"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
.

The headquarters of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 
Jakarta. (BeritaSatu Photo)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Indonesia eyes moving capital from congested Jakarta

Yahoo – AFP, April 29, 2019

Jakarta is home to some 30 million people and is also one of the world's fastest
sinking cities due to excessive groundwater extraction (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)

Jakarta (AFP) - Indonesia is considering a plan to move its capital away from sprawling megalopolis Jakarta, officials said Monday, but any jump to a new city could still be years away.

The idea of moving Indonesia's seat of government from an urban conglomeration of nearly 30 million people with some of the world's worst traffic jams has stretched on for decades.

Low-lying Jakarta is also prone to annual flooding and is one of the world's fastest sinking cities due to excessive groundwater extraction.

On Monday, urban planning minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said the long-stalled relocation plan won approval from President Joko Widodo who favoured moving the capital away from Indonesia's most populous Java island.

Jakarta, which suffers billions of dollars in annual congestion-and-flood linked economic losses, would remain the country's financial hub.

"(Widodo) decided on ... the option to relocate the capital," Brodjonegoro said after a cabinet meeting.

In a statement before the meeting, Widodo expressed support for the idea, but he did not give an alternate location or a timeline for any move.

"In the future, would Jakarta be able to carry the double burden of being both the centre of government and its business centre?" he asked in the statement.

"If we prepare well from the very beginning, this great (relocation) idea could be realised," he added.

During his re-election campaign, Widodo pledged to spread economic growth more evenly in the nation of 260 million.

He won a second term this month, according to unofficial poll results.

Local media have reported that a possible new capital would be Palangkaraya city on the island of Borneo.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Halal ink: Muslim-majority Indonesia set for polls

Yahoo – AFP, Harry PEARL, April 15, 2019

It is Indonesia's biggest polls, with 190 million voters and 245,000 candidates
standing for the presidency, parliament and local positions (AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto)

Dipping their fingers in halal ink to prevent double voting, Indonesians cast their ballots Wednesday in a bitterly contested presidential election, with the main rival to incumbent Joko Widodo already threatening to challenge the result over voter-fraud claims.

The Muslim-majority nation's biggest-ever polls -- with more than 190 million voters and 245,000 candidates vying for the presidency, parliament and local positions -- is largely a referendum on Widodo's infrastructure-driven bid to rev up Southeast Asia's largest economy.

But, looming in the background, two decades of democratic gains are at risk of being eroded, analysts said, as the military creeps back into civilian life under Widodo, and his trailing rival Prabowo Subianto, a former general, eyes reforms that harken back to the Suharto dictatorship.

If he loses, Subianto's camp has already warned it will challenge the results over voter-list irregularities.

"It's high stakes in this election," said Evan Laksmana, a senior researcher at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The election is largely a referendum on President Joko Widodo's infrastructure-
driven bid to rev up Southeast Asia's largest economy (AFP Photo/BAY ISMOYO)

"We simply don't know what (Subianto) would do if he won and we don't know if the institutional constraints in place would contain him."

Halal ink

Voting starts at 7:00 am local time Wednesday (2200 GMT Tuesday) in easternmost Papua and ends at 1:00 pm at the other end of the country in Sumatra.

Ballots will be cast at more than 800,000 polling booths across the volcano-dotted country, from the tip of jungle-clad Sumatra and heavily populated Java island to beach paradise Bali and far-flung Sumbawa.

Voters will punch holes in ballots -- to make clear their candidate choice -- and then dip a finger in Muslim-approved halal ink, a measure to prevent double-voting in a graft-riddled country where ballot buying is rife.

A series of so-called "quick counts" are expected to give a reliable indication of the presidential winner later Wednesday. Official results are not expected until May.

Most polls show the 57-year-old Widodo holding a double-digit lead over Subianto, 67, setting up a repeat of their 2014 contest, which Widodo won despite an unsuccessful court challenge over his narrow victory.

