Kazakhstan, as one of oil-producing countries in Central Asia, is in turmoil after thousands of people in the country staged mass demonstration to protest on the streets. The AFP news agency reported that the protests in Kazakhstan came after a sharp increase in fuel prices. The protests turned into clashes with officers, even spread to other cities in Kazakhstan, and became public demonstrations and riots.
It was previously known that during three decades of independence, Kazakhstan was able to cultivate its image of political stability, thereby helping to attract hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment in the oil and metals industry.
On the protests in his country, Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in a speech on the local television believed that there are financially motivated conspirators behind the current wave of demonstrations. He also asked Kazakhs not to give in to provocations from within and outside the country. Tokayev also warned that attacking civilian and military facilities is an unlawful act, a crime that deserves being punished.
The United States and the United Nations, which are also monitoring the conflict in Kazakhstan, have called on all parties there to exercise restraint, following rising social tensions over the sharp rise in fuel prices. US State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price said that Washington condemns acts of violence and destruction of property and calls on authorities and protesters to exercise restraint. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the United Nations –UN was concerned about events in Kazakhstan.
The world community agrees with what the UN and the US have said. In addition, respecting and defending constitutional institutions, human rights and media freedom, including the restoration of internet services must also be a concern so that the crisis does not drag on to a downward spiral. All parties must try to find a peaceful solution to this emergency. They must refrain from violence and encourage dialogue.
The United Nations also seems to need to intervene immediately to help overcoming the chaos in Kazakhstan. This is to dismiss allegations of involvement of certain foreign groups in what is happening in the country.
Indonesia is focusing on developing infrastructure and ecosystem for research. Data of the Global Competitiveness Index 2019 mentioned that research productivity in Indonesia was 0.02% in 2015. This is still far below the ideal 15%. Therefore, it needs to be improved and supported by the government and private sector.
Head of National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Laksana Tri Handoko has recently explained that research conditions in Indonesia are not growing optimally, and are still dominated by the government. Some 80 percent of research was conducted by the government while only 20 percent was done by non-government.
Considering this situation, the government keeps encouraging the private sector to join in research and development activities. One of which is by preparing fiscal incentives to stimulate the private sector to do research and development. With this policy, a tax subject that conducts certain research and development in Indonesia can be granted 100% gross income deduction from the total cost for the activity.
With the fiscal incentive, it is expected that the private sector can actively join in awakening the spirit of research and development in Indonesia. The private involvement in doing research and development is very necessary so that the research and development ecosystem in Indonesia can grow further. Therefore, research productivity in Indonesia can keep increasing.
The five countries that have global nuclear powers made a joint statement to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to avoid conflict as a result of their use.
Citing AFP, the joint statement of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States, on Tuesday, January 4, was issued following the latest review of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) which first took effect in 1970.
Undeniably, there have been frequent tensions between these countries, especially between those in the cold war many decades ago were called the “west” (US, France, and England), and the “east” (Russia and China). However, the five world powers view the avoidance of war between nuclear weapons states and the reduction of strategic risks as their main responsibility.
The statement also pledged to comply with a key article in the NPT, that states commit to full nuclear disarmament in the future. The US used nuclear weapons in Japan at the end of World War II. Namely through the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a very terrible impact.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appreciated the joint statement by pointing out that the presence of 13,000 nuclear weapons worldwide is a growing threat, with the risk that they could be used at any time. The further spread of such weapons must be prevented. Nuclear war should not happen, given the enormous impact.
Although influential, the joint statement of the five countries will not necessarily be able to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the world. Several other countries, such as Iran, North Korea, India and Pakistan, are also known to have started developing nuclear weapons. While Israel is widely believed to have nuclear weapons it has never officially acknowledged.
However, the statement of the nuclear weapons prevention agreement is believed to be able to help increase mutual trust between countries. This includes replacing competition among the great powers with coordination and cooperation. In addition, it is hoped that it will also be able to melt tensions that often arise between nuclear power countries such as Russia and the US, which sometimes still leave traces of the Cold War in the past.
