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Saba Baduy, traveling with local wisdom

IO – Baduy has long been known as one of the Sundanese ethnic groups who live with nature in the Kendeng Mountains, Kanekes Village, Leuwidamar District, Lebak Regency, Banten. The Baduy tribe is divided into two groups, also known as Inner Baduy and Outer Baduy. The most basic difference between the two groups is in carrying out the strict pikukuh or customary rules. Inner Baduy still adheres to customs and practice them wholeheartedly, on the other hand, the Outer Baduy are more open to the outside world.

Experiencing Baduy life can be interesting cultural tourism for the weekend. Moreover, their village is only about 160 km from Jakarta and can be reached by various modes of public transportation. There are two ways to get to Baduy traditional village, one through Kanekes and Cibologer village.

It takes a five hours trip from Jakarta to Kanekes. Generally, backpackers will take a commuter line train from Tanah Abang Station to Rangkasbitung, which is also the closest station to Kanekes Village, continuing by hired transport to go to Ciboleger.

Apart from the Ciboleger route, travelers can also use the Cijahe route to reach the Baduy traditional village. However, the local government has long revitalized the Ciboleger route as a special gateway for tourists.

The Baduy people are known for their strong customs and rules in their environment; one thing you need to know is the use of modern items, such as cell phones and cameras, which should not be used, especially if you want to explore the Inner Baduy region. They will impose special sanctions for naughty visitors who use their cameras in a restricted area.

Also, both Inner and Outer Baduy have no electricity network at all. Lighting at night is only by torches or oil lamps. Of course, for those who want to stay the nights in the Baduy traditional village, this situation must be taken into account beforehand. You must also be prepared not to use modern toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste, especially when bathing in the river, because for the Baduy people, the river is also a source of livelihood. Last, but not least, tourists are obliged to bring their trash out with them when returning.

To go on this interesting trip, it is best to be physically prepared, because there will be a lot of climbing, and rocky paths between the hills; there could also be a flood if it rains. You should also prepare equipment such as trekking shoes, raincoats, jackets, small backpacks, mountain sandals, and also a flashlight.

In Baduy Traditional Village, there are also no food stalls. Tourists who come to visit and stay at

residents’ houses should bring rice, vegetables, side dishes, fruits, and also a large supply of drinking water, considering that clean water in Baduy is only from the river. Tourists are allowed to bring snacks, coffee, tea, and sugar. Usually, the host will be happy to prepare the ingredients brought by his guests as dinner or breakfast in the morning.

Before leaving the Baduy Traditional Village area, don’t forget to support the local economy by buying a variety of typical handicrafts specially made by Baduy women such as woven cloth, scarves, sarongs, and various farming tools; some families in the Baduy traditional village also offer pure honey, gathered from forest bees.

After being closed for several months when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Indonesia in early 2020, now the Baduy traditional village is open to the public as long as they carry a health certificate and are free from COVID-19. Don’t forget to always apply the health protocols, such as wearing a mask, keeping your distance from each other, and always washing your hands with clean water.

Have a nice adventure amid the rich and diverse Indonesian culture! (Freddy Wally)

SaladStop!

Sekar Ajeng. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

Serves six halal menus inspired by Korean dishes

IO – Nutritionists suggest the consumption of healthy nutrition-balanced dishes, consisted of ¼ portion of carbohydrates, ¼ of protein, ½ portion of vegetables and fruits which are rich in vitamins and minerals to maintain health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, besides adhering to the health protocol: wearing a mask, washing hands with soap, and maintaining a safe distance, consuming vitamins and minerals is also useful for increasing body immunity.

One of the restaurants that provide a healthy menu made from vegetables and fruits is SaladStop! Especially, they provide organic vegetables and fruits that are cultivated hydroponically, using water efficiently without using soil media with an emphasis on meeting the nutritional needs of plants. Hydroponic vegetables and fruits are known for the quality and fresh ingredients.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many were crazy about Korean drama, SaladStop! don’t want to miss the opportunity. This restaurant provides a Korean menu to answer the desire of potential customers to taste authentic Ginseng Country cuisine they usually see on the screen.

