Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi (center) walks at Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java, on March 1. The minister tested positive of COVID-19, State Secretary Pratikno announced on Saturday evening. (Antara/ Dedhez Anggara)
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has tested positive for COVID-19.
State Secretary Pratikno announced on Saturday evening that Budi was identified as Case 76 in a previous Health Ministry announcement and was being treated at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital.
He declined to say when Budi had been admitted to the hospital or when he had likely been infected.
Budi reportedly attended a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Pratikno said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had appointed Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan as ad interim transportation minister.
Gatot Subroto Army Hospital doctors said Budi’s condition was improving.
President Joko Widodo (right) accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo (second left) and Dutch King Willem Alexander (second right) accompanied by Queen Maxima planting trees during a state visit to Bogor Palace, West Java, Tuesday (10/3/2020). (Antara/ Sigid Kurniawan)
“The ongoing global economic and geopolitical volatility will not keep Indonesia and the Netherlands from advancing their long-standing cooperation” — that may be the right tone to begin the narrative on the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima to Indonesia.
On Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo greeted the Dutch king and queen at Bogor Palace in West Java.
The visit sends the clear message that the two countries aspire to advance their ties going forward. It will surely create a new momentum for the Indonesian-Dutch partnership. The visit also instils not only increased confidence of Dutch investment in Indonesia but also strategic trust in the long run.
The visit produces numerous concrete deliverables in various sectors at the government-to-government as well as the business-to-business level. These include eight government initiatives in important sectors such as sustainable palm oil production, cooperation on infectious diseases control, waste management, the circular economy, water management, aviation cooperation, capacity-building of healthcare professionals, as well as women, peace and security.
On the business side, the king’s 190-strong business delegation has met with hundreds of Indonesian business counterparts and concluded investment and business deals amounting to US$1 billion. These include agreements on dairy products, oil and gas, agriculture, infrastructure and renewable energy.
However, these achievements did not come overnight. In fact, in the last seven decades, both sides have taken significant steps to strengthen bilateral ties.
I was the Indonesian ambassador in The Hague in 2013, when Indonesia and the Netherlands signed a joint declaration on a comprehensive partnership that laid out the modalities for concrete cooperation. This was an important building block to mature our bilateral cooperation into what we have today and what we will harvest tomorrow.
After more than 70 years, it is undeniable that the bond between the two countries has had its share of challenges. While we cannot deny the past of Indonesia-Netherlands relations, we can choose to fully capitalize on the potential of future cooperation for the benefit of both nations.
Therefore, the goal for our shared future must be clear, which is pursuing a forward-looking partnership that really benefits both countries and peoples.
There are three things that the two countries should advance together to attain common goals for a solid and mutually beneficial partnership.
First and fundamentally, both countries must remain committed to the common values of mutual respect and principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Second, the Indonesian-Dutch partnership must produce long-term and concrete economic benefits for our two peoples.
The Netherlands is and should continue to be Indonesia’s strategic partner for trade and investment. In 2019, the Netherlands was Indonesia’s largest investment partner in the European region, the second-largest trading partner and the fourth-largest tourism partner.
Our political solidarity in furthering the common cause of sustainability is also strong. In promoting sustainable palm oil in Europe, for instance, it is evident that we can rely on the Netherlands as our friend. Last year, together with my colleague, Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and cooperation development, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on joint production of sustainable palm oil in New York, the United States. King Willem-Alexander’s current visit has also brought an impetus toward the progression of sustainable production of palm oil through the conclusion of a technical arrangement that will focus on capacity-building for Indonesian smallholder farmers.
This is a good reflection of how trust is an important pillar of bilateral cooperation, as also exemplified through the Netherlands’ support in the establishment of the Indonesia-European Union Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade in 2016.
Third, Indonesia and the Netherlands must continue to promote the universal common values of multilateralism, diplomacy and democracy, promoting habits of dialogue and peaceful dispute settlement to tackle shared global challenges amid rising tensions, intolerance and unilateralism.
Peacekeeping and counterterrorism are among our signature areas of collaboration on the world stage.
Indonesia and the Netherlands were among the core countries facilitating and supporting the Untied Nations' secretary-general’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative to rally member states and other crucial stakeholders to fulfil their obligation in strengthening UN peacekeeping operations.
Both nations also need to stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
Deepening the promotion of democracy, pluralism and tolerance are other important areas of cooperation to further develop. The Bali Democracy Forum could become the platform to jointly advance these shared values.
Women, peace and security shall be another hallmark of our bilateral cooperation. The partnership aspires to deepen the capacity of women to promote peace and security, in line with the formation of the ASEAN Women Mediators Network and the Afghanistan-Indonesia Women Network last March.
In conclusion, another historical step was taken with the king of the Netherlands’ visit to Indonesia, in the very year when Indonesia celebrates its 75th year of independence.
