Malaysia is about to hold general elections on Saturday (19 November 2022). More than 21 million people are eligible to vote for 945 candidates who are ready to compete for 222 parliamentary seats in Malaysia.
Malaysia is going to hold general elections one year ahead of schedule. Malaysian Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob admitted that he asked for the election to be held sooner to silence criticism about the legitimacy of his government.
Malaysia has indeed experienced unresolved political turmoil after the dissolution of Mahathir Mohamad's government. Since then, attempts to form a new government have been made twice. But both failed to achieve political stability. Accelerated general elections are considered as a solution to get a new government from the people.
There are three major coalitions competing in Malaysia's general elections this time. They are the main coalition of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob; coalition of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim; and the coalition of former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Analysts argue that no single coalition is expected to be able to secure a majority to form a new government. Heikal Rosnan from Bower Group Asia, as quoted from voaindonesia (16/11) argues that a very possible scenario from the results of the Malaysian elections this time is that no coalition has enough seats to be able to form a government.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Suffian, Executive Director of the Merdeka Center said, the presence of three significant coalitions with a large base of support makes it difficult to estimate the outcome in terms of the projected number of parliamentary seats.
It is hoped that in the November 19 elections, one of the coalitions will be able to win a majority of seats to form a new strong government. If no single coalition is able to win a majority of seats, they will bargain with each other and try to form a new coalition. It is estimated, such a coalition is not strong enough to form a stable government.
The Group of Twenty Summit (G20 Summit) is taking place on November 15-16, 2022. It can be said that now, all eyes are on Bali, Indonesia. Some important things will become the history of the G20. The world looks forward to important commitments on global issues. The commitment is in the form of the G20's concrete work.
The concrete outputs of the 2022 G20 Presidency of Indonesia have been emphasized by President Joko Widodo. He reiterated this in his bilateral meeting with several state leaders, such as in the meeting with European Commission President, Ursula Von Der Leyen, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and United States President Joe Biden. In a number of bilateral meetings, President Joko Widodo emphasized that the concrete results of the G20 that the world has been waiting for can be produced.
Meanwhile, when meeting Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, President Joko Widodo said that the world's expectations are very high for the G20 as a catalyst for global recovery. The success of the G20 is a shared responsibility of all G20 countries.
One concrete result that has been launched is the Pandemic Fund, which was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on November 13. The Pandemic Fund managed to raise US$1.4 billion from 20 contributors, namely G20 members, non-G20 countries, and three world philanthropic institutions. Indeed, the amount collected has not reached the target. Citing the kemenkeu.go.id, based on the results of a study conducted by the World Bank and world health organizations earlier this year, financing in a pandemic fund requires US$31.1 billion annually. President Joko Widodo expects greater support and contribution for pandemic funds to be used to finance the prevention, preparation, and response systems for future pandemics.
In the two-day summit of heads of state, it is also hoped that the text of declarations from state leaders on three priority sectors, namely strengthening the global health architecture, digital transformation and energy transition will be produced.
Indonesia can be proud of its success in carrying out the tasks of the 2022 G20 Presidency. Moreover, as stated by President Joko Widodo, this year's G20 Presidency is the toughest in G20 history. However, the presence of 17 Heads of State proves that Indonesia has succeeded in inviting the world to Recover Together, Recover Stronger.
Former Head of the United Kingdom’s Treasury, Rishi Sunak was elected Prime Minister of the UK after winning the election for the leadership of the conservative party. He faces a lot of tasks of stabilizing the party and the state at a time of political and economic upheaval.
Rishi Sunak becomes the third UK government leader this year, following the resignations of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss who only served for about 45 days. Sunak had been asked by King Charles III to immediately form a government.
Rishi Sunak's victory became a new history of government in England. He became the first British prime minister of South Asian descent, the first Hindu to hold the post of prime minister. He is also listed as the youngest to hold this position in more than 200 years. The record was previously held by William Pitt who took office at the age of 40 in 1812. Sunak is also the fastest MP to reach the post of Prime Minister in the modern era after only serving in the British Government for seven years. The previous record holder, David Cameron, managed to become Prime Minister in nine years.
