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Editorial

Editorial (784)

07
October

 

The contribution of micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the Indonesian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is very great. The Ministry of Cooperatives and Micro Small Medium Enterprises recorded, the MSMEs contribution to GDP in 2019 was 60.51% from total state revenue. Quoted from npar.ac.id (1/6), from 99.99% of the MSMEs, 50% of them are managed by women.

Based on data from International Finance Corporation (IFC), as quoted from katadata.co.id (11/8/2020), at least 43% formal MSMEs in Indonesia were owned by women. At a glance, the number is quite significant. However, if measured by scale, the businesses managed by women are still in micro-scale. IFC research showed that 52.9% women MSMEs are on a micro scale. There are only a very few women MSMEs in or developing into small and medium scale. 

Most of the women MSMEs are still struggling in developing their businesses. Their businesses are not only affected by basic issues faced by any business people, such as capital, but also women's double responsibility: doing business and household chores.

The Indonesian government keeps encouraging women MSMEs to not only handle the micro-scaled ones, but also to develop them into small and medium level; one of which is funding.

Coordinating Minister for Economy, Airlangga Hartarto as quoted by Antara (6/10) said that one of the government's supports for MSMEs owned by women is the Super Micro People's Business Loan (KUR) targeting housewives who are doing business. The other way is MSMEs digitalization.

The effort to develop the women MSMEs certainly needs cooperation and coordination with many sides. The most important thing is giving various training classes for women MSMEs, such as e-commerce, digital marketing, promotion, and financial management.

With good cooperation and coordination, the MSMEs managed by women are expected to level up.

06
October

 

Two neighboring countries, Singapore and Malaysia, are still sensitive to border issues. Tuesday, October 5, 2021, there was an incident by a Malaysian police helicopter crossing Singapore's airspace illegally. In response to the incident, Singapore reportedly deployed F-16 fighter jets to drive the Royal Malaysian police helicopter back into its airspace.

Singapore seems to be seriously responding to the incident. Singapore's Ministry of Defense commented on it as a potential air threat. Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said the Malaysian police helicopter passed through Malaysian airspace as it flew to Tanjung Penglih in Johor. The Singaporean side at that time had made a call and warned it not to cross Singapore's air border. Channel News Asia reported that the F-16 fighter jet was then flown in to repel the Malaysian helicopter. In addition to the Ministry of Defence, the response to the airspace violation was also conveyed by the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs. So far there has been no clarification from the Malaysian side regarding the incident.

Relations between Malaysia and Singapore are quite sensitive in terms of the borders of the two countries, be it at sea, air or land. The last problem related to the border occurred in 2018. The two countries had an argument over the expansion of the Port boundary. At that time, the Singapore government expanded the boundaries of the port off the Tuas waters, supposedly in response to Malaysia's expansion of the Johor Baru port area. The Singaporean government calls the expansion of the Johor Baru Port an invasion of its territory.

The ebb and flow of relations between the two neighboring countries, especially regarding border issues, can occur at any time. National borders are indeed a sensitive matter. Therefore, in order to maintain good relations and improve cooperation, the possibility of actions that can be called intrusion or even invasion need to be avoided. Regarding the police helicopter flight incident which was deemed by the Singaporean authorities to have violated airspace boundaries, Malaysia needs to provide an explanation. In this way, tensions between the two neighboring countries can be avoided.

05
October

 

Today October 5, 2021, The Indonesian Armed Forces –TNI commemorates its 76th anniversary. A lot of challenges and successes have been passed by the TNI. This year, Indonesia's military strength is ranked 16th in the world based on Global Firepower data. The TNI's capabilities have also long been recognized by the world. Indonesia regularly takes part in the United Nations peacekeeping force in conflict countries. Domestically, the TNI along with elements from other countries has been working hard to help the community face the Covid-19 pandemic. The TNI has played a major role from the establishment of Covid-19 hospitals to vaccination programs throughout Indonesia. In such a situation, the TNI has succeeded in growing people's trust as an institution that protects them.

