Update News November 06, 2017

In The News

Indonesia to host Small Engine Technology Conference
The Jakarta Post, 06 November 2017

Indonesia will host the 23rd Small Engine Technology Conference from Nov. 15 to 17 at the Jakarta Convention Center, which will involve 400 local and international participants and help upgrade knowledge on the latest small engine technology.

The conference will discuss submitted electronic abstracts from prospective researchers and engineers specializing in 1400 cc engines or machines, including those used in motorcycles, lawn mowers and chainsaws.

“We want local engineers to really use this as a chance to broaden their horizons and build networks with engineers and experts worldwide,” conference team chairman Gunadi Shinduwinata told The Jakarta Post recently.

The conference is jointly organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan (JSAE) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International with the support of the Society of Automotive Engineers Indonesia (IATO) and Japan's Land Engine Manufacturers Association (LEMA).

Activities during the event will include technical visits to motorcycle plants, a plenary session, award presentations to local engineers or experts, an exhibition and poster session.

It will be opened by Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir and closed by Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto. (bbn)

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No delay in Japan, RI key projects
The Jakarta Post, 06 November 2017

Despite a four-month delay in the construction of the US$3 billion Patimban Port, the country is determined to begin operating it in the first quarter of 2019 as scheduled.

The Transportation Ministry looks to begin the development of what is set to become the country’s new logistics base in January next year, a deadline that some worry might not be met because of current delays in the bidding process.

However, the ministry’s secretary general, Sugihardjo, assured that like its partner Japan, Indonesia wanted to conclude negotiations in March 2019. His statement came after his recent participation in a meeting in Tokyo involving transportation officials of the two countries.

“There have been delays because the bidding process just started,” he said, referring to the first phase of development, which comprises the construction of a car terminal and a container terminal.

“So, the contract will likely be concluded in March [next year] instead of January [next year].”

The project to turn a quiet area in Subang regency, West Java, into a busy international port much like Indonesia’s main gate, Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta, has been hindered by several issues, from the lengthy process of securing location permits from the regional administration to the slow speed in which the local team in charge of project supervision operates.

Sugihardjo said the government was taking all the necessary steps to expedite the project, including by recently holding a tender for the construction of a road leading to the port.

Land procurement is also expected to finish in February next year.

The project will require 570 hectares of land, the acquisition of which will be funded using the state budget and cost Rp 500 billion (US$37 million).

Patimban Port will be located about 70 kilometers from the Karawang Industrial Estate and Bekasi in West Java, where many Japanese industrial firms, particularly automotive and electronics manufacturers, operate.

Indonesia hopes the port will help it jack up its automotive exports by 30 percent once it becomes operational.

It will have the capacity to handle 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers once it is partly complete in 2019 and 7.5 million TEUs by 2027.

The project will be funded mostly by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a reported $1.03 billion in the first phase.

Speaking on the current preparation progress, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia, Kozo Honsei, said that Japan was in the final stage of concluding negotiations with Indonesia over a loan agreement for the project.

“We would like to realize it as soon as possible,” he said.

The Patimban Port project is one of several flagship projects between Indonesia and Japan, a long-time investor that now intensively seeks a tighter grip on infrastructure in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Other projects include the development of the MRT system and the revitalization of the Jakarta-Surabaya railway, which will reduce travel time between Java’s main cities by nearly half to only five hours.

Indonesia offered the railway project to Japan after the former disappointed the latter by granting another high-speed railway project, which links Jakarta and West Java’s capital Bandung and is estimated to cost more than $5.5 billion, to China.

JICA and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) are carrying out two separate studies on the design of the Jakarta-Surabaya railway.

Sugihardjo said that both JICA and BPPT would present their studies, including the estimated costs of each design, on Monday and that, later, the government would evaluate the costs in terms of performance.

“We will decide on the [design] at least two weeks [from Monday] or what the fastest [design is], two days from then,” he said.

The government is currently mulling whether to build a new track or build over the existing route.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said recently that the government would likely use the existing route, which costs an estimated Rp 62 trillion, as opposed to building a new track, which costs an estimated Rp 100 trillion.

