The wRap Indonesia: Dec. 8, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia – The deepening crisis in Golkar as a rival camp elects its own chairman and a call for President Joko Widodo to halt the imminent execution of 5 death row inmates lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia over the weekend.
1. Rebel Golkar faction elects Agung Laksono as chair, seeks legitimacy
The Golkar plot thickens. Following Aburizal Bakrie’s controversial re-election last week as chair of Indonesia’s oldest and second largest political party, a rebel group held their own congress over the weekend and elected Agung Laksono as chairman. Agung was the party’s deputy chairman until August, when he was fired over disagreements with Aburizal. A Golkar under Aburizal’s control would side with former presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto under a strong opposition coalition, while a Golkar under Agung is backed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and therefore expected to be friendlier to the administration.
Which Golkar is valid then? Agung told reporters they would submit the results of their rival conference to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, which has the authority to legitimize political parties. But it seems the government doesn't want to get in the middle of it, as ministry official Harkristuti Harkrisnowo said the issue would have to be settled in court.
2. Amnesty International calls on Indonesia to stop imminent executions
Going through with the execution of 5 death row inmates by the end of the year would be a serious stain on the early human rights record of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration, Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement on Friday, December 5. Reports say the 5 individuals facing imminent execution consist of 2 convicted for murder and 3 for drug-related crimes. “It is deeply disturbing that drug convicts are at risk of execution. Drug-related offences do not match the standards set out in international law, which only allow the death penalty for the ‘most serious crimes’,” Abbott said.
3. Cancellation of new curriculum greeted with mixed reactions
Many seem to appreciate it, but it's not without its detractors. Schools generally seem to welcome Primary and Secondary Education Minister Anies Baswedan's decision to cancel the implementation of the controversial 2013 school curriculum. The Jakarta Post reported some schools say they were really not ready to implement it, though they worry about confusing students. Understandably, former Education Minister Muhammad Nuh was critical of the decision, saying if there were problems, the response should be to look for solutions and not to cancel it altogether. The minister said the new curriculum would only be implemented in a select number of schools while it's being fixed.
4. Bootleg liquor claims more than 2 dozen lives
More than two dozen people reportedly died over the past week in two separate incidents of poisoning from bootleg liquor. The Jakarta Globe reported that at least 16 young people aged 15 to 22 died from a drinking party in Garut, West Java, after drinking moonshine made with industrial methanol. In another incident in Sumedang district, also in West Java, 10 people died last week and several more were left seriously ill after drinking moonshine. Bootleg liquor is a serious problem in Indonesia, and in the last two years 155 lives have lost after drinking adulterated liquor, according to Tempo.co. Often, bootleg alcoholic drinks are mixed with other hazardous materials, such as insect repellent and gasoline.
5. Jakarta to build 6 integrated parks next year
To increase the paltry amount of green space in the capital, Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purama said on Sunday, December 7, that 6 integrated parks ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 square meters each would be established by next year, according to BeritaJakarta.com. The parks will include a library, gym, children's playground, and facilities for the elderly and disabled. There will be one park in each municipality: Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta; Gandaria, South Jakarta; Cideg, Central Jakarta; Cililitan, East Jakarta; Kembangan, West Jakarta; and Pulau Untung in the Thousand Islands. – Rappler.com