Media Monitoring

Debate format not to change

Tuesday, 08 Jan 2019
Debate format not to change
Indonesian presidential candidates, Joko Widodo, left, and Prabowo Subianto, right, shake hands during their second televised debate back in 2014 (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

GENERAL NEWS AND HEADLINES 

Debate format not to change
Kompas, p. 2
 
The General Elections Commission (KPU), which will organize five presidential debates in the near future, says the campaign teams of both candidates approved its decision to share debate questions with them prior to the scheduled debates. The KPU, therefore, has no plan to change its policy. KPU chairman Arief Budiman said the polls body would like to spare any particular candidate from attacks or humiliation due to technical questions. However, candidates will still have to answer “surprise questions” from each other during the debates, Arief said. He added that both camps also agreed with the KPU’s decision to drop former Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) commissioner Bambang Widjojanto and Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) coordinator Adnan Topan Husodo from the list of panelists invited to the debates.
 
The debates will be divided into six segments. In the first session, candidates will present their vision and mission statements. The second and third sections are for candidates to answer questions from panelists. Candidates will interact with each other in the fourth and fifth stages. The candidates will present their concluding remarks in the final and sixth segment.
 
 
Prabowo’s camp asked for clues
Media Indonesia, Headline
 
The General Elections Commission (KPU) has said it regretted the controversy surrounding its decision to disclose questions for the first presidential debate to candidates in advance. KPU commissioner Pramono Ubaid Tanthowi said the decision had been approved by both candidates, so he was surprised to hear that one of the candidates reportedly objected the policy.
 
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin’s camp, Arya Sinulingga, said he was taken aback by candidate Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno’s camp who accused the KPU of favoring Jokowi-Ma’ruf through its decision. Arya recalled it was Prabowo-Sandiaga’s camp who initially requested the KPU during their closed-door meeting to disclose questions prior to the debates. According to Arya, the Prabowo-Sandiaga camp had proposed that instead of an actual debate, candidates should only present their vision and mission statements. The proposal was rejected by the Jokowi-Ma’ruf camp.
 
 
Clock ticking as last House session starts
The Jakarta Post, p. 2
 
The House of Representatives started on Monday its last sitting session before the general election in mid-April. House Speaker Bambang Soesatyo said lawmakers would aim to pass five bills into law within the coming four months, but observers doubt the House could meet its target given its dismal performance in the 2014-2019 period marked by poor attendance, prolonged debates and graft cases. The five priority draft laws include the cooperatives bill, the creative economy bill and the midwifery bill. Bambang also urged lawmakers to prioritize amending the minimum marriage age for women in the 1974 Marriage Law and speed up deliberations of the long-awaited sexual violence bill.
 
 
Police identify suspects in fake news case
Koran Tempo
 
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the police had identified the persons responsible for spreading a recent hoax about cast ballots. He said the police would divide the suspects based on the roles they played, namely the creator or mastermind and individuals(s) who helped spread the fake news. The police have scrutinized a WhatsApp group called Sabana Minang Politics, where the hoax was suspected to first emerge. Following the investigation, three people have been arrested.
 
An unsubstantiated report about seven containers of millions of cast ballots for presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin in Tanjung Priok Port, North Jakarta, circulated last week. Several politicians relayed the rumor, prompting the General Elections Commission (KPU) to file a report with the police.
 
 
Proper spatial planning vital to disaster mitigation
The Jakarta Post, p. 4
 
A string of deadly earthquakes and tsunamis that hit the country last year has created a collective awareness of the need for robust disaster mitigation measures, environmentalist and scholar say. Since Indonesia sits in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where constant tectonic plate movements have caused major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, they remind the government of a strategic spatial planning. Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) executive director Nurhidayati, for instance, urged the government to audit the 2007 Spatial Planning Law to prevent the future establishment of vital sites in geologically vulnerable areas. Likewise, Gadjah Mada University legal expert Rikardo Simarmata asked regional governments to work closely with the central government in ensuring the prevailing law on spatial planning was enforced to minimize losses in the event of a disaster.
 
 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC NEWS AND HEADLINES

Significant reduction in logistics cost
Bisnis Indonesia, Headline
 
The implementation of the electronic data interchange system (EDI) at the customs and excise offices beginning this month will be able to reduce logistic costs by between 10 and 15 percent.
 
The third generation manifest system implemented by the Directorate General of Customs and Excise will significantly reduce the time in the processing of the documentation for imports.
 
The Indonesian Logistics and Forwarders Association (ALFI) chairman Yukki Nugrahawan Hanafi said that the new online system would significantly reduce dwelling time as it would fasten the process of import clearance at the port.
This system also provides an online tracking system which promotes transparency in business activities.
 
 
Export earnings should be deposited at home
Kontan, Headline
 
The government’s new regulation requiring companies involved in the production and processing of natural resources will be implemented beginning May, this year.

With this new regulation, all export earnings from mining, plantation, forestry, fishery  sectors should be deposited in the domestic banks. With this obligation, the export earnings from such business sectors will be able to further increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
 
The director of the association of coal miners (APBI) Hendra Sinadia said that the coal miners would have no problem to heed the regulation. “Actually, the regulation has been introduced since 2011 in the coal mining sector. But due the absence of penalties, not all miners followed the rule,” he said.
 
 
Capital inflow in 2019 reduces global pressure
Investor Daily, Headline
 
Despite the decline in global economic growth, the pressure towards national economy has begun to subside. If there had been a capital outflow in 2018, in 2019, the foreign funds are expected to return to Indonesia.
 
Indonesian economy in 2019 will grow between 5 and 5.4 percent with household consumption and investment to increase between 5.4 and 5.5 percent. Rupiah is going to become more stable and to strengthen to its fair value.
 
Bank Indonesia’s governor Perry Warjiyo said, “the US  is no longer the King this year.” He said that the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) will only raise its federal rate reserve (FRR) twice this year. In Indonesia, an interest rate of 6 percent is high enough as it can still attract foreign investors. Hence, it is expected that government debt papers (SBN) could attract foreign funds in 2019.
 
 
Indonesia may lose GSP facilities
Bisnis Indonesia, p. 3
 
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) decision to reject some of Indonesian products as a beneficiary of the generalized system of preferences (GSP) facility could become a warning for Indonesia to continue to benefit from the facility. 
 
The Association of the Indonesian Employers (Apindo) deputy chairman Shinta Widjaja Kamdani said that, in general, the review process for the eligibility for Indonesian products to get the GSP facility  is different from those imposed on other beneficiary countries.
 
In general, the review process is based on US’s import needs towards certain product in the GSP. Meanwhile the GSP product review process of beneficiary countries – in this case, Indonesia – is based on the protection of the intellectual property rights towards US products.
 
Shinta explained that the rejection of those products might reflect Indonesia’s eligibility to retain its status as beneficiary country as a whole.
 
 
Bank Mandiri upbeat 2018 profit to reach Rp 25 trillion
Kontan, p. 12
 
State-owned Bank Mandiri is upbeat it will meet its target to book net profits of Rp 25 trillion in 2018.
 
The bank’s corporate secretary Rohan Hafas said that the optimism was based on the bank’s encouraging lending growth which reached 12 percent and the decline in the non-performing loans to 2.7 percent during the year.
 
Bank Mandiri President Director Kartika Wirjoatmodjo said that in 2019 the bank would continue to boost up its profit by pushing up its lending growth to between 12 and 13 percent through the increase in corporate loans.
 
In addition, the bank will also increase loans to commercial and retail sectors in order to be able to reach the lending growth target.