22 March 2017 11:59

Tourists fled their hotels in panic on Bali Wednesday after the popular Indonesian holiday island was rattled by an early morning earthquake.

The 5.5-magnitude quake struck inland about 10 kilometres (six miles) northeast of Denpasar, and not far from the concentration of holiday resorts in the south of the island.

There were no reports of casualties and damage after the quake struck just after 7:00 am (2300 GMT Tuesday) at a depth of 118 kilometres, but some holidaymakers got a shock. 

"Dozens of our guests ran out of their rooms when the quake happened," Nyoman Pasek, a staff member at the Hotel Sayang Maha Mertha in the popular tourist area of Kuta, told AFP.

"Everything is now under control again, back to normal."

Carla Beharry, a Twitter user on the island, wrote: "Definitely felt the biggest EARTHQUAKE I've ever felt this morning in Bali."

Local residents also said the quake briefly caused panic on the neighbouring holiday island of Lombok.

National disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the quake was felt strongly in the capital Denpasar for five seconds.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

© Agence France-Presse

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Adelia Anjani Putri   21 March 2017 14:30

Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil is firm with his decision to run for West Java Governor next year. National Democratic Party (NasDem) has officially announced its endorsement for Ridwan’s candidacy on Sunday.

“I thank NasDem for their faith in me that I don’t have to pay (for their endorsement). NasDem started this movement of ethical politics,” he said on Sunday. “I am entrusted by the people of West Java to run as governor and NasDem represents that faith in me through their support. We will win the election with noble ways and through a good process.”

However, many have questioned his move and urged Ridwan to remain Bandung Mayor for the next term. Last week, a group of volunteers who supported him in 2013 Bandung Election held a press conference urging Ridwan to not leave his current job. 

The number of backlash has been increasing after Ridwan openly accepted NasDem’s endorsement with people saying that his political ambition will not get him anywhere better. An expert from Padjajaran University, Muradi, told Kompas that Ridwan’s ambition will make Bandung residents feel left behind and NasDem being his first supporter will hinder other parties to support him, especially when NasDem only has five seats in the local parliament. 

Some also complained why Ridwan chooses NasDem that is still supporting Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama despite the latter is a suspect in a blasphemy case.

Ridwan answered all allegations regarding his ambition and party choice yesterday.

Through his Instagram post caption, Ridwan said that what happens in Jakarta does not reflect what happens in other cities. Thus, NasDem’s support for Ahok is irrelevant to their support for him in West Java election.

 

Anak2 muda, mari kita bicara pendidikan politik praktis ya. Tolong jawab, kenapa bisa di pilkada se-Indonesia 2017 ini, ternyata partai2 yang berseteru di Jakarta malah temenan di daerah2 lain. Ternyata BANYAK calon yg diusung PKS koalisi dgn PDIP dan menang 70%. PKS dengan nasdem menang 68%. Gerindra dengan Nasdem 72%. Kan di Jakarta mereka berlawanan. Kan katanya partai ini begitu, beda ideologi dari partai yg itu mah begini. Jawabannya karena mereka sudah Move On. Beda daerah beda isu dan kepentingan. Sudah tidak baper dengan isu Pilkada Jakarta. Isu Jakarta hanya untuk warga Jakarta. Politik adalah pilihan pribadi. Silakan senang. Silakan marah. Ada pemilih emosional. Ada pemilih rasional. Bebas. punya jawaban yang ilmiah? Lieur nya. ( Data dari INSTRAT)

A post shared by Ridwan Kamil (@ridwankamil) on

“Young people, let’s talk about practical politics. Answer me, why do opposing parties in Jakarta elections are collaborating in other cities’ elections?” he wrote.

“Different region has different issues. They don’t take issues in Jakarta election personally. Jakarta’s issues are only for Jakarta residents. Politics are personal choice. Go ahead if you want to be happy or angry. There are emotional voters as well as the rationals ones.”

On another post, he said that as an independent candidate, the ethical thing to do is accepting those who are willing to support him as rejecting support will make him seen as arrogant.

“After all, reaching the final decision is still a long way to go. If I get more support, I’ll wait for it, and even if I don’t, I’ll just accept it,” he wrote.

