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Maryam Yasmin wins first place in Uneshco #5

Maryam Yasmin hopes her speech skills will continue to improve. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Solo — Maryam Yasmin from Medicine Education Program Faculty of Medical Science (FK) Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta, Central Java, won UNY English Competition (Uneshco) #5, in August, it was announced. Under the supervision of Wuji Anggraini, S.S., M.Pd., Yasmin (her nickname) took first place in the prestigious event. 

The competition was conducted online; in the preliminary round, participants were requested to record a speech on video and upload it to Google Drive. The link to the Google Drive was then sent to the Managing Committee. The final round was held through Zoom Meeting application. 

Yasmin stated that she is happy and grateful to have secured this achievement because in two previous competitions she had to be satisfied by making the semi-final and final rounds, which made her pessimistic about the Unescho competition. “I am very grateful, Alhamdulillah, maybe this is a gift from Allah in this competition. I am very grateful for my win in this competition,” Yasmin stated when contacted by Uns.ac.id on Monday (9/7/2020). 

In the final round, consisting of two stages, Yasmin delivered a speech on two themes: regarding the theme of bullying, Yasmin delivered a speech that invited the community in general and a school in particular to build a supportive learning environment. For example, using a counselling teacher as a student facilitator and consultant. The theme for the second round is the racism issue, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Yasmin’s speech raised the issues of racism toward ethnic Chinese in Indonesia. 

In the future, the student, who is also active in the UNS Student English Forum (SEF) hopes that her speech skills will improve and she can bring a proud name to UNS. “I hope that my speech skills will improve and I can also make UNS proud. In addition, I hope that the knowledge I get from these competitions can be shared with my friends at UNS SEF,” she concluded. (est) 

Udukosi from UB wins 1st place in ITFEST 2020

Cultura, an application for cultural tourism, won in Medan. (Photo: UB)

IO, Malang – Cultura, a game-based mobile application for learning media and nurturing the preservation of Indonesian culture, led the Udukosi team from Brawijaya University (UB) Malang, East Java, to win first place in the App Development category in ITFEST 2020, held by the University of North Sumatra (USU). The Udukosi team consists of Syahsiyah Rohidah, Fadhil Arif Muhammad, and Dina Noviana from the Informatics Engineering Study Program, Faculty of Computer Science UB, batch 2018. 

“We are participating in this competition to increase our experience and portfolio in the world of IT. What’s more, this takes the place of similar competitions that we previously failed to participate in,” said Syahsiyah, as quoted by UB Public Relations, Wednesday (9/9/2020). 

The idea of developing the Cultura application was motivated by the phenomenon of a lack of interest of the Indonesian people to visit cultural objects because they tend to prefer activities such as exercising and shopping tours. Cultura, with the various features offered, can make it easier for people to get to know cultural objects around them. 

Cultura has two features. First, a search feature for cities or places of cultural objects. This feature can display cultural objects closest to the user’s location and show detailed information about these cultural objects. Second, the challenge feature, which is a list of challenges that users can take and complete, based on a predetermined time. 

Users must find the specified cultural object with the help of a location map, then take a picture with an Android smartphone camera that is supported by Augmented Reality technology in the Cultura application. If the user succeeds in completing the challenge, he or she will receive a reward in the form of points that can be exchanged for paid support features on the Cultura application. 

“Cultura was created in six months, starting from initiating the innovation, prototyping, and designing the Front- End,” he said. 

Syahsiyah stated that his team had to go through three stages of selection, namely, the first preliminary round that was the proposal selection stage, the second preliminary round was the application video selection stage, and the final round was the presentation selection and application creation stage. The final round which was originally scheduled for March 2020 in Medan, North Sumatra, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The final round was finally held online in August 2020. The new finalists get the final schedule ten days before the deadline for collecting the final product. This condition became a challenge for Syahsiyah and friends considering that they had to perfect the product in a relatively short time, in conditions far from each other and amid their respective active lives. 

Syahsiyah and friends shared success tips for their colleagues who wanted to participate in a similar competition. There are three main aspects that they think are important when working as a team, namely, communication, cooperation, and a sense of belonging. Communication is very important so that every detail of information can be known and studied together to find the best solution. Cooperation is the main common aspect that every team member must strive to do: it includes division of tasks, being ready to back up each other, mutual respect, and mutual trust from start to finish. Meanwhile, a sense of belonging can be interpreted as a mutual commitment in a team. By instilling this attitude, each team member will clearly understand the common goals and expectations so that teamwork can run smoothly. (est) 

ITS Karting Club wins at Go-kart National Championship

Machine ITS Karting Club team, after winning two trophies at the 2020 National Gokart Eshark Rok Cup Championship. (Photo: ITS)

IO, Surabaya – Good news comes from students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS), Surabaya, who are members of the Machine ITS Karting Club (MKC): they who have won the National Championship Gokart Eshark Rok Cup 2020 Round 3 and 4. Through this prestigious event, MKC, as a representative from East Java, won two achievements at the same time in two categories in the event, which was held at the Sentul International Karting Circuit, Bogor, Saturday and Sunday, September 5-6, 2020. 

The National Gokart Championship is a racing event organized by Fast Track Speedzone. In this competition, there are several categories based on age and machine type, from cadet to senior class. “The categories we are participating in are Shifter University and Shifter 150 classes because they are still under one regulation and the specifications are the same, but for the calculation of podium points are different,” said Aprilia Ayu Wandari, MKC Non-Technical Division, in a release received by the Independent Observer, Friday (9/11/2020). 

