Indonesian leader denies delay of 2024 polls to extend term
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has denied that his administration is attempting to delay the 2024 presidential elections after senior politicians including his close ally supported the idea of extending his stay in office beyond the two-term legal mandate.
Indonesian Muslims divided over when Ramadan begins
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is set to begin in Indonesia and most of the Middle East, though many in the Southeast Asian nation and elsewhere are not planning to start observing the month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayer and religious devotion until Sundaywashingtonpost.com
Indonesia's capital is sinking, polluted and now moving
Jakarta is congested, polluted, prone to earthquakes and rapidly sinking into the Java Sea. Now the government is leaving, and moving the country's capital to the island of Borneo. President Joko Widodo envisions the construction of a new capital as a panacea for the problems plaguing Jakarta, reducing its population while allowing the country to start fresh with a “sustainable city” that has good public transportation, is integrated with its natural environment and is in an area that's not prone to natural disasters.news.yahoo.com
Indonesia raises Semeru volcano alert, fearing new eruption
Indonesian authorities have raised the alert level for the highest volcano on Java island, saying Mount Semeru could blow up again after a sudden eruption earlier this month left 48 people dead and 36 missing in villages that were buried in layers of mud.
Indonesian Muslims mark grim Eid amid devastating virus wave
Muslims across Indonesia are marking a grim Eid al-Adha festival for a second year as the country struggles to cope with a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases and the government has banned large gatherings and toughened travel restrictions.
Indonesia holds mass vaccination to scale up virus fight
Thousands of Indonesians lined up at a sports stadium to get a COVID-19 vaccine dose Thursday in a one-day, mass vaccination event that’s part of a push to dramatically scale up the nation’s virus fight as hospitals fill with sick patients. Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo announced new community restrictions and the mobilization of the National Police and other resources to combat the surging infections. The efforts follow the warning earlier this week from the Red Cross that Indonesia was “on the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe" and urgently needed to increase medical care, testing and vaccinations.news.yahoo.com
Suicide bomb hits Palm Sunday Mass in Indonesia, 20 wounded
Police officers inspect the area near a church where an explosion went off in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, March 28, 2021. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral on Indonesia's Sulawesi island during a Palm Sunday Mass, wounding a number of people, police said. Police later said both attackers were killed instantly and evidence collected at the scene indicated one of the two was a woman. Indonesia has been battling militants since bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Indonesia has been on high alert since police in December arrested Jemaah Islamiyah leader Aris Sumarsono, also known as Zulkarnaen.
Striking Myanmar rail workers move out as protests continue
State railway employee load belongings after being evicted from their homes Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Mandalay, Myanmar. State railway workers in Mandalay have been threatened with eviction to force them to end their support for the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule. AdNumerous reports on social media, including videos, have shown security forces vandalizing cars parked on the street. It said security forces have reportedly occupied more than 60 schools and university campuses in 13 states and regions. Ad“Schools must be not used by security forces under any circumstances," it declared.
UN official: Myanmar people want UN sanctions, peacekeepers
Police and military forces occupy a road block barricade in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, March 19, 2021. “People are really looking for concerted international action in terms of sanctions. Getting Security Council approval for U.N. sanctions or peacekeepers will be an uphill struggle. That’s because it will require support or an abstention from China, a veto-wielding council member that calls itself a friend of Myanmar and has a policy opposing sanctions. Ad"The protests and the violence haven’t really spread in Rakhine as they have in the rest of the country," Kirkwood said.
2 journalists detained as Myanmar junta clamps down on press
(AP Photo)YANGON – Two more journalists were detained in Myanmar on Friday, part of the junta’s intensifying efforts to choke off information about resistance to last month’s coup. The journalists were covering legal proceedings against Win Htein, a detained senior official from the National League for Democracy, the party that ran the country before the takeover. AdAbout 40 journalists have been arrested since the Feb. 1 coup, with roughly half still in detention, including Thein Zaw of The Associated Press. “Indonesia urges that the use of violence in Myanmar be stopped immediately to avoid more victims. “Indonesia also urges dialogue and reconciliation to be carried out immediately to restore democracy, peace and stability in Myanmar."
