DX seeks clarification from JababekaThursday, 11 Jul 2019
The Jakarta Post, headline
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is believed to be planning to remove several key figures from his economic team as he works to shape his second Cabinet following his reelection in April.
Speculation is rife that at least three of his ministers — Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno — would likely fail to retain their seats in the Cabinet.
Masinton Pasaribu, a spokesman of Jokowi’s campaign, said he believed that the President had given a hint on which ministers would be shown the door during Monday’s Cabinet meeting. In the meeting, Jokowi reprimanded Jonan and Rini for their contribution to the US$2.14 billion trade deficit recorded between January and May.
The President also called Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil out on their failure to help boost investments.
Rini, once known as a close aide to Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) matriarch Megawati Soekarnoputri, has long been standing on shaky ground. The PDI-P, which leads the ruling coalition and of which Jokowi is a member, has repeatedly called for her firing, accusing her of failing to properly manage state-owned enterprises.
Darmin, who is to turn 71 in December this year, is also believed to be on the way out, given that the President has said he is looking to recruit young people to his Cabinet.
A top businessman who declined to be named said that Darmin was considered “too old” and that he would likely be replaced by a younger professional.
KPK urged to challenge Temenggung acquittal
Law experts and legal practitioners have urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to ask the Supreme Court for a review of its ruling that acquits former Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency chairman Syafruddin Arsyad Temenggung in a graft case related to Bank Indonesia liquidity support funds (BLBI) disbursed during the 1998 Asian financial crisis.
Former justice Gayus Lumbuun said the KPK still had a chance to file the case review motion, despite a regulation banning state prosecutors from doing so.
“The KPK as an extraordinary body can use its rights in order to disclose the circumstance of the [Temenggung] case through a case review,” said Gayus.
Transparency International Indonesia secretary-general Dadang Trisasongko said the court’s ruling which prohibits public prosecutors from demanding case reviews would be a challenge for the KPK. According to Dadang, the KPK needs to build a strong argument to break the rule.
Previously, the Supreme Court acquitted Syafruddin of corruption charges, although did not deny that he had caused a total of Rp 4.58 trillion in state losses.
KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah said the antigraft body was waiting for a copy of the court’s ruling before deciding what action to take.
Radicalism, terrorism pose serious challenges to police: President
Media Indonesia, headline; Republika, p.3
Commemorating the National Police’s 73rd anniversary, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said terrorism and radicalism remained serious challenges facing the law enforcement agency.
“I must reaffirm that terrorism and radicalism still have the potential to be serious challenges. The advancement of information technology supports [the spread of] cybercrimes. Hence, the police must keep up with the development of information technology. This is related to the spread of lies or hoaxes and hate speech,” said Jokowi.
In addressing the growing complexity of challenges that the police face, the President advised the police to improve their human resources and modernize their public services. The President also instructed the police to prioritize proactive and preventive strategies as well as take a humanist approach in handling social problems. Lastly, Jokowi urged the police to strengthen cooperation with the Indonesian Military (TNI), ministries, regional governments and the public in upholding security and order.
Group led by PKS black sheep to become party
The Jakarta Post, p. 4
An Indonesian mass organization, the New Direction Movement (Garbi), led by senior members of the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), is about to become a political party, thus possibly competing against its more established “elder brother”.
House of Representatives Deputy Speaker and PKS politician Fahri Hamzah announced the plan on a popular television talk show, the Indonesian Lawyers Club.
“Insya Allah [God willing] we will declare Garbi a political party to criticize the old direction in Indonesia that is frozen, stiff and boring,” he said on Tuesday night.
Garbi initiator and former PKS chairman Anis Matta already said on July 5 that the organization would become a political party within a year. Anis, who was ousted from the top spot during the party’s national congress in 2015, and his loyalists, including Fahri and other top PKS politicians such as Mahfudz Siddiq, Jazuli Juwaini, Sukamta and Mahfudz Abdurrahman, make up the bulk of Garbi’s leadership.
Riau Islands governor detained for alleged bribery
Kompas, p. 1
Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun was detained by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on Wednesday for allegedly accepting a bribe pertaining to a permit for a reclamation project in the archipelagic province.
KPK spokesman Febri Diansyah confirmed that the KPK had detained six people during a sting operation in Riau Islands and detained them in Tanjung Pinang police office for preliminary questioning.
“We had received a tip-off about an illicit transaction among six regional heads in the region. Six people are being questioned, including a regional head, a head of department in maritime affairs, a head of division, two staff members and a private actor,” said Febri.
During the operation, the KPK seized S$6,000 in cash which reportedly had been intended for Nurdin in exchange for his approval of the project’s site.