Voters dip their finger in halal ink after casting their ballot, like this Indonesian 
woman shown after advance overseas voting in Malaysia (AFP Photo/Mohd RASFAN)

The race has been punctuated by bitter mudslinging between the two camps, religion-driven identity politics and a slew of fake news online that threatens to sway millions of undecided voters.

'Pragmatism over principle'

Widodo campaigned on his ambitious drive to build roads, airports and other infrastructure, including Jakarta's first mass-rapid-transit system.

But his rights record has been criticised owing to an uptick in discriminatory attacks on religious and other minorities, including a small LGBT community, as Islamic hardliners become more vocal in public life.

"(Widodo) has chosen pragmatism over principle on issues of Islamism and pluralism," said Dave McRae, a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne's Asia Institute.

Widodo, a practising Muslim, blunted criticism that he was anti-Islam by appointing influential cleric Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate.

But victory for Widodo and Amin -- known for his disparaging views towards minorities -- could be the latest knock to Indonesia's reputation for moderate Islam.

Former general Prabowo Subianto has run on a fiery nationalist ticket, courting 
Islamic hardliners and promising to boost military spending (AFP Photo/Juni Kriswanto)

"There is a longstanding track record of very conservative views," Kevin O'Rourke, an Indonesia-based political risk analyst, said of Amin.

"It's inevitable that will affect policy making."

Subianto -- joined by running mate Sandiaga Uno, a 49-year-old wealthy financier -- has run on a fiery nationalist ticket.

He courted Islamic hardliners, promised a boost to military and defence spending and, taking a page from US President Donald Trump, vowed to put "Indonesia first" as he pledged to review billions of dollars in Chinese investment.

Subianto's presidential ambitions have long been dogged by strong ties to the Suharto family and a chequered past.

He ordered the abduction of democracy activists as the authoritarian regime collapsed in 1998, and was accused of committing atrocities in East Timor.

Ballots will be cast at more than 800,000 polling booths across the volcano-dotted 
country, including tsunami-ravaged Palu on the island of Sulawesi (AFP Photo/
OLAGONDRONK)

'Low probability, high impact'

Widodo's own cabinet is stuffed with Suharto-era figures, and he raised eyebrows by agreeing to give civilian government jobs to military brass.

But "there is no grand design for Jokowi to bring back military rule", Laksmana said.

Subianto, however, is a military man keen to roll back reforms that ushered in direct presidential elections, analysts said.

That has raised questions about what an upset victory for the retired general could mean for a system that is supported by most Indonesians.

"Democracy itself would be very much at stake," O'Rourke said.

"This is a low probability scenario, but one with very high impact."

Many Indonesians just want a peaceful power transition -- regardless of the winner.

"I hope there's no hostility," said 53-year-old Untung Sri Rejeki.

"No matter who becomes our next president."

Thursday, January 03, 2019

After the Indonesian tsunami: Cashing in on the dead

The devastating tsunami has shattered the lives of thousands of people. More than 400 families have lost members — and in the hospitals, of all places, people have been cashing in on the survivors' suffering.

Deutsche Welle, 2 January 2019

A hearse in front of a hospital in Indonesia (DW/J. Küng)

When the relatives of the tsunami victims come to collect the mortal remains of their loved ones from Serang District Hospital in the province of Banten, around 150 kilometers from Java's ravaged coastal region, they are in a state of shock. Jackson Sinaga from Jakarta is one of them. He lost his nine-month-old son to the floodwaters, triggered by the collapse of the Anak Krakatoa volcano just before Christmas. "Satria was fast asleep in a rented villa on Carita Beach when the tsunami crashed through the building," he says. "It happened so fast — I didn't have time to save my little boy."

