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ILUNI UI : THE SOLUTION LIES IN TRANSPARENCY WITHIN THE FOUR PILLARS OF UI

IO, Jakarta, July 23 2021 – The Alumni Association of Universitas Indonesia (ILUNI UI) strongly urges that the Four Pillars of UI that are entrusted in developing the university’s statute—with its pillars representing the university’s Board of Trustees (MWA), Rector Ari Kuncoro, University Academic Senate (SAU), and Council of Professors (DGB)—immediately provide clarification towards the polemic of UI’s Statute. The Chairman of ILUNI UI Andre Rahadian has stated that such clarification should be done quickly so that the polemic can be settled swiftly. “Should these four pillars be able to provide an explanation on the statute, then we can foster greater transparency, and in doing so, we hope that the public can be more receptive” said Andre during the press conference (23/07).

It is expressly wished that the Rector and MWA can provide an open line of communication which follows suit to the principles of openness and togetherness, therefore ensuring that democratic values are implemented among the academic body and within campus life whilst building on the basis of academia without needless uncertainty. “Should there be no immediate explanation from the Rector and MWA, then ILUNI UI will facilitate the views from UI’s community towards its statute. As a part of UI’s extended family, the advice and criticism from its alumni must be recognized without being perceived as challenging the Rector. This is done is so everyone can be able to move forward.” Andre emphasized.

Andre continued to reiterate that the stance provided by ILUNI UI is in alignment with the cultural values that is a guide to all layers within UI’s community, ranging from its lecturers, students, academic personnel, and the Board of Trustees (MWA) in terms of expected behaviors  and attitudes. This is seen through the Nine Cultural Values of UI, which comprise of the following: Honesty, Fairness, Trust, Integrity, Responsibility, Togetherness, Transparency, Academic Freedom and Compliance to the Rules. These cultural values is found in Article 2, Board of Trustees Decree No. 004 Year 2014 concerning Articles of Association of Universitas Indonesia.

Andre invites all those within the academic body of UI to act calmly and, in reference to the 9 values of UI, take the appropriate steps to protect the good name of UI as a center of knowledge and national culture. “The vision carried by UI as a leading center in knowledge, technology and culture has to be supported by the Board of Trustees, Rector, University Academic Senate and the Council of Professors” urged Andre.

KONAMI PRESENTS eFootball™, A NEXT-GENERATION, FREE-TO-PLAY FOOTBALL SIMULATION EXPERIENCE

  • Launching this Autumn, eFootball™ is a new global brand for a global audience
  • Dramatically rebuilt in Unreal® Engine, providing many advances on and off the pitch
  • Free-to-play, digital-only title with a fair and balanced experience for all
  • Unite the community and play eFootball™ anywhere on consoles, PC and mobile, with cross-platform matchmaking available post-launch

Konami Digital Entertainment Limited today announced eFootball™, an all-new football simulation platform from the makers of PES and Winning Eleven. Free-to-play and completely rebuilt in Unreal® Engine, eFootball™ will launch worldwide first on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows® 10 and PC Steam® this Autumn, with iOS and Android to follow soon after.

A new brand identity for a new generation of consoles and players, eFootball™ represents a fresh approach for the long-running franchise, previously known as Pro Evolution Soccer and Winning Eleven.

ANNOUNCEMENT TRAILERhttps://www.youtube.com/user/KonamiAsia/

OFFICIAL WEBSITEhttps://www.konami.com/efootball/id/

Starting with the strong foundations of Unreal® Engine, which has allowed us to massively overhaul player expression, we’ve made a number of modifications to virtually create a new football game engine that will power eFootball™ for years to come,” said Seitaro Kimura, eFootball™ series Producer at Konami Digital Entertainment. With the added power of new-generation consoles and by working closely with elite footballers, eFootball™ delivers our most tense and realistic gameplay to date. We’ll share specific gameplay details next month, so stay tuned.”

Thanks to the greatly evolved football game engine, the animation system has also been overhauled. New technology called “Motion Matching” converts the vast range of movements that players make on the pitch into a series of animations, selecting the most accurate one in real-time. The system provides more than four times as many animations as before, achieving highly realistic movement. “Motion Matching” will be utilised across all eFootball™ platforms, including last-gen consoles, PCs and mobile.

Ensuring that eFootball™ is an experience that everyone can enjoy, KONAMI’s new football game is free-to-play across console, PC and mobile. Importantly, eFootball™ will also present a fair and balanced experience for all players. More details about gameplay and online modes will be revealed in late August.

As a digital-only title, KONAMI will regularly add new content and game modes after launch this Autumn. Local matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and others will be available, for free, at launch. In the future, certain game modes will be sold as optional DLC, giving players the freedom to build an experience that follows their interests.

Uniting football’s global gaming community for the first time, eFootball will offer the same highly realistic esports experience across console, PC and mobile, including full cross-play support post-launch. eFootball™ on mobile will be detailed at a later date.

To ensure open and transparent communication, KONAMI has published the first roadmap for eFootball™, presenting initial details about launch contents and what will be added in the months following.

Early Autumn:

  • All-new gameplay experience, powered by Unreal® Engine
  • Cross-generation matchmaking (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S vs. Xbox One)
  • Local Matches featuring FC Barcelona, Juventus, FC Bayern, Manchester United and more

Autumn:

  • Cross-platform matchmaking between consoles and PC (i.e. PlayStation®5 vs. Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5 vs. PC Steam®, etc.)
  • Team Building Mode (Name TBC) opened – build your own team by acquiring players
  • Online Leagues (Name TBC) opened – take your original team and compete in a global, competitive league
  • Match Pass system – earn items and players by playing eFootball

Winter:

  • Mobile controller support added
  • Full cross-platform matchmaking across all available platforms including mobile when using a compatible controller
  • Professional and amateur esports tournaments kick-off

KONAMI is honoured that Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr., two of the greatest footballers of all time, will become global ambassadors for eFootball™. In addition, Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué have been closely involved in development as official advisors for offensive and defensive gameplay, respectively.

Further announcements regarding additional eFootball™ ambassadors and details about Partner Clubs, licensing and more will be shared in the coming weeks.

For all the latest news from the eFootball™ franchise and for further information, please follow:

“eFootball”, “e-Football” and “eFootball logo” are registered trademarks or trademarks of Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. in Japan and other countries or regions.

Unreal is a trademark or registered trademark of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere.

Filipina indie songwriter, Lily Gonzales finds her inspiration in Indonesia during a time of COVID

Lili on Rote watching the sunset as she turns towards womanhood and grows in creativity as an artist. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

IO – It is a commonly accepted fact that Indonesians in general are genetically graced with musical ability including producing some outstanding indie pop and folk bands with a list of names that includes the likes of Sore with their elegant, soothing notes that flow effortlessly into each other and voted amongst the five best Asian indie pop bands in 2019, White Shoes and the Couples Company who shot to fame when their Senandung Maaf (Humming an Apology) was used in the sound track of Janji Joni (Joni’s Promise) starring Nicholas Saputra and Banda Neira’s unforgettable COVID lament Yang Patah Tumbu, Yang Hilang Berganti (Healing the Broken, Replacing the Lost) – just to mention a few.

