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Editorial

Editorial (906)

14
February

The visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Russia at this time, will probably open up opportunities for further steps to resolve Palestinian- Israel issue. Therefore, whatever the outcome will be, Mahmoud Abbas's visit and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a new chapter in the Palestinian struggle to defend the country's existence and gain world’s recognition through the United Nations. Certainly, in his talks with Vladimir Putin, the Palestinian President will expect an increase in Russia's role in the Palestinian-Israeli issue. It is possible that the Palestinian President,  will ask Vladimir Putin to be a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating process, replacing the role of the United States. It is known that the statement of the US President Donald Trump to move its Embassy in Jerusalem, Palestine, countries supporting the Palestinian has cause rejection on Washington as mediator of the negotiations. On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas will also utilize his meeting with Putin to call for wider Russian support at the UN, to make Palestine become a member of this organization. Until now, in the United Nations, the position of Palestine is merely an observer. Nevertheless, this position is getting stronger, as evidenced by the winning of majority of General Assembly members rejecting the decision of the United States to move its embassy in Jerusalem. The rejection of almost all UN members was made at the recent UN General Assembly session. The question is, will Vladimir Putin accept Mahmoud Abbas's proposal to make Russia become the mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations? From geopolitical considerations, it is very likely that Russia will meet that demand. Similarly, with the position of Russia in providing support to the Palestinians in the United Nations forum. Russia may be hoping to step up its role in the Middle East, especially in the political map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This role could encourage the improvement of Russia's position in the Middle East region. But it should be kept in mind, that Russia on the other hand is also one of Israel's important allies. And in politics, anywhere, the idiom of there is no free lunch still prevails. Therefore, by continuously raise support from Russia, the Palestine cannot undermine the support of other nations that have obviously supported it since the beginning of the Palestinian struggle.

13
February

Today, February 13 becomes a special day for radio broadcasters and radio listeners. Since 2012, this date has been celebrated as World Radio Day. "Radio and Sport" become the the theme of 7th anniversary of World Radio Day in 2018. Sport has become the focus of the world and Asia this year. There are a winter Olympics held in South Korea, FIFA World Cup 2018 is to place in Russia and ASIAN GAMES 2018 in Indonesia.

For Radio Republik Indonesia -RRI, this theme is very appropriate. The commitment to spread sport activities proves that RRI is appointed as the radio license holder of broadcasting of the World Cup 2018. Quoting the statement of the Director of Public Broadcasting RRI, M. Rohanuddin, with the FIFA license, it is expected that RRI provides its best contribution in a bid to satisfy the needs of listeners who come from various circles and places throughout Indonesia, and thisn  can be carried out well. Listeners can also share the broadcast or World Cup report.

In addition, Indonesia this year will also host the 18th ASIAN Games. RRI has to be responsible to distribute the information about the matches, achievements, and new records created at every 4-year sport event. The competition in the game must be an interesting attraction that can be spread to the listeners.

Surely, radio can present not only matches, competition and achievements as broadcasting material, but also there are many other aspects expected to be the inspiration of audiences. The moment of three major sporting events this year, such as the Winter Olympics, the 2018 World Cup, and the Asian Games must be used by radio broadcasters, especially RRI to create exciting broadcasts. The broadcast is expected to be able to make the listeners recognize and understand the diversity of the sport as a legacy of tradition. Radio, for example, should be able to create events that promote gender equality in sports. More importantly, radio must present broadcast that reinforces the spirit of peace and development in the world of sports. These three issues are the focus of UNESCO's World Radio Day commemorative sub-theme that is expected to be realized by radio broadcast.

Amid the rise of social media as a new communication medium, it is believed that radio can still play a major role to provide information that inspires its audience. At least in Indonesia, the spirit of sport will be spread to at least 62.3 million listeners; the number of listeners is based on AC Nielsen data for the 3rd semester in 2017.

With its power to entertain, educate, inform and inspire, radio can certainly sound the sport through its broadcast. As UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres put it: “On World Radio Day, let us celebrate both radio and sports as ways of helping people achieve their full potential.”