Traumatized and plagued by feelings of guilt, Jackson has come to collect the boy's lifeless body from the hospital in Serang. However, instead of being met with sympathy, the 29-year-old father is presented with a hefty bill. He's told he has to pay 800,000 rupiah (€50, $55) which he owes for the transport of the body. "In cash," the forensics department employee adds. That's a lot of money in a country where the average monthly wage is less than €240. Jackson, however, is not capable of thinking rationally, and hands over the money.

Family members of the victims are being ripped off

Three more victims' families meet outside the building. They've also been told they owe money — around four million rupiah. This despite the fact that Indonesia's Ministry of Health is paying all costs resulting from the tsunami disaster, in full, with money from the government's coffers. A debate ensues among the relatives of the dead. One of the people who've been swindled collects the receipts and promises to take them to the local authorities.

Receipts issued on forged letterhead

DW confronts the hospital with the accusations, and is invited to speak to its deputy director, Rahmat Fitriadi. When asked if the hospital knew about the illegal takings, Fitriadi bursts into tears. "Neither the management nor our doctors have charged for any services. We have nothing to do with these schemes," says Fitriadi, sobbing. The official letterhead on the receipts is forged, he continues, dabbing the tears from his eyes. "This is a tragedy for our hospital. I hope this scandal doesn't damage our reputation. We support the authorities' investigation and are providing them with all available information."

Fitradi says his hospital has nothing to do with the scam

Investigators from the provincial police in Banten interrogate doctors, forensic scientists and hospital personnel — and open a can of worms. It seem that at least 15 million rupiah have vanished into the pockets of hospital employees. So far, six of the families cheated have been identified. A forensic department employee and two people working with the emergency services have been arrested on suspicion of corruption. The authorities' investigation is ongoing.

Long jail sentences

It's nothing new in Indonesia for workers in public institutions to demand backhanders or issue illegal invoices. Traffic departments will only issue driving licenses within a reasonable time if you make an "extra payment." Teachers at public schools can be bribed to give out the answers to exam questions. President Joko Widodo has repeatedly promised to clamp down on rampant corruption. What is new is people cashing in on the misery of tsunami victims. If those accused are convicted, they could be facing life sentences; they'll certainly go to prison for at least four years.

Right now, though, for Jackson Sinaga, the arrests are of little interest. "I just hope that no more surviving relatives are swindled and met with such lack of empathy," he says. The Sinaga family has certainly lost all confidence in Serang District Hospital. Jackson's brother and sister, who were also badly injured in the tsunami, are no longer being treated at Serang, but at a hospital in Jakarta.

Monday, October 15, 2018

World Bank offers disaster-hit Indonesia $1 bn in loans

Yahoo – AFP, October 14, 2018

The recent quake-tsunami unleashed devastation on the Indonesian island of
Sulawesi, killing thousands (AFP Photo/MOHD RASFAN)

The World Bank on Sunday announced funding of up to $1 billion for Indonesia after it was rocked by a string of recent disasters, including a deadly earthquake-tsunami that killed thousands.

CEO Kristalina Georgieva unveiled the funds at Indonesian holiday island Bali, where the Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been holding their annual meetings.

A 7.5-magnitude quake and a resulting tsunami tore through Palu city on Sulawesi island on September 28, killing more than 2,000 people and leaving thousands more missing, presumed dead.

Rescue teams scoured the wreckage for a fortnight before calling off the search for the dead, acknowledging as many as 5,000 missing people might never be found.

Georgieva said the funds being made available by the Bank in the form of loans could be used for reconstruction but were also intended to help Indonesia build "resilience", so it would be better prepared in the face of future disasters.

"Disasters will continue to hit and with climate change there will be more," said Georgieva, who visited Palu earlier this week.

"The best memorial we can build for the victims of disaster is to build better, so next time when a disaster hits fewer people are affected, fewer lives are lost, and there is less damage."

Nearly 90,000 people were displaced by the quake in Palu, forcing them into evacuation centres across the rubble-strewn city.

Officials said it could be two years before all the homeless are found permanent accommodation.