Lili releases a new single By the Sea, an ode to love and the sea. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

But there’s a new kid on the block: Lili from the Philippines’ The Ransom Collective, who has been in Indonesia waiting out the pandemic since last year and in the process falling in love with Indonesia and writing new music – and she wants to play. On Friday, July 23rd her song By the Sea will be released and in August this year she will be streaming a new album, Sunchild  – very much inspired by Indonesia.

Her full name is Lily Marie Judiel Cenizal Gonzales born on the 2nd of July 1994 in Quezon City, just 9 kilometers southeast of the capital Manilla. Lili comes from a prestigious musical background. Her grandparents were famous screen and music figures in the Philippines after the War. Lili’s grandfather, Josefino Cenizal was foremost known as a composer who was famous for the music he created and directed for films. The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions in Philippine Music includes him amongst both the pre-war and 1950s Filipino composers for films, mentioning two of his most popular songs, Hindi Kita Malimot (I cannot Forget You) in “Rosa Birhen” which was directed by and starred Cenizal himself and Amihan Sa Bukid (Country Breeze) in Dolorosa.

Lili describes grandpa “Pepe” as he was affectionately known, as a relaxed and easy-going man who joked a lot and was playful and naughty. He liked to pull a naughty face and she remembers how when he travelled with them to see the Great Wall of China at the ripe old age of 90 when people asked him how old he was he decided for fun to add on 9 years as 99 would sound even more impressive. He was already a well-known figure in the Philippine film and music world during the pre-War years as well as in the1950s and 60s. Lili says Pepe was also adventurous. There is an article in the newspaper in 1945 describing how the Japanese offered thousands of pesos for his head after he wrote a victory song about the American landing in Luzon. When he fled Cuenca, Batangas in a car trying to reach Lipa which had just been liberated by the Americans his car was chased by seven Japanese armed with a tommy-gun, rifles and hand grenades. His car ran out of petrol and the Japanese had begun firing at him when fortunately, just then an American patrol detachment came out of the jungle and saved him, killing all seven of the Japanese.

Lili’s famous grandparents Pepe and Olivia Cenizal. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

In 1950 Lili’s grandfather married a beautiful singer named Gloria Pagtakhan Maigue. At the time he was working for Premiere Productions and when prominent filmmaker Cirio H. Santiago met her he invited her to enter the world of acting. Her first film was Palahamak (Harm) and led to her changing her name. Gloria was a true beauty with large dark eyes and tresses that fell to her knees. She also had a very sweet face resembling that of the then popular British-American actress, Olivia de Havilland. So, she took the stage name of Olivia Cenizal. Later, she was to become one of the studio’s top actresses and was twice nominated for the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Award for Best Actress in her films Desperado and Water-lily.

Like Lili, her grandmother also came from a musical family. She was more reserved than her husband but a very loving grandmother and Lili has happy memories of her grandmother tempting her grandchildren to come visit her by offering them the junk food strictly forbidden by Lili’s very health conscious parents.

Piano practice with grandpa Pepe who composed many well-known scores for Filipino films. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

It was her grandfather however, who gave her piano lessons and introduced Lili to the world of music. He also always came to cheer her on whenever she played softball. “I was closest to him,” confides Lili who believes that her grandfather who died in 2015, continues to live on through her by way of the musical genes that he passed on to her. Lili comes from a family of five children who are all musical but it is her older sister Muriel who works with her. They met Kian Ransom, a mixed Filipino-American musician who set up the Filipino indies pop band The Ransom Collective, and became part of his six-member band with Muriel playing the violin and Lili playing the keyboard and singing back-up vocals. They created songs working together and first received public attention when they won first place at Wanderland Music and Arts Festival’s pre-event Wanderband competition in January 2014 and played at Wanderland in 2014. They were signed up by Mustard Music, a sub-label of Universal Records for a year and released I Don’t Care. That same year they independently released their self-titled EP hit singles Fools and Settled, with an enviable 4,661,000 stream.

Lili and her band Lili in action. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

Lili says that they were pretty well-known on the local scene and were one of the first to play indie pop and folk in the Philippines. For readers unfamiliar with indie folk what is meant is not folk music but rather using instruments naturally and not so much depending on effects from the instruments. So, no electric guitars but rather sound that is more organic and natural.

So, how did she end up in Indonesia and on the distant island of Rote, of all places?“Ransom Collective really impacted my life. It was fun performing with bandmates and getting into the local scene and creating with them music people really enjoyed. It gave me experience and there was a network that I would be able to tap into for my solo career later.

Here Lili is playing the guitar but she played the keyboard and sang vocal back-up for The Ransom Collective. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

However, when the pandemic hit the Philippines went into strict lockdown and The Ransom Collectives took a break because we could not do gigs or even meet. My sister Muriel went to study in France and was expecting to work remotely with us and I came to Indonesia expecting to holiday for about a month. In Bali I met Arief Rabik from the Environmental Bamboo Foundation who are creating bamboo villages. As I am very much into sustainability and the environment I did a bamboo course with them to learn more about bamboo. Arief has a resort in Rote and recommended that I visit it. I always like an adventure and had no idea what Rote was like so, I just packed up and went out there with a friend of mine. I thought we would stay for about two weeks so, I only brought my backpack and left my luggage in Bali but then one thing after another happened: at Ramadhan the flights were cancelled, then there were problems travelling because of COVID and actually, I was quite happy being on a beautiful island learning more about bamboo – eventually nine months passed.

Lili riding the waves in Rote, Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

One day, I moved to another resort on Rote and went into real holiday mode learning to surf. The beaches there are so pristine, the water so clear and the corals so alive and people are so friendly. I had never lived on my own before and I love nature but had always lived in a city and there I had the chance to live in nature – and surfing is such fun.

One night Arief’s family on Rote organized a bon fire night with another Indonesian-Portuguese family who also have a resort in Rote but it rained so we ended up at Cindy’s eating dinner and then her son Maximillian came in after a long day working on his house and joined us. I was not looking for a relationship especially as I thought the whole situation on Rote was just temporary but flights kept getting cancelled and I ended up spending a lot of time with Maxi who taught me to surf better and he showed me around Rote taking me kayaking in the mangroves and on sailing trips to other islands and we built a cob oven which is a sort of clay oven for Cindy and slowly grew close. I taught him how to play the ukulele but he does not sing. He took such good care of me. He is a great guy… and slowly I fell in love…”

Lili, a flower of Summer, the name of one of her songs in her new album Sunchild, to be released in August. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

All these things of course, inspired Lili’s creativity enormously. One of her favourite songs in her new album, is Sail Away something she had actually written before coming to Indonesia. “It’s a song of empowerment,” Lili confides, “about finding your identity and independence. I wrote it in the Philippines in 2015 imagining this kind of adventure and I ended up doing exactly all that in Rote as if my soul already knew what I wanted. It’s funny because the song ended up resonating with me so much years after I wrote it.”

Lili’s upcoming album Sunchild is a selection of catchy melodies using a diverse set of instruments to create the sound she wants – and it is a happy, joyful sound celebrating her new found self. Some of the songs in it were begun years ago before Lili went to Indonesia. “They were only partly finished because I did not know the words that would fit and now years later after so many experiences in Indonesia when I return to the music I have the words.”

