Tag Archives: Indonesia

Just in: Indonesia landslide toll jumps to 21.

Advertisements

The death toll has nearly doubled from the 11 deaths reported on Sunday.

Indonesian rescuers dug through mud Wednesday as they scrambled to find survivors from weekend landslides caused by torrential rains, as the death toll rose to 21 and 19 others were listed as missing.

Advertisements

A landslide struck the village of Sumedang in West Java Saturday night, followed hours later by a second that engulfed rescuers digging for survivors.

And 19 residents are still missing, including a half dozen children, but the chance of finding any of them alive was slim, said Bandung rescue agency spokeswoman Seni Wulandari.

“We are still stepping up efforts to find their bodies,” she added.

Fatal landslides and flash floods are common across the Indonesian archipelago, where seasonal downpours are frequent and relentless.

Advertisements

In September last year, at least 11 people were killed in landslides on Borneo island, while a few months earlier landslides in Sulawesi killed dozens.

Indonesia’s disaster agency estimates that 125 million Indonesians — nearly half the country’s population — live in areas at risk of landslides.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Just in: Indonesia falls into recession in two decades.

Advertisements

COVID-19 have topped 420,000 and there have been more than 14,000 deaths, putting Indonesia among the worst-hit Asian countries.

Indonesia’s virus-hit economy contracted in the third quarter, plunging it into its first recession since the archipelago was mired in the Asian financial crisis more than 20 years ago.

Activity in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy slumped 3.49 percent on-year in July-September, the statistics agency said Thursday, with tourism, construction and trade among the hardest-hit sectors.

The data marked the second consecutive quarter of contraction after a 5.3 percent decline in April-June.

Indonesia last suffered a recession in 1998 and 1999 during a regional currency crisis that helped force the resignation of its long-term dictator Suharto.

Advertisements

However, the depth of the current decline was easing, the agency said, adding it pointed to stronger figures in the last quarter of the year.

The economy “continues showing a contraction year-over-year but the quarter-on-quarter recovery was quite strong”, said Anwita Basu, head of Asia Country Risk at Fitch Solutions in Singapore, highlighting a gradual pickup in manufacturing.

“Some government efforts to continue with public works is reflected in that,” she added.

Indonesia’s economy was also in better shape than two decades ago, with once-troubled commercial banks now stronger and ample foreign currency reserves at the central bank, Basu said.

Advertisements

Governments around the world have been struggling to contain the coronavirus, which has forced the shutdown of vast parts of the global economy.

Indonesia’s central bank cut interest rates several times this year in a bid to boost the struggling economy, while the government has unveiled more than $48 billion in stimulus to help offset the impact of the virus, which forced a large-scale shutdown that hammered growth.

Several million Indonesians have been laid off or furloughed as the vast country, home to nearly 270 million people, has battled to contain the crisis.

However, the true scale of the crisis is widely believed to be much bigger in Indonesia, which has one of the world’s lowest testing rates.

Advertisements

President Joko Widodo has been widely criticised over his government’s handling of the pandemic, as it appeared to prioritise the economy.

Boosting annual growth above five percent had been a key priority for Widodo in his second term, which began late last year.

On Monday, the president signed into law a package of pro-business bills aimed at cutting red tape and drawing more foreign investment as he pushes an infrastructure-focused policy.

But the controversial legislation has sparked mass protests in cities across the nation, as activists warned it would be catastrophic for labour and environmental protections.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Indonesia begins Human trials on China vaccine ‘CoronaVac’

Advertisements

Indonesia on Tuesday launched human trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine with some 1,600 volunteers slated to take part in the six-month study.

The vaccine candidate, produced by Sinovac Biotech, is among just a few in the world to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval.

The treatment, known as CoronaVac, is already being tested on 9,000 health workers in Brazil, the second-hardest-hit country in the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has been struggling to contain its mounting virus cases, with more than 127,000 confirmed infections and over 5,700 deaths.

But the true scale of the public health crisis is believed to be much bigger, given the Southeast Asian nation’s low testing rates.

Advertisements

The governor of Indonesia’s most populous province, West Java, was among 1,620 volunteers slated to take part in clinical testing, which was set to wrap up in February.

Employees work on the production line of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines at the Bio Farma Pharmacy, which will produce the vaccine early next year with a production capacity of 250 million vaccines a year, in Bandung, West Java on August 12, 2020. – Indonesia on August 11 launched human trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine with some 1,600 volunteers slated to take part in the six-month study. Bay ISMOYO / AFP.

If the vaccine proves safe and effective, Indonesian officials said, there were plans to produce up to 250 million doses for the sprawling archipelago of nearly 270 million, although they gave few details of the tentative roll-out.

On Tuesday, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo toured a factory in Bandung city, operated by state-owned pharmaceutical firm Bio Farma, where production would begin.

