The wRap Indonesia: Dec. 23, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia – What the new Jakarta deputy governor wants to do with his Lexus and the eruption of Mount Gamalama in North Maluku lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia today.
1. 'I don’t need a Lexus', Jakarta deputy governor says
Newly inaugurated Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat isn't happy with the luxury car issued him as his official vehicle. “I was given a Lexus and I’m not going to use it,” he said on Monday, December 22, according to Tempo.co. But instead of letting the expensive car just sit idly by, he said he wanted it sold, citing high maintenance costs. He would rather use his own Toyota Innova, he said, and asked for 5 motorcycles in place of the Lexus to allow him to conduct blusukan (unannounced visits) to slum areas in the capital. All this isn't exactly novel, though, as the former Jakarta governor, now President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, pioneered the blusukan-style of governing and isn't a fan of luxury cars for government officials either.
2. Jakarta Police: No firecrackers allowed on New Year’s eve
Jakarta Police on Monday said they would raid traditional markets that sell firecrackers and ban Jakarta residents from using it to welcome the new year. “Fireworks of a size greater than (5 cm) long will require permits, while every kind of firecracker is prohibited,” Jakarta Police spokesperson said as quoted by the Jakarta Post. Rikwanto said that based on experiences, the use of firecrackers can cause damages for users and their surroundings. The National Police have deployed 145,000 officers for Operation Candle to secure the city from security threats and traffic problems during Christmas holidays and New Year’s celebrations.
3. Mount Gamalama erupts again
Volcanic activity from Mount Gamalama in North Maluku, increased on Monday, spewing ash up to 1,000 meters into the air and covering most of Ternate city. The volcano erupted at least three times on Monday, according to Tempo.co, after erupting last Thursday, December 18. A 2.5-kilometer exclusion zone is in place around the mountain. Four people were reportedly injured while running away to escape the eruption, but all missing persons have been located. The Sultan Babullah Airport in Ternate has been closed due to poor visibility.
4. Indonesian literary great Sitor Situmorang dies at 91
Historian JJ Rizal announced the sad news on Twitter: One of Indonesia’s great literary figures, Sitor Situmorang, passed away at the age of 91 at his house in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, on Sunday, December 21. “I was very close with Sitor and I'm very sad. He was the last great man of letters from Generation ’45,” Rizal said, according to the Jakarta Post. Along with Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Sitor’s works were considered important and influential in Indonesian politics and literary culture. He was held as a political prisoner during Suharto’s New Order regime from 1967 to 1974. Sitor was born in North Tapanuli, North Sumatra, on October 2, 1923. One of his most celebrated works is Malam Lebaran (Lebaran Eve).
5. Here we go again: Jakarta budget most likely won’t pass on time
Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is pessimistic that the provincial budget for 2015 would be approved by the city council (DPRD) before the year ends. The DPRD, which is controlled by the opposition Red and White Coalition (KMP), has been boycotting the council sessions to protest Ahok’s inauguration as governor. The DPRD is now in recess. The Home Affairs Ministry has set a December 31 deadline for all regional governments to submit their 2015 budgets, otherwise regional leaders won’t get paid for up to 6 months.
“It’s OK. If (the council) doesn’t meet the deadline, we still have 60 days during which we can use the 2014 budget,” Ahok said on Monday, as quoted by the Jakarta Globe. He has previously proposed budgets of IDR76 trillion ($6 billion) and IDR79 trillion. They've done this before though: The DPRD approved the 2014 budget in March this year. —Rappler.com