Now she has the words because her spirit has grown. Lili is a girl who has grown into womanhood and thereby also developed as a songwriter. She has a gentle soprano voice that gently lulls the listener. In Sail Away she sings that she is: “off to the horizon, on to the rising sun” but reassures her listeners to be patient because, “I’ll be back from the sea, a better me. Just wait and see…”

Lili in Indonesia writing and singing about island life. Photo courtesy of Lily Gonzales.

Lili wants to make her base in Asia dividing her time between the Philippines and Indonesia because she sees them as home and feels they provide the best opportunity for her growth as a composer and musician. So, she intends to learn Indonesian in which she recognizes so many Tagalog words and also looks forward to meeting Indonesian indie pop musicians. Two of her favourites are The Mentawais who surf Java and whose beach vibe music resonates with her own, and the other is singer/composer Vira Talisa whose jazz style with indie vibes appeals very much to Lili. “She’s my age and also an artist who began in a band but I admire her because she began making solo music far earlier than I did and since she writes in English I can understand her lyrics.”

From Lili’s coming new album Sunchild, her favourite song By the Sea (to be released on Friday) is one she composed on Rote and in which her playful, dulcet tones drip islands and sunshine – unabashedly happy in an ode to love by the sea led by a ukulele… (Tamalia Alisjahbana)

For more information about Lili’s new releases checkout: www.just-lili.com

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja formulator and champion of the Archipelagic State Principle. Part II: A gifted man in the service of Indonesia

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja and his daughter Armida Alisjahbana. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

IO – Mochtar Kusumaatmadja who passed away on the 6th of June 2021 formulated Indonesia’s Archipelagic State Principle and later it was due to his diplomatic efforts that the world was persuaded to accept the principle that increased Indonesia’s territory by a third. At times it could be said to have even accepted the principle a little too well. It is ironic that today China for example, is using Indonesia’s Archipelagic State Principle as part of the legal basis for its claim to nearly 90% of the South China Sea. Its attempt to shelter behind it in order to create a veneer of legal legitimacy for its claims was however, rejected by the 2016 Hague Tribunal ruling which found China’s arguments lacking in any real legal foundation. China is not an archipelagic state.

Armida Alisjahbana, Mochtar Kusumaamadja’s oldest daughter who is Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and who heads the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) served as Minister for State Planning (Bappenas) under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Her current positions involve her in global and regional development diplomacy and she suspects that she may have inherited some of her father’s diplomatic skills. Armida confides, “I was not expecting to become a minister but when I did I was not really surprised, in the sense that my father was a minister as were a great uncle, an uncle and two of my parent’s cousins.”

From left to right: Sarwono, his cousin Juwono Sudarsono and sister Ade Kusumaatmadja. Photo courtesy of Sarwono Kusumaatmadja.

During the Japanese Occupation Mochtar was at SMP (Sekolah Menengah Pertama) or lower secondary school where the Japanese insisted on giving Indonesian students a form of military training. As the War progressed it became difficult for Mochtar’s parents to find sufficient food and clothing for the family, so they moved to Cirebon to stay with his mother’s sister Moespiah. She was married to Dr Sudarsono Mangoenadikusumo who was to have a very strong influence on Mochtar and his brother, Sarwono. For a time they were raised together with Dr Sudarsono’s children including Juwono Soedarsono who many years later served as Minister of Education and Culture under President Habibie and then as Minister of Defense under President Abdurrahman Wahid. Dr Sudarsono himself was a member of Sutan Sjahrir’s Partai Sosialis Indonesia (later so many of Indonesia’s technocrats were members or sympathizers of the PSI) and later served twice as a cabinet minister under Sutan Sjahrir. In this capacity during the Revolution he organized Indonesia’s donation of rice to India which was experiencing famine. The Dutch tried to seize the rice and it provided much good PR for the Indonesian revolutionaries.

Mochtar was very much inspired by Dr Sudarsono’s struggle for independence and as a result joined Republican, Battalion 400 as a freedom fighter in its guerilla campaign in Sukaraja to the south of Tasikmalay in West Java. Here the military training the Japanese provided him with as a student proved quite useful. He returned home after the ceasefire in 1949 and finished his high school education at Adam Bachtiar’s school and later at Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana’s Science and Arts College on Jalan Senen Raya (which later became the Universitas Nasional), finally studying English at the college in Rawamangun. There he met a pretty East Javanese girl from Ponorogo, named Siti Chadijah who was popularly known as Ida. She eventually became his wife and with her he was to have 5 children. Meanwhile, an aunt of Ida’s had married a Minangkabau from West Sumatra and their son, her cousin, Chairul Saleh, was also to have a strong influence on Mochtar. Chairul Saleh became a close confidant of President Soekarno; later becoming a cabinet minister and eventually even a deputy prime minister under him. So, Armida Alisjahbana is right her extended clan is truly outstanding: it has produced at least 6 cabinet ministers.

Later, Mochtar graduated in law from the University of Indonesia and went on to do post-graduate studies in law and eventually a doctorate in law at Yale and the University of Chicago. Later he also did post-graduate studies at Harvard. Armida remembers these as happy times. Reminiscing about the life then with her father she commented, “My best and happiest memories of my father are somewhat of a distance away from now actually, not just with reference to my father but in the context of our whole family life. It was during my early childhood years. We were living in the United States at the time for about two and a half years. It was the mid 1960s, after which we moved back to Indonesia following the fall of Soekarno. Our time in the United States was very special and memorable. We spent a lot of time together as a family going to museums, to the city shopping, to the zoo…

Mochtar (middle row, centre) with Indonesian friends in Chicago in 1965. On the left with glasses is Prof Harsja Bachtiar. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

Then we returned to Indonesia in the early years of the New Order government. My father worked very hard because he had to start his career afresh but because he was so good it was not difficult. He was asked to serve on many important assignments and to complete many tasks which advanced his career. Our economy gradually but steadily improved. We had our own first house, then moved to a larger house etc, etc. So, they were very busy years for my father. It was my mother who more and more had to take on the care of the family. Despite that we had a family tradition of every weekend going out to lunch or dinner as well as to book shops such as Toko Buku Djawa (the Javanese Book Shop) in Braga (Bandung). On some Sundays or weekends we would go out of town for a picnic to Ciater or the Puncak or some other pleasant place…”

Mochtar’s brother Sarwono Kusumaatmadja served three times as a cabinet minister under President Soeharto including as Minister of the Environment (1993-1998), Minister of State Bureaucracy (1988-1993) and Minister for Sea Exploration (1999 – 2001). Similarly, his best memory of his brother is also from a time when Mochtar was in the United States. “When Mochtar returned from America, I was a student at ITB and he brought home for me a most precious gift. He brought me a slide rule because I was studying engineering and you cannot imagine how hard it was to come by one in those days and how expensive they were. Normally, students had to rent one. So, having one was really something!

We became close as brothers not when we were kids (there was an age difference of 14 years between the two brothers) but rather it was as adults that we grew close.”

The two brothers Mochtar and Sarwono Kusumaatmadja smiling during happy times. Photo courtesy of Sarwono Kusumaatmadja.