Aid groups say a dearth of clean drinking water and medical supplies remains a very real concern for 200,000 people in urgent need.

Donations have begun pouring into the coastal city of 350,000 after a slow start which saw Indonesia criticised for stalling the flow of relief supplies.

The shallow 7.5-magnitude tremor was more powerful than a series of quakes this summer that killed more than 550 people on the Indonesian island of Lombok and neighbouring Sumbawa.

Indonesia has been hit by a string of other deadly quakes, including a devastating 9.1-magnitude tremor that struck off the coast of Sumatra in December 2004, killing 220,000 throughout the region, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati welcomed the pledge.

"This is not one earmark for a certain project, this is something that can be used by the government to support (people) during this uncertain time," she said.

The funding was particularly important in the current economic climate, she said, "with much higher interest rates, tightening of liquidity, (it is) a much harder environment for us to get financing from outside".

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth.

It lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", where tectonic plates collide and many of the world's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Abused Hong Kong maid Erwiana 'rises again'

Yahoo - AFP, Agus Purwanto, 28 September 2018

Erwiana now works on behalf of migrant workers

She was once the face of abused maids in Hong Kong -- imprisoned, starved and beaten so badly she lost control of her bodily functions.

But four years after her horrific ordeal made global headlines, Indonesian Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is a university graduate and fighting for the rights of domestic helpers in the southern Chinese city and beyond.

Erwiana completed a degree in economics this month -- the culmination of a dream that brought her to Hong Kong in 2013 before her life was turned upside down.

"Before I went to Hong Kong, I had been dreaming I could make enough money to study," the 27-year-old told AFP from her home in Indonesia's cultural capital Yogyakarta.

"After the incident, I thought I might have to give up on that dream."

Erwiana's employer Law Wan-tung was jailed after pictures of her extensive injuries went viral in 2014.

Widespread media coverage of Erwiana's torture had one unexpected benefit -- she was offered scholarships to study.

"I'm happy but it's bittersweet because even though I graduated university there are still many migrant workers who are persecuted and treated badly," she said.

She chose economics partly to understand "why so many people in this world have to migrate" for work.

"People should be able to live peacefully in their own country without having to work abroad unprotected," she said.

Erwiana plans to take that message to demonstrations outside the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Bali next month.

Erwiana's horrific ordeal made global headlines

She now works on behalf of migrant workers, including pushing for the release of former Filipina maid Mary Jane Veloso who is on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling.

Most domestic workers in Hong Kong are from poor communities in Indonesia and the Philippines and are vulnerable to abuse by employers and employment agencies.

Migrants from both countries have also suffered injury -- or worse -- in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

In February, the death of a Filipina maid in Kuwait, whose body was found this year stuffed in a freezer, sparked outrage in the Philippines.

Also this year, Indonesian domestic helper Adelina Sau died in hospital after being rescued from her employer's house in Malaysia's Penang state, with wounds covering her body. Her boss was charged with murder.

It is these stories that prompted Erwiana to fight for workers' rights, and never give up on herself even when she doubted her chances.

"I never imagined I'd be here -- I almost gave up," she said.

"I was so sick, I was a failed migrant worker and my injuries were all over the media.

"But because my family and fellow migrant worker friends gave me strength, I finally had the spirit to rise again."



Erwiana Sulistyaningsih arrives at the Wanchai Law Courts to begin giving
 evidence against her former employer who is accused of abuse and torture, in
Hong Kong on Monday. (AFP Photo/Isaac Lawrence)

Related Article:


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lap of luxury: Indonesian jailers busted over fancy cells

Yahoo – AFP, 23 July 2018

Outside authorities found several cells that featured modern bathrooms with hot
showers, full-sized refrigerators, coffee makers, microwave ovens and stereo loudspeakers

Inmates at an Indonesian prison paid for luxury cells equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and private washrooms, anti-graft officials said, in the graft-riddled country's latest corruption scandal.

