Indonesia morning news for March 20

Indonesia morning news for March 20

Indonesia morning news

Indonesia prepares to take dispute with EU on palm oil to WTO
The government is preparing to take its latest dispute with the European Union on crude palm oil (CPO) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a bid to settle to issue.
— The Jakarta Post

Bengkulu exports agricultural commodities to China and Thailand
The Bengkulu Provincial Government developed an export wing for agricultural commodity products such as processed wood and palm shells to China and Thailand.
— Antara News

Death toll from Indonesia floods, mudslides rises to 89
The death toll from flash floods and mudslides, triggered by days of torrential downpours in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province, has risen to 89, with dozens of others missing.
— AL Jazeera

Indonesian palm oil producers eye domestic market amid challenges
AMID tough global market challenges, Indonesia’s palm oil producers have to start expanding in the domestic market in order to boost absorption and stay afloat.
— The Phnom Penh Post

How Can Indonesia Take Advantage of the Belt and Road’s Opportunities?
There have been reports stating that China’s trade and investments in Indonesia have grown and expanded noticeably since the initiation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013.
— The Diplomat

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Commentary: As temperatures rise, Indonesia’s water-sharing can prevent transboundary haze
Water-sharing arrangements between companies and Indonesian communities can prevent fires in dry season hotspots, two observers point out.
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

Thousands Take Refuge After Flash Flood Hits Sentani, Papua
The devastating flash flood that hit Sentani, Papua, on Saturday, March 16, displaced 4,728 people from their homes that have taken refuge across six refugee posts.

Jakarta speeds up construction of MRT park-and-ride facilities
Ahead of the official opening of the MRT at the end of March, the Jakarta Parking Service Agency is preparing a park-and-ride facility near the Lebak Bulus MRT station in South Jakarta.
— The Jakarta Post

Ethiopia and Indonesia Crash Parallels Heap Pressure on Boeing
Investigators into the Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia have found striking similarities in a vital flight angle with an airplane that came down off Indonesia, a source said, piling pressure on the world’s biggest planemaker.

Indonesian Navy foils smuggling attempt of 50 kg meth from Thailand
The Indonesian Navy’s FIQR Team of the Lhokseumawe Naval Base foiled a smuggling attempt of 50 kg of crystal methamphetamine from Thailand in the Lhokseumawe waters in Aceh Province.
— Antara News

Jokowi Boards MRT Jakarta; People Flock Lebak Bulus Station
President Joko Widodo or Jokowi tried boarding the first Indonesian MRT Jakarta or Ratangga today, March 19. Jokowi was accompanied by his working cabinet members and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

Jokowi to inaugurate MRT Jakarta on Sunday
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is scheduled to inaugurate the country’s first MRT on Sunday, an official from city-owned transportation company PT MRT Jakarta has said.
— The Jakarta Post

Floods cause severe damage to 351 homes in Sentani, Papua
Floods have caused serious damage to 351 homes, four bridges, four roads, and eight school buildings in Sentani Sub-district, Jayapura District, Papua Province.
— Antara News

Gov’t Earmark Rp34.5 bn for 2019 Free Homecoming Trip Program
The Transportation Ministry would again establish the program of free homecoming trip, locally known mudik, this year. The ministry’s director general of land transportation Budi Setiyadi said that the government had earmarked Rp34.5 billion for the program.

Indonesia election mired in claims of foreign hacking and ‘ghost’ voters
Voter lists have become the latest battleground in the run-up to elections in the world’s third-largest democracy, with claims of infiltration by Chinese and Russian hackers and millions of “ghost voters” being added.
— The Guardian

Indonesia deregulates palm oil exports
The new regulation on the export of palm crude oil (CPO) and its derivative products has taken effect and is part of the government’s plan to simplify the export procedures of the country’s major commodity.
— The Jakarta Post

Bank Indonesia to keep its policy on hold – TDS
Analysts at TD Securities are expecting Bank Indonesia (BI) to keep its policy seven day reverse repo rate on hold at 6.00% at its meeting on 21 March, marking its fourth consecutive meeting that policy has been unchanged following 175bp of hikes last year.
— FX Street

Jusuf Kalla: National Exam Removal May Harm Education Quality
Vice President Jusuf Kalla or JK assessed the campaign promise made by vice presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno on the dismissal of the national exam (UN) was inappropriate.