When asked why Soeharto had finally replaced his brilliant foreign minister with Ali Alatas and if it was because Mochtar had also managed to annoy Soeharto in some way, there was a smile in Sarwono’s voice as he answered, “No, not at all. It was because Soeharto told him to give way to his brother, Sarwono. I was the first secretary general of Golkar at the time and Soeharto told Mochtar that it would be unseemly to have two brothers in the cabinet. My brother did not mind. He was a person who from early on in life was touted as someone who would make it in life whereas I was born with a motoric disability which I had to learn to overcome. Mochtar was proud of his little brother when he became a minister.”

Mochtar who had been an academician at Pajajaran University was first Minister of Justice for four years under the Soeharto government from 1974 till 1978. Former Indonesian ambassador to the United States, Dino Pattijalal who heads the largest public foreign policy community in the world described Mochtar as not only a scholar and a thinker but also a practitioner and leader. For his role as Indonesian foreign minister Dino touched upon Mochtar’s practicality but also idealism when he remarked, “Mochtar was known for having said that law without power is merely a dream but that power without law is tyranny.”

Another of Mochtar’s specializations was in developmental law. He later established a development law which he expanded from the concept of law as an instrument of social engineering. He based it on the situation in Indonesia and it came to be known as the mazhab UnPad (Universitas Padjadjaran) or University of Padjadjaran school of thought. As Indonesia’s first expert on the law of the sea he also promoted the study of the law of the sea at the law faculty. He was dean of the law faculty at Pajajaran University and later rector of the University.

Mochtar Kusumaamadja (in white suit) in Minister of Justice Ismail Saleh’s (centre) office together with legal scholar Frederik B.G. Tumbuan (to the left in dark suit). Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1978 till 1988. Both before and during that period he handled many important international matters concerning Indonesia including the international dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands known as the Bremen Tobacco case (1959), the defence of two Indonesian agents, Usman and Harun who had planted a bomb in Singapore (1968), the Showa Maru disaster near Singapore Harbour (1968) and in 1979 Indonesia’s acceptance of more than 20,000 Vietnamese boat people on Galangan Island.

When remembering her father Armida Alisjahbana confides that what she misses most is that she can no longer ask him questions. “If I could speak to him one more time I would ask him to outline his vision in more detail as to how to implement the Archipelagic State Principle and his development law. These are the things we greatly miss these days…”

Mochtar was known to have a strong and straight forward personality. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja describes his brother as a strategic thinker and a good organizer. Indonesian UN representative from 19921997, Nugoho Wisnumurti saw him as more than that, as in fact a very strong and visionary leader. As a diplomat however, he was not only highly visionary, astute and determined but also an elegant and charming man with many who both admired and respected him both nationally as well as internationally.

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja together with UN Secretary General, Javier Perez de Cuellar on 4th of October 1985. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

During his period as foreign minister, there was civil war in Cambodia and Vietnam also attacked Cambodia. This threatened ASEAN peace and security as a region. Mochtar sought to bring the warring parties together to seek a peace accord. He understood however, that it would not be easy for the warring factions to come together so he devised a way for them to meet and to create a more relaxed situation between them. He created what he referred to later as cocktail party diplomacy. Meanwhile, his working paper about the legal aspect regarding environmental matters contributed to the International Environmental Declaration of 1972 in Sweden. Here too he was a pioneer thinker and jurist.

In his spare time Mochtar thoroughly enjoyed Indonesian culture including sculpture as well as Indonesian culinary delights. He established an Indonesian restaurant in New York in 1968 called the Indonesia Nusantara Restaurant and in 1988 helping to set up the Nusantara Chambre Orchestra in Jakarta. Mochtar is also remembered for helping to organize an Indonesian cultural exhibition in New York from 1990 till 1991 known as KIAS. It included the Festival of Indonesia in Performance and was a part of Indonesian diplomacy. Sadly, in 2014 his wife Ida, passed away.

Armida sees her father’s greatest strengths in the fact that he was a man of principle, integrity and honesty who had the ability to translate complex issues or situations into simpler or easier to understand frameworks. He was also a man who had the gift of being able to bring competing parties together for a solution. Indonesia was very fortunate to have such gifted man serving her… (Tamalia Alisjahbana)

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also enjoy Part I of the article by the same writer:
https://observerid.com/mochtar-kusumaatmadja-formulator-and-champion-of-the-archipelagic-state-principle-part-i-the-man-who-increased-indonesias-territory-by-a-third/

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja formulator and champion of the Archipelagic State Principle. Part I: The man who increased Indonesia’s territory by a third

Members of the Indonesian delegation to the Conference on the Law of the Sea I in Geneva, 1958. In the middle is seated former Prime Minister Ali Sastroamidjojo with the head of the delegation, Achmad Soebardjo seated next to him and Mochtar Kusumaatmadja standing behind him. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja

IO – On June 6th 2021 one of Indonesia’s finest son’s Mochtar Kusumaatmadja passed away and to put it very succinctly the popular consensus is that Indonesia should elevate Pak Mochtar to national hero status. Well, what else does one do with a citizen who increased the country’s territory by 3,7 million square kilometers without anyone having to fire a shot? Not a soldier, sailor or other citizen was killed in accomplishing this. Indonesia’s national waters increased by nearly twice the size of its land mass which is about 1,9 million square kilometers. Before Mochtar Kusumaatmadja’s concept of the Archipelagic State our waters were only about half a million square kilometers in size. So, do we have a choice? No decent nation would refuse to make such a citizen a national hero.

So, how did it come about and what is the Archipelagic State Principle that has benefitted Indonesia so much?

“It really all began with Chairul Saleh who at that time was the Minister for Veterans Affairs in Prime Minister Djuanda Kartawijaya’s cabinet. During the Irian Jaya conflict Dutch naval ships had the right to enter the waters between our islands because our territorial waters were only 3 nautical miles from the shoreline of each island. Chairul Saleh was outraged and he really was the trigger that gave rise to the Archipelagic State Principle. He cajoled and pushed my brother to formulate a new policy on the seas contrary to the established rules. Mochtar created the legal nuts and bolts of the Archipelagic State Principle whereas the grand strategy and normative side of things were from Chairul Saleh. At the time Indonesia was under a parliamentary system and President Soekarno was just a figurehead. Prime Minister Djuanda promulgated a law in 1957 regarding Indonesian territorial waters and maritime environment incorporating the Archipelagic State Principle but it was Mochtar who later lobbied and persuaded the world to accept it,” explained Mochtar Kusumaatmadja’s brother Sarwono Kusumaatmadja who also served several times as a cabinet minister during the Soeharto era.

Mochtar enjoying a meal with former Minister of Education Fuad Hasan in 1994. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Indonesia in 1955. A year later he received a graduate degree from Yale University, and later also obtained a PhD in law. He continued with post-doctoral studies at Harvard specializing in the Law of the Sea and was the only Indonesian specialist in the field at the time. He fought diplomatically to extend Indonesia’s sea boundaries and succeeded outstandingly by obtaining international recognition for Indonesia’s Archipelagic State Principle as well as it’s Continental Shelf.

The Archipelagic State Principle is a principle which asserts that in an archipelagic state such as Indonesia, the boundaries of its territorial waters are calculated by drawing an imaginary line connecting all the outermost points of its outermost islands and then from this maritime baseline calculating 12 nautical sea miles. As Indonesia is located on strategic international trade and military routes it allows freedom of peaceful navigation in its waters.