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MRT Jakarta takes responsibility for Jl. Wijaya accident
The Jakarta Post, 05 November 2017

PT MRT Jakarta said on Saturday that it accepted full responsibility for an accident in South Jakarta, in which a concrete slab fell from a crane and hit a motorcycle and a car.

In the incident on Friday evening, the piece of concrete was about to be assembled for an elevated track of the MRT project on Jl. Wijaya.

Having escaped the falling concrete, the motorcyclist suffered only minor injuries. He was rushed to Pertamina Hospital (RSPP) in South Jakarta and was allowed to go home the same evening, said MRT Jakarta corporate secretary Tubagus Hikmatullah.

"We will, however, keep monitoring him until he is fully recovered. All costs for his recovery are our responsibility," he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

(Read also: MRT concrete piece falls on Jl. Wijaya)

He said the incident also severely damaged a car, but the driver was uninjured. The company would also pay all the costs of fixing the car.

Following Friday's incident, PT MRT Jakarta suspended lifting work to investigate the issue. 

"The lifting is temporarily halted until the investigation result is issued, at the latest this afternoon," he said, adding that the company's construction director, Silvia Halim, and several officials were currently asking contractors and consultants in the project about the accident. (wit)

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Golkar declares support for Bandung mayor in W. Java election
The Jakarta Post, 05 November 2017

The Golkar Party has declared support for Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil as a candidate in the West Java gubernatorial election next year.

The announcement was made by Golkar secretary general Idrus Marham, who visited Ridwan in Bandung, West Java, on Saturday and handed over the party’s decree to support him in the election. Golkar's West Java regional executive board (DPD) would officially hand the decree to the mayor next week, Idrus added.

“This has been finalized. There is no more ‘if’,” he said on Saturday.

The party executives also informed Golkar’s West Java chairman and Purwakarta Regent Dedi Mulyadi of the final decision. Dedi, as the local chairman of Golkar, had been mentioned as a possible candidate to represent the party in next year’s regional election, following support from the party’s members.

However, Idrus said that he believed Dedi would accept and comply with the party’s final decision.

Ridwan expressed gratitude for the trust and support from Golkar.

As for his deputy candidate, Ridwan said he would leave the matter to parties supporting him. In addition to Golkar, he has gained support from the NasDem Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP).

“In the coming week, the coalition party will gather,” he said.

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World Bank helps develop workers in Lombok District
ANTARA News, 06 November 2017

East Lombok, NTB (ANTARA News) - The World Bank (WB), through the Greenback 2.0 Program, provides education for the community in several villages which are enclaves of Indonesian workers in East Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

"We run the program for three years, starting in 2016 and ending in 2018," said World Bank Representative in Indonesia Isaku Endo, in East Lombok, on Sunday.

He explained the Greenback 2.0 is a World Bank program that seeks to invite the community to take advantage of regulated financial services for the creation of fluency and security in financial transactions.

The invitation was realized in various activities that have been running in the three selected villages, namely Loyok and South Tetebatu in Sikur Sub-district, and Perigi Village, Pringgabaya Sub-district, East Lombok.

"Why we chose the three villages is because they are the pockets of Indonesian migrant workers (TKI) where the East Lombok District is the largest contributor of Indonesian migrant workers," he said.

To introduce the Greenback 2.0 program to the community, the World Bank is partnering with a number of parties, such as Bank Indonesia, the Financial Services Authority (OJK), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Rakyat Indonesia.

In addition, the WB also partner the Provincial Government of NTB, the Government of East Lombok District, and the Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP3TKI) Mataram.

A number of mobile operators in Indonesia are also involved, such as PT Indosat and PT XL. 

Endo said studies on the community needs were also conducted in order to obtain information from local communities about the gap between current conditions and their expectation, in terms of access and use of financial services, and financial management.

"The study using the qualitative approach has been implemented for three weeks in 2016 and then," he said.

His side has also done education to the people of Loyok Village and Desa Perigi, about the service of financial transactions through agents of banks in rural areas.

