The wRap Indonesia: Dec. 2, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Joko Widodo's disregard of presidential protocol again and the new "Jakarta governor" appointed by Islamic hard-liners lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia the past day.
1. Again, Jokowi flies commercial, shuns protocol
Presiden Jokowi bersiap menuju Semarang dr Bandara Soekarno-Hatta dengan menggunakan pesawat Garuda GA232. pic.twitter.com/ReKfWtEGEY— Iriana Joko Widodo (@IrianaJokowi) December 2, 2014
In a visit to Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday, December 2, for an event with the National Police, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo again chose to fly commercial rather than take the presidential plane. While the trip was an official presidential task – unlike his much-talked about economy trip to Singapore to attend his son’s graduation – Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto explained the president only brought with him 15 people, less than the 40-person capacity of the presidential aircraft.
Many are praising Jokowi for these moves, but some are beginning to worry about security concerns. On Monday, for example, Jokowi again caused headaches for presidential guards when he strayed from the “sterilized” VIP area prepared for him at the National Monument (Monas) and walked towards hundreds of civil servants gathered for the 43rd anniversary of the Indonesian Civil Servants' Corps (KORPRI). Panicked presidential guards rushed to try to secure him, but the president appeared relaxed taking photos with the people, Kompas.com reported.
2. Hard-line Islamic groups ‘appoint’ new Jakarta governor
If the notorious hard-line groups like Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) refuse to accept Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who do they think should govern the capital? Apparently cleric Fakhrurozy Ishak, who was sworn in on Monday by the new 'Save Jakarta Presidium' also formed by the hard-liners to, well, save the capital and its Muslim residents.
For his first act as "governor", Fakhrurozy said he would go on a blusukan (impromptu visits) starting Tuesday to find out the people's aspirations. "I understand that the Home Affairs Ministry has yet to confirm my position, but I have the right to lead my people," he said, according to the Jakarta Post. "If you ask me about programs, I will elaborate them to you tomorrow. But for sure, I will go on blusukan first to hear the people’s complaints."
3. Indonesian military looking for ways to sink illegal fishing vessels
Indonesia is apparently serious about sinking foreign ships caught illegally fishing – an idea first raised a few weeks ago that has only grown since then. "I have ordered the Naval chief of staff to find the best possible way in accordance with President Joko Widodo's instruction to sink foreign illegal fishing vessels in Indonesian waters so as not to reap global criticism," Indonesian Military (TNI) Chief Gen. Moeldoko said on Monday, according to state news agency Antara. Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti again defended the plan, saying: "When it comes to sovereignty, there is no compromise,” Tempo.co reported. Of course, Jokowi said the fishermen on board would be rescued first before any sinking is done.
4. Corruption detainees found smuggling wads of cash through books
Habits are hard to break apparently. Though they're already detained, suspects in the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detention centers have still managed to find ways to smuggle in millions of rupiah inside books – mostly religious texts – that they're technically allowed to have. What they can't have are what they use the money for: cellphones, WiFi devices, powerbanks. They also try to insert into investigation documents to trick detention center officers. High-profile suspects like former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Akil Mochtar and former Democratic Party chairman Anas Urbaningrum have been found with cellphones and WiFi modems. Read the full story from the Jakarta Post.
5. JIS teachers' trials in controversial sex abuse case starts Tuesday
The trial for the two Jakarta International School (JIS) teachers accused of sexually abusing 3 kindergarten students will begin on Tuesday, the Jakarta Post reported. Canadian Neil Bantleman, an administrator at the school, and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinand Tjiong have been in custody since mid-July over accusations they drugged the 3 victims before sexually abusing them on school grounds. Both vehemently deny the charges, and JIS has backed them, commissioning an investigation that it said showed no evidence of the alleged abuse. – Rappler.com