“Once again I want to highlight that the COVID-19 threat will not end until all people in Indonesia are vaccinated,” Widodo said ahead of the tour.


#Newsworthy…

2 Indonesian women ‘whipped’ nearly 100 times for online sex work

Advertisements

Two Indonesian women have been publicly whipped nearly 100 times each for selling sex workers’ services online, an official in the country’s conservative Aceh province said Tuesday.

Aceh, at the tip of Sumatra, is the only region in Muslim-majority Indonesia to impose Islamic sharia law, which allows flogging for a range of offences including prostitution, gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol, and gay sex.

The punishment was handed down Monday in Langsa city where dozens gathered to watch the pair get lashed, despite bans on crowds over coronavirus fears.

Advertisements

Neither of the women wore disposable face masks, unlike in some other recent whippings.

The two hijab-wearing suspects were arrested in March along with five sex workers, who could also face a flogging if found guilty of violating Islamic law, said Aji Asmanuddin, head of Langsa’s Islamic sharia agency.

“They were punished for violating sharia by advertising (sex) through the internet,” Asmanuddin said.

This file photo taken on December 10, 2019 shows the first female flogger preparing to whip a woman in public, in Banda Aceh, after she was caught in close proximity with a man who is not her husband in a hotel. Two Indonesian women have been publicly whipped nearly 100 times each for selling sex workers’ services online, an official in the country’s conservative Aceh province said Tuesday. (AFP/CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN)

Officials were struggling to crack down on the area’s booming online sex trade, he added.

Advertisements

“This is the first (pimping) case in Langsa although we believe there are many of them out there,” Asmanuddin said.

“We just don’t have the necessary tools to monitor them online.”

Rights groups have slammed public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end.

But the practice has wide support among Aceh’s mostly Muslim population.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

Nigerians storm Embassy in Indonesia over discrimination

Advertisements

Some Nigerians in Indonesia on Thursday attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia over alleged discrimination and infringement of their rights by Indonesian immigration officials.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the attack in a tweet on his official handle, saying there is no justification for the attack.

While lamenting the development, he said efforts are being made to identify those behind the “disgraceful” incident and punish them accordingly.

“Absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour by Nigerian hooligans who without justification attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia today,” the minister said.

Advertisements

“Every effort will be made to identify them and see they are severely punished. Totally unacceptable behaviour.”

In videos trending online, some Nigerians were seen attacking the Embassy and chanting, “Nigeria is not helping us in this country. We don’t have an Embassy. We no go ‘gree.”

Some of them were seen destroying a white bus on the Embassy’s premises with others vandalising windows and doors of the building.

The protesters equally brought down the Nigerian flag and tore it to shreds.


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

COVID-19: Mother and daughter become 1st patients in Indonesia


A 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter have become the first confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Indonesia.

According to Reuters, the two women tested positive to the deadly virus after coming in contact with an infected Japanese national.


The discovery comes after some medical experts raised concerns about a lack of vigilance and a risk of undetected cases in the South-East Asian country of more than 260 million people, while authorities have defended screening processes.

President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, said on Monday, “After checks, they were in a sick state. This morning, I got a report that the mother and daughter tested positive for coronavirus.”

The pair are being treated at Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: City in Indonesia ban sale of snakes, bats.


A city in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province known for exotic animals has stopped sales over Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears, a health official said on Friday.

Tomohon is known for its market that sells meat and live animals including rat, snake, bat and monkey for consumption.


“We have notified traders to temporarily stop the sale of bats, snakes and anything that is considered extreme,” Tomohon Health Chief Isye Liuw said.

“We are also tightening monitoring to watch for trucks carrying such animals into Tomohon. They come from other areas in Sulawesi,’’ she said.


Liuw said she had set up a team to spread the message about the ban.

“We told people about the danger of coronaviruses and they are fearful,” she said.


The move comes after the country’s Trade Ministry on Thursday introduced a ban on cattle and poultry imports from China. It had already banned imports of exotic animals from China.

The earliest cases of COVID-19 were linked to a food market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan which reportedly sold exotic animals for consumption.


Indonesia has not recorded any infections of the new coronavirus so far.

But a team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the U.S. said in a study last week that a lack of confirmed cases in countries that usually operate direct flights to and from Wuhan, such as Indonesia, “may suggest the potential for undetected cases.”


These countries should “rapidly strengthen outbreak surveillance and control capacity” to ensure potential cases are detected.

Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Putranto reacted angrily to what he saw as suggestions that Indonesia had not done enough monitoring or was incapable of identifying cases.


“That’s insulting. The kits we are using are from the U.S.,” Terawan said on Tuesday.

Indonesian officials said on Thursday they were investigating information that a Chinese tourist had tested positive of the virus after travelling to the resort island of Bali.


The man from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, tested positive on Feb. 5, a week after returning to China, according to Chinese authorities.