The fact that can not be denied is, the potential for nuclear war is basically still there. Many countries are trying to increase their military strength, including nuclear weapons, in order to guard against threats from other parties. In fact, sometimes war can be prevented or even 'won' in various other ways, such as diplomacy, restraint or avoidance. Thus, nuclear war can be avoided, the world can be saved from destruction and the terrible impact on mankind.
Over the last two days, the media has been busy discussing the issue of the Indonesian National Police -Polri to be proposed under a ministry. Governor of the National Defense Institute, Lt. Gen. TNI (Ret.), Agus Widjojo has proposed that the National Security Council and the Ministry of Home Security be immediately formed. Thus, he stated that the Ministry of Home Security will oversee the National Police.
Responding to the proposal, Analyst of Public Information Center Policy at the Public Relations Division of the Polri, Police Commissioner Trunoyudo W Andiko delivered a press statement Monday (3/1). He emphasized that the Polri institution is under the president of the Republic of Indonesia in accordance with the 1945 Constitution and Law No. 2/2002 on the National Police.
Andiko further stated that Article 8 paragraph (1) of Law No. 2/2002 has firmly stated that the National Police are under the president. Therefore, until now, the Polri institution still operates under the president and is directly responsible to the president.
In line with the National Police, Commissioner of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas), Poengky Indarti remarked that the National Police institution which is currently under the direct supervision of the President of the Republic of Indonesia is a mandate from the Reformation era. He assessed that it would be inappropriate for anyone to propose other ideas that deviate from the mandate of the Reformation era.
According to Poengky, Law No. 2/2002 on the National Police is a manifestation of police reform. In addition, the Police as an institution do not stand alone. Thereby, Kompolnas participates in overseeing and has the task of determining the direction of policies drawn up by the National Police. Several observers and members of the House of Representatives -DPR also expressed the same opinion. The point is that the National Police should remain under the President, and there is no need for a special institution to oversee the Police.
The number of opinions that support the National Police to remain under the President shows that the current position of the Police is considered to be appropriate. There must be a very strong reason and an in-depth study, if someone wants to change the position of the police. Whatever the position of the Police is that the interests of the nation and the state must become a root basis.
Throughout 2021, even entering 2022, Indonesia has been struggling with two major jobs, namely breaking the Covid-19 chain and keeping the economy growing.
President Joko Widodo, through his upload on the official Instagram account @jokowi in Jakarta, one day before the turn of 2022, stated that efforts to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and economic slowdown must be balanced, even though the pandemic has so far been increasingly sloping.
Meanwhile, on the first day of 2022, the President stated that over the last two years, like other countries in the world, the Indonesian people have also experienced various problems, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, an economic recession or a situation of high uncertainty. He remarked that Indonesia has passed various tough tests that have forged this nation to be stronger. With this forging, he urged all parties to have new spirit and work for Indonesia Forward. It is believed that all the tests in 2021 would strengthen and unite the Indonesian nation.
What the president said should have received attention from all parties, and then it is implemented in everyday life, considering that in 2022, Indonesia has a lot of major duties, such as economic recovery, health problems and Indonesian presidency of G-20.
With the G-20 Presidency, Indonesia is fully responsible for organizing the entire series of the group activities this year. G-20 activities in each presidency normally include 3-4 meetings at the working group level, 3-4 at the deputy level, 2-4 at the Ministerial level and end with a high-level conference attended by the Heads of State of the G20 members.
In addition to readiness as the G-20 presidency holder, Indonesia also still has to continue to struggle to encourage economic growth and contain the spread of Covid-19. The spread of Covid-19 cases in the world has set a high record recently due to the Omicron variant. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a Covid 'tsunami' that will burden the global health system.
Therefore, President Joko Widodo's appeal for all parties across Indonesia to have new spirit and work for Indonesia Forward in 2022 should be followed.
The end of 2021 still doesn't show the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even now, the world has to be more vigilant due to the emergence of new troubling variants.
It has been almost two years since the world first hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The death toll in various countries has been very large. Covid 19 has also had a major impact on the economy. Countries across the continent have spent huge amounts of money on the treatment of those affected by Covid 19, as well as on prevention through vaccines.