Happy World Radio 2018! Thank you for listening our broadcast.(rhm)

12
February

In his speech before the participants of the extraordinary meeting of religious leaders at the Presidential Palace, in Bogor, West Java on Saturday (10/2/2018), President Joko Widodo expressed his gratitude to the religious leaders and community leaders. They are considered to have strengthened the harmony of the nation, and are committed to strengthening the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia -NKRI, the state principle of Pancasila, and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in diversity). Indonesia is a pluralistic country that has people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. But the pluralism does not make Indonesia split. Indeed, the pluralism itself unites the Indonesian nation. Religious issue and diversity often pose tension in the social life of the community. The presence of a group of fanatics towards a particular religion may result in tension, conflict, violence, and even murder in the name of religion. In addition, ethnic, religious, racial and interreligious issues (SARA) sometimes so quickly spread to various layers of society. As a result, this may create an atmosphere of conflict that is quite dangerous in the life of the nation. The escalation of disputes in the matter of SARA issues often poses violent and distressing conflicts. Indonesia used to undergo conflict in the name of religion. Since the reform era exactly in 1998, Indonesian people have experienced the era of freedom of expression and expression of opinion. At the time, there had been several conflicts in the name of religion. Let’s take for example, the conflict that occurred in Poso, Central Sulawesi in 1998-2000; conflict Ambon, Maluku in 1999; and in South Lampung 2015. Religious conflicts that have occurred in a small part of Indonesia became a historical note for Indonesia. This proves that Indonesia is still very vulnerable to conflicts due to different beliefs. In this regard, the religious leaders must play a major role to reduce the possible conflicts in a bid to strengthen the national unity. In addressing the conflicts with motives of ethnic, religious, racial and interreligious issues (SARA), the religious leaders must play their key role, especially in 2018 on which Indonesia will hold a Regional Head Election (Pilkada) simultaneously, and in 2019, the presidential election will take place. Both of these events are particularly vulnerable to conflicts, especially if some individuals and groups relate to SARA issues. Basically, any conflict may occur not because of different views of beliefs. However, it is caused with the actions of individuals or groups that incite the anger of one other group. Of course, this should be coped with, especially by religious leaders. Because if this is not immediately addressed, the impact not only harms those who are in conflict, but also can threaten the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

09
February

The Defense Ministers of ASEAN member countries held a meeting in Singapore, 5-7 February 2018. Unfortunately, the expected result of the settlement of code of conduct with China in the South China Sea is still not reached. In a statement after the meeting, Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday (7/2) admitted that a year's deadline to complete is unrealistic. Complex issues in the South China Sea issue have not yet been settled. Last year, ASEAN and China adopted a draft framework of code of conduct in the South China Sea region. China agreed to start talks with ASEAN member states claiming the South China Sea. This year the binding and approved code of conduct with the People's Republic of China have become the goal of ASEAN claimant countries. But the results are still not as expected. Why do they want this code of conduct to be realized immediately? Some think China does not respect the sovereignty of countries in the South China Sea region. However, the PRC through a foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang said, Beijing has been working with ASEAN countries to develop a code of conduct that can satisfy all parties. On the other hand, ASEAN through Foreign Minister Vivian Balakhrisnan from Singapore, which is chair of ASEAN this year, expressed the ASEAN ministers' concerns over the increase of China's activities on artificial islands in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Indonesia has its own concept related to the Indo-Pacific region which also includes the South China Sea. Hopefully, the code of conduct designed by ASEAN and China can be finalized soon, so that conflicts in the South China Sea region can be ended. This process should be done comprehensively so that the parties can accept this code of conduct with an open heart.

08
February

 

To boost the activities of oil and gas sector, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources -ESDM is revoking 32 regulations in the sector of oil and gas. The effort is expected to boost investment, economic growth and employment. The policy is distributed in the oil and gas sub-sectors, such as minerals and coal (minerba), electricity, renewable energy and energy conservation (EBTKE). In addition, the Ministry also simplifies the regulations on the Special Unit for Upstream Oil and Gas business activities (SKK-Migas).