Mochtar was the first to initiate the concept of Indonesia’s Archipelagic State Principle internationally and from 1957 till 1982 he fought diplomatically at various United Nations conferences to have the principle accepted as part of the international law of the sea. It was finally accepted in 1982 under UNCLOS III which was signed in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja was then Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Suharto government.

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja accompanied by his wife, Siti Hadidjah Saleh together with the Secretary General of the UN, Perez de Cuellar and his spouse. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

Indonesians do not refer to Indonesia as most people would refer to their country as “our land’ but rather as tanah air kita or “our land and water” as two thirds of our nation consists of sea. Obtaining international recognition of Indonesia’s Archipelagic State Principle was not only about increasing Indonesia’s territory but more importantly about geographically unifying the territory of an extremely diverse nation. Without being united territorially as a unitary whole both on land and at sea, Sarwono maintains that it would have been far more difficult for Indonesia to have survived as one political entity. Indonesia’s islands are legally united through its seas but for that to work in practice those islands need to be connected via vessels carrying the Indonesian flag. “A network of boats and ships connecting all the islands of the Archipelago is what is needed and remains the task of the government,” explains Haryono Kartohadiprodjo the former director of one of Indonesia’s major shipping lines. “Just as during the Dutch times the KPM fleet did with its many island hubs and feeder boats and of course, we must have a strong navy to protect our land and sea.”

However, despite formulating the concept of the Archipelagic State Principle Mochtar Kusumaatmadja still managed to trigger President Sukarno’s rage with a lecture in 1962 at Pajajaran University where he was a lecturer as well as dean of the Faculty of Law. According to Sarwono his brother criticized President Sukarno apparently comparing him to India’s Prime Minister Nehru saying amongst other things that Sukarno was just a seasonal socialist. His comments were then taken and spiced up by other groups such as the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party), GERMINDO (Gerakan Mahasiswa Indonesia), CGMI (Consentrasi Gerakan Mahasiswa Indonesia). Both the later were leftist student organizations and the CGMI was under the wing of the PKI. They all reported his comments back to Sukarno. An outraged Sukarno immediately sent a telegram dismissing Mochtar both as dean and lecturer.

A very difficult time then followed as no other university was prepared to hire Mochtar. He then tried to set up a small law firm in a friend’s pavilion but even this was difficult and at one point he called Sarwono who was helping out at his office at a sort of office boy and told him that he would have to find his own funds to continue his education as there were barely any clients. It did not bother Sarwono too much. He had watched Mochtar look for funds when he was young cleaning people’s shoes, painting houses and his mother began selling food on the roadside again. “We were destroyed economically when he lost his job but it wasn’t a problem. We knew how to look for money and we learnt then who our friends really were,” commented Sarwono.

Mochtar and Sarwono Kusumaatmadja’s families. Their extended clan produced six members who became cabinet ministers. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

He explained that Mochtar could be very diplomatic but he could also be not in the least bit diplomatic; extremely straight forward in expressing whatever he thought. “It came from my parent’s personalities which were extremely different. My mother was a great problem solver, charming, eloquent and diplomatic whereas my father was extremely straight forward with a great sense of humour but also sarcastic. He had a strong personality and tended to do as he pleased but was very egalitarian with no prejudices either racial, religious or ethnic. When Mochtar was being diplomatic and persuasive he was channelling my mother and at other times when he was sarcastic and outspoken he was just being like my father.”

Mochtar Kusumaatmadja’s father Taslim Kusumaatmadja was descended from Ki Wirawangsa Umbul Sukakerta bergelar Tumenggung Wiradedaha who was the bupati or regent of Sukapura in Tasikmalaya, West Java. Many of his sons later also became bupatis in the Priangan region in places such as Bandung, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis and Sumedang. Meanwhile, Mochtar’s mother, Sulmini Soerawisastra was the daughter of Haji Badjoeri Soerawisastra who ran the Pesantren Balerante in Cirebon. Both of Mochtar’s parents were educated in the HIS (Hollandsch-Inlandsche School) or Dutch School for Natives. These were schools for native Indonesians that used Dutch as the intermediary language. After her father graduated he studied to become an assistant apothecary and later worked in Jakarta. Meanwhile, Sulmini went to the higher teacher’s training school where she became very close friends with Ibu Sud the creator of Indonesian children’s songs and later she taught at the Kartini School in Gunung Sahari. Still later she joined PERWARI, the first non-religious women’s organization in Indonesia and began teaching at PERWARI schools.

Despite their very different personalities they had a very harmonius marriage as they shared the same values. Both were extremely caring people. Taslim was always very concerned about the health of his neighbourhood, often using his own funds to provide medical help to sick neighbours. He also tried to help students who dropped out of school to get back into school again volunteering to argue their case with the school authorities and always encouraging them not to give up on their studies and Sulmini fully supported him in all this. Mochtar may have inherited this trait of always wanting to help people for his daughter Armida Alisjahbana who is Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) describes her father’s greatest weakness as similar, “He easily liked to help people in need. If one is not careful people can take advantage of one – but luckily that did not happen to him. Especially, when he became a minister he always had to be very careful about this.”

They were a positive, happy couple who both loved music and listening to the Netherlands Indies or NIROM radio broadcasts of Western classical music as well as local music from all over the Archipelago. Their house was also always open for the Republicans wanting freedom for Indonesia, as a place to hold their discussions.

Mochtar’s mother, the incredible Sulmini, his brother, Sarwono, sister, Ade and Mochtar himself in 1968. By then his father had already passed away. Photo courtesy of Rachmat Askari Kusumaatmadja.

It was Sulmini however, who was the solver of impossible problems. It began already as Mochtar was still a young boy when somehow she managed to persuade the Dutch authorities to allow him to attend the ELS (Europeesch Lagere School) or European Primary School which was only for Dutch children, Asian races such as wealthy Chinese and Arabs and a few native Indonesians from important aristocratic families. Sarwono remarked, “It was quite unheard of but somehow my mother managed to persuade them to allow Mochtar to study there. She said that they were curious to see whether an ordinary native boy could make it in a Dutch school like that. Consequently, he received the education of a Dutch person and so never had any inferiority complex or inhibitions whatsoever. To be honest my mother herself in fact should not even have been accepted into the HIS or Dutch language school for natives coming from a pesantren or religious school, as she did. Nobody can really explain it. There is just a vague story that the Dutch administrator of a nearby sugar plantation recommended her. She was a cute, funny kid and he seems to have been taken with her.”

Another example of Sulmini’s resourcefulness was during the Revolution after the Second World War. In 1948 the family were staying with relatives near Cirebon in a complex with 3 large houses with gardens and a village next to it. All the male members of the family were away fighting the Dutch when one day a platoon of Dutch soldiers appeared. All the inhabitants of the area were made to squat on the ground with the men separated from the women. A young Dutch soldier had been captured and killed by local fighters and was buried nearby. The platoon commander was looking for him and his men began to search the houses. They were all very nervous for there were Republican papers buried in the grounds and if the Dutch had discovered either the papers or the body of the dead soldier then there was a strong likelihood that they would kill some of the people and probably set the village on fire.