Endo who is a Japanese also hopes that the guidance given within three years could have a positive impact on the community, especially the families of Indonesian migrant workers on the island of Lombok, to take advantage of remittances from abroad for productive things. (*)

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RI gathers support to be UNESCO executive member
ANTARA News, 06 November 2017

Paris, France (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has invited several UNESCO member states at the reception to raise support to be included in the membership of the UNESCO Executive Board for the period 2017-2021, on the sidelines of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Assembly in Paris, France.

An expert for Innovation and Competitiveness, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ananto Kusuma Seta, said here on Saturday that the reception was part of Indonesias international diplomacy.

At the reception, Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia, Muhadjir Effendy, expressed appreciation and gratitude for the cooperation that has been established between Indonesia and the UNESCO member countries and requested support for Indonesia, which is running for membership of the Executive Board of UNESCO.

"On behalf of 250 million Indonesian people, who come from over 500 ethnic groups, have more than 700 languages, and live in 17 thousand islands, Indonesia understands the difficulties and threats that come from climate change and natural disasters," he remarked.

The minister asserted that Indonesia is a country that has diversity of cultures and religions but lives in peace and harmony.

Indonesia always plays an active role in maintaining international peace and achieving global prosperity. "We appreciate the full support of friendly countries for Indonesia to become a UNESCO executive member and a peaceful home for all mankind.

Meanwhile, RIs Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, T. A. Fauzi Soelaiman, revealed that Indonesia had previously been a member of UNESCO Executive Board from 2011 to 2015.

In 2015, Indonesia did not run for UNESCO executive member, in order to provide opportunities for other Asia Pacific countries.

After two years of absence, Indonesia wants to contribute back to the UNESCO Executive Board.

"Indonesia has got enough support from friendly countries, but it needs more to ensure that it would be re-elected to the Executive Board," Fauzi explained.

Currently, there are seven countries that are interested in becoming members of the Executive Board in the Asia Pacific group, namely, China, Japan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, and Cook Islands, while there are six seats available in the board.(*)

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Trillions of funds to flow into villagers` pockets
ANTARA News, 05 November 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has since 2015 allocated a total of Rp127.64 trillion in village funds to develop infrastructure and other facilities in villages.

However, in 2018, the government will change its policy by not only focusing on the allocation of the funds for infrastructure development but also on boosting labor-intensive development in villages.

Thus, there is a big chance for villagers to become the beneficiaries of the funds through the development of labor-intensive projects. Projects are expected to be done by villagers through a self-managed system and not by contractors as they used to be.

Based on President Joko Widodo (Jokowis) labor-intensive program in villages, at least 30 percent of the village funds should be designed as payment for workers in labor-intensive projects.

The government in 2018 will allocate 60 trillion as village funds. If 30 percent of the funds are designed for villagers involved in the labor-intensive program, villagers will be able to pocket Rp18 trillion. 

Data based on the program indicates that there are 74,910 villages which will receive the funds. In average, each village will receive Rp800 million, of which 30 percent or Rp240 million will be allocated for villagers who are worker.

"The labor-intensive program to be launched by Jokowi is an apt solution to increase economic growth and equality in the region, in villages in particular," House Speaker Setya Novanto said in a statement on Friday (Nov 3).

According to him, the program will cause community empowerment to be done in a more participatory form, so that it is in line with good village governance. Moreover, the House Speaker highlighted that the program is not about giving away money for free but will be based on Jokowis idea to invite the community to be actively involved in development.

"The lower middle class people, especially our poor brothers, can get jobs and be directly involved in the development of the regions and their villages. As the development continues to progress, the people would also get additional income," he revealed.

Hence, the government, beginning in 2018, has decided to use more of the village funds for labor-intensive program in 100 districts. "God willing, we will start the program in 2018. All village funds will be focused on the development of labor-intensive development, so that its utilization will be focused on villagers through a self-management system in the villages of 100 districts," Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Puan Maharani, explained on Friday.

The government acknowledged that over the past three years, most of the village funds were used to build infrastructure and village facilities, which were not done in the labor-intensive system.

"Entering 2018, based on the directives of Jokowi, we will be focusing on labor-intensive system. Village officials will take part in the development of their villages. There must be scale priorities. If work could be finished in three days with machines, there will be no problems if it is finished in 30 days by villagers. What is more important is that programs are settled and money is flowing to villagers pockets," remarked Maharani.