It takes about two weeks for MKC to prepare for the competition. Even in only a short time, they managed to bring home two trophies at once. Driven by Ishlah Muhammad Rahman, the ITS team machine won 5th place in the Shifter 150 class and 2nd place in the Shifter University class in Round 3. For Round 4, it was ranked 5th in the Shifter 150 class and 3rd in the Shifter University class. 

“We evaluate the previous round first, then make changes and developments in parts that are deemed less than optimal, especially in the engine,” she said. 

The team used a Kosmic Mercury MY15 frame with the Ninja R 150 KIS engine which had been ported in several parts to improve engine performance and adapt to the racer character. Not only the gokarts but racers also have to make some preparations before plunging into the track. 

Aprilia said that being a driver must be physically and mentally prepared. “The most important thing is to maintain a diet and take multivitamins to maintain stamina and stay in shape for two days while the race is taking place.” 

This competition consists of five sessions, namely warm-up session, Qualifying Time Trial, heat, pre-final, and final. The team had experienced problems before the final. “In Round 3 the brake locking bolt was broken, but we tried our best so that the gokart did not lose its brake function. We drilled and cut new threads that fit the bolt.” 

Furthermore, Aprilia said that by the time Round 4 was approaching the final, engine performance suddenly dropped drastically in the pre-final session when viewed in terms of average lap times achieved. “We were forced to lower the engine and carry out a thorough check, starting from the fuel intake, ignition, and so on,” she said. 

After learning from existing experiences, they hope that in the future they can be even better, both from a technical and non-technical perspective. “We will always strive to produce racers who are ready to compete, as well as getting more and more accomplished to bring ITS to be a national karting champion,” she added. (est) 

Exotic Sunyarangi Cave in Cirebon

(Photo: Mia Kamila)

IO – The city of Cirebon is famous for its various historical legends. This city, which is located on the north coast, was not spared from a trace of the spread of Islam by Sunan Gunung Jati. Besides, Cirebon itself has many palaces. 

One of the heritage sites of the sultans in Cirebon is Sunyarangi Cave. Unlike other caves, Sunyarangi Cave is more like a gate and a building made of rock. 

That said, this place has existed since 1529 with Hindu, Islamic, Chinese and European architecture. It is not difficult to find this Sunyarangi Cave, because it is located on the side of bypass road Brigadier General Dharsono. 

Historically, this cave was a place of rest, meditation, and physical and mental training by the sultans and members of the kingdom. 

Several buildings in this cave complex have their respective functions in the past. Mande Beling, for example, is usually used by the sultan to rest while visiting Sunyaragi. Mande Beling is in the form of a joglo with wooden fences with broken glass attached to the building. 

Jinem Cave is the place for the sultan to give direction or advice to his followers. It was also used by the sultan and royal members to watch soldiers who are practicing combat technique or martial arts. 

Pengawal Cave functioned as a gathering place for the sultan’s guards. Then there is the Pande Kemasan Cave, which was used to make weapons such as keris, spears, and other metal items. 

There is also Peteng Cave which is the darkest area. The area is used for solitude to gain spiritual and physical immunity. 

In this cave, it is said that there is a passageway of approximately 12 kilometers through to Mount Jati. 

Right at the entrance to Peteng Cave, there is a statue of the Virgin Sunti; some people believe that those who are not married will find it difficult to find a mate if they touch the statue., 

In this cave complex, there are also Kaputran and Keputren Rooms where the sons and daughters of the sultan undergo indoctrination. 

Sunyarangi Cave itself has an area of 1.5 hectares. Inside there are several parts of the cave that you can explore. Besides that, you can also take pictures with the cave behind you. 

To visit Sunyarangi Cave, it is recommended to come late in the afternoon when the sun is not too hot. (Mia Kamila)

Sudut Pandang Kopi, pioneer of Coffee Cube in Indonesia

(Photo: Kartika Indah)

IO – Sipping coffee has been a habit of Indonesian society for a long time. Coffee does have many benefits such as increasing energy and as a mood booster, because it contains caffeine. When you sip coffee, the caffeine that is absorbed by the body will reach the brain through the bloodstream. At that time, the dopamine hormone will come out which will increase and cause a sense of well-being. 

Therefore, drinking coffee while hanging out with relatives and friends is a source of happiness. Well, in recent years there has been a habit of spending time in contemporary coffee shops or cafes that are currently mushrooming in the country. This contemporary coffee cafe provides various types of selected coffee drinks with a place that is not too large or cramped and a comfortable atmosphere for visitors. 

For coffee lovers, there is nothing wrong with visiting the modern coffee cafe, Sudut Pandang Kopi. Davin Cassidy founded Sudut Pandang Kopi (“Coffee Point of View”) in March 2018, with the first outlet at Jalan Tawakal Raya No. 39B, West Jakarta. He chose a location close to offices, campuses, and boarding houses. 

At that time, the man who was born in Jakarta, August 31, 1992, saw the market demand that was booming with the world of coffee and the love of coffee. Therefore, he wanted to create a coffee brand that could provide a new and unique coffee taste to the people of Indonesia. 

“The target is employees who want to have good-tasting coffee on a limited budget, and are lazy to go to the store and want something more practical to cope with the coffee taste that remains consistently bland due to melting ice cubes,” said the owner who has a life motto: “Hard works never betray”. 

