"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. …

Friday, August 29, 2014

For Constitutional Court Chief Hamdan, Justice Will Prevail

Jakarta Globe, Kennial Caroline Laia & Adelia Anjani Putri, Aug 28, 2014

Head of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court Hamdan Zoelva has garnered praise
 for his leadership in a case that decided the fate of an entire nation. (Reuters
Photo/Darren Whiteside)

Jakarta. Hamdan Zoelva was dressed in his gray suit and white shirt — not the black judicial robe he commonly dons while presiding over hearings at the Constitutional Court occasionally broadcast on television.

The chief justice of the Court (MK) has become one of the most talked-about figures in Indonesian politics after he led the court hearing last week upholding outgoing Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo’s win in the presidential election.

Hamdan’s leading role in presiding over an impactful trial that ultimately delivered a unanimous vote in favor of Joko, has won not only praise by political observers, who called him “the man of the hour” as the court handed down its verdict that day, it has also transformed him into a social media darling. The chief justice especially been a big hit with the nation’s female population, with its social media users taking to Twitter and Facebook to gush about his “handsome” looks.

Hamdan said he was aware of his sudden popularity — there have been many mentions of his account on Twitter, @hamdanzoelva, and hordes of fans have been commenting on his Facebook pages since that day of the court ruling.

“Their reactions actually surprised me. But I thank the [social media] commenters for that. I consider that an appreciation,” Hamdan told the Jakarta Globe during an interview in his office on Tuesday.

“But most importantly, to me it means that the court has had a great effect on people. They probably took notice because they watched the judicial process [on television], and that counted as people’s participation in our democracy.”

Born in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, 52 years ago, Hamdan began his professional career as a lawyer in a Jakarta-based firm. In 1999, he was elected to represent his home province in parliament (DPR), under the banner of the Islamic Crescent Star Party (PBB). Between 1999 and 2002, he was the only representative of the party in the ad hoc committee for the 1945 Constitution amendments.

In early 2010, Hamdan left his political career behind after he was appointed as one of the Constitutional Court justices. Joining the court at the age of 47, Hamdan was the youngest constitutional judge at that time.

Being a chief of the nation’s highest judiciary institution, though, had never been Hamdan’s plan.

“It’s a destined path,” he said, adding that he also had never expected to take on the responsibilities of a job he used to avoid: a judge.

“When I was little, I was told that most judges would go to hell — two out of three of them,” Hamdan said.

“It’s hard to be a fair and good judge, it needs both competency and high integrity. A judge without integrity will bring [disaster] to justice.”

Presidential dispute

Within the comforts of his spacious office, Hamdan, who earned his master and doctorate degrees in law from Bandung’s Padjadjaran University (Unpad), gave the Globe a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the election dispute, as seen through his eyes.

The appeal that kick-started the process had been filed by losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto shortly after the announcement by the General Elections Commission (KPU) of its official tally on July 22, naming Joko as victor of what had been an emotionally charged race.

Hamdan called the trial — and the troubles stemming from it — occupational risks. Not only did the monumental proceedings attract pressures from both social and political parties, Hamdan and his family also received threats, according to media reports.

“Well, they weren’t exactly [terrorist acts],” Hamdan said of the reported threats. “My wife and I did receive [threatening] text messages, but those were all just empty words, nothing serious.”

He responded with a simple act — he turned off his phone.

“I said, if we receive numerous phone calls and messages, just turn it off, it wouldn’t kill us, right? So I turned off my public cellphone for one, maybe two days, and voila . I think of those messages as non existent,” he said.

Police also took precautionary steps by providing special security for the court’s nine justices, including Hamdan.

“There was extra security during the elections, since the legislative ones, but it was tighter during the presidential election. They guarded me, my family, my house, my official residence and even my house back in the village,” he said.

In the court’s headquarters in Central Jakarta, security was also beefed up as Prabowo’s supporters staged rallies in front of the court nearly every day of the proceedings. The crowd, said Hamdan, had no success in affecting the result of the trial.

“We saw them only on TV. We rarely looked at them. We were busy working — meetings, hearings, document checks and filling, and other [duties]. In any case, we cannot be pressured by anything.”