Jail staff allegedly took bribes of 200-500 million rupiah ($14,000-$35,000) from inmates to renovate cells and supply banned mobile phones or even let them temporarily leave prison, Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) said.

Anti-graft agents arrested five people connected to the scandal at Sukamiskin prison, including inmates and the warden who got cash and a pair of vehicles to look the other way, it added.

A raid on Sunday turned up several cells that featured modern bathrooms with hot showers, full-sized refrigerators, coffee makers, microwave ovens and stereo loudspeakers, the KPK said.

"We apologise to the Indonesian people," Sri Puguh Budi Utami, the director general of Indonesia's prisons, told reporters late Sunday.

"We're very sorry that we still have not been able to maximise our monitoring systems."

A former tax official now serving time at Sukamiskin was once photographed watching a tennis tournament in Bali and had even travelled overseas on a fake passport when he was supposed to be in another jail.

Jail staff allegedly took bribes of 200-500 million rupiah ($14,000-$35,000) from
 inmates to renovate cells and supply banned mobile phones or even let them 
temporarily leave prison

The prison's other inmates include a former chief justice and ex-house speaker Setya Novanto, who was convicted in April of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes linked to the national roll-out of government ID cards.

They were not among the inmates or prison staff arrested Sunday.

Indonesian prisons are more commonly known for their poor conditions and outbreaks of violence.

But it is an open secret that the rich and powerful can buy luxury on the inside, prompting the government to warn last year that it would jail guards or other staff caught taking bribes from inmates in exchange for special treatment.

In one of the highest-profile cases, a businesswoman imprisoned for bribery had a cell with a spring mattress, couch, refrigerator, television and air conditioning -- and adjoining karaoke room.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Netherlands overtakes Switzerland in world competitiveness stakes

DutchNews, May 24, 2018


The Netherlands has overtaken Switzerland and moved into fourth place in the latest global competitiveness rankings published by IMD

The top five most competitive economies in the world remain the same as in the previous year, but their order changed in the 2018 rankings. The United States, third last year, returns to the top spot, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland. 

The Netherlands’ advance reflects a ‘balanced’ path to competitiveness, ranking in the top 10 in economic performance, government and business efficiency, IMD said. Switzerland declined mainly due to a slowdown in exports and, to a lesser extent, an increase in perceptions about threats of relocation of R&D facilities. 

The IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland, has published the rankings every year since 1989. It compiles them using 258 indicators.

‘Hard’ data such as national employment and trade statistics are weighted twice as much as the ‘soft’ data from an executive opinion survey that measures the business perception of issues such as corruption, environmental concerns and quality of life. This year 63 countries were ranked. 

The Netherlands is also currently ranked 4th on the World Economic Forum‘s list of the 138 most competitive countries, behind Switzerland, the United States and Singapore.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Kuwait, Philippines sign deal to regulate domestic labour

Yahoo – AFP, May 11, 2018

Filipino workers arrive to Manila International Airport from Kuwait on February 18,
2018, after the murder of a Philippine maid sent hundreds of women streaming
back home (AFP Photo/NOEL CELIS)

Kuwait City (AFP) - Kuwait and the Philippines signed a deal on Friday to regulate domestic workers, after a dispute between the two countries led to a ban on Filipino workers in the Gulf state.

"A short time ago we signed an agreement between the two countries on the employment of domestic workers," Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah told a joint press conference with his Filipino counterpart Alan Peter Cayetano.

In February Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed a partial ban on workers travelling to Kuwait after a Filipina maid was murdered and her body found in a freezer.

The crisis deepened after Kuwaiti authorities in April expelled Manila's ambassador over video footage of Philippine embassy staff helping workers escape employers accused of mistreatment.

Cayetano said a new ambassador to Kuwait would soon be appointed and that he would advise Duterte to "immediately" lift the ban.