“And for why I don’t go with the previous party (who supported me in 2013), I have been communicating with them but there’s no answer yet. It’s not sure whether they want me anyway. Each party has its own schedule and procedure that we have to respect.”

And regarding his seemingly big ambition for power, he claimed that his bid for the gubernatorial seat is just to serve a bigger public.

“If it’s only about ambition, I would’ve run in Jakarta election yesterday. Next year I’ll be done with my duty as Bandung mayor. I’ll finish on time,” he wrote.

“It’s true that my promises for Bandung are not done, but there are still the 2017 and 2018 budget years to finish it all.”

And what if he lose the West Java election?

“Not a problem for me. I’m not jobless and I don’t see politics as a mean to make a living. I’ll be happy to go back to being a lecturer and architect,” he wrote.

“It’s okay if people bully me and hate me. It’s a fate in politics. Politics is about fighting for values and dreams and in the process it’s impossible to make everybody happy.”

 

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Tunggul Kumoro  20 March 2017 15:16

A number of gifts given by Saudi Arabian King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud to some Indonesian officials were reported to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

As stipulated in the 1999 Corruption Law and 2002 KPK Law, gift received by officials on duty could be considered bribery if it is not reported to KPK within 30 days. The 'gift' on the law includes money, goods, rebates, commissions, interest-free loans, travel tickets, lodinging, free medical treatment and other facilities to any public servants and officials.

Officials reported gift received from the Saudi King's visit to KPK from Mar. 7 to 15.  

Here is a list of items referred to as souvenirs from King Salman's huge entourage:

1. Three golden swords and a dagger

Photo by antaranews


2. A set of accessory that consists of:

Photo by antaranews

- A Rolex Sky Dweller watch
- A Rolex Desk Clock 8235 desk clock
- A pair of Chopard gold cufflinks
- A Chopard pen
- A prayer beads

3. A set of accessory which consists of:

Photo by antaranews

- A Mouawad Grande Ellipse watch
- A 18k gold ring with a 3.120 cts princess-cut diamond and 16 1.395 cts white diamonds (Mouawad Certificate of Authenticity)    
- A pair of cufflinks with a 2.130 cts princess-cut diamond, a 2.140 cts rectangle-cut diamond, and 32 2.536 cts white diamonds
- A Mouwad watch
- A black prayer beads

 

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Petra Hapsari  16 March 2017 18:32

Police have arrested four administrators of a child porn Facebook page named “Official Candy’s Group” and now are working to identify the victims.

The group was started in September 2016 to accommodate pedophiles who want to chat, share informations and seek child pornography. The victims are mostly 2 to 10 years old.

The group name itself was taken from members’ nickname to young children they’re interested in, ‘loli’, an abbreviation from lollipop candy.

According to the police, group members are required to post pictures and videos of sexual activities involving minors to maintain their membership.

Police estimate the numbers of victims might reach thousands of children.

“It’s based on the fact. We could see it from the pictures (on the page), they’re uploaded there. We [are in process of] identification,” Jakarta Police Special Crimes Director Sr. Commr. Wahyu Hadiningrat told Kompas.

The estimation was based on the fact that there are 7,479 members in the Facebook group.

“The number of victims might increase because members are not allowed to share contents of the same persons,” Jakarta Police Chief Ins. Gen. M. Iriawan said in a different occasion.

Police have arrested Wawan (25), Dede (24), Dicki Firmansyah (17) and SHDW (16) who were said to be the administrators of the Facebook group. 

The group also has members from other countries, including Latin America countries. Police have identified a connection between the group and international pedophilia syndicates.

“We are searching for each of the members and performers (of sexual acts featured on the group page). And because it’s a cross-country case, we will work together with FBI and Interpol,” said Iriawan.

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Adelia Anjani Putri   16 March 2017 17:00

With its ever-growing population, Asia is facing many challenges when it comes to food security and agriculture. One of the most apparent challenges is the availability of food.

“We need more than 50-60 percent increase in production by 2050. Can our farmers do that?” asked Kundavi Kadiresan, the assistant director-general and regional representative of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), during the Responsible Business Forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.

