5 million vaccines have been injected to Indonesian citizens. Vaccination continues to be accelerated and supportey a lot of related stakeholders. The health system is not collapsing. This is evidenced by the occupancy rate of hospital beds which continues to decline. The number of deaths due to Covid-19 continues to decline, along with the increase in the number of recoveries.

However, President Joko Widodo reminded the public not to be careless and keep being cautious in responding to this improving trend. He also affirmed that the Indonesian nation must take important lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic situation experienced by various countries. Several countries, where 60% of the populations have been vaccinated, are still undergoing a surge in the transmission of Covid-19 cases. This happens because the community disobeys being disciplined in implementing the set health protocols.

Admittedly, the cooperation of all parties is the main requirement to shake off from this pandemic. The public must continue to apply health protocols. The government should accelerate the vaccination program, and maintain the health system. However, the government must not be careless with hoaxes related to the pandemic and vaccines that still exist today. The key to breaking these hoaxes is to establish good communication between the government and the public. This communication is so essential so that the public fully understand the government's program related to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, they are not easily carried away by hoaxes.

30
August


The Indonesian Government through the Ministry of Communication and Informatics has launched the PeduliLindungapplication since March 2020 which  has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times. The application is now a requirement for everybody to travel in all modes of transportation starting  Saturday 28 August 2021.

Minister of Communications and Informatics, Johnny G Plate in a press release said that the PeduliLindung application aims to implement tracing, tracking, and fencing by integrating digital technology to fight against Covid-19 nationally. It contains information on vaccine registration, digital passports, travel history, to screening for public areas, such as airports and monitoring arrivals from abroad and cross-border posts. In addition, this application is even integrated into doctor consultation services or telemedicine. Users can do virtual health consultations through this application.

The Ministry of Transportation also supports the PeduliLindung application in all modes of transportation as a travel requirement. All Directors General of the Ministry of Transportation have been asked to draw up rules to prepare both in terms of systems and procedures. Thereby,  it can be implemented immediately by the organizers of transportation facilities and infrastructure, whether managed by the Ministry of Transportation, State-Owned Enterprises, or the private sector.

Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that by using this application, it can be ensured that only healthy passengers can get on the plane. All data on passengers who have vaccinated and got PCR/antigen checks are stored safely in the Ministry of Health  big data named New All Record or NAR. This checking mechanism with NAR big data will also be carried out at the time of booking tickets on airlines, both offline and online. This rule will also be extended to land and sea transportation modes in the near future.

The government's efforts in implementing the PeduliLindung application certainly need to be supported so that it can run well. Transportation is one of the important sectors for community mobility amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Transportation hubs, such as terminals, stations, ports and airports are part of the Government's filter to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

It is hoped that the results of this tracing can make it easier for the government to identify who needs further treatment to stop the spread of Covid-19. The more public participate in using this application, The more people participate in using this application, this will further assist the government in tracing and tracking.

Confidentiality  of Personal data in the PeduliLindung application is stored securely in an encrypted format and will not be shared with others. Data will only be accessed if it is known that the user is at risk of contracting Covid-19 and needs to be immediately contacted by health workers.