The wRap Indonesia: Sept. 16, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia - President-elect Joko Widodo's cabinet structure and Indonesia's rising maternal mortality rate lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia the past day.
1. Lean and professional cabinet? Jokowi's planned structure raises eyebrows
President-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo promised several times during the campaign that he would build a lean and professional cabinet, and would not trade ministerial seats for political support. But in a brief press conference on Monday evening, September 15, he announced a cabinet structure that closely resembles the current one: 34 ministries consisting of 18 professionals or technocrats and 16 "professional" political party members. The current cabinet also has 34 positions, 17 of which are occupied by professionals and the rest by political party members. While Jokowi has said he plans to get rid of most deputy ministers, people were also expecting him to reduce the number of ministries. Read the full Rappler story.
2. Indonesia's maternal mortality rate on the rise
A year before the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Indonesia is struggling to meet one of the key targets. The country's maternity mortality rate has risen from 228 deaths per 100,000 live birth in 2007 to 359 deaths per 100,000 live birth in 2012, according to Nila Moeloek, special envoy to the president of Indonesia for the MDGs. On the other hand, Indonesia's net enrollment rate in elementary schools have reached the MDG target. According to World Bank data in 2012, 92% of Indonesian children are enrolled in elementary school. Read the full story at Tempo.co.
3. Supreme Court appeal backfires for former Prosperous Justice Party chair
A former lawmaker and head of the largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Luthfi Hasan Ishaq went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn his graft conviction and 16-year jail term. But on Monday, the court decided to not only uphold the December 2013 verdict of the Jakarta Anti-Corruption Court, it also added 2 years to his sentence, Kompas.com reported. Lutfhi was convicted of receiving bribes from a beef import company in exchange for exerting influence on Agriculture Minister Suswono – a PKS member – whose ministry controls beef import quotas. The sensational case dubbed "beefgate" began when Lutfhi's close aide Ahmad Fathanah was caught in a hotel room with a college student shortly after accepting bribe money.
4. Foreigners arrested for suspected terrorism not Turks, no clear link to ISIS
The 4 foreign nationals arrested for suspected terrorism links in Indonesia over the weekend were apparently not Turkish nationals, nor is it clear they’re connected to the jihadist Islamic State group, contrary to early reports. National Police Chief Gen. Sutarman said on Monday the 4 foreigners were carrying fake Turkish passports and were speaking Uighur language. Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic ethnic group living primarily in China's restive, far western region of Xinjiang. They were captured in Poso, which is home to the militant Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT or East Indonesia Mujahideen), led by the country’s most wanted terrorist, Santoso. “Whether they are associated with ISIS is not yet clear,” Sutarman said. “The relationship is with Santoso’s existing network of terrorists in Poso, which are on the police’s wanted list.” Read the full Rappler report.
5. Anti-corruption NGO says 48 incoming local lawmakers entangled in corruption cases
The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) said on Monday that 48 individuals set to be inaugurated as city or district lawmakers are implicated in a number of corruption cases – much higher than in 2009, where there were only 6. The ruling Democratic Party has the most number of graft-tainted incoming legislators at 13, followed by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Golkar, with 10 each. Interestingly, no incoming lawmaker from PKS – whose chairman was last year jailed for corruption – was found to be involved in a corruption case.