The challenges that Sunak will face in the future are quite heavy. He must stabilize the divided Conservative Party which lags far behind the opposition in opinion polls. In addition, the great task is how to support the British economy, which was shaken after Truss' brief experiment in libertarian economics.
According to Jeremy Hunt, the Treasury Secretary Sunak had retained from the previous Truss cabinet, his top priority is economic stability and restoring confidence that the UK is a country that can do it. Thereby, the British people hope the new government can explain how it plans to cover the budget shortfall of 40 billion pounds or US$46 billion dollars. Yet, Rishi Sunak last Wednesday (26/10) postponed the announcement of a long-awaited plan to improve the country's public finances until November 17, about two and a half weeks later than originally planned. Treasury Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a televised broadcast that it would take more time to ensure the new plan to deal with the country's latest economic forecasts.
Hopefully, the government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the economic policies to be carried out will bring about a good recovery that can help Britain out of the economic difficulties currently faced.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health detected the Omicron XBB subvariant in Indonesia. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, M. Syahril said that the first XBB case in Indonesia was a local transmission. This XBB variant was detected in a 29-year-old woman who had just returned from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. There are symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, and fever. Then, she was tested positive on September 26. After undergoing isolation, the patient was declared cured on October 3.
Following this finding, the Ministry of Health rushed to take anticipatory efforts by testing and tracing 10 close contacts. As a result, all close contacts tested negative for the XBB variant of COVID-19.
Syahril further said that although the new XBB variant is contagious, the fatality is no more severe than the Omicron variant. However, the country cannot be said to be safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, various mutations of new variants still have the potential to continue to occur. In recent days, cases have also been reported to increase in 24 provinces.
Since the first discovery of the Omicron XBB subvariant, 24 countries have reported the finding of this subvariant. Syahril also said that this XBB variant caused a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases in Singapore, accompanied by an increase in the trend of hospitalization. In the country, this variant has triggered a rise in cases to 6,000 positive confirmations per day.
Transmission of various variants of COVID-19 usually increases after the holiday season. Soon, we will welcome the Christmas and New Year holidays. This is when our vigilance must be raised. Although the various variants of this virus are getting weaker, for certain people this virus can still be deadly.
Fortunately, Indonesia has not relaxed its vigilance against this virus. Inside buildings and on public transportation, the use of masks is still mandatory. Vaccination continues. However, this country is also not completely free from COVID-19. Each individual still has to take care of themselves by wearing a mask, washing their hands as often as possible, avoiding crowds and reducing travel.
Australia through Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday (18/10) said that her country was withdrawing the previous government's decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
During the 2018 government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia had decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, following in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump.
Australia's bold decision has received support and praise from various countries, including Palestine. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the decision was in accordance with international law. Australia's stance shows that the world does not accept Israel's annexation of the Palestinian territories. According to PM Mohammad Shtayyeh, it also proves Australia's respect and alignment with the values of truth, justice and freedom, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Support also came from Indonesia. On Tuesday (18/10), the government said it welcomed Australia's decision to revoke the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indonesia also appreciates Australia's assertion that it supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with "internationally recognized boundaries."
The Israeli government is certainly disappointed with Canberra's decision. Political Director of Israeli Foreign Ministry, Aliza Bin-Noun when speaking with Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths, Tuesday (18/10) local time expressed her disappointment. She called the Anthony Albanese Government move a "bad decision". According to Aliza, the decision risks encouraging extremist elements in the West Bank to keep fueling violence and destabilizing the region. Disappointment also came from Israel's Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, who called the decision a "hasty response to false reports in the media".
What has been done by Australia deserves appreciation. It is hoped that the United States under the Joe Biden administration will follow Australia's lead and change the policies taken by former president Donald Trump. The decision to support West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a unilateral move that comes out of the stance taken by the majority of the international community.
Hopefully, this Australian decision will be a step that "can contribute positively to efforts to peacefully resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" and support a "two-state solution", as stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.