"I think the crisis is over. We will move on with the bilateral relations and we will resume normal ties with Kuwait," said an official with Cayetano's delegation.

He added that the agreement "gives a number of rights to Philippine workers".

A copy of the agreement seen by AFP says that workers will be allowed to keep their passports and cellphones -- often confiscated by employers.

It stipulates that contract renewals should be approved by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, instead of being automatically renewed.

Employers must provide domestic workers with food, housing, clothing and health insurance, according to the document.

About 262,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, 60 percent of them in domestic labour, according to Manila.

More than two million Filipinos are employed across the Gulf.

Rights groups have repeatedly urged Gulf states to reform their labour laws to cover domestic workers and provide them with "equal protections" available to other workers.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Malaysia's Mahathir wins shock election victory, toppling 61-yr-old regime

Yahoo – AFP, Martin Abbugao, May 9, 2018

As it became clear that Mahathir had won, supporters took to the streets
waving flags of the opposition alliance (AFP Photo/Mohd RASFAN)

Malaysia's veteran ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, 92, won a shock election victory Thursday, in a political earthquake that toppled the country's scandal-plagued premier and ousted a regime that has ruled for over six decades.

It was a stunning triumph that almost no one had predicted and ended the long hold on power of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since its birth as an independent country.

The victory capped a dramatic political comeback for Mahathir, who previously ruled the country with an iron fist for 22 years, and came out of retirement to taken on Prime Minister Najib Razak after the leader became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.

When he takes power, Mahathir will be the oldest prime minister in the world.

His victory spells big trouble for Najib -- Mahathir has vowed to bring him to justice over allegations that billions of dollars were looted from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which the scandal-plagued leader set up and oversaw.

But at a press conference, Mahathir vowed: "We are not seeking revenge. We want to restore the rule of law."

Mahathir's return to the political frontlines saw him throw in his lot with an opposition alliance filled with parties that he crushed while in power, and which includes jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim -- his former nemesis.

When he takes power, Mahathir Mohamad, 92, will be the oldest prime minister
in the world (AFP Photo/Manan VATSYAYANA)

As well as seizing control of the national government, several state legislatures across the country fell into opposition hands for the first time, including the highly symbolic bastion of Johor, the birthplace of Najib's party that was the lynchpin of the ruling coalition.

Official results from the Election Commission showed that Mahathir's opposition grouping Pakatan Harapan, along with an ally in the Borneo state of Sabah, had secured 115 parliamentary seats. 112 are needed to form a government. BN were on 79 seats with just a few left to count.

As it became clear that Mahathir had won, supporters took to the streets waving flags of the opposition alliance.

After polls closed earlier in the day, journalists had flocked to the headquarters of Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the lynchpin in the ruling coalition -- but he failed to turn up to give a victory speech and the media were told to leave.

Huge numbers of voters earlier flocked to the polls across the country, despite Najib having called the election on a weekday in what critics said was a bid to keep turnout down.

The BN wipeout is a disaster for Najib, who had been under pressure to score an emphatic win after the government lost the popular vote for the first time at the last elections in 2013.

The controversy surrounding 1MDB has dogged Najib since the story exploded in 2015. Billions of dollars were allegedly stolen from the fund, which was set up and overseen by Najib. The leader and 1MDB deny any wrongdoing.

But in rural areas, the rising cost of living, which has hit poor Malays hard, was the main concern at the election particularly after the introduction of an unpopular sales tax in 2015.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Accident Suspected in Death of Matahari Founder

Jakarta Globe, March 11, 2018

Hari Darmawan was found dead on Saturday (10/03). (B1 Photo)

Jakarta. Hari Darmawan who established Indonesia's largest retail company Matahari Department Store was found dead on Saturday (10/03). His body was pulled from the Ciliwung River near his villa in Bogor, West Java.

It is suspected that Hari, 77, fell into the river when he went to check its overflow the night before.