UN chief: UN will seek to unite world, reverse Myanmar coup
Supporters give roses to police while four arrested activists make a court appearance in Mandalay, Myanmar, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. (AP Photo)CAMEROON – Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pledged Friday that the United Nations will do everything it can to unite the international community and create conditions for the military coup in Myanmar to be reversed. It detained Suu Kyi, whose party swept that vote, and other lawmakers, activists, journalists and members of civil society. “Indonesia and Malaysia take the political situation in Myanmar seriously,” Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said after meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. Guterres said the U.N. is also in contact with the 15-member Security Council, which is in charge of international peace and security.
Indonesia, Malaysia vow to counter anti-palm oil campaign
Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s largest exporters of palm oil, which plays an important role in their economic recovery. After meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told a joint news conference that Indonesia is fighting against palm oil discrimination. Ad“We are concerned over the current anti-palm oil campaign, especially in Europe, Australia and Oceanea,” Muhyiddin said. There are over 2.7 million palm oil smallholders in Indonesia and 600,000 in Malaysia. The Associated Press’ investigation reports late last year revealed that many palm oil companies in Indonesia and Malaysia exploit children in their plantations.
Asia Today: South Korea adds 559 cases, highest in 10 days
(AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)SEOUL – South Korea has reported 599 new coronavirus cases, the highest in 10 days, as health workers scramble to slow infections at religious facilities, which have been a major source throughout the pandemic. — Indonesian President Joko Widodo received the second dose of the Chinese coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, two weeks after the first injection. — India has vaccinated 2 million health workers in less than two weeks and recorded 12,689 new cases. Myanmar health authorities on Tuesday announced 411 new coronavirus cases, bringing the confirmed total to 138,368. It has recorded 532,916 coronavirus cases, including 8,055 deaths.
Indonesia's confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 1 million
(AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)JAKARTA – Indonesia’s confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began crossed 1 million on Tuesday and hospitals in some hard-hit areas were near capacity. Indonesia’s Health Ministry announced that new daily infections rose by 13,094 on Tuesday to bring the country’s total to 1,012,350, the most in Southeast Asia. The total number of deaths reached 28,468. Jakarta continues to be hardest hit city in Indonesia, confirming more than 254,000 cases as of Tuesday, including 4,077 deaths. Health Ministry data showed hospital capacity nationwide was at about 70%.
After seeing floods, Indonesian leader visits quake zone
In this photo released by the Indonesian Presidential Palace, President Joko Widodo, center, talks to an official as he inspects an earthquake-damaged government building, in Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Widodo visited the areas where a deadly earthquake left thousands of people homeless in an effort to reassure them the government's response is reaching those struggling after the quake. (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)MAMUJU – Relief workers struggled Tuesday to clear the rubble of collapsed buildings on an Indonesian island where a strong earthquake killed at least 90 people and left thousands homeless. Disaster Task Force Commander Firman Dahlan said at least 12,900 people are in shelters in Mamuju and the neighboring district of Majene in West Sulawesi. The quake and flood disasters followed a landslide in West Java on Jan. 9 that left 40 people buried in tons of mud.
Damaged roads, lack of gear hinder Indonesia quake rescue
Motorists make their way through a road affected by an earthquake-triggered landslide near Mamuju, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. At least 415 houses in Majene were damaged and about 15,000 people were moved to shelters, said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Raditya Jati. The quake set off landslides in three locations and blocked a main road connecting Mamuju to Majene. State-owned firm AirNav Indonesia, which oversees aircraft navigation, said the quake did not cause significant damage to the Mamuju airport runway or control tower. On Thursday, a magnitude 5.7 undersea quake hit the same region, damaging several homes but causing no apparent casualties.
Indonesian health workers receive COVID-19 vaccination
A health worker prepares to give the COVID-19 vaccine to a government official in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Indonesia started vaccinating health workers and public servants against COVID-19 on Thursday, a day after President Joko Widodo received the first shot of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine. The Health Ministry is planning to vaccinate more than 1.3 million health workers and 17.4 million public officials in the first stage. “The pandemic is still going on and health care workers are the front-liners in caring for COVID-19 patients,” Deputy Health Minister Dante Saksono said. The first 25 health workers to get the jab were employees of Jakarta's Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.