The traditional relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which are known to be close and have been existing since the end of World War II, began to drift apart. On October 5, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other OPEC members agreed to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day, equivalent to 2 percent of current global oil production, effective as of November.
Saudi Arabia's decision along with other oil producing countries, including Russia, known as OPEC+, is seen as hindering Washington's efforts to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. Related to the domestic politics of the United States, the decision was announced ahead of the November mid-term elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to maintain their control of the House of Representatives and the US Senate.
The OPEC+ decision has angered the United States. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday (11/10), President Joe Biden said that he would retaliate against Saudi Arabia. The United States accuses Saudi Arabia of following Russia's will against Washington and Western plans to reduce Moscow's revenue.
In the US Congress, voices calling for the severance of all cooperative relations with Saudi Arabia are also growing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson, Bob Menendez said that he would reject arms sales to Saudi Arabia and all forms of cooperation with Riyadh. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin called Saudi Arabia a traitor. Durbin also asked the US Congress to immediately pass the Oil Production and Exports Anticartel Act (NOPEC) which authorizes the US Department of Justice to bring OPEC+ members to US courts on charges of unfair business competition. In addition, several members of the US House of Representatives from the Democratic camp also proposed a bill that would force the withdrawal of all US troops and weapons from Saudi Arabia.
In response to the anger of the United States, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Saudi Arabian television, Al Arabiya that the OPEC+ decision was based on economic considerations and was taken unanimously by its members.
OPEC in its monthly report issued last Wednesday (12/10) said that the world economy had entered a period of increasing uncertainty and challenges. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund -IMF the day before had cut its global growth forecast for 2023 and warned of an increased risk of a global recession.
Hopefully, the estrangement of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia will not worsen the global economic conditions that have started becoming difficult lately.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) will carry out a Preliminary Data Collection for the 2022 Socio-Economic Registration (Regsosek) within one month, from October 15, to November 14, 2022. Regsosek is a system and database of the entire population consisting of profiles, social and economic conditions, and the level of welfare connected to the population master data and other databases up to the village/sub-district level.
Head of BPS, Margo Yuwono explained that Regsosek has three main objectives. First one is to capture the dynamics of welfare changes that occur in the society. Second one is to refer to integrated data of social protection programs and economic empowerment, and third objective is to improve the public service system.
The initial step taken to realize Regsosek is to provide basic population data that is integrated with population master data. The variables collected by the Preliminary Data Collection for 2022 Regsosek are addressed to the entire population of Indonesia. In this data collection, BPS will use a family approach by taking into account the domiciles of all family members listed on the Family Card (KK). In addition to data collection, BPS will also collect a number of variables in the 2022 Regsosek. These variables include information related to demographic socio-economic conditions, housing conditions and clean water sanitation, asset ownership, and conditions of vulnerability of special population groups. Furthermore, there is geospatial information, welfare levels, and information related to other economic conditions.
The output of the Preliminary Data Collection for 2022 Regsosek is a socio-economic database of the population with complete and comprehensive information. The data can be used by ministries and agencies to design various programs that are appropriate for the community.
This 2022 Social and Economic Registration leads to a single and comprehensive data. The data is very important to make a policy concerning the welfare of the community. With correct and comprehensive data, the government can avoid making policies that are misdirected, especially when it comes to the provision of social assistance.
The United States hosted the Summit of the US and Pacific Island nations late last September. The two-day summit (September 28-29) resulted in a joint declaration between the United States and representatives from 14 Pacific Islands countries. Its contents cover various issues, including practicing sustainable development, tackling climate change, and maintaining the security of the Pacific region and its trade sector.
Solomon Islands, one of the Pacific Island countries despite previously showing refusal, finally signed the document.
The country's refusal was due to a point in the draft declaration which urged the Pacific Islands countries to take side with either the United States or China, which are in conflict in the region. Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Jeremiah Manele on Tuesday (04/10) said he objected to the draft agreement with the United States-Pacific Partnership because he had to choose one side (the United States or China). In fact, according to Minister Manele, his country is neutral, not in a position to choose one side.