Indonesia Investment Chief Warns of Market Slump If Jokowi Loses
Indonesia’s investment chief warned of a severe sell-off in the nation’s currency and stocks if voters deliver an upset victory for the opposition in next month’s presidential election.
— Bloomberg

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Toll road operator takes out Rp 30.03t in syndicated loans over one year
State-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga has taken out syndicated loans worth Rp 30.03 trillion (US$2.11 billion) over one year to finance a number of projects, namely the Kunciran-Serpong toll road, the elevated Jakarta-Cikampek toll road, the Bogor ring road, the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road and the Batang- Semarang toll road.
— The Jakarta Post

Jokowi Camp to Kick off Public Campaign in Banten
Ma’ruf campaign team deputy director of witness affairs, Lukman Edy, said that the public electoral campaign of the incumbent would take place on March 24 in Banten and end in Jakarta on April 13, 2019.

Indonesian Vice Presidential Debate Shines Overdue Light on Education
In the first vice presidential debate in Indonesia leading up to the April 17 elections, both candidates — businessman Sandiaga Uno and renowned Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin — agreed on one problem: Indonesia’s education system needs repairs.

Govt lowers expectations for tourism revenue
The government has lowered this year’s revenue target for the tourist industry from US$20 billion to US$17.6 billion.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry back in spotlight in new graft scandal
The arrest last Friday (March 15) of the chairman of United Development Party (PPP), M. Romahurmuziy, who has since resigned from that post, has once again cast an unfavourable light on Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry.
— Straits Times (annoying popups)

KPK to Probe Religious Affairs Minister upon Romy Graft Case
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) would soon investigate Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin in light of the alleged graft case at his ministry. Lukman would be grilled as a witness in the case that implicating former head of the United Development Party (PPP), Romahurmuziy or Romy.

Minister defends ‘link and match program’ against Sandiaga’s debate remark
In response to a criticism from vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno on vocational schools, the Industry Minister said that the ministry’s “link and match” demand-driven vocational program had been running smoothly over the last two years, involving 2,612 vocational schools and 899 companies.
— The Jakarta Post

An Orangutan Mother Was Blinded After Being Shot 74 Times With an Air Gun in Indonesia
An orangutan mother has been blinded after being shot with at least 74 air gun pellets on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, where threats to the endangered species have increased as the palm oil and paper industries shrink its jungle habitat.

Jakarta Council Suggests Free Tariff of MRT Jakarta in 2019
The Jakarta Legislative Council’s (DPRD) Commission B that overseeing economic affairs mulled over a free tariff of MRT Jakarta and LRT throughout 2019.

No illegal logging activity in Sentani area hit by flooding: Enviro Ministry
The Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry has confirmed there was no illegal logging activity in the Sentani areas hit by flash floods on Saturday (March16, 2019), according to IB Putera Parthama, the ministry’s Director General for River Basin Management.
— Antara News

Ministry issues ride-hailing app regulation, but delays decision on fares
The Transportation Ministry has issued a regulation on ride-hailing applications, but Ministerial Regulation No. 12/2019 only details rules on safety, while the anticipated regulation on fares will be stipulated in a separate decree.
— The Jakarta Post

Job skills for young Indonesians a key concern ahead of election
Rival campaigners in Indonesia’s elections next month are sparring over ways to fix the education system in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, which is widely blamed for failing to equip students with the skills to find jobs.
— Channel NewsAsia (very annoying popups)

BPS Dismisses Sandiaga’s Claims on Lower Unemployment Rate
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded an increase in the unemployment rate in Jakarta throughout February-August 2018, refuting data claimed by vice-presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno during the election debate on March 17.

GBS provides streamlining business registration in Vietnam for foreign businesses
GBS, a business law firm, is making it easier to start a business in Vietnam by streamlining business registration service. The service is now available on the website.
— Antara News

‘They’re all dead’: 110 captive sharks in Karimunjawa die mysteriously
At least 110 sharks and dozens of other fish were found dead at a fish farm in the Karimunjawa Islands, Central Java.
— The Jakarta Post


Feature photo Fully Syafi/ Greenpeace

This week’s Indonesia morning news feature photo acknowledges International Day of Forest, March 21.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Indonesia morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Indonesia news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities and is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics.


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Piseth Pov graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics Science from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh in 2017, and a Bachelor’s degree in English Communications from Western University, Phnom Penh, the same year.

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