This step is a government effort to eliminate the obstacles that have been a stumbling block, especially for entrepreneurs. Thus, investment is expected to grow as expected by the government and the people. Minister of the ESDM, Ignasius Jonan said that the government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will continue to implement the strategy so that the business sector is getting better and better. The efforts to facilitate investment through the revocation or simplification of regulations and licensing will continue to be encouraged. Of the 32 regulations revoked, 11 are from the oil and gas sector. Secretary General of the ESDM, Ego Syarial explained that some businesspeople complained about some irrelevant regulations that must be simplified. Meanwhile, the regulations of the ESDM that are not revoked cover the derivatives of the mandate of the Constitution on the management of natural resources as much as possible for the welfare of Indonesian people.

Head of SKK Migas, Amien Sunaryadi said that there are a number of points that hamper the investment rate of upstream oil and gas sector. There is still a pending or unrealized investment today due to exploration problems to find oil reserves. The reason is that t the world’s oil prices are very cheap nowadays. In addition, there is also impact of the regulation. Amien Suryadi explained that the government has issued a new regulation that is expected to create favorable condition for investment in the oil and gas sector.

The government is pursuing economic growth of 5.5% by 2018. Thus, various efforts are carried out by the stakeholders to boost some sectors. The revocation of 32 regulations that hamper economic acceleration, particularly in the fields of oil and gas and renewable energy, is an option that is considered significant today, especially in meeting the target of economic growth.

Although macroeconomic indicators are now improving, the reality is that this is not a high economic growth. The policy of regulation simplification is expected to boost investment activities across Indonesia.

06
February

Palm oil is Indonesia's superior product. The Central Bureau of Statistics -PBS noted that it was similar to 2016 that in 2017, Indonesia’s export of palm oil and its derivative products was still the largest foreign exchange contributor to Indonesia. Prof. Bustanul Arifin from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Lampung predicts that up to 10 years, the volume and export value of palm oil and its derivative products will continue to increase. However, he reminds business-people and government actors that sustainability matter will continue to be an obstacle to palm oil export.

During the 40th Annual Summit of ASEAN-EU Partnership Cooperation in Manila, the Philippines on 14 November 2017, President Joko Widodo asserted before the participants of the summit that palm oil is very close to alleviating poverty in Indonesia, narrowing the gap, and building an inclusive economy..

Otherwise, the European Parliament supported the ban on the use of palm oil as environmentally friendly fuel by 2021. In fact, Europe is one of the main export destinations of Indonesian palm oil. Minister of Trade, Enggartiasto Lukita and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi said that this is a "black campaign" in Europe towards Indonesian palm oil products. The EU policy is considered discriminatory

President Joko Widodo requested that the discrimination of the EU against palm oil be stopped. A number of attitudes and policies that are considered to harm economic interests and damage the image of palm oil producing countries must also be eliminated.

Meanwhile, economic observer from the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef), Bhima Yudhistira believes that Indonesia is still dependent on traditional markets which reach about 70% of the total export destination countries. He views that in 2018, Indonesia should find out alternative markets, such as Pakistan, South Africa and North Africa which are considered very potential.

Since 2011, Indonesia has established a policy mandating a sustainable palm oil governance and certification system so-called ‘Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil’ (ISPO). This policy is intended to improve the competitiveness of Indonesian palm oil in the global market, with more attention to environmental issues, such as greenhouse gas emissions and so on. To build the image of the palm oil products that has ISPO around the world, especially in export destination countries, Indonesian diplomats overseas must play a major role. This policy is known as palm oil diplomacy.

To support the government's efforts to carry out palm oil diplomacy, the Policy and Development Agency (BPPK) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with Pertamina University to conduct an applicative study. The study of International Relations of Pertamina University is focused on the energy sector in Indonesia. On February 1, 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two institutions.

The BPPK of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers Pertamina University to be a cooperation partner in producing studies and recommendations related to Indonesia's foreign policy, including strategic commodity sectors such as palm oil.