Asia Today: Chinese city tests millions amid new outbreak
Another 16 cases were reported in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and one in the northern province of Shanxi. The world’s fourth most populated country plans to vaccinate millions of health care workers and other other high-risk groups in the coming months. Health officials are still working to secure access to enough doses to protect around 67% of the population. — Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures Wednesday, affecting more than half the population amid a surge in infections across the country. Suga has been criticized as being to slow to act as the country’s coronavirus infections and deaths roughly doubled over the past month to about 300,000 and 4,100 respectively.
Indonesia starts mass COVID vaccinations over vast territory
Indonesia’s vaccination program is the first large-scale use outside of China of the Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccine. Indonesia plans to vaccinate two-thirds of its population of about 270 million people — or just over 180 million people. Besides Indonesia, China and Bolivia have granted conditional use authorization for the Sinovac vaccine. Indonesia received its first shipment of the Sinovac vaccines on Dec. 6 and began distributing the doses around the country while awaiting emergency use authorization. It was cleared for that use based on clinical trial data and after the Indonesian Ulema Council declared the vaccine halal.
Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine
Indonesia's highest Islamic body has gave its religious approval to China's Sinovac vaccine, paving the way for its distribution in the world's most populous Muslim nation. The vaccine was cleared for emergency use after Indonesian authorities reviewed clinical trial data from Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia, which are all taking part in Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine. Indonesia conducted its own Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine with 1,620 volunteers. Griffith University epidemiologist Dr. Dicky Budiman said that many people have questioned and expressed doubt about the vaccine, as the data Indonesia used for emergency authorization is only preliminary. Authorities in China and Bolivia have both issued emergency authorization for the CoronaVac vaccine.
Indonesian divers find parts of plane wreckage in Java Sea
An investigator of Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee inspects parts of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 that crashed in the waters off Java Island, at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. Indonesian rescuers pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea early Sunday morning, a day after the Boeing 737-500 with dozens of people onboard crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, officials said. Earlier Sunday, search and rescue operations resulted in parts of the plane being found in the sea at a depth of 23 meters (75 feet), leading rescuers to continue searching the area. “We are sure that is the point where the plane crashed.”He said the objects found included broken pieces of fuselage with aircraft registration parts. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing 162 people.
Indonesian cleric who inspired Bali bombings freed from jail
The convicted firebrand cleric who inspired the Bali bombers and other violent extremists walked free from prison Friday after completing his sentence for funding the training of Islamic militants. (AP Photo/Aditya Irawan)JAKARTA – A firebrand cleric who inspired bombings in Bali and other attacks walked free from an Indonesian prison Friday after completing his sentence for funding the training of Islamic militants. He was convicted of funding the military-style camp to train Islamic militants and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Indonesian authorities had struggled to prove Bashir's involvement in the Bali bombings and fought multiple battles to uphold convictions on other charges. Upon release from prison in 2004, he was arrested and again charged with heading Jemaah Islamiyah as well as giving his blessing to the Bali bombings.
Concern among Muslims over halal status of COVID-19 vaccine
While the diplomats were there to finalize deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, the clerics had a much different concern: Whether the COVID-19 vaccine was permissible for use under Islamic law. Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines. In Indonesia, the government has already said it will include the Muslim clerical body in the COVID-19 vaccine procurement and certification process. “Public communication regarding the halal status, price, quality and distribution must be well-prepared,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo said in October. The government has announced several COVID-19 vaccine procurement deals with the company totaling millions of doses.
The Latest: China reports results of mass testing
(Siphiwe Sibeko/Pool via AP)BEIJING — China has reported new coronavirus cases in the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin as it seeks to prevent small outbreaks from becoming larger ones. ___RENO, Nevada — The head of the Nevada agency promoting business growth has urged companies to embrace new restrictions as coronavirus cases soar. Kentucky continued setting records with 2,135 new confirmed coronavirus cases reported, the state’s highest daily number on a Monday since the pandemic again. Gary Herbert on Monday relaxed restrictions on social gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving weekend as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge. Also on Monday, Spain’s 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population — a key metric in measuring the pandemic’s spread — has continued to fall.
