Editorial

Editorial (140)

16
July

 

Amidst the hustle of Indonesian political activities and euphoria of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there is a proud message from Indonesian athlete, Mohammed Zohri who surprised Indonesia and the world after winning the men's 100 meters race in the U-20 Athletic World Championships on Wednesday (11/7 / 2018) evening time of Tampere, Finland. For the first time, the name of Indonesia came up at the 20-year-old world-class event held by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF World U-20 Championship), since it was first held in 1986, even in other world athletics events. Zohri, an 18-year-old young man from West Nusa Tenggara -NTB, succeeded in bringing the first gold medal for Indonesia in his participation in this event. The official website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Wednesday (11/7/2018) noted that the best performance of Indonesian athletes in 32 years of championship history was finishing in the 8th position in 1986. Zohri successfully touched the finish line in 10.18 seconds, defeating the American sprinter duo, Anthony Schwartz and Eric Harrison with the time 10.22 seconds respectively. In addition to Zohri, in other sports branches, the Wushu Indonesia team that fought at the Wushu Junior World Championships in Brasilia, Brazil on July 9-16, 2018 won 10 medals consisting of one gold, four silver and five bronze medals. There are many more Indonesian athletes who glorify the name of Indonesia because of their achievement. In early May 2018, Aries Susanti, a 23-year-old athlete from Purwodari, Grobogan, Central Java dominated the world competition while performing at the speed world record in the Rock Climb World Cup series in Chongqing, China. Aries defeat  Russian athlete, Elena Timofeeva with the time 7.51 seconds. The achievement of young Indonesians in the field of sports certainly makes the Indonesian nation proud. However, being proud is not enough. It needs support from all related stakeholders, especially the government. So, the achievement of Indonesian athletes is increasingly excellent both in regional and international championships. In addition, the Indonesian athletes who have obtained wonderful achievement should not be complacent with the euphoria of their victory, especially before the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Jakarta and Palembang in August. They have to keep practicing their skills and improving their achievement in a bid to glorify the name of Indonesia in regional and international championships.

13
July

NATO Leaders Meeting

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Wednesday and Thursday (11 and 12 July 2018), leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization -NATO met in Brussels, Belgium. The agenda of this meeting discussed the security situation around the NATO region. However, instead of discussing the issue of security, US President Donald Trump mentioned about the enormous burden of US donations to the organization, and asked other member countries to increase contribution. In the previous NATO meeting, there was an appeal to member countries to raise it to 2 percent. President Trump stated that the burden of US taxpayers for NATO is too huge. Currently, the United States accounts for up to 70% of NATO's budget. In the forum, he objected if the member states only rose to 2 percent and wanted to increase their contribution to 4 percent. President Trump threatened that there are big consequences if his request is not met. Does that mean getting out of NATO? President Trump did not actually say it but further developments remain to be seen. Anyway, at the end of the meeting, President Trump signed a joint declaration on which member states would increase their donations to NATO. It also voiced criticism on the Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, and attempted assassination by using poison in England.

In addition to making a fuss over the issue of donations at the NATO meeting, President Trump also made a critical statement to German Chancellor, Angela Merkel through his twit on social media. He stated that Germany was held hostage by Russia because of gas business and German-Russian direct gas pipeline. Chancellor Merkel responded with a press conference before a one-on-one meeting with President Trump. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said that Germany is doing business with Russia independently. Interestingly, when they met directly, President Trump acted as if there was no problem between the two.

Despite criticism on   Germany being too close to Russia in the gas business, President Trump himself did not make any anti-Russian statements, and simply called Russian President Vladimir Putin as a competitor. President Trump is even set to meet President Vladimir Putin in Finland on July 16, after his visit to Britain. Some points on the agenda are the current world situation and the chances of developing bilateral relations. It is hoped that the two leaders' meeting could lead to conflict solutions in areas where the two sides are facing each other as in Ukraine and Syria.

11
July

Almost a year since leaving the EU, the British government is facing problems in realizing its policies. Prime Minister Theresa May, struck by an internal political crisis, had to concentrate on taking steps after Britain officially left the European Union in March 2019. The decision was taken two years after a referendum that ruled the conservative party's government out of the EU. 

The internal split in Prime Minister Theresa May's administration, manifested itself when two Ministers declared their resignations. They are two key holders of the Brexit implementation, namely, Minister of Brexit Affairs, David Davis, and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. The resignations of Davis and Johnson from the government, did not seem to worry Theresa May. The second female British prime minister after Margaret Tatcher, immediately overhauled her cabinet and appointed two ministers to fill in the post left by Davis and Johnson.