“Korean wave is the reason we introduce Korean seasonal menus. Korean culinary is synonymous with healthy food because of its raw materials and processes. Besides pampering consumers, it is also an effort to encourage people to eat healthy foods,” said Sekar Ajeng, Marketing Manager of SaladStop! Indonesia, in the SCBD area, South Jakarta.

Three Korean seasonal food menus, namely Chikin Me Up Salad (organic vegetable salad, sweet potato noodles, plus Gochujang Chicken which has a savory, sour, spicy flavor with Korean Chili Vinaigrette), Bibim-Go (Bibimbap interpretation with Gochujang Chicken and Healthy Kimchi variants), and Seoul Park, which is a salad combined with Korean Bulgogi Beef topping. Meanwhile, three fruit milk creations are Strawberry Milk Smoothie, Banana Milk Smoothie, and Mango Milk Smoothie.

In addition to quality ingredients, the largest healthy culinary lifestyle in Asia has officially announced the acceptance of the Halal Certification (SJH) from the Indonesian Ulema Council (LPPOM MUI), Thursday (29/4/2021). SJH includes all restaurant operational chains, from supply chain functions, equipment, production processes, to product presentation. It guarantees transparency to consumers in supporting the healthy eating movement that is halal.

In Ramadan, Korean menus become recommendations for Iftar; they also provide delivery service that ensures food safely reaches consumers. (Esti)

Shesar Hiren Rusthavito

Shesar Hiren Rusthavito. (Photo: PBSI)

Heavy exercises in the fasting month

IO – Indonesian badminton men’s singles, Shesar Hiren Rhustavito, must choose his days of fasting in the month of Ramadan to suit his rigorous preparation and training for Spain Masters in Huelva, Spain, 18-23 May.

“Frankly speaking, my fasting has many holes. If I train hard, especially on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I do not fast. Usually, I fast on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when the exercise program is not too heavy,” he said, in a virtual interview on Thursday, April 29.

“I am not surprised that we must continue to train hard during the fasting month; we must also be ready to compete around the Eid holidays. 

“It’s normal that players must be encouraged to train hard before competing in a tournament,” he said.

Vito, as he is called, is the mainstay in the 300-level tournament. “Even though I am the mainstay, it does not mean that my steps will be easy. The opponents at Spain Masters are tough,” he said.

In the first round, Vito will face his colleague from the same country, Ikhsan Maulana Mustofa. “Since the early stages, my opponents have been tough. Ihsan is one of the tough opponents,” he said.

Vito and Ikhsan are close friends. He’s been in touch with Ihsan. “We have to go all the way to Spain only to meet directly in the first half,” said Vito. “But never mind, we will see who wins”.

Another Indonesian men’s singles that will compete in Spain Masters is Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo, Vito’s roommate at the Cipayung National Training Center. “There is no problem competing with roommates. All players will want to get the best results in every tournament,” he said.

Apart from the three men’s singles, Indonesia also send Ruselli Hartawan, Putri Kusuma Wardani, Nandini Putri Arumni (women’s singles), Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin, Pramudya Kusumawardana/Yeremia Erich Yoche, Yacob Rambitan, Bagas Maulana/Muhammad Shohibul Fikri, Sabar Karyaman Gutama/Moh. Reza Pahlevi Isfahani (men’s doubles), Yulfira Barkah/Febby Valencia Dwijayanti, Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi, Nita Violina Marwah/Putri Syaikah.

The mixed doubles send the most representatives, namely, Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari, Akbar Bintang Cahyono/Winny Oktavina Kandow, Zachariah Josiahno Sumanti/Hediana Julimarbela, Muhammad Yusuf Maulana/Angelica Wiratama, Ghana Muhammad Al Ilham/Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani, and Dejan Ferdinansyah/Serena Kani.

Last year, Indonesia won a title at the 2020 Spain Masters through the women’s doubles pair Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu.

After going through the hard training, Vito feels that the preparation is solid. “The preparation is solid: I want to be a champion to increase my confidence when competing at a higher level,” said Vito.

Not only technical and physical preparation: the diet of Vito and the other players of the Indonesian Badminton Association at the National Training Center in Cipayung is also monitored and regulated by doctors and nutritionists.

“Our food intake is now regulated by a nutritionist; we can’t eat arbitrarily,” he said.