Pioneer of the Coffee Cube 

Unlike other coffee shops and coffee brands, Sudut Pandang Kopi carries the concept of 1st Coffee Cube To Go in Indonesia. As a pioneer, Sudut Pandang Kopi uses Coffee Cube as a substitute for ordinary ice cubes for each drink. 

For Davin, Coffee Cube To Go is a solution for people who want to drink coffee without mixing it with melted ice cubes, making the coffee taste bland. However, from the Sudut Pandang Kopi, if the Coffee Cube melts, the taste will be thicker and stronger. 

“To introduce the cafe, we run the strategy of explaining our unique concept of 1st Coffee Cube To Go in Indonesia with the hashtag #goodbyewaterycoffee on Instagram #sudutpandangkopi,” said the man who has an educational background in International Business Double Degree from Binus International X Cologne Business School. 

As for the interior design, Davin chose to bring Tosca as the base colour. Besides, Sudut Pandang Kopi makes the owl as a mascot because an owl is one of the animals that has the widest point of view. 

Sudut Pandang Kopi offers a variety of coffee menus, which consist of Cold Coffee, Creme Series, Non-Coffee, and Hot Drink variants. Cold Coffee consists of Es Coffee Djadoel, Biscoffee, Es Kopi Djawa, Green Tea Iced Coffee, Deadline Ice Coffee, Toro Iced Coffee, Vietnamese Ice Coffee, Chocolate Ice Coffee, and Mochatella. 

The Creme Series menu consists of Lucky Coffee Creme, Choco Creme, Taro Creme, Deadline Creme, and Taro Creme. The Non-Coffee menu consists of Chocolate Latte, Green Tea Latte, Lemon Galaxy, Dark Choco Brownies, Taro Latte, and Biscoffee Milk. Meanwhile, the Hot Drink consists of Djadoel Coffee, Javanese Coffee, Deadline Coffee, Green Tea Latte, Taro Latte, and Chocolate Latte. 

Sudut Pandang Kopi also collaborates with Nutrisari to present a special drink: Nutripunch, consisting of several variants, including Nutripunch Guava, Nutripunch Soursop, and Passion Fruit Nutripunch. Drinking this refreshing drink is one of the fun ways to charge up with Vitamin C. 

Some time ago, Sudut Pandang Kopi collaborated with Coco 9 to accompany the fasting month (Ramadan) at home. This drink uses fresh coconut water, which is beneficial for health. Some of the drink variants include Coco Tropical, Coco Sunset with additional coconut pudding. 

In the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal, Davin is pursuing a strategy of selling one liter of Sudut Pandang Kopi so that customers can still enjoy Sudut Pandang Kopi at home with their loved ones. For one-liter drinks, Sudut Pandang Kopi provides several variants such as Seliter Djawa, Seliter Djadoel, Seliter Taro Biscuit Latte, Seliter Green Tea Latte, Seliter Chocolate, and Seliter Deadline. 

In the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal, Sudut Pandang Kopi also adheres to health protocols implemented by the government. In a day, Sudut Pandang Kopi can sell as many as 50 to 70 cups at one outlet. Sudut Pandang Kopi is open every day from 08.00 AM to 10.00 PM. 

Opening Partnerships 

Currently, Sudut Pandang Kopi is based in Tanjung Duren, West Jakarta. Sudut Pandang Kopi has 13 branches, including Bali, Pamulang, Slipi, Pasar Baru, Cawang, Tebet, Karawaci, Kelapa Gading, Duta Mas, Cikini, Pekanbaru, Dumai, and Pontianak. Most recently, Sudut Pandang Kopi opened an outlet in Bintaro. 

Since mid-2019, Sudut Pandang Kopi has also opened partnerships. Davin said he wanted to expand his business by introducing the unique concept of Sudut Pandang Kopi to all Indonesians, namely drinking cold coffee does not have to be tasteless because the ice cubes melt, but Davin provided the Coffee Cube solution. 

In this partnership, Sudut Pandang Kopi offers two investment packages, namely the Standard Package and the Complete Package. Standard Package is offered at IDR 59,900,000 and a Complete Package with a value of IDR 69,900,000, excluding space and outlet construction costs. “We have prepared all the equipment, from the production equipment to the online-based cash register,” explained Davin. 

Sudut Pandang Kopi imposes a fixed royalty of IDR 1,000,000 per month to partners. This is the cost of brand maintenance services and the brand development of Sudut Pandang Kopi. They also require partners to buy several main raw materials such as coffee, powder, and all kinds of things related to brands such as packaging. According to Davin, the advantages of the Sudut Pandang Kopi partnership concept are affordable prices and a different concept from other coffee brands. Requirements are only to have a location following the review of the Principal. Besides, partners can experience having a coffee shop with a unique concept and different from other coffee shops throughout Indonesia. 

“We hope that Sudut Pandang Kopi can be far developed, known to the wider community, and have branches throughout Indonesia,” concluded Davin. (Kartika Indah)

Tarwi, cycling from Surabaya to Jakarta at the age of 79 years

Tarwi (right) and Puspita Mustika, ready to travel 1,100 km. (Photo: Surya Travel/Tribun News)

IO – Tarwi cannot be separated from the bicycle. The gold medallist in team bicycle racing with his compa- triots such as Sapari and Theo Gun- awan at the Games of New Emerging Forces (Ganefo) in 1966 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is still actively ped- alling his bicycle.