“We will be tracing his movements, what he did and where he went in Bali,” Indonesia’s presidential chief of staff, Moeldoko, said on Thursday.


The Indonesian Health Ministry said the man was likely to have been infected in China after returning.

“We suspect that he was infected after he arrived at the airport in Shanghai,” said Achmad Yurianto, secretary general of the ministry’s directorate for disease control.

Indonesia is home to some 260 million people, and has stopped flights to and from China since the outbreak of the virus.

The new coronavirus has infected tens of thousands in China and killed more than 1,300 there, as well as spreading to around two dozen countries.


#Newsworthy…

Feb’14: Indonesian couples arrested over Valentine’s day celebration. Val’20

says they want to prevent free sex


Indonesia wasn’t feeling the love for Valentine’s Day on Friday as authorities arrested couples in one city, scolded stores over condom displays and warned students they would be reprimanded for amorous activities.

Makassar on Sulawesi island doled out some tough love with raids at hotels and guest houses Thursday evening which netted about two dozen unmarried offenders, including a German national.


“We caught the German with his Indonesian partner in a motel and they weren’t husband and wife so that’s why we arrested them,” Iman Hud, head of the local public order office told media.

The unlucky lovers were quickly released after a lecture about the evils of pre-marital sex, but five sex workers caught in the dragnet would be sent to a rehabilitation centre, he added.


“These social illnesses must be prevented. We need to remind the public to uphold our culture and ethics,” Hud said.

Valentine’s Day is controversial in parts of the majority Muslim nation, with many Islamic clerics and conservative Indonesians criticising its Western roots and what they say is its promotion of pre-marital sex.


Still, many others practise a moderate form of Islam and celebrate the day with chocolates and flowers for their loved ones, and displays were set up at malls and cafés in the capital Jakarta.

Back in Makassar, however, authorities were checking to see if shops had complied with an earlier warning not to sell condoms openly and check identification cards to make sure buyers weren’t underaged.


“Condoms are for married adults,” public order chief Hud said.

“They’re not supposed to be displayed and sold openly, particularly near snacks for kids like chocolate.”


Makassar’s acting mayor Muhammad Iqbal Samad Suhae insisted the measures were necessary to prevent his city from being paralysed by rampant sex and drug use.

“Festivities like Valentine’s Day usually attract youth,” he added.


“That’s when they are out of control and doing things which violate our norms and traditions, like consuming drugs and engaging in free sex.

“We want to prevent that here.”


In Depok city near Jakarta, administrators warned students against any Valentine’s romance under threat of unspecified sanctions for violators.

Across the archipelago in conservative Aceh, the only region in Indonesia that imposes Islamic law, a government circular called for residents not to celebrate the romantic day and to report any violations.

The document also told restaurants, cafés and hotels not to provide space for celebrations and asked clerics to deliver speeches on the danger of Valentine’s Day.

The latest crackdown comes after the national government last year backed off a bill that would have made pre-marital sex illegal.


#Newsworthy…

Indonesian expert react after heavy rainfall killed 23 people (Photos)

...says it is not ordinary


At least 23 people were confirmed dead on Thursday and thousands were forced to evacuate, after severe flooding hit Indonesia’s capital as residents were celebrating the New Year.

Residents of Jakarta were soaked by torrential rains as they waited for New Year’s eve fireworks on Wednesday, Aljazeera reports.

Jakarta’s domestic airport was also shut, leaving almost 20,000 passengers stranded.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said on Wednesday that monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged at least 90 neighbourhoods and triggered a landslide in Kota Depok, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta

Wibowo said the dead included a 16-year-old high school student who was electrocuted while more than 19,000 people were in temporary shelters after floodwaters reached up to three metres (10 feet) in several places.

Al-Latif Ilyas Darmawan, the father of the victim, said the rescuers could not save his son, Arviqo Alif Ardana.

“I did not know what had happened until his younger brother came and told me that his brother had died and when I came to the scene, people said that my child was electrocuted when he was holding a lamp post and tried to be rescued by local residents.”

The rescuers were unsuccessful and the teen died.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, said that at least 16 people were killed including eight in the capital, Jakarta, and three in Kota Depok.

The country’s social affairs ministry, however, said that the death toll has already gone up to 21, adding that most of the deaths were recorded in Bogor. Two more deaths were later reported in the Lebak regency at the south end of Java island

Experts said the rain was “not ordinary.”

“The rain falling on New Year’s Eve… is not ordinary rain,” the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said.

Television footage and photos showed cars floating in flood waters while soldiers and rescuers in rubber boats were struggling to evacuate children and the elderly who were holding out on the roofs of their houses.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan told reporters after conducting an aerial survey over the flooded city that as much as 370 millimetres (14.5 inches) of rainfall – more than three times the average amount – was recorded in Jakarta and West Java’s hilly areas.

Authorities warned flooding was possible until April when the rainy season ends.


#Newsworthy…