His family decided to bring the body to Bali for burial.

Hari was last seen at the villa around 8 p.m. on Friday, after a series of meetings, said Ilham Fadjriansah, the family's spokesman and manager of Taman Wisata Matahari.

"It was raining heavily all day long. It's possible that Mr. Darmawan decided to monitor the Ciliwung River's overflow, but lost his balance and fell into the waters," Ilham said.

The police found Hari's body one kilometer away at 6 a.m. on Saturday, after an overnight search.

West Java Police chief Ins. Gen. Agung Budi Maryoto said the police are now questioning witnesses to determine the cause of Hari's of death.

Hari, born on May 27, 1940, had a reputation of being a successful but humble businessman. He opened the first Matahari outlet — Indonesia's first modern department store — in Pasar Baru, Jakarta, in 1972. The company, which is now part of the Lippo Group, operates 156 stores in 73 cities.

"Mr. Hari was a fighter, a true entrepreneur, who built Matahari Department Store and created vast employment opportunities," said James Riady, the chief executive of the Lippo Group.

"He was a good person, friendly, always willing to help others. ... We will pray and hope for God's blessings and solace for his grieving family."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sri Mulyani Receives Best Minister Award During World Government Summit in Dubai

Jakarta Globe, February 11, 2018

(Reuters Photo/Christopher Pike)

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati received the Best Minister Award from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of Dubai, during the World Government Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday (11/02). The award was given to recognize outstanding government ministers for their exceptional efforts in implementing successful reform. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

JCI Closes Higher on Monday Despite Collapse of Floor in IDX Building

Jakarta Globe, Sarah Yuniarni, January 15, 2018

The Jakarta Composite Index closed higher on Monday, bouncing back from
Friday despite the collapse of a mezzanine floor in the Indonesia Stock Exchange
building, shortly after the end of the day's first trading session. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Jakarta. Indonesia's benchmark stock index closed higher on Monday (15/01), bouncing back from Friday despite the collapse of a mezzanine floor at the local bourse in Jakarta, shortly after the end of the day's first trading session.

The Jakarta Composite Index (JCI) closed 0.19 percent higher at 6,382.

Nafan Aji, an analyst at brokerage firm Binaartha Sekuritas, said the JCI opened higher at 6,379 on Monday due to strong gains in Asian stocks, spurred by an improvement in global commodity prices.

The index reached 6,389 at around 10 a.m., but dropped during the second session.

"The country's index weakened slightly during the second trading session, likely due to negative sentiment from a deficit in Indonesia's trade balance, and the collapse of a first-floor corridor in the Indonesia Stock Exchange [IDX] building, but it bounced back and [still] closed higher than Friday," Nafan said.

Indonesia recorded a $270 million trade deficit in December, but the country still had a cumulative $11.84 billion trade surplus for 2017, Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data shows.

Foreign investors, who accounted for 37 percent of Monday's trading, bought Rp 1.96 trillion ($147.4 million) more in shares than they sold, while local investors sold Rp 1.96 trillion more than they bought.

Some indexes rose during Monday's trading, led by a 1.53 percent gain in the one that tracks mining stocks, including Vale Indonesia and Medco Energi Internasional.

The index that tracks financial stocks, including Bank Mandiri and Bank Central Asia, gained 0.67 percent.

Gainers beat decliners by 168 to 175 on Monday.

IDX Floor Collapse

At least 77 people were injured when a mezzanine floor in the second tower of the IDX building collapsed shortly after 12 p.m. on Monday.

The tower, which is also home to the offices of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, property consultants and several local lenders, was built in 1998.

The IDX said in a statement that the building management was still investigating the cause of the incident. Police have ruled out an explosion as the cause.

The second trading session started at 1:30 p.m. as normal, despite the incident.

The collapse of a mezzanine floor of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) building 
on Monday (15/01) was not caused by a bomb. (Antara Photo/Elo)