In fact, at the age of 79, he plans to travel 1,100 km from Surabaya to Jakarta with the headline “Tour de Java 1,100 km is Back”. Starting from the State University of Surabaya (Unesa) on 17 September.

“I want to repeat the trip from Surabaya to Jakarta. In 2002, I did it, only at that time, I didn’t say where I had gone. 4 days later I gave the news to the family that I was already in Ja- karta,” said Tarwi.

Now 18 years have passed, that desire has returned to the fore even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still lurking. “I want to show the young generation to remain produc- tive and not give up, as suggested by President Jokowi. We have to keep up the spirit. And speci cally for cycling, this time I got permission from my family but had to be accompanied during the trip.”

Tarwi will be accompanied by a former racer he coached, Puspita Mustika Adya. “In the past, I was trained by Pak Tarwi, now it is my turn to accompany him throughout the trip,” said Puspita.

Tarwi will start with a distance of 210 km from Surabaya – Rembang on 17 September. The next day, Sep- tember 18, he will cover a distance of 138 km from Rembang to Semarang, followed by September 19 taking the 120 km of Semarang – Solo route.

After a day’s rest on September 20, Tarwi will continue his de Java tour on September 21 covering a dis- tance of 170 km from Yogyakarta – Purwokerto. Purwokerto – Cirebon as far as 147 km will be covered on 22 September. Furthermore, on 23 Sep- tember Tarwi will race the distance from Cirebon to Bandung as far as 136 km.

He shall rest on September 24 before continuing from Bandung to Sukabumi for a distance of 95 km on September 25. Sukabumi – Jakarta with a distance of 115 km will be the last of Tarwi’s Tour de Java on 26 September.

The Tarwi family is very support- ive of his plan. His only daughter Ony Cristiana Dewi will be the chief organizer of this event. She could not stand against her father’s will.

“If we don’t allow it, I’m afraid that he will get sick. So far, he has often been cycling from Surabaya to Malang. So now he asks to be allowed cycling from Surabaya to Jakarta. If he is not allowed, we fear it will be like that in 2002 when suddenly he was already in Jakarta. That’s why now we make the program as well as documentation during the trip,” ex- plained Ony.

Tarwi underwent a physical test at the Surabaya State University (Un- esa) sports laboratory, Achilles Sport Science And Fitness Center (ASS- FC), last Tuesday, September 8. In

the most sophisticated laboratory in Eastern Indonesia, he passed various tests such as blood pressure, lung capacity, sit and reach, Vo2 Max, and lactic acid tests.

“Pak Tarwi’s wish is very cool. At the age of 79 this September, he wants to cycle to Jakarta. It’s a rarity,” said Une- sa Rector, Prof. Dr. Nurhasan, M. Kes.

Director of Achilles SSFC Unesa, Prof. Dr. On Setiono Mkes shook his head when he saw the results of Tarwi’s test. According to him, the physical strength of the man from Lamongan is equivalent to that of a man tens of years younger.

“The important thing is when Pak Tarwi is on a trip to Jakarta, he must be accompanied by a coach to pro- vide input on when to rest. For the bicycle rhythm to remain stable and to avoid fatigue. I admit that his en- thusiasm is very high like a ghter.”

Unesa will also include an expert team to monitor physical conditions as research material. As conveyed by Expert Tester at Achilles SSFC, Doni Ardy Kusuma.

“We have a lot of data on the physical strength of the athletes, but we don’t have 79-year-olds like Pak Tarwi. Therefore, we will accompany Pak Tarwi’s trip so that he can pro- vide input to the Unesa team as well,” said Doni.

When he nishes in Jakarta, Tarwi’s name will be recorded at the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as a 79-year-old man who had cycled from Surabaya to Jakarta – a 1100 km. journey. (rp)

Syekh Ali Jaber, his attacker was a pro

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Syekh Ali Jaber, the cleric who was stabbed by a man with the ini- tials AA in the courtyard of the Fala- huddin Mosque in Bandar Lampung, Sunday, September 13, is convinced that the assailant was not a mad- man, as previously reported in the media.

“I’m sorry – he is not a person with a mental disorder. He is very aware and brave and acts highly-trained,” declared

Syekh Ali Jaber in a press conference, Monday, September 14, as quoted by Republika.

The perpetrator attempted to stab him in the genital area, but a slight movement from Ali Jaber meant that the knife slipped and hit his right up- per arm or shoulder. “Because he failed to cut the part he was aiming for, he tried to pull the knife across my hand with strength and courage, but it broke when I made a circular motion. Seeing this is not like witnessing a crazy per- son. He is very brave and even expe- rienced,” added Ali Jaber as cited by Antara.

He hopes that the legal prosecution can run smoothly, and that the police can pursue their investigation and their duties trustfully and honestly.

Ali Jaber expects this incident to be legally prosecuted not only for his own sake but also for every ulama, preacher and habib in Indonesia, so no longer have to fear becoming a victim of an attack.

“God willing, we can ght all evil. We do not want to be pitted against one another. Nor do we desire to be slandered. That is why such events

take place. We urge the police to fol- low up as thoroughly as possible so that the community can stay calm, assured that this type of incident does not occur again.”

He is sure that the stabbing was only the act of a single individual, and did not represent the feelings of Lampung people. “I know the people of Lampung well. I have been to Lam- pung many times; the people of Lam- pung love peace; they love ulamas. There is no way they intend for such evil to occur. One or two individuals may carry out such an art; it does not represent all Lampung people.”

