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4 % ulemas remain radical: Survey

Thursday, 10 Jan 2019
4 % ulemas remain radical: Survey
Members of Banser, the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, hold a rally against Islamic radicalism and in support of religious pluralism in Kediri, East Java, in February 2017. (Antara/Prasetia Fauzani)



KPK leadership under attack

The Jakarta Post, Headline

Public representatives and prominent citizens have declared their support for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) following what appears to have been bomb attacks on the commission’s leaders on Jan. 9. The National Police have been urged to investigate the incidents thoroughly to prevent any further threats to KPK personnel. 

Previously, at around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, unknown assailants left a suspicious package at the home of KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo in Bekasi, West Java. A police bomb squad officer discovered a black bag hanging on the house’s fence, containing materials resembling the components of a bomb. At the same time, the remains of two Molotov cocktails were found at KPK deputy chairman Laode Muhammad Syarif’s residence in Kalibata, South Jakarta.


4 % ulemas remain radical: Survey

Koran Tempo

A survey conducted by the Center of Islam, Democracy and Peace (Puspidep) shows that approximately 4 percent of ulemas in Indonesia still adhere to radical thoughts, with 2.67 percent of them categorized as extremists. Conducted on 450 clerics from 15 cities across the country, the survey also found that 9.79 percent of them were exclusive in their teachings. Puspidep executive director Suhadi Cholil said these ulemas rejected the concepts of Indonesian statehood and nationhood. Moreover, according to the survey, only 69.11 percent of the ulemas support the idea of citizenship.

The lack of research on Islamic politics is partly blamed for radicalism among ulemas. Researchers involved in the survey urge the government to promote tolerance and citizenship in religious education.


New BNPB chief sets out to revamp disaster mitigation

The Jakarta Post, p. 4

The new head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo, said he would improve public awareness and preparedness in the face of disasters, especially those in disaster-prone regions, through proper channels such as schools. Inaugurated on Jan. 9, Doni said the BNPB would draft a program to strengthen and improve disaster mitigation efforts, which would hopefully extend to the village level. Doni’s plan is in line with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s instruction to his administration to improve disaster education and mitigation given in the first Cabinet meeting of 2019, during which the President also revealed he had allocated more budget funds for disaster mitigation.

Doni, who previously served as the secretary-general of the National Resilience Council, faces a tough task ahead. His appointment came after a string of deadly natural catastrophes that devastated parts of the country last year. Doni will maintain his status as an active Army officer as he leads the BNPB.


Police to hunt for other suspects

Kompas, p. 4

National Police detectives will not stop at a man now detained as the main suspect in the recent hoax case about punched ballots. National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the detectives might identify new suspects in the case.

The police have placed the suspect, identified as BBP, in custody in Sragen, Central Java. They seized two mobile phones and a screenshot of a social media account BBP allegedly used to spread the hoax. The police are also investigating the possible motives behind his acts, which can be punishable by a maximum of 10-year imprisonment.


Campaign fund management not transparent: ICW

Republika, p. 3

The Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) questioned the validity of a campaign donation report (LPSDK) submitted by the two presidential and vice-presidential candidate pairs. Considering the mismatch between the calculation of required funds for presidential campaigns and the amount of funds reported in the LPSDK, the ICW suspects the candidates have kept a number of fund sources from the LPSDK. Donations from private corporations are suspected to be hidden by candidates. 

In their reports, the incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Ma’ruf Amin raised Rp 55.9 billion, while their contenders Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno Rp 56 billion for their campaign activities. ICW researchers doubted the amount because as a comparison, gubernatorial candidates in Jakarta spent at least Rp 80 billion for campaigning.





SOE stock prices rally on strong fundamentals

Bisnis Indonesia, headline

Low valuations and good fundamentals, combined with improving macroeconomic indicators, have helped the prices of the shares of a number of state-owned companies (SOEs) listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) surge during the past several days.  

According to the latest data from Bloomberg, a couple of SOEs, particularly those engaged in construction, scored double-digit price growth year-to-date on Wednesday. 

The price of state-owned developer PT PP’s stocks, for example, surged by 21.33 percent to Rp 2,190 on Wednesday, followed by the state developers PT Waskita Karya, PT Wijaya Karya and state toll road developer PT Jasa Marga, whose share prices  rose by 19.64 percent, 12.08 percent and 15.19 percent to Rp 2,010, Rp 1,855 and Rp 4,930, respectively.

Artha Sekuritas research vice president Frederick Rasali and Panin Sekuritas analyst William Hartanto said the price surge was temporary as it was caused mainly by the usual “January effect”. However, a different view was voiced by Koneksi Kapital Indonesia research head Alfred Nainggolan, who argued that the price surge was caused by improving macroeconomic conditions and the appreciation of the rupiah against the United States dollar.


Stronger rupiah in 2019 despite global uncertainty

The Jakarta Post, p.1

The rupiah rose significantly against the US dollar during the first week of 2019 after falling sharply last year, with analysts projecting that the currency may continue to gain ground despite global uncertainty.

Data from the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate show the rupiah, which was traded at 14,465 against the US dollar on Jan. 2, further strengthened to 14,120 per US dollar on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) research director Piter Abdullah Redjalam connected the surge in the rupiah to the issuance of new data on the country’s macroeconomic assumptions, which continued to show improvement despite rising uncertainty in the global economy, 

Sri Mulyani said that Indonesia’s relatively high growth and stable fiscal and monetary policies last year raised foreign investors’ confidence in the country’s economy.

The improvement of economic fundamentals proved the resilience of the country’s economy during tough times, the finance minister said, referring to the migration of large amounts of global funds from the emerging economies in 2018.


Tax reduction to spur economic growth

Investor Daily, headline

The Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) openly supported Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati’s plan to reduce corporate tax rates in order to help revive the economy.

Apindo deputy chairwoman Shina Widjaja Kamdani praised the tax rate cut plan, saying it could trigger a more promising trickle-down effect for the economy.  Shinta said Wednesday that most companies positively welcome the tax rate cut plan, which would enable them to have extra funds to expand their businesses.

Moreover, they said the lower tax rate would improve the business climate, which could in turn help attract more foreign direct investments amid the competition among emerging economies.


New oil policy to focus on domestic needs

Kontan, headline

The government has secretly revived talks on an amendment to Law No. 22/2001 on oil and natural gas. According to the draft of a bill received by Kontan, the government would further control oil and gas exploration and production in the country in order to meet domestic needs. 

One of the main points in the bill states that the government would form a special body to oversee oil and gas production and distribution in the local market.

Moreover, the draft also places heavy emphasize on prioritizing oil and gas production for the domestic market before exports. A member of the House of Representatives commission VII from the Golkar Party, Ridwan Hisjam, said the bill had been returned to the government for further review.


Phillipines opposes Go-Jek presence

The Jakarta Post, p.13

Indonesia’s Go-Jek suffered a setback to its regional expansion plan on Wednesday after the transport regulator in the Philippines rejected its request to launch a ride-hailing service in the country, saying its domestic unit did not meet local ownership requirements. 

Nonetheless, the setback may only be temporary as the firm could still appeal the rejection or team up with Filipino investors.  

Filipino Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board communications head, January Sabale, confirmed the possibility, saying that the ride-hailing operator can team up with a local partner, which should own at least 60 percent of the Go-Jek’s entity in the Philippines, to operate legally.