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Security forces brace for first hearing

Friday, 14 Jun 2019
Security forces brace for first hearing
Ready for the call: Military personnel parade at a ceremony at the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta on Thursday ahead of Friday’s hearing of the election result dispute at the Constitutional Court.(Antara/M. Risval Hidayat)

GENERAL NEWS AND HEADLINES
 
Deliberations over unfinished bills postponed until next House
Kompas, p.2

Four months before the end of its term, the House of Representatives is leaving 32 tabled bills untouched. The House has proposed a carryover mechanism to pass the unfinished bills to the House serving from 2019 to 2024.

The mechanism is to be included in a bill on law establishment, which is to be debated by the House’s Legislation Body (Baleg) before its term ends in September.

Indonesian lawmakers have never before had such a carryover mechanism and, consequently, unfinished bills could not previously be passed on to the next House. A new House had to restart deliberations, including academic studies, in order to include a bill in the National Legislation Program.

“We don’t want any bills from this period to be left unfinished and have to start over by drafting them in the next term,” said the deputy chairman of Baleg, Supratman Andi Agtas, on Thursday.
 

Polri, AGO to submit candidates to be KPK leaders
Republika, p.3; Media Indonesia, p.5

The National Police (Polri) and the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) are ready to submit their respective candidates to take Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leadership posts. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said Thursday he had received the names of eight high-ranking officers who would participate in the selection.

Tito said, however, new names may come up, given that the selection process is to start on June 17. He urged other officers to offer themselves as candidates to be KPK leaders to strengthen the synergy between the Polri and KPK for eradicating corruption.

Likewise, although did not mention any names or reveal the number, Attorney General Prasetyo said that the AGO had already prepared candidates to vie for KPK leadership positions.

He said he hoped the presence of AGO officials as law enforcers would complement the KPK’s upcoming leadership composition.

The leader of the KPK’s selection team, Yenti Garnasih, said that the Polri and AGO officials serving as KPK leaders would perform supervision and coordinating functions.
 

Security forces brace for first hearing
The Jakarta Post, headline

A joint security force is bracing for rallies that could break out during the first hearing of the challenge to the 2019 presidential election result at the Constitutional Court in Central Jakarta on Friday, amid concerns that more rallies would again trigger riots in the capital.

The National Police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) plan to deploy thousands of personnel to secure the court and its surrounding areas, while the Jakarta Traffic Police set up a detour in the area on Thursday night.

National Police chief Tito Karnavian said the joint security force had also devised a plan for the worst-case scenario.

“[Up to] 17,000 police officers from Jakarta and other regions will be on standby,” he said after a joint security briefing at the National Monument (Monas) compound in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the TNI had prepared thousands of soldiers to ensure that the court remains undisturbed by any rallies that might occur. The number of personnel deployed to the court on the day would depend on the situation, the police chief said.

Similar to what was done at the General Elections Commission (KPU) and Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) buildings following the general election, security officers set up barbed-wire barricades in front of the court building’s main gate facing Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat. Small groups of protesters held rallies in front of the building days ahead of the first hearing, calling for the court to be independent.

Justice I Gede Palguna said the court would allow the public to watch the hearing via television broadcast and live streams for transparency purposes.
 

Building permits on reclaimed islets scrutinized
The Jakarta Post, p.3

The issuance of 932 building permits (IMBs) on reclaimed islets C and D has garnered critics, who say the permits go against Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s initial position on reclamation and only show that the city administration chose to let commercial activities continue on the islets.

Hundreds of buildings that had once been sealed on the reclaimed islets, namely Pantai Kita and Pantai Maju, have recently obtained IMBs from the Jakarta One Stop Integrated Services Agency (BPTSP) and the properties have opened their doors to buyers.

Indonesian Traditional Fishermen’s Association (KNTI) head Martin Hadiwinata said the issuance of the building permits was a major setback.

Martin pointed out that the root of the problem was Gubernatorial Regulation No. 206/2016 on the construction of islets C, D and E, which was issued by the city administration without being deliberated over by the City Council. He said the reclaimed islets had yet to refer to the city’s Detailed Spatial Plan (RDTR).

However, Governor Anies defended the issuance of the building permits, saying that the proper procedures had been followed and that he had fulfilled his campaign promises to stop further reclamation and ensure that the land already reclaimed would be for public use.

“Every step has followed the procedures. Requests for a building permit are not announced [publicly]. If you request a building permit it will be processed according to the requirements. Your name will also not be announced publicly. This is not secrecy, it is regular administrative procedure,” he said in a written statement.


Government may again limit social media access
The Jakarta Post, p.4

The Communications and Information Ministry has informed the public that it might limit access to social media again to curb misinformation during the first presidential election dispute hearing at the Constitutional Court on Friday.

The ministry’s acting spokesperson, Ferdinandus Setu, said the ministry would consider imposing another social media restriction should the public become agitated during the hearing.

“If the possible glut of misinformation triggers disturbances and poses a real threat to the country’s unity, we will limit access to social media,” Ferdinandus said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.

