Indonesia news for May 21, 2020

Candi Jawi 1

Table of Contents

Indonesia Reports 693 New Coronavirus Cases, Highest Rise in a Day

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia soared by 693 on Wednesday in yet another record high, almost three times the daily average since the outbreak began in early March, taking the country’s total to 19,189.
Jakarta Globe

Indonesia’s Q1 current account deficit narrows as imports fall

Indonesia’s current account deficit narrowed in the first quarter of this year as imports fell and the deficit in services dwindled amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bank Indonesia (BI) announced on Wednesday.
— The Jakarta Post

More Indonesian doctors, nurses die fighting against COVID-19

As the country still struggles to flatten the COVID-19 transmission curve, more medical workers have fallen victim to the disease, with dozens of doctors and nurses across the country succumbing to the coronavirus.
— The Jakarta Post

Govt Decides No Collective Leave for 2020 Eid al-Fitr Holiday

The Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, has announced that the government is determined to set zero collective leave for this year’s Eid al-Fitr holiday following the Covid-19 pandemic.
— Tempo.co

Indonesia’s budget deficit reaches Rp74.5 trillion

Indonesia’s budget deficit in the year ending April 30, 2020 reached Rp74.5 trillion, accounting for 0.44 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), Vice Finance Minister Suahasil Nazara said.
— Antara News

Indonesia in Critical Period, Says Covid-19 Task Force Head

Indonesia is entering a critical period in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, National Covid-19 Task Force head Doni Monardo said on Wednesday as confirmed cases of the disease have been growing at the fastest speed during the last nine days.
Jakarta Globe

Indonesia launches domestically-made equipment to boost COVID-19 battle

Indonesia on Wednesday launched its domestically-made medical equipment to fasten the country’s efforts to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Xinhua

Indonesia Cuts 2020 Palm Oil Export Outlook by 12%

Indonesia is likely to export 12% less palm oil in 2020 than previously expected, an official at the country’s Estate Crop Fund (BPDP), a government agency in charge of collecting and managing palm oil export levies said on Wednesday.
— Successful Farming

Central Bank Buys $1.6b in Gov’t Bonds and Set to Buy More

Indonesia’s central bank has bought $1.6 billion worth of government bonds in the primary market, underlining its commitment to remain active in it as the country faces a burgeoning state budget deficit due to the rising cost of Covid-19 mitigation efforts.
Jakarta Globe

COVID-19, Millions of Jakarta Residents Prone to Poverty: Govt

The Jakarta Regional House of Representative (DPRD) predicted that millions of Jakarta residents will be prone to poverty resulting from sluggish economic growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Tempo.co

Difficult to make vaccine due to COVID-19 mutation: biologist

A professor of cell biology at Malang-based Brawijaya University has said the tendency of the coronavirus to mutate into local virus as that has made it difficult for researchers to develop a universal vaccine.
— Antara News

Idul Fitri Comes as Real Test for Jakarta’s Fight Against Coronavirus

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has decided to extend the city’s large-scale social restriction, or PSBB, until June 4 for what he wished would be the last time before the capital could reopen.
Jakarta Globe

Indonesia clamping down on fake medical certificates used to circumvent COVID-19 travel curbs

Police in Indonesia are clamping down on sellers of fake medical certificates, reportedly used to circumvent travel restrictions enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19.
— CNA

Indonesia Launches National Economic Recovery Program

The program, estimated to cost US$43 billion, is an expansion of the incentives in the stimulus packages issued in February and March 2020.
— ASEAN Briefing

COVID-19: Govt to tighten security at ‘mudik’ ban checkpoints as Idul Fitri approaches

The government will tighten its monitoring of the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) ban as the Islamic holiday, which falls on May 24 and 25 this year, approaches, the Transportation Ministry said.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia, Singapore key markets for venture capital fundraising: Report

Indonesia and Singapore currently dominate the venture capital (VC) fundraising in Southeast Asia, despite a slower pace of capital raising in the first quarter this year.
— The Jakarta Post