Sarwono says that his mother stood up, approached the commander and addressed him in fluent Dutch, “What are you doing here so far from home behaving like Nazis? Haven’t you had enough of war?”

The commander who was very taken aback at being addressed by a native Indonesian woman in fluent Dutch, asked her where she had learnt her Dutch and where her husband was. “He has been away fighting for three years probably killed by the likes of you,” was her response and they began to converse. The Commander ended up by telling her that he too was a teacher and showing her a photograph of his family at home. He agreed with her that it was an unfair war and that the Dutch should not be there and that he wanted nothing more than for peace to come so that he could go home.

Sulmini then told him, “So why don’t you tell your soldiers to stop this useless search?”

He obeyed and she suggested that the soldiers join her in a sing-along instead. So, he blew his whistle and called his soldiers and she led them in singing kindergarten songs. The atmosphere of fear immediately vanished and Mochtar Kusumaatmadja’s mother saved the village. (Tamalia Alisjahbana)

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also enjoy Part II of the article by the same writer:
https://observerid.com/mochtar-kusumaatmadja-formulator-and-champion-of-the-archipelagic-state-principle-part-ii-a-gifted-man-in-the-service-of-indonesia/

PR EXPERT SAYS, INFODEMIC CAUSES PEOPLE TO PANIC,

Ketua Umum APPRI Jojo S. Nugroho menjelaskan mengenai fenomena Infodemik di Indonesia saat ini. (Dok : APPRI)

The rapid rush of hoax information created an Infodemic condition that led to mass panic. Proper public communication is needed by creating a narrative that calms the public.

IO, Jakarta, 10 July 2021 – The speed and level of misinformation and disinformation circulating in the public arena has reached the Infodemic level. The role of Public Relations (PR) practitioners is needed to guide public communication in order to help reduce mass panic that occurs in the community. Infodemic is a condition where too much information spreads quickly but is inaccurate and tends to be negative.

“This infodemic could be more dangerous than a pandemic. The danger is unnecessary mass panic, which will ultimately cost us. So there is panic buying of masks, vitamins, oxygen. Goods are becoming scarce and prices are rising sharply,” said Jojo S. Nugroho, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Public Relations Companies (APPRI) after the online awarding of Influential PR Figures from the MAW Talks Awards, July 9, 2021.

According to him, the current condition of the community actually needs sanity to think because bad news continues to hit. The number of victims of Covid-19 which was previously seen as a statistic has now become more real and relevant because the people who died are now the closest people. Feelings of anxiety and fear plus not knowing what to do and in what way, are exacerbated by the intake of false and negative information that explodes. This, said Jojo, cannot be tolerated and must be fought with true and positive facts.

“Wrong and negative news, if it comes repeatedly without being corrected, will be considered by the public as the truth. In fact, people’s anxiety and worry must be managed so that immunity does not decrease,” said the man who is also the Managing Director of Imogen PR.

The role of public relations or PR practitioners is very important to help the spread of hoax information related to the Covid-19 issue can be stopped by understanding and verifying the source, and then providing clarification through a medium that is accessed by the public. In addition, providing media literacy so that the public can sort out and validate information so as not to be carried away by the flow of hoax propaganda. Some points that the community can consider, for example, looking for reliable sources

avoiding news with a single source and checking with related sources or trusted national media. “Get in the habit of identifying and thinking critically — is the source credible? verify and crosscheck the material through various sources. Be alert but there is no need to panic,” he said.
The role of mass media as social control should also work so that the Infodemic can be suppressed. The media must present neutral and reliable information and not panic the masses. PR figures must also help lead a narrative that calms the public,” said one of the 10 Influential PR Figures according to the 2021 MAW Talks Awards.
The MAW Talks Awards 2021 selects 10 Influential PR Figures from hundreds of candidates with the criteria of producing quite important and significant innovations in the PR field over the past year. The 10 figures are VP Corporate Communication of PT Pegadaian (Persero) Basuki Tri Andayani, VP of Corporate Communication of PT Telkomsel Denny Abidin, President of IABC Chapter Indonesia Elvera N Makki, Head of the Communication Department of Bank Indonesia Erwin Haryono, VP Corporate Communication of PT Pertamina (Persero) Fajriyah Usman, VP Corporate Communication of PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk Pujo Pramono, Head of Communication and Information Services Bureau of the Ministry of Finance Rahayu Puspasari, General Chairperson of the Indonesian Public Relations Company Association (APPRI) Jojo Suharjo Nugroho, Head of the Ministry of Health’s Communication and Public Service Bureau , SVP Corporate Communication of PT Pupuk Indonesia (Persero) Wijaya Laksana. The characters chosen in this event are influential figures who use their hearts in their works, actions, and ways of communicating.

The Struggle for Women’s Right to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Attire Continues

The struggle for women’s right to determine their attire based on their personal beliefs has been very much in the news this year and the struggle to maintain that right which basically derives from women’s right to freedom of religion continues even now.

Events so far:

In January of this year the parent of a Christian school girl in Padang, West Sumatra protested his daughter being forced to wear a kerudung or hijab by down loading a video of his daughter’s school teacher at SMKN 2 Padang telling him that the school regulation requires all school girls irrespective of their religion to wear a hijab covering their hair. The video went viral and was covered by the national news media.

Less than a month later the Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Anwar Makarim issued a statement that any state owned school regulations that require school girls to wear a hijab or any other religious attributes contravenes Indonesian law. On the 3rd of February 2021 Joint Ministerial Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Religious Affairs number 02/ KB/2O2l jo 025-199 of 2021 jo 219 of 2021 was issued regarding school uniforms and freedom of choice. This was then revoked by Supreme Court decision of the 3rd of May 2021.

The intervention of the West Sumatra Ombudsman:

However, on the 15th of June the West Sumatran Ombudsman joined in the struggle. It responded to the complaint of parents and through its End Investigation Report number 0014/ IN/2021/PDG made its announcement defending school girls’ and teachers’ right to wear or not to wear a hijab. What is perhaps just as important as upholding the parent’s demand that his daughter be allowed to wear school uniforms with or without religious attributes in accordance with her religious beliefs, is that the Ombudsman told the Regional Education Board that the school regulations of state-owned schools must be approved by them. In the case of the SMKN 2 in Padang the Regional Board of Education was negligent in carrying out its authority to reprimand SMKN 2 when it misinterpreted government regulations and the law in it’s school regulations.

The head of the West Sumatra Ombudsman, Yefri Heriani told the Regional Education Board that it has a duty to monitor, advise, guide, evaluate and supervise school regulations. Such regulations may not contravene for example article 6 of the Law for the Protection of Children which provides that each child has the right to carry out religious observances in accordance with their own religious beliefs. A hijab is part of a school uniform that  may be worn by a Muslim student in accordance with her own personal beliefs. Consequently, it is the task of the Regional Education Board to monitor the school regulations of all the state owned-schools in their region and to evaluate their observance of laws and government regulations. Apparently, the Ombudsman has already approached four kabupatens or regencies and towns in West Sumatra; not only Padang. Between the months of June and August of this year she intends to contact other kabupatens and schools, including on the provincial level. It is hoped that the Ombudsman’s report will serve to guide schools in other areas too because the Ombudsman has received complaints and reports of schools in other areas as well.

