Daily Archives: January 13, 2020

Indonesia keen to learn from Abu Dhabi’s Masdar: Jokowi

Abu Dhabi (ANTARA) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) echoed his interest to take a sample from Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates to construct Indonesia’s new capital city in East Kalimantan Province.

“In building our new capital city, we tend to learn from the pioneers of city planning, including Masdar City,” he told participants of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center on Monday.

According to Masdar’s official website https://masdar.ae, Masdar City is claimed to be “one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities, a low-carbon development constituting a rapidly growing clean-tech cluster, business-free zone, and residential neighborhood, with restaurants, shops, and public green spaces”.

This city’s philosophy of urban development “is based on the three pillars of economic, social, and environmental sustainability”.

President Jokowi invited attendees at the ADSW 2020 to visit Indonesia. He also extended an invitation to members of the international community to bring the best technology, innovation, and policies for developing socio-economic sustainability.

Addressing this prestigious event’s participants, including several heads of state and heads of government, the Indonesian president introduced his administration’s plan to erect a new capital city by adopting a sustainable city concept.

“We do not build a small administrative city. In its place, we build a smart metropolitan city,” he affirmed.

According to ANTARA, the development of infrastructure in Indonesia’s next capital city will start in mid-2020. However, as revealed by President Jokowi in December 2019, the detailed design of the city’s construction is projected to be ready within six months.

The planned capital city will be divided into three areas, notably the core administration area, capital city area, and expanded capital city area, President Jokowi stated.

The location of the would-be state palace has yet to be decided by the architects drafting the development design of the capital city, he stated during his visit to the Sudharmono Tower in the PT ITCI Manunggal industrial forestry area in North Penajam Paser, the location of the next capital city, last year.

According to Agrarian and Land Spatial Minister Sofyan Djalil, the new capital city will be surrounded by forest and have a forest landscape to reflect the identity of East Kalimantan, known for its tropical rainforest.

“The 256,000-hectare capital city area will really become a forest area reflecting the actual Kalimantan,” he added. (INE).

Source: Antara News

Banten collaborates closely with police to curb illegal gold mining

Serang, Banten (ANTARA) – Banten Governor Wahidin Halim affirmed that his team will work closely with the Banten Police to clamp down on illegal gold mining in Lebak District.

“Illegal mining might not be the only factor that triggers flash floods. However, when it does cause harm to people, we should take legal measures,” Halim emphasized here on Monday.

The governor has also instructed Banten’s environmental and forestry office to study possible mercury contamination in the area, following a report of the Mount Halimun Salak National Park that farm and fishery products in the region were contaminated with hazardous material used in gold mines.

The authority will also conduct surveillance over the spread of mercury in the province, Halim noted.

Head of the environmental office M. Husni Hasan confirmed to having worked in coordination with the Banten Police to crackdown on illegal mining in Lebak District.

The police has set a police line and guarded the area, Hasan stated.

The flooding that struck Lebak District, triggered by the overflowing of Ciberang River on the downstream of the Mount Halimun Salak National Park, claimed 10 lives in Lebak Gedong Sub-district and severely damaged 1,060 houses, 28 bridges, and 19 schools.

Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Doni Monardo stated that massive gold mines in the area of Mount Halimun Salak National Park were causal to the flash flood.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), during his visit to a flash flood-hit village in Lebak Gedong Sub-district last week, had instructed the local authority to put a halt to illegal gold mining that had fuelled deforestation in Banten Province to avoid the relapse of flash floods in future.

“In Lebak District, Banten, we can see forest encroachment for illegal mining. I have ordered the governor and district head to stop this,” Jokowi remarked.

Source: Antara News

TNI confirms Chinese vessels have exited Indonesian EEZ

Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) – Joint Defense Regional Commands (Kogabwilhan) Commander I Rear Adm. Yudo Margono made assurance of the Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels having departed from Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Natuna waters, Riau Islands Province.

However, the maritime security operation in the Indonesian EEZ will be conducted round the clock during the year. Seven naval ships were deployed to support the routine patrols there, he notified journalists in Natuna District on Sunday.

“There is no time limit. The operation to safeguard our waters will be conducted during the year,” he noted, adding that the Chinese vessels had exited the Indonesian EEZ by referring to reports of an aerial reconnaissance and naval ships’ commanders.

While drawing reference to an aerial reconnaissance conducted by the Indonesian Air Force’s reconnaissance aircraft at 2 p.m. local time, the Chinese vessels had already exited the Indonesian EEZ, Margono explained.

Reports on Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels no longer being visible near the Natuna waters were also backed by the commanders of the Indonesian naval ships that expelled the Chinese ships from the Indonesian EEZ, he stated.

Margono expressed keenness to bring to light this latest condition to rectify the information been circulated among members of the Indonesian public, he added.

On Saturday, three Indonesian naval ships still spotted several Chinese coast guard and fishing vessels in Indonesia’s EEZ near Natuna waters.