Sixteen health workers contracted COVID-19 in Probolinggo

Data of the Probolinggo Task Force for the Acceleration of COVID-19 Response indicated that 16 medical personnel and hospital staff in Probolinggo, East Java, had contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Tuesday (May 19).
— Antara News

Cellular Operator 3 Notes 48% Traffic Increase during PSBB

Muhammad Danny Buldansyah, deputy president director of a cellular company 3 Indonesia, said that data traffic soared during this year’s Ramadan.
— Tempo.co

Ministry sanctions Batik Air for physical-distancing violations

The Transportation Ministry has suspended a flight operated by Batik Air on the Jakarta-Denpasar, Bali, route as the airline was found to have violated physical-distancing policy in its operation.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia and Philippine central banks cross the Rubicon

Economic infection from the new coronavirus has pushed some central banks in developing Asia to cross the Rubicon and buy bonds directly from governments.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Minister confirms 99,543 abroad-returned Indonesians over pandemic

A total of 99,543 Indonesians have returned home from abroad as of May 19, 2020, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
— Antara News

BI sees potential for rupiah to strengthen

Bank Indonesia said there is more wiggle room for the rupiah to strengthen in the future as at the current exchange rate, it is still undervalued against the US dollar.
— Antara News

​​​​​​​Concerns rise as shoppers throng malls despite pandemic

Entering the last week of Ramadan, shopping centers across the country are packed by shoppers getting ready to welcome the annual celebration of Idul Fitri, with many neglecting health protocols designed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
— The Jakarta Post

Gov’t Needs to Broaden Definition of ‘Vulnerable Groups’: Child Protection Expert

The government needs to expand its definition of vulnerable groups during the coronavirus pandemic to be able to help more people in need, Santi Kusumaningrum, the director of the University of Indonesia’s Child Protection and Wellbeing Center, or Puskapa, said on Tuesday.
Jakarta Globe

Human Rights Watch urges police to release journalist charged with defamation in South Kalimantan

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the South Kalimantan Police to drop a defamation charge against a blogger who published articles about a land dispute between the indigenous Dayak ethnic group and a palm oil company owned by businessman Syamsudin Andi Irsyad aka Haji Isam, in the province.
— The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s clean energy program faces setback, ETI ranking plunges

Indonesia’s readiness to shift toward a clean energy economy took another step back last year because of fossil fuel subsidies and faces a monumental hurdle this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
— The Jakarta Post

Malang Mayor Asks Muslims to Perform Eid Prayer at Home

Malang City administration appealed to Muslim residents to perform Eid Al-Fitr 1441 Hijri prayer at their homes.
— Tempo.co

Health Coalition Asks Govt Not to Ease Social Restriction Hastily

The Civil Coalition of Health Profession and Association (KoMPAK) demanded the government not to hastily relax the Large-Scale Social Restrictions or PSBB.
— Tempo.co

Dompet Dhuafa, PWI help journalists affected by COVID-19 crisis

The Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) and Muslim philanthropic organization Dompet Dhuafa collaborated to help journalists severely affected by the impact of the new coronavirus disease by providing them relief aid packages on Wednesday.
— Antara News

Bogor Green-Yellow COVID-19 Zones Allowed Eid Prayers in Mosque

The Bogor Regency Government as well as the Bogor branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has agreed to allow Bogor residents living in green or yellow COVID-19 zones to conduct Eid al-Fitr prayers in neighborhood mosques.
— Tempo.co

China Showing Interest in Capital City Project says Ambassador

The Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun on Tuesday said that he had previously met with the China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd deputy president, Hu Peng, in talks of future involvements in Indonesia’s future capital city development.
— Tempo.co

Baswedan expects “new normal” in Jakarta following PSBB third round

Governor of Jakarta Anies Bawesdan projects normalcy to be restored in the capital and local residents resuming activities after the third round of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) ends.
— Antara News

Ridwan Kamil: Bekasi Still a Red Zone for Covid-19

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil announced the results of the province’s Covid-19 Task Force’s evaluation on the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB). West Java’s first stage of PSBB ends today, May 20.
— Tempo.co

Industry Ministry allows over 5,800 companies in West Java to operate during PSBB