KOMNAS Perempuan’s efforts in creating violence and abuse free educational institutions:

The struggle for the right of women to religious freedom and to the right to decide whether to wear attire with religious attributes or not is far from over. KOMNAS Perempuan or the National Committee for Women was established under President Habibie when women who had been raped and harassed during the 1998 rioting approached him for help. In the matter of attire with religious attributes the KOMNAS Perempuan has not remained inactive as more and more cases of women being subjected to pressure, abuse and even violence when they attempt to put into practice their right to freedom of religion as well as their right to choose their own attire. This begins when they are still at school.

Maria Ulfah who is a member of KOMNAS Perempuan explains that KOMNAS Perempuan tries to influence both society as well as decision makers to honour women’s rights. It has found that women frequently experience bullying and abuse, even violence when they insist on making their own choices about whether to wear attire with religious attributes or not.

KOMNAS Perempuan promotes human rights principles as well as gender equality. One of its efforts to counter abuse and violence against women who try to assert their human rights has been focused on establishing violence and abuse free school environments. “So, KOMNAS Perempuan has begun to address the issue by asking state owned universities to create Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs so that there is a remedy and structure available that women can revert to in order to complain about abuse and violence, and that the universities also provide the complainants with accompaniment by either university personnel or other parties who can provide guidance and support as the women put forward their complaint about violence or abuse. This includes neglecting or ignoring a woman’s human rights.”

Maria Ulfah says that KOMNAS Perempuan has also approached state-owned Islamic higher education institutions. Working in tandem with the Director General for Islamic Higher Education Institutions from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, in 2018 and 2019 their proposals for institutional SOPs to support complaints against violence and harassment as well as accompaniment from the institutions during the forwarding of the complaint were accepted by eight state-owned Islamic institutions of higher learning.

Meanwhile, as regards state-owned non-religious institutions of higher learning such as universities, KOMNAS Perempuan is working together with the Ministry of Education in creating campuses free of violence or harassment of women. It is hoped that a ministerial decree can be promulgated this year regulating the matter. The draft is currently still with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights for final approval.

A standard operating procedure for complaints and reports from victims of violence and abuse against women (mandatory academic regulations regarding attire with religious attributes falls into this category), as well as a requirement to provide accompaniment for the victims making the complaint, is expected to be regulated by the ministerial decree.

The Director General of Education is also working on ensuring that state – owned primary and secondary schools are free of violence and abuse against female students. Maria Ulfah says that it is important that enforcement of the regulations and monitoring of the system for this be carried out not only by the Ministry of Education but also by civil society.

KOMNAS Perempuan has also approached religious organizations such as Nahdlatul Ulama or NU and Muhammadiyah with their violence and abuse free-schools and universities program. NU is an Indonesian Islamic organization with between 40 million to 90 million members, making it the largest Islamic organization in the world. It has 6,830 Islamic boarding schools, or pesantren and 44 universities. Meanwhile, Muhammadiyah is another Indonesian Islamic organization with 50 million members which has over 5750 schools and nearly 32 universities. Both also own hundreds of medical clinics and hospitals all over Indonesia. KOMNAS Perempuan also approached organizations from other religions such as the Persekutuan Gereja Indonesia (PGI) or Communion of Churches in Indonesia which is a union of 91 Protestant church synods across Indonesia which has various schools and universities in Indonesia.

The program with NU, Muhammadiyah and PGI to create a violence free environment in religious based educational institutions is still ongoing but KOMNAS Perempuan has succeeded in signing memorandums of understanding with all three organizations in doing so. They are now working on constructing the SOPs which the religious organizations agree to provide to their schools which will then sign agreements with the religious organizations to implement them as part of their programs for creating violence free educational environments that respect women’s human rights.

The ministries of education and religious affairs continue to protect the rights of women:

Before proceeding further, a point must be clarified namely, that the regulations governing the attire of students, teachers and school staff leave the choice of wearing attire with religious attributes to the individual’s religious beliefs. The Education Minister, Nadiem Makarim has explained that this does not just mean that schools do not have the right to force or pressure students, teachers and staff to wear clothing with religious attributes. He has said that the opposite is also true namely, that any school regulation forbidding school girls, teachers or school staff from wearing attire with religious attributes is also illegal. There have apparently been several cases of schools in Papua, Bali and Flores forbidding its female students from wearing Muslim attire. This too, contravenes the law. Women and girls must be free to choose whether they want to wear attire with religious attributes or not.

It is unfortunate that previous education ministers left the task of tackling extremism, radicalism, violence and abuse in schools largely untouched as it has allowed instances of this to increase. Research has been conducted by the Wahid Institute which is an Islamic research centre founded by former President Abdurrahman Wahid in 2004, now led by his daughter Yenny Zannuba Wahid and the PPIM or Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat or Research Centre for Islam and Society of the Universitas Negri Islam Jakarta branch. Both institutions found that it is not only in schools that these tendencies have emerged but also in extracurricular activities such as Islamic study groups. Even in the scouts’ movement girl scouts are required to wear Islamic attire although the scouts’ movement says that this is required by schools whose students are scouts rather than by the scout movement itself.

Maria Ulfah says that Education Minister Nadiem Makarim has commented that he feels it is his duty to tackle the task neglected by prior education ministers of dealing with radicalism and violence in education institutions. Nadiem Makarim is the best education minister Indonesia has ever had. His well-thought out program to build up Indonesia’s education system is excellent and he has shown the courage of his convictions in defending women’s rights at times both to his personal as well as professional cost.

Mahaarum Koesoema Pertiwi who lectures in Constitutional Law at Universitas Gajah Mada in Jogjakarta is of the opinion that the Ministry of Education should appeal the Supreme Court’s decision revoking the Joint Ministerial Decree which provides that schools must respect the rights of students, educators and those involved in the education process to decide whether to wear attire with religious attributes or not.

She explains that article 24 (a) of the Indonesian Constitution provides the Supreme Court with the authority to assess whether the contents of regulations lower in hierarchy than laws conflict with any Indonesian laws and if so, to revoke them. In the case of the Joint Ministerial Decree the Supreme Court decided in its judicial review that the Joint Decree was in contravention of higher laws. Unfortunately, article 9 of Law number 1 of 2011 regarding the Supreme Court provides that it is not possible to appeal a judicial review by the Supreme Court.

However, there is an argument that a joint ministerial decree is a legal product that the Supreme Court is not entitled to assess against existing laws. This is based on the fact that Law number 12 of 2011 does not mention joint ministerial decrees in citing its hierarchy of regulations. Ibu Mahaarum argues that this is because a decree is not a regulation but a decision.

Many have criticized the Supreme Court decision regarding the Joint Ministerial Decree as contravening the Law on Human Rights, the Law on Child Protection and the Education Law. The consideration and legal basis for its decision frequently does not appear to be logical. It argues for example that the Education Law requires that children must be educated to become pious adults with faith and high morals and that as they are not yet adults they must be guided in this by the government and their schools and that school uniforms help to provide such guidance. This disregards the fact that the parents of children are usually the ones who make the complaints about religious attire and that the parents are not only adults but also the legal guardians of their children.