To compete abroad amid the pandemic, Vito and other badminton players must be more careful. Moreover, previously Indonesian badminton lovers were also disappointed that the country had to withdraw from All England because the players were in one plane with a passenger who was positive for Covid-19.

“Yes, we must be careful and always carry out Health protocols with high discipline. All players must take care of each other so that we all stay healthy and avoid Covid-19,” he explained.

Vito has a target to break the 10-15th rank of the Badminton World Federation. “I want to be stable in the 10-15th position. I am currently in the 19th position,” said the player from Djarum Badminton Club, who was born in Sukoharjo, Central Java, on March 3, 1994.

Spain Masters will be the fourth tournament that Vito will participate in this year. Previously, he had appeared in the two series 2021 Thailand Open and 2021 Swiss Open.

In the first tournament in Thailand, he lost in the second round to Chinese Taipei player Chou Tien Chen in a three-game match. In the second tournament, Vito had to give up on Denmark’s Hans Kristian Solberg Vittinghus through a three-game battle. At the Swiss Open, Vito lost in the quarter-finals to another Danish badminton player, Viktor Axelsen.

At Spain Masters, Vito will try to make his dream come true. Good luck in the Matador Country, Vito! 

THE CABINET RESHUFFLE When Two becomes One

Illustration. (Agung Wahyudi/IO)

IO – Nadiem Makarim can be said to be a phenomenal minister in Indonesia. Many had their doubts when he was appointed to helm the Education and Culture Ministry, since he did not hail from the education sectors, but was rather an entrepreneur who founded the highly successful GoJek. And over the course of time, he has in fact failed to prove that he is capable of the job. This is evinced by his lack of educational innovation and the system’s low quality “output”. Moreover, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he was not able to optimally implement a long-distance learning (online) policy, one which continues to generate public controversy as a large number of students are unable to learn from home due to lack of internet access while many teachers are simply incapable or too lazy to teach online because they are “tech-illiterate”. Now Minister Nadiem faces another complex task to manage two seemingly different fields – education & research and technology. This comes on the heels of President Joko Widodo’s plan to merge the Education and Culture Ministry with the Research and Technology Ministry.

The question on the public’s mind is: Is Nadiem Makarim up for the task? Surely, the answer is predictable, if we look at his leadership thus far. The public can appraise his mostly poor performance in conducting his ministerial duties. Now, with the merger, it will be a bumpy road ahead, even though Nadiem is confident that he can manage, despite the challenges it poses. In his inaugural speech at the State Palace, Nadiem’s professed commitment to accelerate a technology-based education system sounded convincing enough. “Research and technology are matters that are very close to me personally. These were what I had been working on before I was entrusted with managing the Education and Culture Ministry, and I have high hopes to really improve higher education quality and technological innovation,” he said.

However, most people took that as mere lip service as, on the ground level, there are not many achievements that the Education and Culture Ministry can boast of so far. On the contrary, it seems lost in many efforts related to its main duties, with no clear policy direction. As a result, in many regions confusion grows in how to implement the policies, especially related to early childhood education, primary and secondary education, higher education and so on.

The fusion between the two ministries will not be effective in implementing education & research and technology policies, as the philosophies behind the two are disparate. The Education and Culture Ministry focuses on developing human capital, all the way from early childhood education to higher education, while the Research and Technology Ministry focuses on developing innovation in industry. In terms of size, the former is large and ungainly, which makes it even more difficult to carry out the complex undertaking of research and technology, which necessitates speed and efficiency.

There is a substantial difference between education and research. The research & technology component the new Ministry assumes requires it to also manage research, science, technology and innovation policies, in addition to early childhood education, primary, secondary, vocational, higher education, to culture and character building. In other words, it now has a very full plate. As a result, there is a risk that this new ministry may end up being a lumbering and hugely ineffective entity, because it manages too many things at once, and could overlap with the role of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). The result might be unfinished work or even a complete mess.

Before they were merged, they served two different roles and functions, even though both are in the realm of science and knowledge. The research philosophy is intended to help build thinking, inquiry, and reasoning capabilities. This means that research, science, technology and innovation go beyond merely budget issues, laboratories, and the number of journal publications. Meanwhile, the philosophy of education is to help form a taste, desire, and habit; not just about curriculum, books, and teachers. That is why these two different functions must be handled by a dedicated, separate ministry.