Sheikh Ali Jaber is a scholar from Medina who has lived and preached in Indonesia for 12 years. The attack on him strengthened his determi- nation to make Lampung one of the centers of the Al-Quran memorization program in Indonesia.

“We will continue building Al-Qu- ran memorization centers: of 114 centers in Indonesia, one is in Ban- dar Lampung, one in East Lampung. From these and centers in other places will be born memorizers of the Al-Quran.” (rp)

JAKARTA IN STATE OF EMERGENCY, the dilemma of pulling Covid-19 emergency break

Traf c in the Hotel Indonesia roundabout (15/09/2020) is sparse, unlike the usual dense traffic during work termination hours. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – Since late December 2019, the world has been grap- pling with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), said to be caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, previously dubbed 2019- nCoV. The virus was rst diag- nosed in a seafood market work- er in Wuhan, China, and has spread throughout the world, until the World Health Organi- zation (WHO) nally declared it a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Based on a global tally per September 13, 2020, con rmed Covid-19 cases have reached 28,938,095, with the death toll at 924,558.

Indonesia is one of the coun- tries most severely affected by the pandemic. Based on data of Covid-19 Handling Task Force on September 12, 2020, con rmed Covid-19 cases are 214,746 and death toll at 8,650. Jakarta is the province with the highest caseloads in Indonesia, at 52,840 cases or nearly a quar-

ter of the total national tally. The novelty of this disease, coupled by limitations in pub- lic health system, has caused widespread panic among the general public. Various policies were implemented to reduce the virus’ rate of transmission, one of which being the implemen- tation of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB).

PSBB is often associated with lockdown. Lockdown is a term often used to describe an effort to control the spread of infection within a certain area, which requires restriction on access or mobility. However, the de nition of lockdown itself is still vague and there is no glob- ally accepted consensus. The implementation of lockdown in each country or region has different protocols. Lockdown severely limits economic activ- ities, whereas PSBB according to the Health Minister Regula- tion No. 9/2020 is a limitation on certain activities and peo- ple’s mobility in an area sus- pected of being infected with Covid-19 to prevent further

infection, the recommendation of which is to be made by heads of local government. PSBB com- prises shutting down school and of ces and restrictions on religious activities, activities in public places, social and cultur- al activities, transportation ser- vices and other activities related to defense and security. PSBB, in a nutshell, aims to keep the economy running while putting a number of restrictions (health protocol) in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The rst total PSBB was im- plemented in Jakarta in three periods –April 10-23, April 24 – May 22 May, and May 22 – June 4 during which the public is re- quired to follow health protocols to contain the transmission of Covid-19. Outside activities are limited, as per Governor Regu- lation No. 33/2020. The total PSBB was then changed to tran- sitional PSBB starting on June 5, and was extended ve times before nally reverting to total PSBB on September 14. The im- plementation of the transitional PSBB has actually resulted in an increase in the number of cases, at a rate of 2,000 – 3,000 con- rmed cases per day.

Public opinion is split be- tween the “health-versus-econ- omy” argument. Assuming that the economy can recover with- out rst bringing Covid-19 un- der control is illogical. The high number of cases will strain al- ready-thin resources. Health should be the priority; then the economy can recover, because humans are the economic ac- tors.

The current condition in Ja- karta is worrisome. In the past week, the number of Covid-19 positive cases has increased rap- idly, reaching more than 1,000 per day. Central Jakarta, West Jakarta, North Jakarta, South Jakarta and East Jakarta are now in the red zone category, while Thousand Islands regency is agged orange. The death rate, while still below national and global gures, is rising rapidly.

This has put extraordinary burden on limited isolation beds and Intensive Care Units (ICU) at referral hospitals. As of September 9, based on data from the Jakarta Health Agency, 77% of the total 4,053 isolation beds for Covid-19 patients are fully occupied and 83% of the total 528 ICU beds are lled. The availability of ICU beds is of particular concern, because they are needed to treat patients in critical condition. It should be noted that the relatively low number of Covid-19 deaths pres- ently is due to adequate isolation rooms and ICU capacity. If this capacity quickly lls up with new Covid-19 patients, the death rate would increase dramatical- ly. This does not even include deaths in non-Covid patients whose treatment is “neglected” due to the spike in Covid-19 pa- tients.

Currently the local govern- ment has increased the number of referral hospitals and isolation beds. But this must also go in tandem with the increase in the number of health workers, med- icines and all supporting equip- ment.

Jakarta is currently in a state of emergency, facing a rising death toll, limited isolation beds, and the lack of ICUs. There needs to be an increased sense of aware- ness and urgency that we are in a health and economic crisis. A solution to deal with both the crises needs to be found now.

The action taken by Jakar- ta Governor to implement an “emergency brake” policy by re- storing the rst PSBB is aimed at curbing the transmission rate of Covid-19, which steadily in- creased during the transitional PSBB period.

As a consequence, several ac- tivities will be restricted, includ- ing educational institutions (re- placed by online learning), of ces (replaced by work from home), religious activities in places of worship, activities in public fa- cilities, reducing the capacity of public/private transportation, including online motorcycle tax- is. Only 11 business sectors are allowed to operate with strict health protocols, namely health, food, energy, communication & information technology, nance, logistics, hospitality, construc- tion, strategic industries, public utilities, and basic services and industries designated vital na- tional objects.