He went on to say that the ministry would keep an eye out for the circulation of misinformation on social media in case of escalation.
 
 
BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS NEWS AND HEADLINES 
 
Depleting foreign reserves push down rupiah
Kontan, p.2
 
Foreign exchange reserves shrank by US$4 billion to US$120.3 billion in May, nearing the lowest level of $120.1 billion recorded in January this year.  
 
Bank Indonesia said that the decline in the foreign reserves was partly due to the foreign debt payment and the decline in the placement of foreign exchange by commercial banks in the central bank.  

The central bank said that the commercial banks reduced their foreign exchange placements to anticipate an increase in demand, partly for the dividend payments of multinational companies.
 
The decline in foreign reserves led to a decline in the rupiah exchange rate, which fell 0.32 percent to 14,275 per United States dollar at the close of the trading on Thursday. The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) also fell by 3.09 points, 0.05 percent, to 6,273.08.
 
However, Bank Mandiri economist Andry Asmoro projected the reserves would increase to between $125 billion and $130 billion by the end of 2019 because of a decrease of global pressures. This projection is higher than the foreign reserves level at the end of 2018, which was $120.7 billion.
 
 
RI needs $408.45b to achieve 5.6 percent growth
Kontan, p.2
 
The government has set an economic growth target of between 5.3 percent and 5.6 percent in the government’s 2020 macroeconomic projection in the 2019 state budget.
 
In order to reach the target, the gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) or investment should increase by between 7 percent and 7.4 percent.
 
According to calculations by the Finance Ministry, a Rp 5.8 quadrillion (US$408.45 billion) investment is needed to reach 5.6 percent economic growth by 2020. This is higher than the Rp 5,276 trillion investment needed to achieve the economic growth target of 5.3 percent in 2019.
 
“We need investments of between Rp 5,800 trillion and Rp 5,823 trillion, mostly coming from the private sector,” said Sri Mulyani during working meeting with the House Commission IX.
 
The investment requirements comprise Rp 4,205.5 trillion from the private sector, Rp 473.4 trillion from state-owned companies and Rp 572 trillion from the government, with Rp 251.4 trillion coming from the central government and Rp 310.6 coming from the regional government.
 

Freeport to draft loan scheme for smelters
Investor Daily, business
 
PT Freeport Indonesia is currently discussing with banks the loan scheme the mining giant is to choose to finance the construction of its copper smelter in Gresik, East Java. The smelter development will cost about US$2.7 billion to $3 billion and the funding is expected to be available in August.
 
Freeport Indonesia president director Tony Wenas said banks were interested in funding the smelter construction because of the position of Freeport, rather than because of the smelting project itself.
 
According to him, the smelting project is not financially feasible to receive such huge funding because the added value gained from the smelter would only be 5 percent, since the purity of the copper concentrate was already at 95 percent.
 
The investment needed to produce the additional 5 percent added value is US$2.8 billion.
 
“We are committed to building the smelter, although the project is not financially feasible,” said Tony on Wednesday.
 
He said 15 banks, both from Indonesia and overseas, have expressed interest in funding the smelter construction.
 
 
Allowing foreign airlines violates cabotage principle
Investor Daily, business
 
The government’s plan to invite foreign airlines to operate in Indonesia in order to create a more competitive market reflects the government’s inability to manage the country’s air transportation industry, aviation observer Cheppy Hakim said on Wednesday.
 
Moreover, the step would violate the 1944 Chicago Convention regarding the cabotage principle, which allows a country to refuse the presence of foreign carriers on domestic routes.
 
Cheppy said allowing foreign airlines to operate in the domestic market creates a dilemma since it would be against the principle of protecting local companies.

The government has been making efforts to acquire foreign-owned companies and make them Indonesian, such as what was done with Freeport Indonesia.
 
“We brought Freeport back to Indonesia, but now we are inviting foreign airlines. Then the money will go there [overseas]. Then we demand for 51 percent of their shares and require them to build airports and other things,” said Cheppy.
 
 
Alibaba inspires BI’s payment blueprint
The Jakarta Post, p.1
 
Bank Indonesia (BI) is mulling over whether to build a public data hub that would pool data from local financial institutions and make it accessible to all businesses in the country.
 
BI’s director for payment systems policy, Erwin Haryono, said the central bank was inspired by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which leveraged its huge database of buying behavior to quickly diversify from a pure e-marketplace in 1999 to a financial technology (fintech) player in 2004 when it launched the AliPay e-wallet.
 
“If Bank Indonesia could bring [privately collected] big data to a public space, where the data can be accessed by other companies, we could push for rapid nationwide digital transformation,” he said in Jakarta last week.
 
Earlier this year, BI established five working groups to execute BI’s Indonesia Payment System (IPS) 2025 blueprint, a regulatory framework that determined what financial information could be shared, what information was private and what method would be used to share information.
 
The blueprint, announced last month by BI Governor Perry Warjiyo, outlines five principles: integrating financial institutions, digitalizing banks, interlinking banks with fintech companies, protecting consumer data and enforcing cross-border payment regulations.