Ironically, in Law No. 11/2019 on the national system of science and technology, there is no minister tasked with its implementation. However, Law No. 18/2002 on the national system of research, development, and application of science and technology stipulate that the minister in charge is the research and technology minister. It means Law No. 18 is annulled by Law No. 11.

The merger has turned the Ministry into a lumbering entity with confusing mandates, tasks and functions in relation to its public service role. There will be many ministerial policies that are difficult to implement properly and public service will lag. Besides, we can see President Jokowi’s previous failure in forming the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry, which was wasteful in its budget and low-performing. This time it will be probably not be much different.

In addition, in partnership with BRIN, the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Ministry expects university students to conduct joint research with agencies under the auspice of BRIN. However, in its implementation, it is likely that this will not go down smoothly, given the overlapping authority between the two. “Sectoral ego” may emerge, resulting in haphazard policy.

Reflecting on the vision of President Joko Widodo to realize his “Indonesia freedom to learn” vision, in tandem with technological advancement, of course high standards of human capital and budgets for the national strategic industries are part and parcel of the entirety. Even though it sounds too optimistic, through merger and enhanced partnerships with BRIN, this vision can be realized, as the country reaps its demographic bonus. In other words, the country’s human capital is expected to be able to compete in the hi-tech digital industry starting in 2030.

Logically, the merger is expected to lighten the burden on state finances, while facilitating coordination and collaboration between education, research and technology, on an ongoing basis. Supervision and public accountability can also be improved. As a result, the output can be of higher quality and more competitive. Education, research and technology at the local government level can be easily controlled and arranged to support the local wisdom in each region.

However, the merger will take a long time to complete, as it will need to harmonize its institutional formation, administration, and finance. As the spearhead of research and innovation, the Ministry has a lot of things to sort out. It must be able to integrate diverse non-ministerial government agencies such as BRIN, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten), as well as research and development agencies in various ministries. This is a gargantuan task, time-consuming and budget-heavy.

When the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP) was formed in 2018, for example, it took more than a year to become fully operational. This was also the case with the Peat Restoration Agency and the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry during the Working Cabinet (2014-2019). The new Ministry will likely go through the same experience.

Therefore, President Joko Widodo himself really needs to step in to ensure the Ministry’s budget and institutional structure can be completed sooner. If this is not handled, there will be chaos in its implementation because there is a high likelihood of a lack of coordination in research, technology and innovation. The government must anticipate this, so it does not interfere with many ongoing research and innovation activities, including efforts to deal with Covid-19, such as vaccines and test kits, to legacy that President Jokowi wants leave behind, such as electric cars and digital economy infrastructure.

There are not many benefits to be gained from the merger, apart from a wasteful budget. At the regional level, in particular, many regional leaders will be confused and find it difficult to implement education, research and technology programs. In addition, there may be confusion in the execution due to lack of human resources and the potential for the politicization by certain groups acting in the name of local wisdom.

The merger is, to a large extent, very premature, even though the goal is to achieve competitive education and research innovation at a global level. Policies that are counterproductive, hastily hatched and political in nature will certainly not yield the anticipated results. The public will only become disappointed and dismayed, seeing Indonesia’s research and technology not making much progress. Similarly, the public will become anxious and doubtful about the direction of our national education policy in the midst of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, and its effect on the economy and public health.

Amid the rapid technological advancement in many other countries, such a merger is a setback because it turns research into mere academic activity instead of the means to improve the country’s competitiveness and innovation. The policy has reduced research and innovation as an engine for national innovation. It is feared that the drive to turn research projects into innovative products or services will only drift further away. Meanwhile, issues faced by the Education and Culture Ministry are already aplenty, from early childhood education, fake diplomas, fake universities, to plagiarism. Consequently, the education sector has become inefficient and ineffectual in its management and supervision at the regional level, with less accountability.

On the other hand, technological advancement requires continuous research, sufficient infrastructure and large budgets. If this is not managed properly, it will only result in a huge waste of budget and confusion on the part of state civil apparatus in serving the public interest.