The threat of Covid19 has not yet ended until 2021 ends. Entering 2022, in various places there has been a decrease in the rate of transmission and death due to Covid 19. As in Indonesia, for example, there has been a significant decline. However, when the world began to take steps to enter the New Normal era, there was a threat of a new variant of Covid19.
The World Health Organization, WHO, on its official website, stated that there was a dangerous new variant. Starting out in South Africa and Botswana, a new variant called OMICRON is now spreading rapidly in Western Europe. Britain, which had originally begun to open its lockdown policy, now has to start a new vigilance. The country closed the door to the arrival of citizens from a number of countries that have been infected with Omicron. Although the impact of deaths from Omicron is said to be lower than the previous Covid-19 variant, namely Delta, the transmission rate is higher. In addition to Omicron and Delta, WHO has also identified other variants that are no less dangerous.
Entering the new year, people in various countries are still plagued with worries and even fears, not only because there is still Covid 19, but also due to dangerous new variants. Therefore, the international community still has to increase its vigilance, and must not be careless.
In Indonesia in particular, the Government in addition to trying to prevent and overcome it, must also try to implement various policies, so that economically, people's lives do not get worse.
President Joko Widodo appealed for all parties to welcome the New Year 2022 with a new spirit, noble soul and a heart full of love. The Head of State made the appeal when delivering his remarks at the 2021 National Christmas Celebration which was broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat YouTube, Monday (27/12). The President also called on all Indonesian people to build optimism, strengthen inner and outer endeavors, work hard and pray to grow and contribute to provide the greatest benefit to the society, nation and state.
On this occasion, President Joko Widodo also reminded that almost two years ago, the Indonesian people have faced a tough test, apart from facing the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns, grief, and trials have also been faced by the Indonesian people due to natural disasters in various regions. He hoped that these various tests will actually strengthen the brotherhood of all Indonesian people and make the Indonesian nation stronger and tougher. Thereby, the President did appeal to all people wherever they are to jointly do good things, promote solidarity and mutual cooperation, and work for humanitarian action throughout Indonesia.
President Joko Widodo's appeal should not only be welcomed, but also be realized by all Indonesian people. The evidence has shown that solidarity, mutual cooperation and working for humanitarian action is what makes Indonesia strong and continue to grow. Moreover, Indonesia is still facing the Covid-19 pandemic with a new variant, Omicron. The solidarity based on the discipline of implementing strict health protocols is expected to make Indonesia stronger in facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Solidarity and mutual cooperation will also make Indonesia jointly able to cope with the consequences of natural disasters. Because Indonesia may still experience various disasters. As stated by Professor of the earthquake research at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Danny Hilman Natawidjaja in an online discussion, Monday (27/12), as a country on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia will always face the risk of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruption. Solidarity and mutual cooperation must be carried out by all Indonesian people for disaster mitigation, starting from prevention efforts to preparation so that not many become victims of disasters.
The Indonesian people must also raise their optimism to contribute to the country and the world. In 2022, there is high trust that will be carried out by Indonesia. One of them is the G20 presidency and at the same time, Indonesia is to host the event with the theme 'Recover Together, Recover Stronger'. The theme that reflects Indonesia's solidarity with the world’s economic recovery due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic can be carried out together and will make it stronger. In carrying out their duties and responsibilities, every individual in Indonesia must be based on the spirit of solidarity and mutual cooperation. Hence, the hope of achieving the desired 'Indonesia Forward' can be pursued soonest.
The Christmas Celebration of December 25, 2021 in Indonesia as a whole took place in a safe, peaceful and conducive manner.
On the website of the Cabinet Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, Cabinet Secretary, Pramono Anung also expressed his gratitude and believed that this Christmas celebration was going well, far from identity politics. In this way, the Christian community could celebrate Christmas with joy and safety.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD also emphasized that in Indonesia, all religious communities and institutions receive equal protection from the state. This means that Indonesia is neither a secular state nor a religious state, but a Pancasila state which is the nation's ideology. In the Pancasila state, all religions and their adherents receive equal protection.