07
February

The Asia-Pacific region is increasingly a concern for the United States to expand its arms marketing network. Similar attention is also made by West European countries that produce weapons, including Italy. For that purpose, Washington seems to apply two approaches, namely diplomacy and trade. Efforts to expand the US arms market are visible from the US arms manufacturers’ plan to participate in an international arms exhibition to be be held in Singapore. The reason Washington is expanding the marketing of weapons production in Asia Pacific, especially in Asia, can be seen from at least two points. First, there is an interest of some Asian countries in equipping themselves with more  weaponry, and the second point is the  expansion of China's influence in the Asia Pacific region. Various security issues at home and in the region, at least, become the reason for some Asian countries to strengthen their defense, such as from the armaments side.Singapore and the Philippines, for example, seem to increasingly feel the need to improve weaponry in connection with the continued strengthening of terrorism issues in Southeast Asia. In another perspective, Japan also feels an interest in strengthening its defense. This is related to the US plan to reduce its role in the Japanese defense. Japan itself feels quite concerned about North Korean maneuvers, which repeatedly conducted missile tests and sometimes, the missile seems to be  heading toward Japan.  Vietnam is also one of the countries in Asia that feels the need to improve security and defense, especially in the maritime area. The frequent occurrence of Chinese maneuvers in the disputed South China Sea makes Vietnam feel the need to strengthen its arsenal in the region. In terms of defense approaches, the United States also needs to keep pacing with China's strategic and assertive measures. Meanwhile, Italy as one of the arms manufacturers in West Europe also sees the same opportunities as the United States. Although the reason may be about more business than politics. In such a perspective, it can be seen that both the United States and West Europe feel the need to take strategic steps and approaches to expand their arms trade in the Asia Pacific region.

16
January

The implementation of the 18th Asian Games is few months ahead. The Asian Games will be held from August 18 to September 2, 2018. Various preparations continue to be done by the government of Indonesia, whether by the central government, as well as the two regional governments to host the implementation, Jakarta and Palembang.

 

The preparation of all infrastructures and facilities has at least satisfied the Asian Olympic Council. This was expressed by the Chief Organizer of the 2018 Asian Games 2018 –INASGOC, Erick Thohir after attending the 8th Committee Coordination Meeting in Jakarta on last Sunday (14/1). The Asian Olympic Council has seen significant progress made by INASGOC, the central government and the government of South Sumatra.

 

The success of Indonesia as the host for the second time is certainly expected. In 1962, Indonesia had successfully hosted the 4th Asian Games and grabbed second place in the achievement of medals after Japan. This could at least be an inspiration to achieve success in this event. In addition, because this activity is international scale, the eyes of the world at least Asia, will be on Indonesia. It is no exaggeration for Indonesia to expect a positive impact from the 18th Asian Games in various fields, including social, political and economic spheres.

 

The spirit to make the 2018 Asian Games successful must be echoed by not only Indonesian government, event organizers and athletes, but also all stakeholders, especially Jakarta and Palembang. The spirit of promoting the activities that will be themed "The Energy of Asia" should continue to be intensified.

 

Some ornaments of the 2018 Asian Games have been already installed in Jakarta and Palembang. Office Buildings of the government and recreation areas have been colored by the distinctive ornaments and attributes of the Asian Games. The spirit of hosting the Asian Games has also been felt, not only in the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex, but in other places of the sport implementation.

 

The involvement of all stakeholders to resound the implementation of the 2018 Asian Games should continue to be strengthened. The utilization of all promotional media, including social media, should be further improved. So, the 2018 Asian Games fever can be widespread in Indonesia in particular and Asia in general.

11
January

Of the total peat-land in the world reaching 400 million hectares per February 2016, the area of ​​tropical peat-land is only eight percent. Of that amount, as much as 60 percent are in Southeast Asia. Tropical peat-land is the one which has the richest type of peat in carbon stocks. The benefit of the peat-land, that is only 3% of the total land area in the world, is capable of storing 75% carbon in the atmosphere. Indonesia is known to have the largest tropical peat-land which covers around 11.5 million hectares, while Malaysia has only 7 million hectares.

 

As the country with the largest tropical swamp peat-land ecosystem in the world, it is natural that Indonesia offers itself to be the world's tropical peat-land center. Indonesia’s experience for year in dealing with forest and land fires and restoring and providing peat protection should be a mainstay. Central Kalimantan and Sumatra are among those nominated as tropical peat-land candidate because they have done a lot of research, utilization and all related things to peat-land management programs.

