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Australia’s Monash University is set to establish a postgraduate campus in Indonesia, following the latter’s approval, paving the way for Monash to become the first foreign university campus to operate in the country.Based in Jakarta, Monash Indonesia will offer Master and PhD degrees, as well as executive programs and micro-credentials. It will operate with the support of both the Indonesian and Australian governments, according to the university’s press statement.“The opening of Monash Indonesia, the first Australian university based in Indonesia, will enable us to work in and with Indonesian people and their organizations to realize their future opportunities,” Monash University’s president and vice-chancellor, Margaret Gardner, said in a statement on Monday. Founded in 1958, Monash is a public research university based in Melbourne. It is ranked at 58th globally among other universities, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2020.Indonesian Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim has welcomed the move, saying that Monash Indonesia will help accelerate the strengthening of the country’s education system.“I am very pleased Monash University will establish a branch campus in Indonesia. This will help accelerate the strengthening of our education system and deepen the social, economic and technological links between Australia and Indonesia,” he said. (mpr) Monash Indonesia is scheduled to begin short executive programs later this year and plans the first intake of Masters students in the fourth quarter of 2021.The university will bring expertise in studies of high demand such as data science and digital technology, creative industry and entrepreneurship, health system and public health as well as infrastructure and urban planning.Monash University previously opened a campus in Indonesia’s neighboring Malaysia, and has also established partner campuses in Suzhou city in China with SouthEast University, as well as in Mumbai with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.Monash Indonesia’s students will be awarded a Monash University degree and there will be opportunities for cross-campus collaboration for research purposes and mobility in education. Topics : read more
The Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK) has received a number of unannounced visits from police officers throughout the month as the organization is currently handling a case of alleged domestic violence.The latest occurred on Friday, as a group of police officers from Matraman Police went without prior notice to LBH APIK’s office at Kramat Jati, East Jakarta. Officers from the East Jakarta Police were also with them at the time.Matraman Police head Comr. Tedjo Asmoro told LBH APIK staff that Friday’s visit was just a silahturahmi (friendly meeting). He was accompanied by a police officer identified as TR, who allegedly previously carried out a search of the offices without showing any warrants during two visits on Feb. 3 and 12.LBH APIK had reported TR to East Jakarta Police’s internal affairs division (Propam) for alleged misadministration and abuse of power for those two searches.“The police officers also let thugs enter the office’s front yard. They indeed caused psychological impacts for all staff,” LBH APIK legal team member Sri Agustini said.Read also: Asian forum on human rights conveys disappointment toward Jokowi During a visit on Feb. 3, dozens of people forcefully entered the LBH APIK offices in East Jakarta and threatened to damage it. Four of them claimed to be members of the Matraman Police, although neither of them wore uniforms nor brought a warrant.LBH APIK sources said they believed the unannounced visits were related to a case being handled by the organization involving a 21-year-old woman identified only as DW. During one of the visits, the man leading the mob, identified only by the initials AA, accused LBH APIK of abducting and hiding his daughter, DWThe sources said DW went to the LBH APIK’s offices on Jan. 30 to ask for legal assistance. She reportedly told LBH APIK counselors that she had left her parents’ home for a week, accusing her parents of committing violence against her because of their disapproval of her boyfriend.DW reportedly told the LBH APIK that several days after leaving home a police officer, TR, looked for her at her boyfriend’s house in Matraman, East Jakarta. TR later called DW and asked for a meeting.She agreed to meet at the LBH APIK office on Feb. 3. During the meeting, DW explained the reason she ran away from home and gave a letter for her parents to TR. After the meeting, TR left and LBH APIK staff asked DW to leave.Shortly after that, according to the LBH APIK, TR returned to the offices with another police officer identified as PR, accusing staff members of hiding DW and demanding to be allowed to search for her in the building. The staff members refused, forcing the two police officers to leave.Sri said the organization urged the East Jakarta Police to continue the legal process involving DW professionally and independently. LBH APIK also requested the Jakarta Police to supervise the whole process.“[TR] has apologized to us, but the legal process should continue,” Sri said. “We ask the National Human Rights Commission [Komnas HAM] to provide legal protection to human rights defenders, especially members of LBH APIK.”Read also: Public lack faith in Jokowi’s ability to solve past human rights abuses: SurveyEast Jakarta Police’s criminal investigation department head, Adj. Sr. Comr. Hery Purnomo, said on Thursday that his team was still collecting statements from witnesses. “We will notify [LBH APIK] on the progress soon,” he said.LBH APIK is one of a few leading organizations in Indonesia that focus on women’s rights, campaigning for the elimination of violence against women and children, and accompanying the victims of sexual violence across the nation.Activists said human rights defenders, especially those who are women, had received too many threats, intimidation and attacks far too often so they could no longer be seen as “ordinary obstacles.” (aly)Topics : read more
Topics : Log in with your social account Forgot Password ? Facebook Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Businesspeople and experts are urging the government to control the prices of basic commodities, which have started to increase a month before Ramadan.Traditional Market Vendors Association (APPSI) vice chairman Sarman Simanjorang said a recent wave of panic buying had caused a decline in the supply of basic commodities, with people buying more than usual over fears that the government’s effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 could disrupt the supply chain.“Honestly, we’re all panicking in the face of this coronavirus. Everyone is burdened, especially the public. Don’t make the people worry about an insufficient supply of basic necessities amid this current difficult situation,” Sarman said on Thursday, adding that the government must maintain the people’s purchasing power.Sarman’s woes echo similar calls to ensure there is a suffici… Google Indonesia FoodCommodities price increase garlic sugar onion imports Bulog read more