Firebrand Indonesian cleric returns from 3-year Saudi exile
JAKARTA – Tens of thousands of followers of a firebrand cleric joyfully welcomed him at an Indonesian airport on Tuesday as he returned home from a 3-year exile in Saudi Arabia after criminal charges including a pornography case were dropped. Police dropped both charges last year due to weak evidence, but authorities in Saudi Arabia had banned him from leaving the country without any explanation. “My return home today is to call on you and to invite all Indonesian Muslims to join in a moral revolution. He said the moral revolution should include fighting all kinds of injustice and corruption, and changing human nature from conducting bad deeds to good ones. Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, Indonesia's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said Shihab was given a visa to leave Saudi Arabia this month for Indonesian citizens who undergo a deportation process.
The Latest: South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 tests
South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests. ___JOHANNESBURG South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the new coronavirus. The ministry says one of the latest people to die in South Africa was an employee with the National Health Laboratory Services. Indonesia had recorded more than 24,500 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with nearly 1,500 deaths, the most fatalities in Southeast Asia. Thailand has had just single-digit increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for most of May.
Indonesia postpones vote to criminalize sex outside marriage
iStock/allanswartJAKARTA - Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed a vote that could have criminalized consensual extramarital sex after outcry from human rights groups worldwide. The code was set to pass into law on Tuesday, with lawmakers describing the vote as a formality. "In that case, I ordered (the) Law and Human Rights minister to deliver my standpoint to Parliament. I also ordered Law and Human Rights Minister to gather feedback from the public again as an input for a better criminal code." The new criminal code has been in the making for decades.
Indonesia may pass law to criminalize sex outside of marriage
Muhammad Rasyid Prabowo via Wikimedia CommonsJAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesia is set to pass a highly controversial new penal code that would criminalize consensual sex outside of marriage and effectively outlaw same-sex relations, in a move rights groups have criticized as a violation of basic rights. "We would like to change to our new penal code to focus more on Indonesian perspectives in the law. The reason is because there are some laws in the penal code that are not suitable for Indonesia any more," Yasonna Laoly said. Andreas Harsonso, senior Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said that the next century would "likely be disastrous for minorities in Indonesia." Northernmost Banda Aceh is the only province in the country that observes Shariah -- or Islamic law -- and those found guilty of breaking the strict morality laws are flogged in public.
Indonesia is building a new capital from scratch no matter the environmental impact
Indonesias president has picked the remote province of East Kalimantan to build a new capital from scratch to replace Jakarta. Shifting the capital east, he said, would help even out Indonesias development, which is overwhelmingly concentrated on the island of Java, where Jakarta and its sprawling suburbs command the nations attention. Fears now abound that the relocation of the nations capital will result in the trading of one environmental mess in Jakarta for another in Borneo. The government has tried to placate concerns with such buzzwords as green city, smart city and sustainable city to describe the project though detailed plans wont emerge until next year. Boys walk across a makeshift bridge to reach their neighborhood, which lies below sea level in Jakarta, Indonesia.latimes.com
Indonesia's Widodo says Islam is tolerant' there
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) - In his first international television interview since being re-elected in May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied being concerned about the rise of fundamentalism in his country, saying that the Islam practiced there is tolerant and progressive. "I still believe that Islam in Indonesia is a tolerant and moderate Islam. But during his re-election campaign, he embraced elements of Indonesia's religious right. In May 2018, a spate of deadly, ISIS-inspired bombings rocked Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya, targeting churches and the police. During his first term, Indonesia's economy grew at just over 5% per annum -- shy of the 7% promised, but enough for the country's GDP to surpass $1 trillion in 2017.
Woman jailed for recording alleged sexual harassment granted amnesty
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesian lawmakers have unanimously approved amnesty for a woman who was sentenced to six months in prison for recording her boss's alleged sexual harassment. Indonesia's House of Representatives on Thursday agreed that President Joko Widodo would grant Baiq Nuril Maknun amnesty, according to CNN Indonesia. The decision comes after President Joko last week recommended that Nuril be granted amnesty. Calls for President Joko to grant her amnesty grew louder, with a Change.org petition calling on him to grant Nuril amnesty attracting well over 300,000 signatures. But rights groups say the sexual harassment Nuril allegedly endured is not uncommon in Indonesia.