 

The international response that appreciates Indonesia's performance in the protection, management and restoration of the burnt peat-lands is one of the reasons why Indonesia deserves to be the world's tropical peat-land center. Head of Research, Development and Innovation Agency of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Agus Justianto said that the concept is being discussed.

 

The management of the tropical peat-land center is planned to be under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) and in collaboration with the Peat-land Restoration Agency (BRG). Currently, the BRG is working on restoration on 2 million hectares of land in 7 provinces until 2019.

BRG itself was set up to deal with peat-land matters and strengthen peat-land regulation through government regulations and ministerial regulations, following the case of forest fires by 2015. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the effort contributed significantly to the reduction of hotspots. In 2015 – 2017, the number of hotspots dropped dramatically from nearly 22,000 spots to fewer than 2000 spots. This became a successful story of Indonesia in a bid to become a tropical peat-land center.

 

Head of the Peat-land Restoration Agency, Nazir Foead said that Indonesia will build a center of tropical peat-land ecosystem in Bogor, West Java. This centre will be a place for information sharing. While the peat-land laboratory is located in Riau, Jambi and Kalimantan. The center of this tropical peat-land ecosystem will be a place of learning for other countries that want to know about tropical peat-land and how to restore and care for tropical peat-land. Nazir also remarked that Indonesia has a lot of research on peat-land, and the research should be featured in the center of the tropical peat-land ecosystem. Indonesia also opens up the economic potential of the swamp peat-land whose moisture and humidity are kept. The potentials include genuine timbers of swamp peat-land as a substitute for acacia, peat-land coffee, forest honey, rubber and pineapple.

 

The efforts made by Indonesia are certainly not meaningful if not supported by similar activities by other countries. However, Indonesia is only a small part of this vast earth. All countries in the world must have the same responsibility to care for the earth.

 

04
January

Facing cyber threat

Written by
Published in Editorial

President Joko Widodo established ‘Siber and State Encryption –BSSN’. This body was formed through Presidential Regulation No. 53/2017 which was then revised to be Presidential Decree -Perpres No. 133/2017. In the regulation, Head of the BSSN and his deputy are directly responsible to the President. The threat in cyberspace is an infinite threat. A serious threat to cyber-terrorism is the threat of terrorism and warfare via cyberspace.

In regard to the establishment, President Joko Widodo said that the existence of the BSSN is very important and in the future, it is needed by the state, especially in anticipating the rapid development of cyber-crime in the world. In addition, the threats are increasingly diverse from the development of cyber abroad. So, Indonesia must immediately respond the challenge.

Previously, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto in presenting his vision and mission before Commission I of the House of Representatives –DPR said  that terrorism, the threat of war, and conflict are global challenges that need anticipating. Among the possible threats, Hybrid war is the one that combines conventional, irregular, and cyber wars. Marshal Hadi also said that on one hand, the rapid development of information technology is also increasingly supporting the movement of individuals or groups of terrorism to realize their interests. On the other hand, cyber warfare must also be a major consideration in the implementation of national defense and security functions.

Meanwhile, during the discussion of Policy Paper of Indonesian Cyber  Diplomacy: Now and Later, November 2017, in Yogyakarta, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that cyber diplomacy is absolutely necessary to respond to the challenges and problems arising from the development of cyber technology that cannot be separated from millennial communities nowadays. In this regard, Head of the Center for Policy Review and Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fikry Cassidi said that nationally the cyber-technology challenge is well responded by the government. He views that the policy paper is prepared to support national policy in the field of cyber by contributing ideas on defining the position and strategy of Indonesian cyber diplomacy.

The technology of the virtual world is growing rapidly without a clear boundary. Indeed, the government of Indonesia should respond and be pro-active in facing cyber governance through multilateral and regional forums. Without the regulation and legal basis for addressing cyberspace, Indonesia will be powerless in its efforts. At present, almost all aspects use cyber technology in the activity. Moreover, the growth of the Internet and information technology has increased more than eight times since 2000 with more than 3 billion users. Based on the growth and development, colonization and crime can now happen not only in the real world, but also through the virtual world. Therefore, without clear legal basis, the handling of cyber threats and other devices will threaten the existence of the state, not only in terms of security, economy but also socio-culture.