The question now is how effec- tive will the “emergency brake” policy be in slowing down the Covid-19 infection. If we look at the of cial data, the previous PSBB implemented from April 10 – June 4 was successful in re- ducing the number of cases. In March 2020, the actual transmis- sion rate (Rt) of Covid-19 in Ja- karta was 4, meaning one infect- ed person is able to spread the virus to four other people. With the implementation of the PSBB, this gure declined. In the period May 4-17, the value was 1.08 – 1.11. By June 5, it decreased fur- ther to 0.99, indicating that the outbreak was under control. The rate began to increase again to 1.3 after the PSBB was relaxed.

Another indicator is the daily positivity rate indicating the per- centage of people who test posi- tive using the PCR swab method. Data from the Jakarta Health Agency which can be accessed on www.corona.jakarta.go.id/id showed the daily positivity rate on April 10 at 7.1%. This gure was trending down during PSBB implementation (4% on May 22, then 3% on June 4). When tran- sitional PSBB was implemented, the positivity rate began to in- crease again. By the end of the transitional PSBB Phase One (August 27), the daily positivity rate was 9.4% and as of Septem- ber 10 it jumped almost twofold, to 15.8%. This increase could be

due to two factors, namely, more specimens were examined and the number of infected people was increasing.

This proved that during the relaxation of PSBB in the tran- sitional period and the low-level of public obedience in following health protocol have contribut- ed to the increase in infection and caseloads in Jakarta. The “emergency brake” policy, which put in place the same or even stricter level of restrictions, is expected to suppress the trans- mission rate and number of cases. It is also hoped that this measure will be able to prevent the collapse of the public health system in Jakarta. Otherwise, it is highly likely that there will be over ow of Covid-19 patients in Jakarta. This is not an exagger- ation, because many hospitals have been strained by the in- ux of Covid-19 patients. Also, many health workers have lost their lives ghting the invisible enemy. Based on data from the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) per September 13, 115 doctors have fallen victim na- tionwide, with 13 of them from Jakarta.

The death of medical person- nel must not be taken lightly, because of their vital role in combating the outbreak, espe- cially considering the relatively low ratio of doctors per popu- lation in Indonesia, which is 4 to 10,000 population. With the death of 115 doctors, it can be said that 287,500 people have

lost doctors due to Covid-19. Training a doctor takes a long time and enormous resources. Complicating the matter, many doctors who have died are sub- specialists, some even lecturers and professors. The material and immaterial losses incurred are enormous. In addition, losing doctors will adversely affect the quality and capacity of health- care facilities. It is feared that this could have a domino effect on our battle against Covid-19.

The role of healthcare facili- ties, especially hospitals, is so central because they not only treat Covid-19 patients, but also patients suffering from other ail- ments. Many chronically-ill pa- tients are afraid to visit a hospi- tal for fear of being infected with Covid-19. The government’s well- worn “mantra” of “safety through health protocols” is for many people an abstract concept: they see lack of or no synergy between the central government, local government, and the communi- ty in dealing with the pandemic.

Other countries that have been quite successful in dealing with the pandemic include Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Since the rst cases were identi- ed on January 23 in Hong Kong and Singapore and January 21 in Taiwan – all of them import- ed cases – the local government immediately imposed strategic policies.

On March 13, 2020 (around 50 days from when the rst case was identi ed), Singapore had187 cases with zero deaths (pop- ulation around 5.7 million peo- ple), Taiwan had 50 con rmed cases with 1 death (population around 23.6 million) and Hong Kong had 131 con rmed cas- es with 4 deaths (population around 7.5 million).
In general, the policies put in

place by the three countries cen- tered around:

  1. Travel restriction to pre- vent community outbreak
  2. Aggressive mass testing and contact tracing, strict lockdown
  3. Rigorous social distanc- ing, self-isolation and im- proving hygiene 


In implementing those poli- cies, each country follows a dif- ferent approach. Singapore, for example, imposed ight restric- tions as well as self-isolation upon arrival, building special isolation facilities, aggressive and extensive contact tracing, prohi- bition of large-scale gatherings, regular monitoring of worker health, compensation scheme for furloughed workers, and edu- cating the public on preventative measures. In Taiwan, there are sanctions and nes in place for violators.

The Indonesian government is not as strict in tackling the pandemic, as evidenced by its ever-changing policies. Likewise, the public are not as compliant and disciplined, as one can still see many not wearing masks and/or keeping safe distance when performing outside activ- ities.

A study in Beijing to examine the effectiveness of using masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing found that us- ing face masks and disinfectants are highly effective (up to 80%) in preventing Covid-19 transmis- sion. On the contrary, frequent or close contact increased the risk of transmission by about 18 times. The study also found that there was a high risk of trans- mission from Covid-19 patients before symptom onset. Wearing face masks after symptoms doesn’t appear to signi cantly prevent transmission. In other words, it is crucial that everyone observe preventive measures such as mask wearing, social distancing and hands washing.

But one needs to keep in mind that wearing masks and social distancing is a last re- sort measure when one needs to perform urgent activities out- doors. It’s still best to do activity from home. The health sector should be prioritized in handling Covid-19. The implementation of PSBB, as part of the health policy will have a positive domino effect on other sectors, such as the economy, education, and social life. Health is essential because if people are healthy, society will function optimally.