“It is suspected that it was not the first time [that Nurdin has accepted a bribe]. The KPK will conduct further investigation in the next 24 hours to determine Nurdin’s status,” said Febri.
The Jakarta Post, p.13
The Asian infrastructure investment bank (AIIB) is ready to help Indonesia develop its infrastructure in President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s second term in office.
President Jokowi previously said he would focus on human capital development in his second term, but infrastructure development would remain a priority as well.
AIIB chief investment officer DJ Pandian said the agency was prepared to help finance infrastructure development in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
AIIB data show that the multilateral development bank’s investment in Indonesia as of April 2019 stood at US$940 million, most of which went into urban development and water and waste projects across the archipelago.
The development projects approved by the AIIB include the Mandalika urban and infrastructure project for 2019 to 2023, for which the bank will provide $248.4 million.
Drought may trigger inflation
Kontan, p.2; The Jakarta Post, p.13
The government is anticipating an increase in the inflation rate in coming months due to the expected decline in the rice supply from rice production areas.
The government has said that the prolonged dry season has caused harvest failures in several regions which could potentially lead to a decline in rice production.
On Wednesday, the government held a coordination meeting with the inflation control team at the Coordinating Economic Minister. The meeting was attended by 15 heads of related agencies including Bank Indonesia (BI), Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the State Logistics Agency (Bulog) and the National Police.
The current drought has affected over 100,000 hectares of rice fields in about 100 regencies and towns on Java and some other islands with more than 9,000 ha facing crop failure, the Agriculture Ministry has said.
The ministry’s food crop director general, Sumardjo Gatot Irianto, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that a total 9,358 ha of rice fields facing crop failure, spread across East Java, Central Java, West Java, Yogyakarta, and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), had caused a decrease in grain production by 45,000 tons.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) predicted that the dry season might last from July to September, with its peak in August threatening more crop failure.
Revitalization of farmers' oil palm plantations slow
Investor Daily, p. 7
The government issued recommendation letters for the revitalization of 20,379 hectares of smallholder oil palm plantations during the January to June period this year.
It means that the realization of the oil palm plantation revitalization, which is funded by the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP-PKKS), was relatively small during the six-month period as it only accounted for about 10 percent of the 2019 target of 200,000 hectares.
According to the Agriculture Ministry data, the oil palm plantation area owned by small holder farmers was 5.61 million ha in 2017, with at least 2.4 million ha having to be revitalized.
Indonesian Oil Palm Farmers Association (Apkasindo) chairman Gulat Medali Emas Manurung said the association's seven regional offices had submitted proposals to revitalize 50,000 to 60,000 ha of plantations, of which about 28,000 ha had been approved by the government.
Although the government had eased the requirement, Gulat said the government was slow in realizing the revitalization program. Gulat said that even after the technical recommendations had been released, the government still had to visit the plantations to re-verify the proposal.
IDX seeks clarification from Jababeka
Investor Daily, headline; The Jakarta Post, p.14; Media Indonesia, p. 14
The Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) summoned the management of PT Kawasan Industri Jababeka on Tuesday to explain a reported default risk over notes issued by Jababeka International BV, a subsidiary of the company.
IDX assessment director I Gede Nyoman Yetna said the meeting between the IDX and the Jababeka management was to seek clarification from the management about the report. Nyoman refused to reveal any information regarding the meeting when asked on Wednesday.
On Monday, the IDX had suspended Jababeka’s shares to allow the management to explain the situation at the company.
In its report to the IDX, Jababeka management said the default risk occurred following a change in the board of directors, and the board of commissioners decided a shareholders meeting in late June.
Because of the change, Jababeka, whose property project is located in Cikarang, West Java, was required to buy back the notes worth US$300 million. “If the company fails to repurchase them, Jababeka International BV will be in default status,” according to Jababeka management in the report.
Tanito has to return mining areas to the government
Kontan, p.14; Bisnis Indonesia, Energi
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s mineral and coal director general Bambang Gatot Ariyono said the mining company had to return its mining area to the government because it had failed to renew its mining permit.
As a consequence, the company would also dismiss 300 of its workers, he said.
According to Bambang, Tanito’s exit will not have much impact on the government's revenue since Tanito Harum only produced 1 million tons of coal per year, representing a mere 0.02 percent of the national production target.
Earlier this year, Bambang Gatot granted a renewal of Tanito Harum’s permit by changing it to a special mining permit (IUPK), from a contract of work (PKP2B).
However, the permit was revoked last month due to an objection from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) citing that the renewal was not in accordance with the Coal and Minerals (Minerba) Law.
The revocation of Tanito Harum’s permit makes the industry nervous and worried that this uncertainty might affect seven other mining companies whose licenses will expire shortly.