The history binding our two countries together is not an easy one. This dark period should not be repeated in the future.
King Alexander stated that “today, we warmly congratulate the people of Indonesia as you celebrate 75 years of independence. The past cannot be erased and will have to be acknowledged by each generation in turn.” King Alexander also expressed his regret and apologized for excessive violence on the part of the Dutch in those years.
Let us together build a better and stronger relationship, one that is based on mutual respect and mutual interests. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.
King Willem-Alexander and Indonesian president Joko Widodo. Photo: AP Photo/ Achmad Ibrahim, Pool
The disassembled parts of a smuggled Harley Davidson Shovelhead are shown
by customs officials in Jakarta on Thursday. (B1 TV Photo)
Jakarta. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's president director I Gusti Ngurah Ashkara is soon to be fired for allegedly smuggling a Harley Davidson motorcycle and two Brompton bicycles, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Thursday.
The items were smuggled inside Garuda's brand new Airbus A330-900 Neo being delivered from its factory in Toulouse, France, in mid-November.
There were 22 passengers on the plane and four of them were Garuda directors: the president director, better known as Ari Ashkara, technical and services director Iwan Joeniarto, cargo and business development director Mohammas Iqbal and human resources director Heri Akhyar.
"As the SOE Minister, I will dismiss the Garuda president director. We will not stop there; we will look for other people who might have been involved in this case as well," Erick told a press conference in Jakarta.
The used Harley Davidson motorcycle had been disassembled prior to delivery and smuggled as parts. Customs officials found them wrapped in 15 boxes inside the plane's cargo area.
The Brompton bikes and accessories were found in three other boxes.
Erick said an audit by the customs office showed the smuggled items belonged to the president director, despite the baggage claim tags carrying different names.
Ari had instructed his subordinates to find him a classic Harley Davidson Shovelhead from the 1970s.
The used motorcycle was purchased in April 2019 with the help of a Garuda finance manager in Amsterdam.
"It's really sad that this [personal] transaction had to drag down an SOE," Erick said.
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhur Binsar Pandjaitan said during a visit to Tongxiang, China, on Thursday that he fully supported Erick's decision.
"[An act like] this will hurt our investment climate," he said.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati meanwhile said smuggling the Harley and the Bromptons had cost the country up to Rp 1.5 billion ($107,000) in unpaid taxes.
"The Harley bike is valued at Rp 800 million and the Brompton bicycles cost Rp 50-60 million each," Sri Mulyani said.
"Everyone should always obey existing regulations," she told reporters.
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (C) said his final term would be aimed at eradicating poverty (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo was sworn in for a second term on Sunday, as helicopters flew overhead and troops kept watch in the capital Jakarta -- days after Islamist militants tried to assassinate his top security minister.
Foreign heads of state, lawmakers and political rivals looked on as Widodo, 58, and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, 76, read an oath to start a five-year tenure leading the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.
Outside parliament, red-and-white Indonesian flags dotted parts of the city, but celebrations were muted with supporters outnumbered by some 30,000 security personnel deployed amid fears of another attack.
Demonstrations were also banned on Sunday as extremist violence continues to plague Indonesia.
Several thousand supporters, many wearing T-shirts bearing the leader's image, watched the ceremony on a big screen near Jakarta's national monument.
"I was worried Islamic (hardliners) would take over the country if he lost," supporter Suprihatini, who goes by one name, told AFP.
"I'm Muslim, but I don't want that kind of movement here," the 53-year-old added.
Widely known as Jokowi, the president said his final term would be aimed at eradicating poverty and catapulting the nation of some 260 million into a developed country with one of the world's top five economies by 2045.
"I'm calling on ministers, public officials and bureaucrats to take these targets seriously," he told parliament, adding that officials not committed to his goals would be sacked.
In Jakarta, supporters carried a 200-metre (655 foot) Indonesian flag along the streets, while Jokowi fans erected a seven-metre (23 foot) tumpeng in his honour -- a towering rendition of a popular cone-shaped dish -- in the country's second-biggest city Surabaya.
Jokowi, a popular, heavy metal-loving former businessman from outside the political and military elite, was hailed as Indonesia's answer to Barack Obama when he was first elected in 2014, partly on a roads-to-airports infrastructure drive.
But his leadership has been under mounting criticism after a wave of crises that threaten to cast a shadow over his final term.
Challenges facing the president range from nationwide anti-government demonstrations -- in which three students died -- and smog-belching forest fires that sparked diplomatic tensions with Indonesia's neighbours, to deadly unrest in Papua province and a slowdown in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.
It marked a stark reversal of fortune just months after Jokowi scored a thumping re-election victory against a former military general.