The Industry Ministry has issued more than 5,800 operational permits to companies in West Java to keep operating amid the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
— The Jakarta Post

Air India repatriation flight carrying 59 Indonesians lands in Jakarta

Some 59 Indonesian citizens impacted by the Indian government’s lockdown policy to fight the transmission of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have flown back to Jakarta from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday morning.
— Antara News

[UPDATED] Papuan farmer dies after alleged beating by police officer at palm oil company office

A Papuan man has died shortly after allegedly being hit by a police officer while making a complaint against a palm oil company he believed was responsible for knocking down his banana plantation in Asiki village, Boven Digoel regency, in Papua.
— The Jakarta Post

BPOM musters resources to expedite COVID-19 testing

The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) has mobilized its resources throughout Indonesia to accelerate laboratory testing for novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) specimens, according to BPOM Head Penny Lukito.
— Antara News

Experts, activists call for heightened public scrutiny of COVID-19 policies, funding

Experts are encouraging increased public scrutiny of the government’s COVID-19 mitigation policies, as the House of Representatives and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) were less critical in their stances.
— The Jakarta Post

President Jokowi inducts Yudo Margono as new Naval Chief of Staff

President Joko Widodo installed Admiral Yudo Margono to serve as the chief of staff of the Indonesian Navy (KSAL), replacing Admiral TNI Siwi Sukma Adji.
— Antara News

Controversial cleric returns to jail three days after release on parole

After two days of freedom, controversial cleric Bahar bin Ali bin Smith – famously known as Bahar Smith – was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence after breaking the terms of his parole.
— The Jakarta Post

Over 200 repatriated Indonesians under quarantine at Hajj Dormitory

At least 207 of the 940 Indonesian nationals repatriated from overseas are still under quarantine at the Pondok Gede Hajj Dormitory in East Jakarta.
— Antara News

Garuda’s $500m sukuk extension inevitable as cash-flow crisis gets worse: Analysts

Publicly listed national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia is asking for a three-year extension on US$500 million worth of global sukuk (global Islamic bonds) due on June 3 to address a major liquidity problem caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
— The Jakarta Post

Major Indonesian hospitals go digital to tap into growing telemedicine market

Many major hospital operators in Indonesian have launched their own teleconsultation services to tap into the growing telemedicine market in the country, which has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 outbreak.
— The Jakarta Post

Manulife Indonesia Fulfils Rp4.6 Billion COVID-19 Claims

Director and CEO of Life insurer Manulife Indonesia, Ryan Charland, on Wednesday expressed optimism that his firm will be able to maintain positive financial performance in 2020 despite the negative effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic looming over the life insurance industry.
— Tempo.co

KKP releases nearly 20,000 baby lobsters in Pariaman

The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), through its Coast and Sea Resources Management Office in Padang, has released around 19,937 baby lobsters into Pariaman waters off West Sumatra after police rescued them from smugglers.
— Antara News

Indonesian netizens fire back at ‘no mudik’ song featuring ministers, regional heads

A music video featuring various state officials and regional heads encouraging citizens to stay at home ahead of the Idul Fitri holidays has been met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from the public, with many Indonesian netizens criticizing the video’s “tone-deaf” nature amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.
— The Jakarta Post

Citilink tests first freighter to boost cargo service

Low-cost carrier PT Citilink Indonesia, a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia Group, conducted an operational test for its freighter fleet on Tuesday to support its cargo business.
— The Jakarta Post

Kadin: PSBB Extension in Jakarta Will Cripple SMEs

Chief of the Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Diana Dewi, has stated that the extension of the Large Scale Social Restriction (PSBB) policy in Jakarta will cripple Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the capital.
— Tempo.co

PLN profit nosedives 63 percent as costs soar

State-owned electricity company PLN’s net profit nosedived last year as a result of higher tax expenses and operational costs that had offset its higher income, according to the company’s annual report released on Monday.
— The Jakarta Post

Suspected murderer of Army soldier shot dead in police firing

Police in Indonesia’s Southeast Sulawesi Province shot dead a man suspected of killing an Army second sergeant as he attempted to escape on Tuesday night.
— Antara News

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