This decision prompted expectations that the referendum could still be validated in March 2019 though many are is still questioning it. Politically, the opposition party gets more power to criticize government policy. The exit of David Davis and Boris Johnson is like being a new bullet for the opposition to launch a cornering attack. Both Davis and Johnson, after their resignations, argued that this was due to the fact that they were no longer in line with the Prime Minister's policy. The two stated they could no longer cooperate and support the government's steps to follow up on the results of the referendum. Both Davis and Johnson, rate the Prime Minister's policy as too pragmatic and compromising. In this regard, Britain can not completely free itself economically from EU member countries and EU policy. Economically, Britain still has an attachment to other European countries. As a producer of Airbus, BMW, Jaguar and Landrover, England is unlikely to take a drastic policy that cuts off business with European countries that are related to the export of goods production. On that basis the Theresa May Government should adopt a more pragmatic policy.

 Prime Minister Theresa May should concoct a post-Brexit policy that combines idealism and reality. This difficult move has led to a government crisis that is indeed not a majority in Parliament. In addition to corroborating the opposition, this government crisis could have made Northern Ireland, that initially opposed the Brexit, once again voice its pressure.These conditions reinforce the view that the future of the conservative government under the leadership of Theresa May, becomes questionable. The future of Brexit before March 2019 can also be questioned again.

09
July

President Joko Widodo said that he already has the name of the vice presidential candidate who will accompany him. The name will be nominated in the presidential and vice presidential election in 2019. This was affirmed by President Joko Widodo after attending the closing ceremony of the National Conference of Activists 98 in Jakarta on Saturday. More recently, the people of Indonesia have started guessing who will be proposed to be presidential and vice presidential candidates. Joko Widodo's name as a presidential candidate has been taken into account by many circles. Some political parties have even declared Joko Widodo as a presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential Election. If then many people have been guessing, who will accompany Joko Widodo as a vice presidential candidate, certainly this is not without reason. Indeed, the 1945 Constitution states that the president and vice president can only serve for two periods. So, the incumbent Vice President, Jusuf Kalla has no rights to be elected in the 2019 Presidential Election. Because, he has served twice, the first in the period 2004-2009, becaming vice president of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the second period 2014- 2019. The existence of some candidate names seems very reasonable. Because, the Presidential Election for the period 2019-2024 will be held for a few months to come. Indonesian people in general and prospective voters in particular have also started guessing who will be elected on April 17, 2019. The names which have been mentioned are from the names that serve as governor, former chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces –TNI, a son of former president and names of entrepreneurs. The names that will be included in the list of candidates have to be waited. The people of Indonesia will know who will be supported by 14 participants of Political Parties in the 2019 General Election to take place in September. Of course, this is expected that the names that will be proposed are those who have a very high integrity and love to Indonesia and have a strong vision to strengthen the position of Indonesia in the international world. The names must also be waited by the international world. Now, the persons elected as president and vice president must play a major role in the international world. They must give confidence to Indonesian voters across Indonesia that both the president and vice president will realize all the targets that have been promised.

05
July

Registration of legislators or members of the House of Representatives –DPR from 2019 to 2024 period has officially opened on Wednesday, July 4 to July 17, 2018 by the Election Commission. Prior to the opening of the registration, low hissing sound occurred in the public regarding the requirements stipulated by the Election Commission to legislator candidates ranging from the lowest educational limit to a candidate's past history. The most public spotlight is related to the past history of the candidates. General Election Commission –KPU underlined that candidates who have been involved in legal cases, whether criminal or corrupt, cannot register as candidates for legislators. There are pros and cons related to the decision of the KPU in submitting such requirements.

Regarding the KPU's decision, President Joko Widodo said that he respects what the KPU's decision is following a ban on ex-corruption inmates for the 2019 legislative elections. The President views that based on the act, KPU is authorized to make the regulation. However, if any parties object to the regulation, the President invites to use existing mechanisms such as submitting court material test to the Supreme Court.

In regard to this, the House of Representatives -DPR invited representatives of five state institutions: General Election Supervisory -Bawaslu, General Election Commission -KPU, Ministry of Home Affairs, Attorney General Office, and Ministry of Law and Human Rights -Menkumham to discuss KPU regulation about the prohibition of ex-corruptors to be legislators is currently becoming hot debate. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday (July 5, 2018).