"This is the weakest point in Jokowi's political leadership," said Arya Fernandes, a researcher at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
"It's a test for the president in critical times."
Protests erupted last month across the archipelago that were among the biggest student rallies since mass demonstrations toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998.
Jokowi's inauguration comes a little over a week after the country's chief security minister was stabbed in an attack by two members of a local extremist outfit allied to the Islamic State group.
Two suspects were arrested at the scene, while dozens of suspected militants have since been detained in a country-wide dragnet following the assassination attempt on Wiranto, a former general who goes by one name. The 72-year-old is recovering in hospital.
Jokowi's new term also comes amid criticism that Indonesia's two decades of democratic reforms are being eroded under the watch of a man once lauded by Time magazine as "A New Hope".
Choosing conservative cleric Amin as vice president has also thrown Indonesia's reputation for tolerant Islam into question.
Jokowi's administration appeared caught off guard in September's protests that saw thousands of students hit the streets to demonstrate against a raft of divisive reforms, including banning pre-marital sex and changes that critics said would weaken the anti-graft agency.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati received the Best Minister Award from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Dubai, during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday (11/02). The award was given to recognize outstanding government ministers for their exceptional efforts in implementing successful reform.
Setya Novanto has been charged with embezzling Rp 574 billion ($42 million). (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)
Jakarta.Antigraft officials said investigators had built a strong case against Setya Novanto, as they countered arguments by expert witnesses during a hearing on Monday (11/12).
Setya has filed again a pretrial motion with the South Jakarta District Court to clear him as a graft suspect. The same court ruled in late September that naming Setya as a suspect in July was "procedurally flawed" and the charges were invalid.
Three witnesses brought by Setya's lawyers to the court on Monday questioned the validity of evidence against him.
One of the witnesses, Mudzakir, a criminal law expert at the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII) in Yogyakarta, said the evidence against the former House of Representatives speaker was invalidated by the ruling.
According to him, the move to charge Setya again in late October was therefore based on "outdated evidence."
"It's similar to opening again an investigation that has been halted. If there's no new evidence, it can't be reopened," he said.
But a Constitutional Court ruling issued this year, cited by antigraft officials during the hearing, allows investigators to rely on evidence that was used against a suspect who has won a pretrial motion.
"A pretrial verdict shouldn't hamper investigators' efforts to handle a case," said Evi Laila Kholis, a member of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) legal bureau.
The evidence against Setya had also been "complemented," KPK officials said.
In the next days, the KPK is going to bring five witnesses to the South Jakarta District Court, whose ruling is expected on Thursday.
Setya has been charged with embezzling Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion procurement of national electronic identity cards (e-KTP) project. He can face 20 years in jail, if found guilty.
The graft case resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion state losses.
House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto has been hospitalized following a solo car crash on Thursday night (16/11), mere hours after making his first public statement regarding a warrant for his arrest in the e-KTP corruption case. (Antara Photo/ Sigid Kurniawan)
Jakarta. House of Representatives Speaker Setya Novanto has been hospitalized following a solo car crash on Thursday night (16/11), mere hours after making his first public statement regarding a warrant for his arrest in the so-called e-KTP corruption case.
Novanto has repeatedly failed to show up for questioning by antigraft investigators as a suspect in the case involving massive graft in the procurement of electronic national identity cards, or e-KTP. The project was mothballed in October 2015 following a series of problems, including a late start, technical glitches and officials demanding payments from residents to provide the ostensibly free service.
Novanto's lawyer Fredrich Yunadi confirmed that his client was admitted to Permata Hijau Hospital in South Jakarta. He said Novanto was unconscious and that he suffered from high blood pressure, in addition to a pre-existing heart condition.
"I received a call to meet him at the Metro TV studios. On my way [to Metro TV], his aide informed me that they had just been involved in an accident ... he [Novanto] was injured and immediately lost consciousness," Fredrich said.
The lawyer explained that Novanto intended to comply with a summons by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) prior to the accident, but that this unfortunately prevented his client from doing so.
Fredrich said four internists are observing Novanto due to his "serious" medical condition, which will require his client undergoing a computed tomography, or MRI, test.
A few hours before the accident, Metro TV conducted a telephonic interview with the Golkar Party chairman, who denied allegations that he was trying to avoid questioning in the case.
"I have to respect the legal process I am facing now, and I always respect the process. I never fail [to comply with KPK summonses], because each of the three times I was summoned as a witness in the case against Anang, I submitted written statements. Today is my fourth summons," Novanto said, referring to Anang Sudihardjo, president director of Quadra Solution, one of the companies in a consortium that won a contract to procure the national identity cards for the government.
"This is my first summons as a suspect. I am surprised, because just after the first summons, while I was studying the legal matters for today, there was a plan to arrest me," he continued.