However, after going through a series of negotiations, the United States and the Pacific Island countries reached a point of agreement. Thus, the Solomon Islands finally signed the final declaration of the joint agreement last week.
Efforts to reach common ground are inseparable from the success of the Solomon Islands government's diplomatic strategies. It was successful in convincing the United States and the Western Allies that the Pacific was not an area of confrontation. Countries in the Pacific region including the Solomon Islands welcome the establishment of close relations not only with the United States, but also with other countries, including China.
The success of the Solomon Islands in negotiations regarding uneasy matters with the US needs to be appreciated. The Solomon Islands government has shown that as a sovereign state, Solomon Islands has the right to establish cooperation with any country it wishes. There should not be any country that suppresses and compels or restricts other countries. Pressure and coercion actually damage peace, especially in the Pacific Islands Region.
Indonesian football has received worldwide attention. Unfortunately, this time, it is not about achievement, but it is a tragedy that occurred after the match between Arema FC and Persebaya on Saturday (1/10). Even FIFA President, Gianni Infantino called the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java a tragedy beyond reason and a dark day for all involved in football.
Chaos between football fans in Indonesia is not a new occurrence. Excessive fanaticism towards their favorite team sometimes makes them act out of bounds. Results that are beyond expectations, often make team supporters take anarchic actions.
But the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang cannot only be imposed on the supporters of the football team. Everyone involved in organizing a football match is responsible for the incident that caused the deaths of 131 people.
It's time for all parties to improve themselves to advance football in Indonesia. It’s not only to improve the performance of athletes and football teams, but it’s also to make the match an entertaining spectacle and increase pride in Indonesian football.
Hopefully, the Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy does not leave deep trauma for athletes, referees and club management or football teams in Indonesia. For supporters, being a lesson, blind fanaticism to anarchic actions, will actually harm many parties.
The spirit of sportsmanship should not only be owned by those in the middle of the field. High sportsmanship actually must be owned by everyone who is on the sidelines. In a match, there are only lose and win or draw. Accepting the defeat of their favorite club or team by providing support can be a motivation for their favorite athletes to improve their performance.
Hopefully, there will be no more chaos between football fans anywhere. As President Joko Widodo hopes, the tragedy of the Kanjuruhan Stadium is the last tragedy of football in Indonesia. Sportsmanship, humanity, and the sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation must be maintained together.
Deep condolences to the victims and their bereaved families. Hopefully, the injured victims will get well sooner.
The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict seems to be heading towards a bright solusion after both sides agreed to a ceasefire. Secretary of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigoryan said Thursday (15/9) that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire on Wednesday (14/9), after fighting took place in the past month.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani army opened fire intensely from artillery systems and machine guns at settlements in Goris, Sotk and Jemruk in Armenian territory. As reported by the Russian news agency, TASS, the Armenian Security Council held an extraordinary meeting after the attack, and decided to seek assistance from Russia.
As usual in every conflict, the warring parties always blame the other side. Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan said that 105 Armenian soldiers had been killed since Monday night in attacks he blamed on Azerbaijan. He also accused Azerbaijani troops of occupying 10 square-kilometers of Armenian territory this week. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev blamed the escalation on the military and political leadership of Armenia. He claimed that it was his neighbor that started the conflict by firing at military targets in Kalbacar. According to President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani armed forces took retaliatory measures and revealed that 50 Azerbaijani soldiers had died in the fighting.
This clash is the latest in a long series of conflicts between the two former Soviet republics over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
A military operation has been carried out by Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh since last August after three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in Baku, by suspected Armenians. Nagorno-Karabakh itself is a disputed area that has been contested by both countries since they were separated from the Soviet Union. Even in 2020, both of them were also at war in the region for six weeks.
Hopefully, the truce agreed upon by both parties can be maintained, and become a bright solusion towards real peace. In every conflict, let alone war, no party wins as a whole. In this era of globalization, its impact will be felt in other countries. Learning from the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the impact that occurred was felt by not only the two conflicting countries, but also the international community.