When we look at the objective of the merger, it aims to optimize research & technology supported by sustainable development of education. From the perspective of higher education, this merger will streamline research and development activities because previously they were handled by two separate ministries. Based on Law No. 12/2012 on Higher Education, the function of university, other than education, is the development of science and technology. That’s why the tridharma (three missions) of higher education are defined as: education, research and community service.

The merger will not exert any significant impact on the development of research & technology during the pandemic, where the Research and Technology Ministry is focusing on the development of the Merah Putih vaccine and diverse research projects are being carried out by various agencies.

Universities as cauldrons of innovation do of course require adaptation from time to time. Furthermore, the Covid-19 outbreak needs very serious attention from all parties, including universities that can proactively contribute to the prevention and containment of the coronavirus. Higher education intervention is also crucial in the form of community service activities to help disseminate knowledge, best practices, and in particular Covid-19 precautionary measures.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the country in early 2020, there have been many strategic activities to overcome it, from health aspects, economic impact, and social assistance by universities in Indonesia. These experiences have served as lessons learned for community service advocates, both by universities and other institutions.

Accelerating digital transformation and research collaboration are an important lesson, especially for Indonesia during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government needs to continue embarking on technological innovations in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which include several aspects, from test kits to vaccines.

In light of the increase in research-based innovations to be managed, the new ministry may need to form an innovation research consortium. Several technological innovations that are now in the mass production phase and in urgent need to be completed are rapid tests, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kit, and ventilators. This consortium – made up of universities, research institutes, the business sector, private industry, SOE, and various government agencies – has yielded positive results, although the capacity and quality need improvement. The Covid-19 rapid diagnostic test kit called GeNose is the fruit of an innovation from Gadjah Mada University (UGM). This tool kit is able to detect viruses using only breath, with an accuracy rate of up to 97 percent compared to PCR, which is regarded as the gold standard. It is also relatively cheaper. There is also the antigen-based rapid test or swab test using RT Lamp technology developed by LIPI, which has been completed – although it still needs refinement. Another innovative product is the PCR test kit developed in collaboration with PT Bio Farma. It has now been mass-produced with around 1.5 million units manufactured per month. These are examples of the local ingenuity that the new ministry can harness to help defeat Covid-19.

Furthermore, as concern mounts over ineffective long-distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to find strategic solutions, so that students can have optimal learning. This is to avoid a lost generation induced by a pandemic which has yet to subside. One solution can be in the form of blended learning that combines online and in-person sessions. During the limited school reopening, it should be compulsory that strict health protocols are followed and the number of students in a class downsized, in addition to well-organized scheduling.

Teachers are required to create teaching modules or materials made available in the form of e-books and distributed free of charge to students. The learning evaluation can be done online through continuous school assignments. For areas where students have difficulty accessing the internet, schools and teachers can make teaching materials available in print, to be distributed free of charge to all students.

We all hope that this merger will create a comprehensive synergy and collaboration between education, research & technology both at the national and regional levels. Policy-wise, the merger of the two ministries should produce a strong synergy under one roof, much like the previous iteration of Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry – one organization, one control and one program — which can optimize research and public services.

For higher education institutions, this merger can strengthen research in universities. Higher education and research are inseparable and must be synergistic. The merger can also enable universities to better conduct their community empowerment mandate, carry out research and development, and facilitate the “Freedom to Learn” program.

The merger will at least encourage a speedier decision-making process. Again, the public has high hopes that the new ministry can “walk the talk” in yielding the best results in the bid to strengthen and integrate programs in education and research, in accordance with the needs of the nation and its tech ambition. (Trubus Rahardiansyah)

Trubus Rahardiansyah is a public policy expert from the Indonesian Association of Policy Analysis (AAKI) and head of the Center for Constitution and Legal Studies of Trisakti University, Jakarta, where he serves as an Associate Professor in the faculty of Law. He is also a trainer at the National Police’s Crime Unit Training Center and expert in Sociology of Law at Polri’s Cybercrime Division. He graduated from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and completed his PhD in Public Policy from the University of Indonesia in 2012 and Doctor of Law from Trisakti University. His research has been published in national and international journals and indexed in Scopus.

PDIP: “Megawati perfect choice to chair the National Research and Innovation Agency”

Megawati Soekarnoputri, the new Chairwoman of the National Research and Innovation Agency.

