Tenggara Backgrounder March 8
NU takes stand for tolerance
Overview - During its national consultation meeting and grand conference last week, Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), displayed a strong stance for national unity. The group issued several recommendations, including a ban on the use of the word kafir (infidel), a limitation of fatwas (Islamic edicts), the adoption of Islam Nusantara (Islam of the archipelago), caution over the spread of hoaxes and encouragement of active public participation in the upcoming general elections.
Plastic bags suffocating Indonesian policy makers
Overview - On March 1, the Association of Indonesian Retailers (Aprindo) announced that its members in Jakarta and surrounding townships would charge shoppers for plastic bags, ahead of a long-awaited plan to reduce their use in Jakarta. The Indonesian capital has been entertaining the idea since December, but Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan appears to be struggling to sign a draft policy that has been drawn up by his staff. It is speculated that the powerful plastic industry lobby, the last remaining voice to oppose the plan, is holding back the governor.
Indonesia looks to adopt 5G, but not anytime sooner
Overview - Indonesian government officials announced on the sidelines of the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona late last month that Indonesia would soon adopt 5G technology. Implementation, however, would not be anytime soon as Indonesia still lacks the infrastructure and regulatory support to adopt it. 5G technology is essential for a country which seeks to become a digital economy and implement Industry 4.0, which Indonesia under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has aspired to.
Major airlines allegedly behind airfare surge
Overview - Air transportation users and courier customers have borne the brunt of rising airfare and cargo tariffs charged by airlines, who had no alternative but to increase fares to compensate for losses last year and the year before due to rising fuel prices and weakening rupiah. Air transportation users were again surprised by the fact that AirAsia tickets mysteriously disappeared from the country’s most popular online travel agents, Traveloka.com and Tiket.com. AirAsia’s shocking decision to withdraw its ticket from these platforms opened a Pandora’s box in Indonesia’s commercial aviation sector.
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