Several institutions caring for the general elections assess what has been decided by the KPU on terms of registration requirements of 2019- legislative candidates is prone to trigger dispute. Secretary General of the Independent Election Monitoring Committee, Kaka Suminta said that the potential lawsuit to the General Election Commission -KPU is predicted to occur at the point of banning former prisoners as candidates for legislative members. According to Kaka Suminta, the political parties may include elements of former corruption inmates as prospective candidates from their political parties.

Indeed, the prohibition of former corruption inmates as legislative candidates is stipulated by KPU Regulation No. 20/2018 on the nomination of members of the DPR, Provincial legislative members -DPRD and district-city DPRD on Saturday 30 June 2018. The question is whether the KPU has such authority in relation to the prohibition. The worry of the return of loot and corruption by former corruptors if they become policy makers is well reasonable. The deterrent effect on corruptors is still perceived as having little impact on the people. But we also must recognize that the political rights of an Indonesian citizen should not be ignored. For the meeting of 5 state institutions, scheduled this Thursday, it can provide the best solution based on deliberation and consensus for Indonesian nation.

03
July

 

The election of the regional heads –Pilkada has ended. Although the results have not been officially announced by the General Elections Commission –KPU, the quick count results of the names of candidates for regional heads who get the most votes can already be known.

It’s very ironic that the election of regional heads may be said to succeed. There are still voters who are "not smart" in determining their choice. The reason is that there are nine candidates for regional leaders, who have been designated as suspects by the Corruption Eradication Commission –KPK, managed to obtain significant votes.

In fact, two of them can win elections held simultaneously throughout Indonesia on 27 June. In seven other regions, though not winning, the corruption suspects are also successful enough to obtain more votes. Take for example, one candidate for governor of East Nusa Tenggara -NTT who is also involved in corruption case appears a second winner in votes from four candidates.

The significant vote cast of corruption suspects is a reflection of the failure of thought among the voters. In fact, the state losses that are so large due to corruption do not make them reject the corruptors.

The general public may reason the principle of presumption of innocence. But, they have to keep in mind that the Corruption Eradication Commission-KPK certainly does not just determine a person as a corrupt suspect.

The facts show that at the level of grassroots, the danger of corruption has not been understandable. Maybe, the people do not receive correct information related to candidates who participate in the elections. So, what happened is that they did not know whom to elect.

The General Elections Commission -KPU will open the registration of legislative candidates for the 2019 General Election from July 4 to 18 and announce the regulation No. 20/2018. The contents are that KPU forbids the former convicted corruptors to advance in legislative elections. This regulation has been uploaded on the official page of the KPU although it has not been agreed by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

Whether the KPU's decision will be controversial or not is that the public are expected to be smarter during the legislative and presidential elections next year.

 

06
July

The fate of migrants who have been  crossing the Mediterranean to seek a better life in Europe has become uncertain. This is because the European Union which was so far  accommodative toward  migrants who mostly came from Africa,  has changed. At a European Summit in Brussels on June 24, several Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland refused to open the door for the migrants. The meeting was held in response to the Italian stance  that began to close the entrance for the arrival of new migrants.

In the meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that there are member states that benefit from EU cooperation but are more concerned with self-interest. Although not explicitly mentioning the name of the country, it is obvious that the  target of the statement is to reject the EU migrant policy. Italy  that has begun to refuse  the presence of migrants reacted to Macron's assertion because Macron, they said, does not know the real situation in Italy. One country that still opens the door for migrants is Spain. It is willing to accept about 600 migrants previously rejected by Italy. While Germany, although  Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy is  quite open to the presence of migrants, now she is facing  an internal problem which is  quite complicated with the refusal of a senior member of the cabinet.

The impact of migrant presence is not only felt in EU member states. Countries that become a buffer zone in the North African region, from Algeria to Egypt feel the immediate impact of their arrival. Egypt, which houses about 300,000 migrants for example, began to object to financing their survival. The Egyptian government calls on the EU to financially support the temporary shelter costs of the migrants.

Indonesia is not directly affected by  the impact of migrant presence. But this problem if not resolved,  may  increase the number of  migrants looking for a better life in Australia.  Not infrequently, they went through the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia should  take initiative to encourage resolving migrant issues through international forums.