IO – General Secretary of Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “DPP PDIP”) Hasto Kristiyanto believes that President Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) made the right call to appoint Megawati Soekarnoputri as the Chairwoman of the National Research and Innovation Agency (Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional – “BRIN”). “Research and innovation must be moved by the national ideology to ensure that Indonesia is truly sovereign, independent, and proud of its cultural identity. BRIN is a new chapter in the records of Indonesia’s development,” Hasto stated in his written statement on Monday (03/05/2021).

Hasto went on to say that Megawati is the head of a political party which is most consistent in declaring the importance of research and innovation for the advancement of the nation. In fact, BRIN was initially based on Mega’s idea. “She suggested to President Jokowi to bring about BRIN to help with politics in Independent Indonesia, by focusing itself on researching Indonesian local humans, flora, fauna, and technology. Everything is being brought down to earth for the sake of all on Indonesian soil,” he said.

Hasto further declared PDIP’s full support of Jokowi’s plan to set up BRIN as part of the infrastructure to advance the nation, as it is based on mastery of science and technology to set up research and innovation as pillars of Independent Indonesia. “The founding fathers of this nation, such as Bung Karno and Bung Hatta, were great leaders who were great statesmen and great scholars,” he said. “All of them based the concept of advancing Indonesia through science and technology. Our forefathers were deeply steeped in the tradition of great scholars who prioritized research and innovation.” (des)

PKB appreciates Constitution Court judgment on Parliamentary Threshold

PKB Central Leadership Council Deputy General Chairman Jazilul Fawaid.

The National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”) has commended the Constitution Court for having partially granted their petition to perform a material discussion concerning Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning Elections, in relation to the Indonesia Change Movement (Gerakan Perubahan Indonesia – “Garuda”) Party.

The Constitution Court Judgement decrees that any political party that has passed verification tests in 2019 and satisfies Parliamentary Threshold (“PT”) requirement in the 2019 Election still needs to have administrative verification performed, but there is no need for them to undergo factual verification. Also, political parties that did not pass verification or PT requirement, that are only represented at Provincial, Regency, or Municipal-level Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah “DPRD”), and that are not represented in such levels of DPRD, must undergo both administrative and factual re-verification. In other words, they must satisfy the same requirements as new political parties.

PKB Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) Deputy General Chairman Jazilul Fawaid (“Gus Jazil”) accepts this Supreme Court Judgment as a wise one. After all, it will take a lot of money and effort for political parties that have passed the parliamentary threshold in the 2019 Elections. “Why waste the State’s money on things such as repeating factual verifications? After spending that budget, it has been proven that all parties that pass PT requirements will definitely pass verification requirements. Never, none of them ever failed verification. That’s based on experience. I think that’s enough,” he said on Wednesday (05/05/2021).

Gus Jazil went on to say that “I even believe that administrative verification should comprise simply reporting the current management of the Party to the Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “KPU”). Performing repeated factual verification is useless make-work. This is why the Constitution Court is wise in deciding that parties that passed PT requirement do not need to perform factual re-verification, just administrative re-verification,” he said. “On the other hand, we hope that Electoral Organizers simplify the administrative re-verification process. Let’s not make it more complicated. What matters is that the relevant parties report on their current management; that’s enough. That’s light work, and the budget expenditure is much less. That’s efficient.”

Meanwhile, Garuda Party objects to the above Constitution Court Judgement concerning Material Testing of Article 173 of the Electoral Law. As long as a political party is verified, the result of the verification should endure and be valid for future Elections. Garuda Party General Secretary Abdullah Mansuri stated that their charges were initiated by the constitutional injustice after the previous amendment of the Electoral Laws by the Constitution Court, wherein political parties that passed Electoral verification requirements must repeat both administrative and factual verifications each time. “The principle is not just a matter of efficiency, but a matter of obtaining the same right to convenience, opportunities, and benefits – the right for justice in verification by the State through Electoral Organizers instead of a privilege,” he said on Tuesday (04/05/2021).