The atmosphere of the Christmas celebration which was conducive and filled with optimism and joy is something to be grateful for. This is considering that for the last two years, Christmas celebrations were held amid of the Covid-19 pandemic, although it did not reduce its meaning. In 2020 and 2021, in the pandemic era, Christians in Indonesia were able to get through it well. Meanwhile, at this Christmas celebration, the sense of peace, togetherness and tolerance are wisdom that should be upheld.
The theme of Christmas celebrations in Indonesia this year, "The Love of Christ that Moves Brotherhood", is very relevant to the condition of the Indonesian nation which is very diverse. This theme contains a message about the importance of continuing to maintain unity and unity. Brotherhood is a universal theme that can bind together the hearts of believers to maintain harmony, peace and prosperity for the nation.
In accordance with this theme, through the celebration of Christmas, Christians are asked to realize their calling as individuals who are willing to serve with wisdom and the importance of being wise in dealing with all differences, especially in welcoming the New Year 2022.
May the Almighty God bless the Indonesian nation!
To help Afghanistan avoid getting into a humanitarian crisis, the United States finally relaxed its sanctions against Afghanistan. The easing includes supporting U.S. officials and certain international organizations, such as the United Nations -UN, to transact with the Taliban or the Haqqani network for official purposes. Non-governmental organizations are also allowed to cooperate with the Taliban and the Haqqani network in humanitarian activities.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on the Taliban because it was categorized as a terrorist group. They include freezing the Taliban group's assets in the U.S. and barring U.S. citizens from having contact with the Taliban group.
The U.S. decision follows the UN’s plan to pay nearly US$6 million for protection costs in Afghanistan. The proposed funds would be paid next year mostly to subsidize the monthly wages of Taliban fighters guarding theUN’s facilities and to provide them a monthly food allowance under an expansion of an accord with the former U.S.-backed Afghan government. This was reported by Reuters News Agency, Thursday (23/12). However, even though sanctions have been relaxed and humanitarian aid will come in; the U.S. continues to encourage the Taliban group to work on their own in a bid to overcome Afghanistan's collapsed economy.
The United Nations has specific reasons why it is necessary to issue a resolution that resolves donors, aid groups, and financial institutions involved in humanitarian assistance from the sanctions imposed on the Taliban. This is solely to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.
On behalf of humanity, what the UN did was right. The country with 39 million people still needs food. Currently, they are struggling hard to overcome the humanitarian crisis and food shortages due to the faltering Afghan economy, because there is no more foreign financial assistance.
Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) is a part of religion-based education that exists even before Indonesia's independence. The emergence of pesantren in educational institutions began with the transition from Majapahit Kingdom to Demak -the first Islamic kingdom. As time passes by, pesantren keeps developing from the traditional model into a modern one. The existence of pesantren has given a significant contribution to the independence and national development. The santri -students at Islamic boarding school -graduated not only as preachers or teachers in a religious institution, but also they spread across diverse jobs.
About pesantren, in the 34th Congress of Nahdlatul Ulama -NU in Lampung on Wednesday (22/12), President Joko Widodo invited the cadres of NU to face the rapid technological advancement that can change daily life. The youths and santri, the president added, can move the economy together in creating prosperity for all. The President also said that currently, Indonesia is the G-20 Presidency, a global forum that contributes 80 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). As the chair of the G-20, Indonesia wants to influence world policies regarding digitalization, climate change and a green economy.
It is undeniable that the existence of NU with a number of pesantrens in particular and other pesantrens in general has played an important role in the Indonesian independence movement in the colonial era until post-independence 1945. Due to changes in the world of education in pesantren towards modernization by not leaving the side of its traditional history, this will make Indonesia even better in the future. Especially now, amid of the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of Islamic boarding schools and their students in fighting the threat of the virus, vaccinating is a role model for the surrounding community and the educational institution. In addition, the pesantren model is a hallmark of religious education in Indonesia. Thus, an educational and scientific model that accepts the progress of the times can provide opportunities for students and NU cadres to be able to contribute in various aspects, especially human resource development with a religious approach.