Terrorists make use of cyberspaceFriday, 15 Mar 2019
The arrest of terrorism suspect Abu Hamzah, which was followed by his cornered wife’s suicide bombing, in Sibolga, North Sumatra, reaffirms the need to pay more attention to the spread of radicalism in cyberspace. “Purging” social media platforms of radical contents is pressing.
Following the arrest, police are reportedly hunting down Hamzah’s accomplices, identified as AK, AH and P. Hamzah’s other alleged partner in crime, identified as RG, was nabbed in Rokan Hilir Regency, Riau. RG’s alleged role in the Hamzah-led network was to spread radical messages through the Telegram application. RG himself was reportedly recruited by Hamzah via Telegram.
National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) head Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius said terrorist groups used social media platforms to spread their radical views. “Radicalization in [face-to-face meetings] has decreased as [the terrorists] are afraid of our strict regulation. Now they operate in cyberspace and rarely meet in person. Consequently, terrorist attacks now tend to be conducted individually,” said Suhardi. He warned that many young people who studied religion from materials found on the internet were therefore vulnerable to radical thoughts.
The Communications and Information Ministry blocked 11,480 websites over radical content throughout last year. The content was circulated on various social media platforms, such as Telegram, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Police look for Abu Hamzah’s children
Republika, p. 2
The police have yet to find the whereabouts of three children of terrorism suspect Abu Hamzah. National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said Hamzah had indoctrinated all his family members with radical views.
Hamzah reportedly had four children. His youngest son, a two-year-old, was killed alongside Hamzah’s wife after she detonated a bomb in their residence following his arrest. Hamzah’s three other children, aged 18, 16 and 11, have not been located but are not fugitives, according to the police.
Elections commission faces cyberattacks
The Jakarta Post, p. 1
Ahead of the simultaneous legislative and presidential elections in April, the General Elections Commission (KPU) has been facing a tough challenge fighting off hackers who have attacked the commission’s website and tried to control the devices handling all programs related to the elections. KPU chairman Arief Budiman said on Wednesday during a hearing with the House of Representatives that unidentified individuals had tried to infiltrate the KPU’s system. An early finding from IP address detection indicated that the individual hackers were operating both in Indonesia and other countries.
Recently, Bloomberg reported that the KPU faced cyber incursions by hackers with IP addresses in China and Russia, believed to be attempts to discredit the polling process. The KPU confirmed it had faced a number of hackers with IP addresses from several countries, including China and Russia.
The KPU, however, said the public should not worry about more serious attacks. The commission, which holds the data of about 192.8 million voters, guaranteed that the hackers would not be able to compromise important data. Arief said the office had a team to fend off the attacks. In addition, he said, the voting results would be counted and recapped manually, so any cyber problem would not pose a significant threat, Arief said.
Rampant corruption found in private sector
Media Indonesia, headline
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has expressed his concern about the fact that many business people were involved in corruption and had been caught in the act by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). KPK deputy chairman Saut Situmorang said the number of private-sector businesspeople involved in corruption had increased significantly between 2004 and 2017.
Similarly, National Development Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said around 80 percent of corruption cases involved the private sector. “From 2004 until May 2018, there were 198 private individuals involved in corruption,” said Bambang. This, according to Bambang, undermined the government’s effort to attract more investors to Indonesia.
The KPK has reportedly submitted a draft anti-corruption bill that would address the increasing number of corrupt private individuals. The bill, according to Saut, stipulates that corruption in the private sector would come under the jurisdiction of the KPK.
Jokowi urged to reform, not add more ministries
The Jakarta Post, p. 4
As part of bureaucratic reform efforts, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to start “rightsizing” the government to address overlapping functions among state institutions. In his capacity as coordinator of the national graft prevention task force, KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo handed over documents containing the 2019-2020 national strategy for corruption prevention to Jokowi during a ceremony at the State Palace on Wednesday. Bureaucratic reform was among the three sectors detailed in the strategy, based on Presidential Regulation No. 54/2018, in addition to business permits and commerce as well as state finance and law enforcement. Before the President and a number of Cabinet ministers, Agus suggested that the government focus on reviewing existing ministries and state institutions instead of establishing new ones.
Agus’ statement appeared as direct criticism of Jokowi, who is seeking reelection in April, after the President revealed that he had been mulling over the idea to add two new ministerial positions to his Cabinet. Jokowi said on Monday that he might need two more aides in the Cabinet, namely an investment minister and an export minister, in a bid to boost exports and attract more investment to the country.
Indonesia currently has 34 ministries and 53 state institutions.
The Jakarta Post, Headline
The government’s new regulation on the vehicle tax, which is now under formulation, is expected to significantly support electric car manufacturing in the country. Under the new regulation, the luxury goods tax (PPnBM) will no longer be based on carbon emissions rather than engine capacity.
The Finance Ministry and Industry Ministry sent the proposal to the House of Representatives earlier this week. The easing of vehicle taxes is expected to increase the country’s car exports.
Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said on Wednesday that the regulation was expected to be issued in the first half of this year. A number of carmakers have announced plans to produce electric vehicles. Commercial production is expected to begin in 2021.
Bisnis Indonesia, Headline; Investor Daily, p. 1
Indonesia and Malaysia, which supply 85 percent of the crop, have warned that they are ready to retaliate against the discriminatory rules.
Muzdalifah Machmud, an expert on food coordination and agriculture to the Economic Coordinating Minister, said the government was preparing legal action against the EU’s “discriminatory regulation” against palm oil.
As part of the new policy, the EU will gradually reduce the use of any commodities that cause more than 10 percent of the natural damage to the environment starting this year, leading up to a complete ban in 2030.
With the document now under the EU Parliament’s review, the EU authority only has two months from March 21 to review and approve the initiative.
Koran Tempo, Headline
Thanks to information obtained through the AEoI, the Directorate General of Taxation has found up to Rp 1.3 quadrillion (US$91.54 billion) worth of Indonesian-owned assets abroad, most of which is believed not to have been registered with the authorities.
The head of information exchange and international taxation at the tax office, Leli Listianawati, said the finding was based on information received from 66 countries. She said the tax office would tax the unreported assets, although she did not explain when and how this would be done.
The head of the tax department of the Association of Young Indonesian Businessmen (Hipmi), Ajib Hamdani, supported the decision, but he called on the government to formulate tax compliance indicators and enforcement instruments prior to beginning taxing the unreported assets, so as not to harm compliant taxpayers.
According to Finance Ministry Regulation No. 165/2017 on the tax amnesty, assets that were not reported during the amnesty period would be treated as taxable income. The asset owners may be fined 200 percent of the unpaid taxes.
Investor Daily, Headline
Speaking during a discussion held by Investor Daily, Chatib said the government could issue a regulation that would provide fiscal incentives for foreign investors to reinvest dividends or capital gains from business activities in Indonesia.
Such incentives could become a long-term solution for the government to reduce the current account deficit and further spur economic growth, he said.
Kontan, p. 16
BRI, for example, has begun a partnership initiation process with both platforms and signed a memorandum of understanding with AliPay in 2018. However, the system cannot be implemented yet.
BRI consumer director Handayani said the technical systems of the Chinese platforms differ from those of previously adopted platforms, such as Visa, Mastercard or JCB, as their quick response (QR) technology needed to be adjusted to the Indonesian online banking system before it could be fully integrated.
BCA, BNI and CIMB Niaga representatives reported similar issues, saying they were also in the process of upgrading technological systems to make them compatible with the QR-based transaction technology used by AliPay and WePay.