At the age of 76, the TNI continues to modernize its defense equipment according to the demands of the times. However, Indonesia still adheres to the agreement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -ASEAN, which is to maintain the ASEAN region as a nuclear-weapon-free area. But, the principle appears to be facing challenges nowadays. Mid last month, the United States, Britain and Australia formed the Australia, UK and US -AUKUS defense pact. The pact includes elements of cyber warfare, artificial intelligence, underwater capabilities and nuclear technology. Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia will receive assistance from the United States and Britain to develop nuclear-powered submarines.

The formation of this pact surprises countries in the ASEAN region, because this pact is regarded as not in line with nuclear non-proliferation commitments or promises not to make or deploy nuclear weapons. Of course, Indonesia is worried about this development. Moreover, this pact was formed by three major countries. Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi said that AUKUS could trigger tensions between major countries. Indonesia does not want the possibility of an increased arms race that could threaten regional security stability.

Meanwhile, there will soon be a change in the TNI Commander. Chief of TNI, Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto will soon get retired. The issue of possible tensions in the region is expected to be the attention of the new TNI Chief. The attitude of the TNI Chief towards the development of regional security is quite essential to maintain the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia.

Happy 76th Anniversary of the TNI! Hopefully, the TNI will remain victorious and be able to maintain security both at home and in the region.

04
October


The 20th National Sports Week (PON) was officially opened by President Joko Widodo at the Lukas Enembe Stadium, Jayapura Regency, Papua on Saturday night (2/10). In his speech, the President expressed his pride of Lukas Enembe being in the best stadium in Asia Pacific. He also called on the public, especially the participants to celebrate PON XX with joy, uphold sportsmanship, strengthen brotherhood, togetherness, equality, and national unity.

The Head of State also emphasized that the multi-event sports week which was held for the first time in Papua proves that the infrastructure is ready to use in Papua. The magnificence of the Lukas Enembe Stadium is not the only symbol of progress in Papua. According to President Joko Widodo, sea, land and air connectivity, as well as the construction of airports, ports, highways, as well as the development of Papua's human resources are other very proud achievements.

The biggest sporting event in Indonesia, which will last until October 15, is being  attended by more than 6,400 athletes accompanied by 3,000 coaches from all over Indonesia. A total of 37 sports branches  and 56 sports disciplines are contested in newly built or renovated venues with a huge enough budget. It is only natural that President Joko Widodo, when inaugurating the venues for the matches, asked all parties, especially the regional and provincial governments of Papua to properly care for, maintain and utilize the venues at the 20th National Sports Week (PON) later on. The President does not want the sports facilities that have been built with huge funds and with international standards to become a lonely and unkempt place.

The availability of new and international-class sports facilities and infrastructure in Papua and other places in Indonesia must, of course, be used for screening and training so as to produce quality and accomplished athletes. Placing 4th in the 2018 Asian Games is the highest achievement ever made by Indonesia in a multi-event sporting event. But, this is certainly not the pinnacle of achievement. It is hoped that continuous screening and coaching will be able to produce outstanding athletes at both national and international levels.

01
October

 

The atmosphere of the cold war can still be felt in the Korean peninsula. North and South Koreas are still feuding and there is no sign of real peace. Various maneuvers in the form of military statements and actions are still ongoing. The role of major powers, which used to be the main factor in the splitting of North and South Koreas, still greatly influences the ups and down of tensions.

Recent diplomatic discourse has surfaced from Pyongyang regarding an emergency rapprochement or hotline. As quoted by various international mass media, North Korean state agency, KCNA reported that Kim Jong-un is willing to restore a hotline that can connect leaders and high-ranking officials of the two countries to communicate. KCNA also reported the North Korean leader's statement  that the resumption of emergency relations would be a means of realizing the hopes of the entire Korean nation.

Kim Jong-un's political rhetoric regarding the hotline came days after North Korea test-fired two hypersonic missiles towards the sea of Japan. This missile is said to have the potential to become one of the fastest and most accurate weapons in the world and can be equipped with a nuclear warhead.

Since the statement made by Kim Jong-un, until Friday October 1, there has been no response from South Korea. The hotline has not been restored  since North Korea disconnected it last August. The move was carried out by North Korea in reaction to South Korea's joint military exercises with the United States which is known to have always supported South Korea. On one hand, the United States seems to be consistent with its stance since the separation of the two Koreas after the end of the Second World War. On the other hand, North Korea's relationship with another super power at that time, the Soviet Union, was cut short when the country broke apart in the early 1990s. Yet, things improved again after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in April 2019. However, unlike Washington, the Kremlin did not openly support North Korea.

