Politics, Law and Security

Some Heated Campaign Rhetoric

In a speech made at the Gerindra Party National Conference in Bogor, West Java on December 17, 2018 Gerindra chairman and presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto told thousands of his party members that Indonesia could go “extinct” if he did not prevail over President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the upcoming election.“We must not lose. If we lose, this country could go extinct,” he said. “Because the Indonesian elites are always disappointing, always failing to carry out the mandate given by the Indonesian people.” He said the country had been heading in the wrong direction for decades. “If the same system is continued, Indonesia will become weak. Indonesia will become even poorer, even more helpless and could even go extinct,” he said. “Pak Prabowo never repents. He’s always trying to scare the people,” Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) secretary-general and Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin campaign team spokesman Raja Juli Antoni told The Jakarta Post.

Former Ministers Appointed to Presidential Advisory Staff

Chatib Basri, finance minister during the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Mining Minister under President Suharto and Syahrul Yasin Limpo, the former governor of South Sulawesi, are among 11 new appointees to the Presidential Staff Office. “Their jobs will be to provide input to the chief of the Presidential Staff Office,” Eko Sulistyo, deputy for communication and information dissemination at the office, told Detik.com. The Presidential Staff Office, which was established in 2015, is a nonstructural government agency resorting directly under and reporting to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Tsunami Demonstrates Need for New Warning System

As Indonesia reels from the carnage of yet another natural disaster, authorities around the globe are working on how they can prepare for the kind of freak tsunami that battered coasts west of Jakarta this month. The Dec. 22 tsunami killed around 430 people along the coastlines of the Sunda Strait, capping a year of earthquakes and tsunamis in the vast archipelago, which straddles the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire. No sirens were heard in those towns and beaches to alert people before the deadly series of waves hit shore. Seismologists and authorities say a perfect storm of factors caused the tsunami and made early detection near impossible given the equipment in place. But the disaster should be a wakeup call to step up research on tsunami triggers and preparedness, said several of the experts, some of whom have traveled to Indonesia to investigate what happened. “Indonesia has demonstrated to the rest of the world the huge variety of sources that have the potential to cause tsunamis. More research is needed to understand those less-expected events,” said Stephen Hicks, a seismologist at the University of Southampton. The eruption did not rattle seismic monitors significantly, and the absence of seismic signals normally associated with tsunamis led the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) initially to tweet that there was no tsunami. Muhamad Sadly, head of geophysics at the BMKG, later told Reuters its tidal monitors were not set up to trigger tsunami warnings from non-seismic events. Fumihiko Imamura, head of Japan’s International Research Institute of Disaster, told Reuters he did not believe Japan’s current warning system would have detected a tsunami like the one in the Sunda Strait. (Jakarta Globe)