“We also need to know how to use ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to boost the production, how farmers can benefit from it. There’s also a gender issue in agriculture. People are migrating and women are left to do the farming. Knowledge and research information need to cater to woman. Scale is something we need to think about if we want to reach a common ground and solution to those problems.”

However, the business forum shed a light to another big problem that has been overlooked often: the problem of nutrition.

According to FAO’s 2016 report, almost 12 percent of Asia’s population are undernourished. Even worse, stunting — chronic cases of undernourishment — is still a big problem haunting developing countries, including Indonesia. In fact, the prevalence of stunting among children under the age of five in Indonesia reached 36.4 percent around the year 2010. The number decreased from the around-year-2000 data of 42.4 percent, but it is still a big problem for the country’s development.

On the other hand, there is a paradox of hunger and obesity. While many countries in Asia face the burden of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, obesity prevail simultaneously. 

Kadiresan said that the triple problems need real solutions as soon as possible.

“Grains are good, but it’s not enough. We need crop diversification. Even the very poor should have access to variation of food, not just rice alone,” she said.

“It’s something the UN has been looking at, the full system approach that includes not only one aspect of the food chain, but the entire cycle — from production to consumption.”

She also demanded the private sector to do their fair share in achieving the goal.

“The private sector, my question for them is: what are you doing? You shouldn’t only talk about selling goods but also selling the knowledge (to the people) because the government alone does not have the access (to reach all people),” she said.

Danesh Gordon, the president director of Nestle Indonesia, agreed to Kadiresan’s suggestion, saying that food manufacturers should also promote healthier lifestyle to their customers.

“Food manufacturers have the responsibility of providing and educating customers beside providing healthier and tastier options,” he said.

But Gordon contended that the responsibility shouldn’t be burdened only to the manufacturers.

“The education about healthier choice should start at home. The government also should create the framework how to create healthier Indonesia as they are the guardian of the society. Don’t wait for the other person to do it first. It should happen at the same time,” he said.

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Petra Hapsari  13 March 2017 15:30

Indonesian men’s double Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon won All England Open 2017 after beating Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen from China last night.

The pair won with 21-19 and 21-14 scores in 36 minutes.

The competition was held in Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England.

 “(I still) feel nervous since this is the first time we win here. We are excited with this win. (I) Still cannot believe that we finally become the winners,” Marcus to badmintonindonesia.org. “But we should not feel complacent because there's still a lot of important competitions in the future."

Similar to Marcus, Kevin was also ecstatic with his latest win.  “Surely this victory will motivate us even more. Winning All England is one of our dreams,” he said.

Kevin and Marcus were the only Indonesians playing in the final of All England 2017. Their victory showed a significant improvement of their perforrmance as they were beaten by Li and Liu back in Vietnam Open 2015 with scores 21-15, 21-23 and 18-21.

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  11 March 2017 08:15

Indonesia's only province to impose sharia law caned Buddhists for the first time on Friday, after two men accused of cockfighting opted for punishment under the strict Islamic regulations.

Alem bin Suhadi, 57, and Amel bin Akim, 60, both ethnic Chinese and members of the Buddhist minority, were whipped in front of dozens of local officials and residents in the city of Jantho, Aceh province.

The two men grimaced as they received nine and seven lashes respectively on their backs, a sentence that was mitigated because they had spent over a month in detention since police nabbed them for cockfighting in Aceh Besar in January.

"When they were arrested, two chickens and 400 thousand rupiah of betting money were confiscated by the police," said prosecutor Rivandi Aziz.

Caning is common in Aceh for breaking the province's strict Islamic laws, for offences ranging from drinking alcohol, to gambling to gay sex. 

In the past only Muslim residents could be caned but that changed in 2015, when Aceh's regulations were overhauled. 

Non-Muslims who violate Islamic law can either choose to be tried under the national legal system or sharia. 

The two Buddhists would likely have faced jail under Indonesian nation law.

"We live in Aceh, so we have to obey the regulation in our region," Alem told AFP shortly after being caned. 

A Muslim was also lashed seven times for betting on cockfights Friday, while another man accused of abusing three teenagers was lashed 112 times. 

Aceh, on Sumatra island, began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency. 

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005. 

Agence France-Presse

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