Abdullah believes that this convenience and special treatment hints on exceptional privilege towards some. To repeat: Along as political parties are verified, the result of this verification should remain and apply to subsequent Elections, unless the Party failed the electoral verification in the new Elections and cannot be listed as an Electoral Participant. “On the contrary, when verification results show that the party passed and can participate in the Election, they need not be verified in a subsequent Election. This is the form of legal certainty or legality of political party verification. Furthermore, it is also in line with the principal of legal fairness,” he said. (des)

Gerindra and PKS’ common commitment to preserve the integrity of the Republic

Gerindra Party General Chairman Prabowo Subianto receives PKS President Ahmad Syaikhu and his entourage at the Gerindra DPP Offices, Jakarta. (Photo: Pramitha Hendra/IO)

IO – The Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party received a visit from a representative of the Prosperous Justice Party Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat Partai Keadilan Sejahtera – “DPP PKS”) at the Offices of Gerindra DPP, Jakarta, on Tuesday (04/05/2021). Gerindra Party General Chairman Prabowo Subianto directly welcomed PKS President Ahmad Syaikhu and his entourage. The Meeting was part of PKS social overture visits to other political parties. Before visiting Gerindra, PKS had met up with United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan – “PPP”), National Awakening Party (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa – “PKB”), Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan “PDIP”), Democrat Party, Functional Group (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party, and National Democrat (“Nasdem”) Party.

Prabowo reported that the two party leaders indulged in nostalgia, recalling the moment when they cooperated during Presidential Elections and Regional Head Elections. The two parties are currently going in opposing directions: Gerindra entered the Government coalition, while PKS remained as the opposition. However, Prabowo reiterates that Gerindra and PKS remain friendly and respectful towards each other. “Yes, we do have differences in some points, but difference is good. They are now outside of the Government coalition, while we are part of it. But we remain friends, we respect each other, and we correct and remind each other sometimes in this capacity,” he said at the Gerindra DPP Office.

Prabowo went on to disclose that his meeting with Ahmad Syaikhu covered various national issues, such as the commitment to maintain the integrity of the Republic of Indonesia. “PKS expressed to us their commitment towards Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, towards nationalism, and their intention to prioritize harmony in national development. PKS is committed to maintain the integrity of the nation, to develop the country alongside us. That is all,” he said.

Meanwhile, PKS President Ahmad Syaikhu declared that the other purpose of PKS visit to Gerindra is to introduce their new management, new party logo, and new marching anthem. “Alhamdulillah, praised be to Allah, we played the new marching anthem and hymn in the meeting, and alhamdulillah, Mr. Prabowo responded wonderfully,” he said. (Dessy)

E-Commerce to run free shipping as support to creative economy actors

(Photo: Kemenparekraf)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said the free shipping scheme will be run by e-commerce platform owners ahead of Eid as an effort to support creative economy actors (Ekraf).

Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno in the “Extended Weekly Press Briefing” which was carried out in a hybrid manner from the Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf office, Monday (3/5/2021) afternoon, explained, later the technical implementation mechanism for giving free shipping will be implemented by the Ministry of Trade (Kemendag) and ran by e-commerce owners.

“The government has created this program as a support amidst economic difficulties which is implemented by the Ministry of Trade,” ​​said Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno.

Sandiaga said that the scheme was carried out as a form of compensation for the elimination of Eid homecoming. This, said Sandiaga, aims to encourage creative economy actors to take opportunities for the delivery of creative economy products. Given, it is not uncommon for the shipping cost to be more expensive than the price of the product, so postage subsidies are deemed necessary.

“Since there is a ban on homecoming, the government has provided a policy that is expected to replace the excitement. This program also aims so people can still be happy on Eid al-Fitr 2021 with creative economy products; it is also a part of innovation, adaptation, and collaboration in where the postage incentive is needed by MSME actors and the community when they cannot return to their hometowns,” said Sandiaga.

Therefore, Sandiaga encouraged the public to take advantage of this momentum to give gifts to families in their hometowns during Hari Raya for not being able to go home.

“The plan for the implementation will be announced in detail by the Ministry of Trade, but it will be within the scope of Harbolnas, about D-10 or D-6 Eid. So there is an opportunity to buy creative economy products, UMKM products for Eid,” he said.

Sandiaga hopes that this free shipping fee will also attract consumers to buy creative economy products. (ph/nhn)

Ma’ruf Amin reiterates importance of family role in national food security

Vice President Ma’ruf Amin.

Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has reminded all of the important role played by the family in achieving national food security during the COVID-19 pandemic. “As we Indonesians face the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to maintain food security up from the level of the family as the smallest social unit in society,” he said during the virtual National Seminar on Food Security and Ramadhan 1422 H Devotions, Monday (03/05/2021).

Ma’ruf declared that national food security is an inseparable part of national security, as well as an important factor in the effort to build up the people’s prosperity. “One of the most grievous impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that we all need to concern ourselves with is the scarcity of food, which leads to a global food crisis,” he said. “Food is the most basic human need, one that we need to satisfy every day. Food is essential to the life of any nation. If a country fails to provide sufficient food for its people, it will suffer from economic instability, which in turn will cause social and political unrest. It will ultimately endanger national stability.”

The FAO has issued a simi lar warning. They request that the world’s biggest food producers take steps to secure their own domestic food supply in order to ensure that no citizen will starve, because of insufficient national food stock during a pandemic. Furthermore, the Indonesian Institute of Science (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia – “LIPI”) Economic Research Center survey at the end of 2020 concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to food security of families found that most households (64%) are food secure. The remaining are in vulner able, food-risk categories: Food risk without starvation (28.84%), food risk with moderate starvation (10.14%), and food risk with acute starvation (1.95%). “The Government has created social security net programs for these vulnerable groups, which mostly work in informal sectors, have irregular income, and live in poor households, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ma’ruf said.

In 2020, the Government allocated IDR 230.21 trillion for social protection, cutting the allotment to IDR 110.2 trillion in 2021. The above LIPI Economic Research Center survey further discovered that food insecurity in a family is not always relevant to poverty, “But it is mostly affected by the family’s knowledge level on food types and nutrition, food consumption behavior and patterns and individual diets,” Ma’ruf said.

FAO and LIPI’s warnings are even more relevant in view of Indonesia’s lowered ranking in the Global Food Security Index. According to the 2020 Global Food Security Index, Indonesia ranks 65 th “most food secure” out of a total of 113 countries, “Down from our position in 2019 in the 62 nd rank,” Ma’ruf said. “It is much lower than that of our neighboring countries, with Singapore being the 20 th most secure, Malaysia the 43rd , Thailand the 51st , and Vietnam the 63rd . This demotion indicates that Indonesia has not satisfied one or more pillars of national food security. It is homework for us all, to work even harder to achieve food security.” (eka)

Government starts construction for NTT flood victims

Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing starts construction of permanent residence for relocating flood and landslide victims in East Nusa Tenggara.

IO – The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, continues to make various efforts to recover from the damage caused the flooding and landslides in various parts of East Nusa Tenggara. One of these efforts is by immediately executing President Joko Widodo’s direction to relocate the homes of these disaster victims to a safer location.

The Ministry will construct permanent residences for the victims using the Simple, Healthy Instant Housing (Rumah Instan Sederhana Sehat – “RISHA”) technology. RISHA is a form of prefabricated (knock down) construction that can be erected rapidly using reinforced concrete as its primary structure. One of the sites meant for permanent residence construction is in Waisesa

1, Tanjung Batu Village, Regency of Lembata.

The Ministry has marked out 4.3 hectares out of the total 10 hectares allocated for the pur pose, and has placed the first stone in the Waisesa 1 site. The plan is to construct 154 permanent residence units there. Two RISHA mock-up units are being constructed, with completion expected within the next two weeks. Such RISHA mock-up units will also be constructed on the other relocation sites when the land donation is administered and the land is marked up properly. “We are also going to perform geo-electrical tests to ensure the availability of clean water sources for the land we intend to build the permanent residences for disaster victims on,” said the Head of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing Disaster Mitigation Task Force for East and West Nusa Tenggara regions, Widiarto.

Widiarto earlier stated that the Ministry has calculated the required costs for implementing the RISHA housing construction program in a multiple-year budget totaling IDR 338 billion. This is divided into the 2021 budget at IDR 236 billion and the 2022 budget at IDR 102 billion. 1,000 RISHA units will be built in the Regencies of Lembata (700 units) and Adonara (300 unit). Local Governments suggested four additional sites for relocation other than in these Regencies: Regency of Kupang (to construct 14 housing units), Town of Kupang (about 530 housing units), Regency of Alor (599 housing units), and Regency of Rote Ndao (153 housing units). (eka)

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