In early November, the KPK named Novanto a suspect in the case for a second time, based on allegations that he siphoned off Rp 574 billion ($42 million) from the Rp 5.9 trillion e-KTP project, which resulted in Rp 2.3 trillion in state losses.
"I never received money; it can be checked with the BPK [State Audit Agency] or the BPKP [State Finance and Development Surveillance Committee]," Novanto stressed.
He explained that he filed for a judicial review by the Constitutional Court of the 2002 Law on the KPK, including an article that allows the antigraft agency to question a suspect by disregarding procedures stipulated in other laws. Another article allows the KPK to request the immigration office to impose a travel ban on a graft suspect.
"I also took up legal protection measures with the president and other state agencies," he said, admitting that he reported KPK commissioners Agus Rahardjo and Saut Situmorang to the police for abuse of authority and using false documents to bar him from leaving the country.
Novanto's whereabouts were unknown when antigraft investigators showed up at his house in South Jakarta on Wednesday night. This prompted the KPK to warn the politician that he would be declared a fugitive from justice if he did not surrender himself to investigators.
Police said on Wednesday that they would assist the KPK in apprehending Novanto if requested to do so.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo plans to spend $22 billion on infrastructure development in 2015 to help revive Southeast Asia’s biggest economy from the weakest expansion in at least five years.
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Indonesiafaces limited exposure to a large exit of foreign capital at a time of globalrisk aversion due to strong fundamentals and relatively low dependence onexternal demand, the IMF said on Thursday.
TheInternational Monetary Fund cited the country’s strong export growth, includingin manufacturing, and said the continued flexibility of the rupiah’s exchangerate would help protect against volatile cash inflows.
Thecomments come as Indonesia’s central bank tries to cap huge inflows of foreigncash from investors seeking higher interest rates than in the West, which itfears could trigger economic instability.
“IndonesianGDP growth is projected to remain robust at around 6.5 percent in 2011--12,”the IMF said in a statement following a consultation with Indonesian officialsand central bankers.
“Increasesin both foreign and domestic investment are supporting growth, whileaccelerating credit growth and expected reductions in energy subsidies shouldpush core inflation modestly higher this year and into 2012,” it said.
The fundalso urged Indonesia to reduce fuel subsidies so that it could boost spendingon infrastructure and social welfare.
IMF,however, said there was a risk of higher inflation if the government cut energysubsidies, and that the central bank would need to “act decisively” if thegovernment took that course.
JAKARTA,July 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian ruling political party, the Democrat Party, isscheduled to hold a two-day national congress Saturday following a high-profilecorruption allegation that implicating senior officials at the party asconfessed by the party's sacked treasurer to the media recently.
Allegationon the implication of Anas and several senior officials at the party in ahigh-profile corruption case rife in national media following the confession offormer party's treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin about it was televised nationwiderecently.
Nazaruddin,who is still at large after being declared a suspect in the corruption casethat was said masterminded by Anas, said Anas bought the votes from the party'scadres that made him seized the chairmanship in the party's congress heldNovember last year.
Nazaruddinalso said that the money used to buy the votes came from bribes provided bycontractors who were just awarded contracts to build national sport facilitiesin Bogor, West Java and dormitory building projects for the athletes contendingin the upcoming regional sport event of SEA Games scheduled in Jakarta andPalembang.
In thetestimony aired by local TV station MetroTV in the last two days, Nazaruddinsaid from his hideout that part of the money provided to buy the votes wasretrieved from the state budget funds.
Nazaruddinhas been declared a suspect by the country's anti-corruption commission forfixing all the project contracts to those contractors. He was suspected ofreceiving 13 percent of commission fee from total SEA Games athletes dormitoryproject that worth 200 billion rupiah (about 23 million U.S. dollars)
IndonesianPresident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Democrat party's patron figure, hassummoned Anas and several party's senior officials regarding Nazaruddinconfession on Wednesday.
Butnone of them was willing to disclose the content of the meeting with thepresident who secured two maximum presidency periods with landslide votes in2004 and 2009 elections.
Discourseon possible chairmanship replacement in the upcoming congress rife in nationalmedia as an effort to save the party's image before running in 2014 elections.
Theparty would no longer nominate President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as he had hismaximum two presidency terms. The party has yet to find the correct figure tobe nominated as its presidential candidate in the elections.
TheDemocrat party was initially established to usher Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, aretired army general, to seize presidency.
Theparty gained massive votes in the last two elections, dominating the seats inthe parliament that assuring adequate backup to the president's policies inrunning the country.
Apolitical expert, Syamsuddin Haris, said earlier that the current high-profilecorruption scandal make the party risk losing significant votes in 2014election.
Hesaid that the corruption scandal has eroded the public's trust on PresidentYudhoyono's party that strongly voiced anti- corruption drive during theelection campaign.