The question then moves to how to deal with the Covid-induced economic downturn. Keep in mind that Covid-19 cases are growing exponentially, much faster than the rate of econom- ic growth when business activ- ities are as normal. The longer the transmission of Covid-19 is left unchecked, the steeper the growth rate of new cases will be.

Dealing with higher Covid-19 cases in the future will be far costly than suppressing its cur- rent growth, so the only logical step to take now is to do what it takes to reduce the rate of trans- mission, even though it means economic growth will suffer. The “Covid-19 debt” with high inter- est must be paid off before fur- ther investment can be made. If there is a one thing regrettable about the Jakarta Governor’s “emergency brake” policy, it is that it wasn’t enforced earlier.

Short term pain for long term gain, as the saying goes. This aptly describes the situation that is taking place in Indonesia, in particularly Jakarta. Covid-19 is a bitter pill that must be swal- lowed as quickly as possible so that the bitter taste doesn’t lin- ger in the mouth. Recessions are common in many regions and various sectors have been par- alyzed by this deadly disease. As an archipelago, Indonesia is facing an uphill battle compared to other countries. So long as the vaccine is not yet available, Covid-19 transmission must be prevented through total enforce- ment of PSBB and proper health protocols. The recommended approach is called 3T (Testing, Tracing, and Treatment) and 3M (wearing mask, keeping safe dis- tance, and washing hands).

It is time for Indonesia to unite together, helping one an- other and playing one’s role and responsiveness as much as possible. This is not the time to point ngers and indulge in prej- udice. If we can come together During this dif cult time, Indo- nesia will surely recover. Strict government and an obedient so- ciety are the keys to successfully overcoming this pandemic.

Dr Erlina Burhan MSc. Sp.P (K) is a pulmonologist with over 16 years experience in pulmonology and re- spiratory medicine. She is a faculty member of the Department of Pul- monology and Respiratory Medicine FKUI/Persahabatan Hospital (RSUP). She is also chairwoman of the Indo- nesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) Jakarta, and Head of the working group for infection PDPI and team leader of Covid-19 Treatment at Per- sahabatan Hospital. Concurrently, Erlina also serves in the Covid-19 Task Force of the Indonesia Medical Association (IDI).

Mahfud M. D. beseeches youngsters to champion nationalism & national defense

Mahfud M. D., Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. (Photo: Rayi Gigih/IO)

IO – Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud M. D. is concerned that a person’s sense of nationalism or love towards their homeland may diminish if the leaders of their country are perceived as corrupt. “The sense of nationalism will fade if the people who rule are corrupt and egotistical. Loyalties can shift in such cases,” Mahfud said in the virtual Entry Ceremony of the March Eleventh State Uni- versity, broadcast on the Universi- ty’s YouTube channel on Monday (14/09/2020).

Mahfud stated that many of Indo- nesia’s highly potential and achiev- ing young graduates nd it hard to obtain work or secure business per- mits in their own country, because nepotism has extremely deep roots in our society. “If you are not a family member, if you don’t pay “fees”, your application will be rejected. If you want to get your business permit processed, you must pay a bribe,” he said. “Many of these potential young- sters prefer to seek employment and open a business abroad. For exam- ple, it is easier for young Indonesian entrepreneurs to get business per- mit in Singapore than in Indonesia. This causes nationalism to fade from the hearts of young Indonesians. It takes only two hours to get a busi- ness permit issued in Singapore. They do their business in Indonesia but get their permit from Singapore. What does this mean? Nationalism is faded due to bad leadership, corrupt leadership.”

Transparency International is- sues a “Corruption Perception Index” annually. Indonesia is perceived as being 40-point corrupt in a 10-100 corruption-level scale in 2019. Indo- nesia is ranked 90th most transpar- ent out of the more than 180 coun- tries it rated. This is much worse than the Corruption Perception Index of our two closest neighbors, Malay- sia and Singapore.

In view of the issue, Mahfud re- quests that the new college students

maintain the principle of anti-corrup- tion from early on. Love towards the Homeland must also be inculcated in order to prevent nationalism from fad- ing easily among young Indonesians in the future. “If you love this country, you will naturally have the feeling of wanting to defend it. This feeling must be supported by conducive leadership and Government,” he said.

National Defense

Mahfud further reminds the new students of the importance of nation- al defense awareness for the young- er generation. After all, they will be handed the baton of national leader- ship in the future. “According to the provisions of Article 27 and Article 30 Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of 1945, all Indonesian citizens have the right and obligation to enjoy na- tional defense, whether when we are facing a threat of war against another country or other types of intervention that disturbs our sovereignty. There- fore, if the State suffers from such conditions that require the interven- tion and defense of our citizens, we can oblige citizens to do their part in national defense,” he said.

According to Mahfud, “Imple- menting national defense properly is an expression of gratitude towards the independence of the Republic that our forefathers successfully achieved. All citizens must prioritize proper willpower, attitude, and com- prehensive, integrated, and sustain- able action, based on their love for the homeland, for the people and the nation; based on faith in Pancasila and the Constitution of 1945, in or- der to maintain and preserve the in- tegrity and development of the NKRI.”