To be sure, both the United States and Russia certainly view the Korean peninsula as an important region in the geopolitical perspective of the East Asia region. Korean seas are also a world trade route, not only for Russia and the United States, but also for China and Japan. Seeing this reality, the conflict in the Korean peninsula and its resolution efforts will still involve major countries.

30
September

 

Every October 1, Indonesia commemorates the Pancasila Sanctity Day. This commemoration refers to the incident on September 30 1965. It was a dark time in Indonesia.

Maintaining independence is a winding journey. The people of Indonesia, with the Pancasila ideology, even must sacrifice both commoners and important figures. September 30 1965 was a moment when Pancasila was threatened by some people who wanted to replace it.

The September 30 1965 movement took the lives of some high-ranking military officers. However, it could be stopped, and it showed the sanctity of Pancasila.

This has made the people realize that there are other ideologies that want to change the soul of Indonesian people. Then based on MPRS Decree XXV/MPRS/1996, communism or marxism was officially banned in Indonesia.

Pancasila is the ideology of Indonesian people. Pancasila even differs Indonesia from any other nations.

In commemorating the Pancasila Sanctity Day, Indonesians must respect the fallen heroes in protecting the national ideology. Indonesians must also grow more nationalism and patriotism to fight other ideologies.

29
September

 

 Myanmar's future remains uncertain. The fighting between military junta soldiers and the resistance forces made people of the country live in fear. The military junta is reported to have launched air strikes on the southwest region in the third weekend of September following a battle between the two sides. Predictions about the impending civil war in the country, have begun to materialize. Now, the question that arises is, how and when will this problem be solved?

In this regard, at least two things can be put forward. First from the internal side of Myanmar, and secondly, the role of outsiders in the turmoil in the country.

 As for the case at home, there is still no common ground between the military junta and its opponents consisting of the Shadow Government of Myanmar-NUG and civilian resistance forces. The NUG, which consists of parliamentary figures who were ousted after the military coup, views the military junta government as illegitimate. Meanwhile the military junta held on to its position in power by promising there would be elections. On the other hand, opponents of the junta outside the NUG have also formed the People's Defense Forces-PDF, to fight against the junta. From this condition, the facts show that the internal settlement is still deadlocked.

From the external or  foreign side, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations- ASEAN, an organization  where Myanmar is a  member, has not been able to play a real role in encouraging conflict resolution. Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi at the UN General Assembly in New York, Saturday, September 25, stated that ASEAN's role was still very insignificant. Retno Marsudi stated that from the political aspect the ASEAN special envoy has not been able to carry out his duties because he has not been able to meet with the parties to the dispute. Access is still needed to facilitate meetings with the military authorities, the NUG and other resistance groups. It seems NUG will object when the ASEAN special envoy meets the junta, and vice versa.

 In fact, it takes a joint commitment from Myanmar's internal parties to resolve the conflict that has led to a civil war. Indonesia, which has been active in taking the initiative, can actually play a greater role in seeking peace in Myanmar.

27
September

 

To prevent the spread of the Covid-19  virus and track people's mobility during the pandemic, the Indonesian government requires vaccination for the majority of citizens. Therefore, during the Implementation of Community Activity Restrictions,  the government has implemented the use of the PeduliLindung application on mobile phones. In today's digital era, this method is considered practical as it proves that a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19. PeduliLindung is an application developed to assist relevant government agencies in tracking to stop the spread of Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

Unfortunately, not a few citizens have difficulty downloading the PeduliLindung application for various reasons. For example, the memory on one’s device is already full, or he/she does not have a smartphone. Some  even admit that they have difficulty downloading the PeduliLindung application because they don't know how to do it.

To solve problems in the community, the Government, in this case the Ministry of Health, then improved the mechanism related to regulations regarding the use of the PeduliLindung application, especially when traveling by public transportation.