At present it remains to be seen if the Ministry of Education does try to appeal the Supreme Court decision and if it does whether the Supreme Court will rise to the occasion and step forward to protect Indonesian women’s right to religious freedom and to decide their own attire. (Tamalia Alisjahbana)

If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read by the same writer: https://observerid.com/west-sumatra-ombudsman-warns-school-and-regional-education-board-that-mandatory-hijab-in-public-schools-is-illegal/

Aisyah Moulyni, runner-up at 2021 Hult Prize International

Aisyah Moulyni and team, supported by wide media coverage.

IO, Bandung – Aisyah Moulyni, a student at the School of Business and Management, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), secured a 2nd place, Best In Class Campus category, at The Hult Prize International event. The Hult Prize is an annual, year-long competition that gathers ideas from university-level students after challenging them to solve pressing social problems, including food security, water access, energy, and education. 

Founded by Ahmad Ashkar and funded by Bertil Hult and his family – the founders of EF Education First – US$1 million in start-up capital was donated to help the winning team launch a social enterprise. In the competition process that screens millions of people from all over the world, there is the first stage, namely the on-campus program stage, which is chaired by the campus director.

“One of the campuses that held the Hult Prize on Campus was ITB, so the Hult Prize at ITB was created, chaired by me as campus director. During 2020-2021 there are more than 2000 campus directors such as those from Harvard University, Monash University, University of Indonesia (UI), Gadjah Mada University, and many more, who are trying to occupy or win the Best-in-Class Campus Director,” said Aisyah, as quoted by Itb.ac.id, Wednesday (2/6/2021). 

She stated that in early May, the Top 20 Best Campus Director Nominees were announced for each continent. From the Asian continent, only ITB and UI made it into the nomination. The announcement of the winners was held on the Awarding Night and stated that ITB and UI had successfully qualified for the Worldwide TOP 20. 

“It doesn’t stop there: in the announcement of the Best-In-Class Nominees from three countries, I was from Indonesia, besides others from Kenya and Jordan. Finally, I got the Best 2 In the Class position after the one from Jordan was ranked first,” she said cheerfully.


According to Aisyah, based on the analysis, the Hult Prize at ITB could have won 2nd place in the world because it has wide media coverage, top-notch programs, and top-tier judges. In addition, there is also a sustainable program that is the main attraction of the Hult Prize at ITB. (est) 

Nabila Daneta and Syafira Irviana take 3rd place in Thailand

Syafira Irviana Nawir during an online pres- entation.

IO, Jakarta Nabila Daneta Putri and Syafira Irviana Nawir, 2017 undergraduate students at the Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Indonesia, won 3rd place for the Undergraduate Student Research Competition Category in the international dental student competition “The 2021 FDCU International Symposium and Research Day” organized by the Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. They succeeded in securing an achievement and representing Indonesia under the supervision of Melissa Adiatman, Herry Novrinda, and Peter Andreas. 

The event was divided into two parts, namely, a symposium presenting speakers and research delegations from various universities throughout Southeast Asia, as well as a research day for competitions by dentistry students from various universities. Participants came from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Guangxi Medical University College of Stomatology (People’s Republic of China), Tohoku University and Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Japan), University of Malaya (Malaysia), Vanlang University, and University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Vietnam), as well as Airlangga University and North Sumatra University (Indonesia). 

The symposium and research day presented various research topics, such as dental education, clinical implantology, stem cells or regenerative dentistry, molecular aspects of muscle pain, genetics in dentistry, dental materials, and so on. The competition was held online on May 24. 

Nabila presented research on the topic of Covid-19 related to dental education entitled “Knowledge, Perceptions, Attitudes, and Preparedness of Indonesian Dental Co-Assistant Students about Covid-19 Disease and Infection Control”. Meanwhile, Syafira presented research entitled “Evaluation and Satisfaction of Dentistry Students in the University of Indonesia Towards Online Learning during The COVID-19 Pandemic”. 

“This international symposium strengthens international cooperation between universities and becomes an opportunity for students to showcase their research. In addition, this activity also motivates students to participate in international competitions,” stated Melissa Adiatman, one of the supervising lecturers from the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Indonesia, as quoted by Ui.ac.id, Monday (7/6/2021). 

“This research is a valuable experience for students and lecturers who supervise it as it allows us to find out the current situation of knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and preparedness of dental students throughout Indonesia, regarding Covid-19 and online learning,” she added. 

Furthermore, Nabila hopes that her and Syafira’s research can be useful for the general public, dental students, the government, and educational institutions, especially those related to dentistry. “Hopefully this activity can lead to high enthusiasm to build relationships with dental students between countries, as well as forming a critical scientific mindset so that they can produce other research works for the student level,” said Syafira. (est) 

ITS students create INEO, a platform to support the fishery sector

Intan Mey Setyaningrum, Fadhila Rosyidatul ‘Arifah, and Sri Irna Solihatun Ummah.

IO, Surabaya The Covid-19 pandemic has damaged various economic sectors on a national and local scale, including the fisheries sector, as witnessed in Tuban City, East Java. This was the background for the 2019 batch of students from the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, Surabaya, to initiate INEO, an online application-based platform for transactions between fishermen and fish sellers. In the 2021 Business Plan Competition held by Padang State University at the end of last month, INEO won second place. 

Fadhila Rosyidatul ‘Arifah (Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering), Intan Mey Setyaningrum (Department of Engineering Physics), and Sri Irna Solihatun Ummah (Department of Mathematics) hope that the platform designed can help restore the economy of the Tuban community, including micro, small and medium businesses in the fisheries sector. “INEO can be a solution as well as a resilient means for the community and business actors to transact without direct contact,” said Fadhila, team leader, in a release received by the Independent Observer, Friday (4/6/2021). 

INEO has a variety of features. Fadhila pointed out how the login, notification, home, cart, and account menu features are easily accessible, so that transactions between users and business actors can run well. “In addition to features that facilitate transactions, we also adjust the application design to be user-friendly. For example, the login menu for user account verification before logging into the application. After registering via e-mail and password, users can access INEO,” added the student, who was born in Nganjuk in 2001. 

She explained how the notification feature is a reminder for users regarding purchase history to ongoing transaction processes. Users will be able to see whether their order has been delivered by viewing the delivery status. In the home feature, there are various kinds of business actors who offer their items for sale, accompanied by their identity or shop name. “Users just click on merchandise from the store they want and then make a payment,” she said. 

Furthermore, users can pay attention to the cart feature where the merchandise to be purchased can be seen. After selecting the desired merchandise through the home feature, the merchandise will enter this cart feature, which means that this merchandise is currently being purchased. Users can make payments to proceed to the delivery stage. 

The account feature contains data and information related to users such as user photos, user electronic money balances, vouchers, and coins. Vouchers and coins are prizes that can be obtained from completed purchases. “Vouchers in the form of coupons for purchase discounts and coins can be exchanged for a desired item,” she said. 

This platform offers a lot of potential to boost the continuity of the seafood business. Fadhila hopes that INEO can help facilitate transactions, in addition to being a means to make it easier for business actors to seek additional income without having to have direct contact with consumers, considering that the pandemic is still ongoing. “Hopefully, in the future, INEO can have a broad impact while at the same time helping the realization of a fish-consumption program in Indonesia.” (est) 

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