The warships then drove the Chinese fishing boats out of the Indonesian EEZ when they were attempting to spread their fishing nets.

If the Chinese fishing vessels remain in the Indonesian EEZ, they will be apprehended and tried in court.

President Jokowi has instructed the Indonesian authorities to act sternly against those violating the Indonesian EEZ, Yudo Margono stated.

“Do not allow the relations between Indonesia and China to be disrupted by the Chinese fishing vessels’ illegal activities,” Margono noted in a press statement after joining an aerial reconnaissance of the Indonesian Air Force’s reconnaissance aircraft on Saturday.

Escorted by six Chinese coast guard vessels and a Chinese ship from its maritime surveillance agency, the Chinese fishing boats were found spreading their fishing nets for poaching.

In response to this situation, the Indonesian naval ships (KRI) Usman Harun-359, KRI Jhon Lie-358, and KRI Karel Satsuitubun-356 maneuvered in their efforts to expel the Chinese fishing vessels from the Indonesian EEZ.

Margono confirmed having ordered the commander of the Navy’s First Fleet Command to communicate with those on board of the foreign vessels that violate the Indonesian EEZ rights near the Natuna waters.

For China’s coast guard vessels escorting the Chinese fishing boats for poaching in the Indonesian EEZ, he expounded that the on-duty Indonesian officers had attempted to provide them an understanding of the principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982.

He pointed out that Indonesia and China had ratified the 1982 UNCLOS, so Beijing must implement and respect it.

On Wednesday, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), in the company of several top military and civilian figures, had paid a visit to Natuna District to observe a fleet and meet fishermen amid China’s ongoing violations in the Indonesian EEZ.

The Natuna waters have again drawn the attention of national and international media outlets after Chinese coast guard vessels and fishing boats repeatedly violated the Indonesian EEZ rights.

The Chinese vessels were found escorting tens of Chinese fishing boats to poach in Indonesia’s EEZ near the Natuna waters on December 19 and December 24, 2019.

In response to these ongoing violations, President Jokowi was unequivocal in his declaration that Indonesia will not negotiate with any party over its sovereignty, particularly regarding the country’s territory in the Natuna waters in Riau Islands.

“There is no negotiation regarding matters pertaining to sovereignty and our territory,” the president remarked at the opening of a recent cabinet session at the State Palace.

Over these past four years, the Chinese coast guard vessels have repeatedly violated Indonesia’s EEZ rights.

In March 2016, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi had also lodged a protest with the Chinese Charge d’affaires in Jakarta Sun Weide over Chinese coast guard violations in the Indonesian waters.

Source: Antara News

Minister seeks transitional period over ODOL truck restriction

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita requested the Transportation Ministry to provide a transitional period for the industry to adjust its freight vehicles after the ministry revised a transport regulation restricting overdimension and overload (ODOL) trucks.

“What we need is at least an adequate transitional period. Hence, the industry can have sufficient time to adjust its freight transport,” Kartasasmita stated here on Monday.

Kartasasmita elaborated that industries will have to prepare new types of trucks for transportation, and this would be viewed as additional investment.

“This is an issue that will necessitate a common perception. Another aspect that should be underlined is that we can understand the policy of zero ODOL in terms of land transportation safety,” he remarked.

According to the minister, a restriction on ODOL will increase the logistical costs and affect production costs that will ultimately also affect the industry’s competitiveness.

“In connection with the industry’s operation, the policy will reduce the competitiveness of products,” he noted.

In the meantime, Secretary General of the Industry Ministry Achmad Sigit Dwiwahjono affirmed that the Transportation Ministry has yet to respond to his ministry’s letter.

He expressed hope that other modes of transportation, including train and sea, would be optimized as logistical transportation for the national industry.

Source: Antara News

Malaysia begins APEC host year in Putrajaya

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Malaysia began its year-long hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Putrajaya City, according to a written statement issued by the APEC Secretariat and received here on Monday.

Nearly 1,500 policymakers, business leaders, and academics from 21 APEC member economies will congregate in Malaysia’s administrative capital to deliberate on and advance a policy agenda for the region’s most pressing issues in the digital era, including multilateralism, trade and investment, human capital development, and sustainability.

The dozens of fora will converge here, guided by the theme “Optimising Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity” to prioritize the year’s priorities: improving the narrative of trade and investment; inclusive economic participation through the digital economy and technology; and driving innovative sustainability.

“Shared Prosperity is the idea that focuses on creating more inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure trade and investment, as regional cooperation can be fruitful for narrowing inequalities within and among economies,” Hairil Yahri Yaacob, the chair of APEC 2020 Senior Officials, stated.

Constituting 60 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), APEC economies play a noteworthy role in propelling global economic growth.

Established in 1989, the APEC also marks the start of a new era in 2020, as the forum finalizes a renewed vision for the coming decades.

“The last 30 years have shown that regional cooperation is essential in addressing common challenges. The APEC is stronger when we support each other to rise above shared vulnerabilities,” Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, stated.

Source: Antara News