A press release from the Ministry of Health stated that starting in October 2021, a number of options were given to indicate a person's vaccination status. A person who does not have a smartphone and will travel by air or by train, does not need to download the PeduliLindung application. It’s enough with the vaccine certificate and the results of the PCR and antigen swab tests; his or her  presence related to the spread of Covid-19 can still be identified through the NIK (Population Identification Number) when buying tickets.

The Ministry of Health promised the readiness to apply the regulation at airports through data integration with airline tickets. It’s likewise with the validation of test results and vaccine certificates on train tickets.

This effort should be appreciated, because it is known that many citizens have complained about the use of the application. Not all Indonesians have smartphones and understand how to use this application. Moreover, it is common for this application to have problems when accessed by thousands, even millions of citizens at the same time.

Based on data from the Ministry of Health, in early July 2021, the number of PeduliLindung application users was still below 1 million people. Now, this application has been accessed by approximately 9 million people with 48 million downloads and about 55 million monthly users.

The Ministry of Health will also make the PeduliLindungi features accessible on other applications by coordinating with various digital platforms. Through that way, people don't have to use PeduliLindung exclusively  but they can take advantage of its features through applications on other digital platforms.

Hopefully, the integration of the PeduliLindung application that is connected to test results, close contact tracing results, telemedicine access for free drug services, as well as being integrated with the quarantine system, can run smoothly.

24
September


The issue of Myanmar was discussed at the High Level Event on Rohingya Crisis meeting at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, United States, Thursday (23/9). The United Nations also urged the international community to exert maximum efforts to prevent the conflict in Myanmar from getting worse. As is known, the impact of the situation in Myanmar has even led to a humanitarian crisis, especially for the Rohingya minority group. It is feared that there will be a human rights catastrophe under military rule in the country.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military seized power on February 1, 2021. The coup, which marked the end of a decade of tentative democracy, has sparked anger both at home and abroad over the military's return to power.

Almost every day anti-military junta protests color Myanmar. Security forces resorted to crackdowns to disperse the protests. According to the United Nations, more than 1,000 people have died since the coup.

ANTARA news agency reported that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michele Bachelet, condemned the military junta and imposed sanctions on top Myanmar military officials. But critics say the West should take a tougher stance, including imposing an arms embargo. Bachelet said Myanmar had failed to fulfill its agreement with ASEAN to end the violence and start dialogue.

The deteriorating conditions in Myanmar are proof that Myanmar is not able to carry out the commitments it has made with the previous ASEAN leaders.

The world which   is worried about what is happening in Myanmar, should implement strong accountability measures to overcome the Myanmar crisis, especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The international community needs to support and help create an immediate resolution of the political crisis in Myanmar. One way is through the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus which has been agreed upon by the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN). The consensus, among others, agreed to end the violence and start a constructive dialogue between all parties involved in Myanmar. The international community must also redouble its efforts to restore democracy and prevent wider conflict before it is too late.

23
September

 

The number of productive people in Indonesia surpasses the elderly and children. Yet, the population will undergo aging where the productive people will decrease in 2035 until 2040, and the elderly will increase. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) showed that the number of people 65 years old and older will increase by 25 percent or 80 million in 2050 from 25 million in 2019.

If the welfare, health, and social existence of the elderly are not taken care of well enough, the elderly will become a burden for the productive people both in familial level and national level.

The Indonesian government keeps paying more attention so that the elderly will not become a burden, namely by keeping them healthy, happy, and productive according to their capacity. One of which was the signing of the Presidential Decree on Elderly National Strategy by President Joko Widodo.

Poverty Eradication and Welfare Director at National Development Planning Ministry, Maliki has said recently that the national strategy consists of five pillars. First is social protection, income guarantee, and individual capacity. Second is elderly's health and quality. Third is elderly-friendly environment development. Fourth is elderly program institution. Fifth is elderly's rights protection and reverence.

Maliki also said those strategies are early steps in realizing self-reliant, prosperous and dignified elderly people.

The National Strategy for Elderly is very urgent. With the presidential decree, the preparation for elderly issues can be implemented sooner. In addition, all should do more efforts in optimizing the elderly population's productivity, especially when facing the oncoming demographic bonus, so Indonesian elderly can be self-reliant, healthy, and prosperous.

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