Quoting the PEW Research Cen- ter study on the characteristics of the Millennial generation, Mahfud stated that it has the unique characteristic of intense use of the internet as a pri- mary need. With massive progress in science and technology, the form of national defense must change ac- cording to the situation and condi- tion being faced, and the form of the threat being faced now and in the fu- ture. “The threat looming over Indo- nesia nowadays is not just military or physical threats. We also face other threats, such as global competition, free trade, efforts to weaken our HR, socio-cultural destruction, elimina- tion of diversity, the appearance of intolerance and dissolution of na- tionalism, and the ood of informa- tion. The Millennial generation must respond to all these challenges wisely and carefully,” he said. (dan)

25 sole Regional Head candidates

Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) Commissioner Ilham Saputra. (Photo: Mohammad Irfan)

Observer: A paradox of our democratic system

IO – The upcoming Regional Elections promise to be lively. There are 25 Gov- ernor and Vice Governor Candidate Pairs, 612 Regent and Vice Regent Candidate Pairs, and 101 Mayor and Vice Mayor Candidate Pairs. In terms of gender, there are 1,321 male can- didates and 155 female candidates. “647 Regent and Vice Regent, Mayor and Vice Mayor Candidate Pairs were submitted by individual or consortium political parties. The remaining 66 Re- gent and Vice Regent/Mayor and Vice Mayor Candidate Pairs chose an inde- pendent route,” said Election Commis- sion (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”) Commissioner Ilham Saputra in a clar- i cation Monday (14/09/2020).

Ilham said that of the 738 Candi- date Pairs from the 514 regencies and townships participating in the upcom- ing 2020 Regional Elections, in 25 of these regions they are Sole Candidate Pairs. Among them being the son of Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Hanindhito Himawan Pramana, who partners up with Dewi Mariya Ulfa for the election of the Regent of Kediri.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) General Secre- tary Hasto Kristiyanto observed that the phenomenon of sole candidacy in the Regional Elections is not inimical to democracy. Candidate Pairs’ strat- egy of securing a large amount of party support is viewed as an easy way to win. “Political parties like to support strong candidates who are not their own in a region because they see that sectoral processes run smoothly there, and they don’t feel the need to submit their own cadres against this good person. Therefore, they choose to support the strong party and gain support for themselves. This is also part of democ- racy. Sole candidacy is not averse to democracy,” he said.

Faux Political Contributions

Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) member Ratna Dewi Petta- lolo believes that sole candidates are more likely to pay out faux political contributions to parties in order to prevent them from supporting other candidates. “There is a high potential that these sole candidates appear be- cause of faux political contributions. They monopolize the parties’ support,” Ratna said in a webinar held by The Indonesian Institute.

Ratna views the phenomenon of sole candidacy in Regional Elections as a distinct paradox in Indonesia’s democratic system. Democracy should have provided the people with many options for their leadership. However, the existence of speci c regulations means that sole candidacy exists and is not prohibited in Regional Elections in Indonesia. She further stated that the Bawaslu is cooperating with other Government agencies, including the Police, the Attorney General’s Of ce, and conveyancers in order to inves- tigate suspicions relating to the Can- didates’ nancial transactions in the 2020 Regional Elections. “We might nd traces of violations there, and with this cooperation, we have strong evidence that we can prosecute the vi- olation,” she said.

Lingkar Madani untuk Indonesia (LIMA)’s Director Ray Rangkuti said that sole candidates get votes easier than multiple candidates. To suppress the sole candidacy phenomenon in the upcoming Regional Elections, both the candidacy threshold and the vote calculation system must be improved. “For example, sole candidates can only win Regional Elections if they obtain 50% of total votes, instead of determining the winner from the total number of valid votes like we do now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Election and Democ- racy Forum (Perkumpulan Pemilu dan Demokrasi – “Perludem”) Executive Director Titi Anggraini said sole can- didates and dynastic politics are not constitutionally prohibited in Indone- sia. However, these practices must be balanced in order to ensure that fair democracy still applies for all citizens. Citizen sovereignty must be proven by political equality. This means that citizens are more than just allowed to appear and compete, but there must be a guarantee that the competition itself is fair and equal.

Titi believes that there is no other way to check sole candidacy practices than providing alternative candidates. This is possible if we amend several regulations. For example, Regional Elections can be held simultaneously with the election of Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”) member- ship. “An even bigger help is if we eliminate the Regional Head candi- dacy threshold. It will encourage the establishment of natural coalitions. Even though there is no candidacy threshold, parties will think of sup- porting candidates that can attract votes and carry the party with their wins,” she said in Perludem’s recent virtual discussion, “Regional Elec- tions, (Trapped) between Dynasties and Empty Ballots”.

Titi further focuses on faux politi- cal contributions. “Joining a candidate from a different party is not easy – for example, there are always rumors of false contributions that cannot be proven legally. It is something that we all know to be constantly present in any Regional Elections candidacy. It is such a pity that cadre regeneration in political parties are now stagnant, while most of the political opponents are incumbents. As they don’t have any outstanding cadres that can com- pete against the incumbent. Finally, political pragmatism rises: Might as well not submit any candidate in this case,” she said.

Arif Susanto, Exposit Strategic’s political analyst, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic contributes to the existence of sole candidates. The pandemic affects political mobility during the search of new candidates. There are several common characteristics shared by regions with sole candidacies: First, the region has an overly dominant political party or figure. Second, the organization of its

political institutions is bad, as indicated by the centralizing of power and strong restrictions in political recruitment. Third, there is a gap of resource distribution among citizens. Finally, socio-political checks and balances are weak. “This is unhealthy for our democracy,” he said. (Dan)

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25 sole Regional Head candidates

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