04
July

 

The first is not the last. This is not the title of a song, but the rhetoric that accompanies the historic meeting of Domald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12. US President Donald Trump has stated that the two sides will often meet after the summit in Singapore. Yesterday, from Washington came the news that Trump and Kim will realize the next meeting in the future. An unofficial statement in Washington said that the meeting would be held in New York in accordance with a schedule with the United Nations General Assembly. From Pyong Yang itself there has been no news or concern about the issue.Ahead of the summit in Singapore, both Washington and Pyong Yang were involved in a diplomatic war. Trump said he still had to consider the planned meeting with Jong Un in Singapore. From Pyong Yang also came out a similar statement. But eventually the two leaders held their first historic meeting since the outbreak of the Korean war, and even agreed on four important things. Trump said the meeting was a success because it had a profound impact and both countries would form a new relationship pattern. They agreed to work together to build lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. Then, there is a commitment from North Korea to work together to realize denuclearization. And the last, US and North Korea commit to recovering POW/MIA remains including the immediate repatriation of those already identified. Of the agreement, the problem of denuclearization for the United States is the most important issue that must be realized. The United States and its allies view this issue as the most crucial and strategic one. Washington is waiting for a real commitment from Pyong Yang. In this context, the news that the United States will hold a second summit can be seen as Washington's reminder to Pyong Yang. So whether or not the second meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly will materialize, depends heavily on North Korea's response to denuclearization commitments.

02
July

July 1, 2018, Police of the Republic of Indonesia -Polri commemorate their 72nd anniversary. Being old enough, the police have passed a long journey and recorded a lot of satisfying achievement. At the beginning of their establishment, the Police were named ‘State Department Police’ and under the Ministry of Home Affairs administratively. As for the operational matters, the Police were under the Attorney General. On July 1, 1946 with the governmental regulation No. 11/1946, the ‘State Department Police’ were directly responsible to the Prime Minister. Thus, July 1st is annually commemorated as the anniversary of the Police or known as Bhayangkara Day. Polri as state institution play a major role in maintaining security and public order. They have direct role in enforcing the law, and providing protection,  and service to the public, especially maintaining domestic security. Currently, the duties of the Police are increasingly tested, especially in the face of extraordinary crimes such as the threat of terrorism, drug trafficking, and corruption. In facing the threat of terrorism, in addition to synergy with the Indonesian National Armed Forces -TNI, the Police also have an elite force –so-called Special Detachment 88. This unit has been specifically trained as anti-terrorism and has the ability to overcome terrorist disturbances ranging from bomb threats to hostage. Drug problems are also part of Police duties. On December 2017, Police Assessment Institute (Lemkapi) released a satisfaction level survey of Police performance during 2017. Lemkapi Executive Director, Edi Hasibuan said that there is an increase in public confidence in security policy. Approximately 68.5 percent of the public expressed their satisfaction. Police are also considered successful in establishing synergy and coordination with TNI. Achievements and service innovations in these areas make people more comfortable. It’s worth being grateful that the performance and image of Polri are increasingly appreciated by the public. Public opinion on police’s performance signifies great optimism despite there are still some shortcomings. Congratulations on the anniversary of Indonesian Police!

27
June

Turkey once again is led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After becoming a ruler in a country that is between Asia and Europe for 15 years, Erdogan won again in the General Election held on Sunday (24/6). Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned to the Turkish presidency for the next term after winning a majority. More than 56 million Turks have voted in the first election  since Turkey changed the governmental system, from parliamentary to presidential,  as a result of last year's referendum. In the previous election, Erdogan also defeated his rivals, including the main political opponent, Muharrem Ince. The Turkish news agency ANADOLU reported that Erdogan was certainly entitled to the presidency after winning 52.5 percent of the vote, while Muharrem Ince earned 31.5 percent. Ince is a candidate for Turkish President who represents the secular group of the People's Republic Prty, CHP. In his victory speech, Erdogan promised to continue efforts to free Syria. Also to return refugees who are now displaced in a number of countries, including Western Europe. The first political statement, not only encouraged his voters, but also became a sign of Erdogan’s foreign policy. Especially concerning the conflict in Syria, that has killed thousands people and made many fleeing to seek safety abroad. Erdogan's affirmation will certainly be the concern of various countries that are now involved in the Syrian conflict, such as the United States, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The supporting countries of President Assad's government in Syria, Russia and Iran, are already square off against Erdogan's future steps. Turkey under Erdogan, in the future will continue to try to make itself an increasingly reckoned country in efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.

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