Tenggara Backgrounder January 11

Fake news is weapon of choice in 2019 election

The proliferation of fake news is intensifying with the election campaign moving to high gear, three months before voting day on April 17. There is just too much fake news and the tendency is to ignore it and let it pass. Most fake news has a very short life cycle. Some is so outrageously unbelievable that it would not likely affect the election outcome anyway or is quickly called out.


BPJS: A taint to Indonesia’s social security?

News about the termination of contracts between several hospitals and the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) and alleged unhygienic repeated use of blood transfusion tubes has exacerbated problems surrounding the universal health care program. Although BPJS Kesehatan and the government have clarified the matters, the opposition’s narratives about the government’s failure to provide social security to all, particularly the poor, have gone viral.  


Increasing Chinese tourists just part of global boom

Despite the headache caused by China’s “zero-dollar tourism”, the Indonesian government is determined to manage the negative excess of Chinese tourism to reap the economic potential of the growing number of Chinese tourists in the global tourist industry. The growing presence of Chinese tourists in Indonesia is followed by the growth of long-distance travelers from Europe, the United States and the Middle East, as well as short distance travelers from Malaysia and Australia.


Issue update: Welcoming Batam into failing SEZ club 

Batam Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam) revealed on Dec. 27, 2018, that it was preparing the development plans of three special economic zones (SEZs) in Batam, Riau Islands province, Aero Marine City, Water City and Rempang City, to commence the gradual shift from a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) into a SEZs. The plan to transform Batam from a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) into three Special Economic Zones (SEZs) looks great, but it is questionable if the government or BP Batam can execute it.