Recent controversies surrounding the perceived dual loyalties of certain expert presidential staffers have damaged public trust. Critics and watchdogs are advocating for a better mechanism to prevent future instances of apparent conflicts of interest.Presidential staffer Andi Taufan Garuda Putra drew wide criticism when he asked district heads across Indonesia to support a COVID-19 relief program led by his company, PT Amartha Mikro Fintek, in an official government letter dated April 1. He has since apologized and retracted the letter.Another presidential staffer and the co-founder of education technology startup Ruangguru, Adamas Belva Devara, experienced public backlash after his company was appointed as a partner in the government’s recently unveiled pre-employment card program. Article 43, paragraph 1 of the law stipulates that conflicts of interest occur when a decision, policy or action is motivated by personal or business interests or when it leverages relationships with family members or friends, among other things.Any decisions made when there is a conflict of interest can be revoked, according to Article 45, paragraph 2 of the law.“The universal essence of conflict of interest is that [the official in question] does not have to directly participate in the decision-making process, but his or her position could indirectly influence said decision,” the legal expert said.Bivitri said that more thorough background checks and stricter enforcement of the law were necessary in the appointment of public officials. After being placed on the shortlist for public office, candidates should declare potential conflicts of interest, she said.“As they enter the establishment, people should declare if they hold a position elsewhere. [But as of now, there is no enforcement of] declarations aside from the KPK,” she said, referring to the Corruption Eradication Commission.Zaenur Rohman, a researcher from the Gadjah Mada University Center for Anti-Corruption Studies (Pukat UGM), concurred with Bivitri, saying that declaring potential conflicts of interest should be a main requirement for officials before they assume public office.He said the government should enact stricter regulations to prohibit officials from assuming other roles that would compromise the integrity of the public office, especially as those double roles went against principles of good governance and ethical business.The Indonesian Ombudsman has said the government’s inadequate handling of possible conflicts of interest is the reason such mishaps have been emerging recently. The office called for stronger regulations to prevent similar incidents in the future.“All this time we have ignored the obscurity in the regulations that allows these kinds of incidents to happen, even though [the government] might not necessarily have bad intentions,” Ombudsman member Ahmad Alamsyah Saragih told The Jakarta Post over the phone. “Even so, it can lead to high [public] distrust.”The ad hoc body has looked into the practice of double roles among public officials with possible commercial interests in an ongoing study that began in 2017, but the study has been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia.The study explores practices among civil servants and aims to prove whether appointments to commissary roles at state-owned enterprises are political or based on merit, Ahmad said.While there is an acknowledgement of the cross-sectoral nature of public office and the legal mandates that allow a person to hold multiple positions at once – as is the case with Bank Indonesia or Finance Ministry officials who can be appointed to the Financial Services Authority (OJK) as per Law No. 21/2011 – preliminary findings of the study indicate that there are still regulatory loopholes that allow for the abuse of public office.Ahmad said there were at least three problems that remained unregulated in the appointment of public officials in multiple roles: double income, competency standards and accountability.In the initial study, the Ombudsman recommended that no public official should be allowed to serve multiple positions, in accordance with existing laws, and that the government should ensure that it was not possible for officials to hold dual roles. If a violation occurred, the official in question should be dismissed in accordance with Article 17 of Law No. 25/2009, the study stated.The study also suggested that the President issue a regulation to be used as the legal basis for cross-sectoral appointments to public office and that supervision must be put in place to guarantee a single-salary system.Topics : Belva denied accusations of conflict of interest and said on Twitter that the company had gone through “a public selection process” and that he was not involved in the decision-making process. He announced his resignation on Tuesday evening.Belva and Andi are not the only presidential staffers to hold dual roles while in public office. Presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman has maintained his previous position as president commissioner of state-owned construction company PT Adhi Karya, and economic advisor Arif Budimanta was recently appointed as a commissioner of state-owned lender Bank Mandiri.Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Airlangga Hartarto has also made good use of his Golkar Party platform to promote the contentious omnibus bill on job creation. Airlangga continues to hold the chairmanship of Golkar and is one of many political appointees in government.Bivitri Susanti of the Jentera School of Law in Jakarta said Belva and Andi’s cases both clearly fell within the scope of conflict of interest as defined by Law No. 30/2014 on government administration. read more
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged European Union leaders to reach agreement on a multi-billion euro coronavirus recovery fund, calling for resolve and saying Europe was facing the most difficult situation in its history.Echoing Merkel’s urgency as Germany took the helm of the bloc, the EU’s chief executive Ursula von der Leyen joined the chancellor via video link to warn that the next six months were crucial after the region reacted slowly to the coronavirus and now faced a severe economic downturn.”We are clear where the difficulties are but we all know it would be good if we agree in July. If we need more time it would be a less good variant,” Merkel said, also referring to plans for the new seven-year EU budget. “There must be a deal in the summer, I cannot imagine any other variant so we will work very hard to show a sign of our resolve. We know that Europe is in the most difficult situation in its history,” she told a news conference.With almost 35,000 deaths from COVID-19 recorded in Italy alone, lockdowns across most of the European Union have shuttered businesses, upended livelihoods and indebted governments as they seek to shield workers.A Commission proposal for a 750 billion euro ($843.08 billion) rescue fund has been largely welcomed by EU leaders but must still be agreed, and fiscally conservative northern countries led by the Netherlands are loath to see their taxpayers pay for grants to southern European states.”In such times, solidarity is a test,” Merkel said, in a veiled reference to frustration across Italy and Spain, the EU countries most affected by the novel coronavirus and which have questioned the value of the union in the crisis.Although the rotating, six-month presidency gives only limited power, as Europe’s most respected leader Merkel faces huge expectations that she can negotiate a breakthrough on the recovery fund and a new 2021-2027 budget for the bloc. Topics : read more