She revealed that each village will still receive funds in different amounts, namely between Rp800 million and Rp3 billion.

Jokowi noted that the village funds should be used for labor-intensive projects that would create more jobs in the villages. At a limited meeting at the Jakarta Presidential Office with several cabinet ministers, Jokowi reminded his staffers to run self-managed village fund programs.

One of the programs is a labor-intensive program (a cash-for-work program) launched by the government for the development of physical infrastructure in the country, which is short-term.

Therefore, the Head of State has ordered his rank and file to continue to strengthen all aspects of the program. "I demand that ministries/institutions who have programs in the region or in the villages are consolidated either from the planning side or from the budget aspect of the financing," the president stressed.

In addition to this, the president also requested that the utilization of village funds be strengthened in the regions that can develop leading sectors and become the driving forces of the national economy. "Small and medium industries, agro-businesses, fisheries, and so on need training and assistance to explore and develop the potential in their respective villages," he noted.

The president stated that he will prepare a presidential regulation to create a labor-intensive program that can provide large number of jobs to strengthen the purchasing power of the people.

"It is planned to be carried out in 2018, and it will be self-managed by villages and implemented through a labor-intensive system, so that people will have jobs and earn wages that will increase their purchasing power," Teten Masduki, the presidential chief of staff, elaborated at the state palace on Tuesday.

The ministries of backward villages and transmigration, transportation, public works, housing, and agriculture have been instructed to prepare technical regulations for the projects.

Some of the village funds set at Rp60 trillion in 2018 are planned to be channeled for programs, such as irrigation, pond development, or village road development projects.

The rural development ministry will utilize the village funds in its budget, and the other ministries will align their programs in accordance with their budget.(*)

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Pertamina secures gas supply from Corridor Block
Kontan.co.id, 04 November 2017

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. State-owned energy giant Pertamina has signed a gas sale and purchase agreement with American oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips to secure a gas supply totaling 65 trillion British thermal units (BTU) from the latter’s Corridor Block in South Sumatra within the period from 2018 to 2023.

The gas supply will be used to fuel the operations of Pertamina’s Dumai refinery in Riau Islands, which has a capacity to produce 175,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). Pertamina has planned to upgrade the facility so that it can produce 300,000 BOPD in 2024 with an investment value of around US$5 billion.

“This is a strategic step for us to minimize the fuel costs coming from the operation of our refineries,” Pertamina gas director Yenny Andayani said in a statement on Friday.

Under the agreement, the Corridor Block will first supply 57 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas from 2018 to 2020. The figure will later increase to 120 MMSCFD between 2021 and 2023.

The gas will be transmitted through the Duri-Dumai pipeline, which is being jointly developed by Pertamina and state-owned gas firm PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) with a total investment value of $76 million.

The Duri-Dumai pipeline, slated for completion by October 2018, will span 67 kilometers with a capacity to transport 140 MMSCFD of gas.

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Indonesian students win robot contest in Japan
ANTARA News, 05 November 2017

Blitar, E Java (ANTARA News) - Four Muslim students studying at the Islamic boarding school Mambaus Sholihin, Blitar District, East Java, won a robot contest at the Osaka Robotic Games 2017 held in Osaka, Japan, from Oct 28 to Nov 2.

Moh. Gymnstiar, one of the winning students, said he was proud to present the best in the contest with his colleagues, Noval Hanif, Bahrul Bahria, and Farhan Habibi.

"We competed in four categories, namely, sumo racing, line follower micro, maze solving, and soccer," Gymnstiar stated here on Saturday.

The four students won five medals, including one gold medal, three silver medals, and one bronze medal. They created two line follower robots and two soccer robots.

Gymnstiar explained that he participated in two categories and won one gold medal in the sumo racing category and one silver medal in the maze solving category. Meanwhile, Hanif won the second place in sumo racing category and achieved a bronze medal in the soccer category. Bahrul and Farhan won one silver medal each in the soccer team category.

Blitar District head, Harijanto remarked that he was proud of the success of the students and hoped that they would continue to develop their abilities and achievements.

"They are wonderful students. We hope that they will continue to succeed in the future," he asserted.(*)

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