The chief justice was also a subject of a number accusations that surfaced during the trial, including the allegation that he was siding with one party or another. What made these claims particularly interesting — or especially ridiculous — was that they were made by both sides involved in the trial. Joko’s supporters cast doubt on Hamdan because of his past affiliation with the PBB, a party in Prabowo’s coalition, while Prabowo supporters accused him of having familial relation with a member of Joko’s campaign team.

“I’ve kept my neutrality,” Hamdan said on this. “I knew both camps — the candidates, the campaign teams, they are mostly my friends. I used to be in politics, so I know most of them. For me, what’s important is how I position myself in the middle, as a referee. Shutting down my partisanship is the very first thing I have to do before making any decision.”

Hamdan also emphasized he didn’t work alone during the trial; all nine justices claimed equal share in deciding the fate of the nation.

And although none of the justices offered a dissenting opinion during the ruling, Hamdan said disagreements were not uncommon during the justices’ deliberation of cases.

“If we can’t settle on one conclusion, one can always offer a dissenting opinion,” Hamdan said.

Now that the ruling is out, Prabowo’s camp announced it will continue to take legal actions through the state administrative court (PTUN).

Hamdan declined to comment.

“I don’t have to comment on that, it’s outside the [constitutional] court. All rulings [on who can stake claim of the presidency] are final in this court,” he said, implying that nothing would be able to subvert Joko’s victory.

Hamdan did comment on statements made by Prabowo spokesman Tantowi Yahya shortly after the ruling was announced. Tantowi said the court had failed to represent “substantial truth and justice.”

“[Proceedings for] an election dispute are designed to be quick, that’s why the law only gives 14 days to settle [the complaint]. It’s basically only a matter of counting, so if one claims that their votes have gone missing, he has to provide evidence to support it. In this election dispute, the allegations were wide … [but] weren’t supported by evidence, so they were not proven,” he said.

“The court will only process structured, systematic and massive fraud if it results in a significant change in the tally.”

Hamdan agreed that many violations did take place in the July 9 presidential election, but they were minor.

The justices agreed the irregularities could not be considered as “structured, systematic and massive,” nor did they significantly alter the outcome of the final tally.

“So, does that mean that we didn’t take substantial truth into consideration?” he asked. “Justice has to be based on evidence and truth. Without them, there would be deviation.”

Questioned credibility

Hamdan, a successor of disgraced former chief justice Akil Mochtar, said work performance was the sole key to regaining the public’s trust after the court’s credibility was severely tarnished by Akil, who was sentenced to life in prison in June for receiving bribes in several regional election disputes handled by the court.

“We work as professionally as we can. As for credibility, we leave it to the public to judge. We don’t brag about our work. People wouldn’t believe us anyway,” he said.

Hamdan shared his thoughts on his biggest challenge as a justice.

“To maintain objectivity is the biggest challenge in our job. Sometimes, those who approach the Court with a case are people we consider friends or family members. So, how do we keep our objectivity? By simply seeing everyone as equal before the law,” Hamdan said.

“The fear of God is important as well, perhaps the most important, because essentially, we can hide from people, but we cannot hide from God.”

Related Article:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Indonesia, Australia Sign Deal to End Spying Row

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Aug 28, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, right, shakes hand with Australian Foreign
 Minister Julie Bishop, left, during their meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali on Aug. 28, 2014.
(EPA Photo/Made Nagi)

Nusa Dua. Indonesia and Australia on Thursday signed an agreement aimed at drawing a line under a damaging espionage row and paving the way for the resumption of full cooperation on issues such as defense.

Ties between the neighbors sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.

Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.

Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behavior and, after months of talks on the issue, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa on Thursday signed an agreement.

With Yudhoyono looking on, the pair inked the deal, named the “Joint Understanding on a Code of Conduct between the Republic of Indonesia and Australia”, at a ceremony on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

In the agreement, Indonesia and Australia pledge to not use their intelligence agencies to harm one another and to increase cooperation at a time fears are growing about the threat posed by home-grown Islamic militants returning from Middle East conflicts.

“We are back to where we should have been in terms of Indonesia-Australia relations,” Natalegawa said, adding that he believed cooperation would be “even more enhanced in the future in front of us”.

Bishop said: “Despite some recent challenges in our relationship — as there can be between neighbors, even strategic partners as close as Australia and Indonesia — we have proven that our two countries can keep working together across the board.”

She added the agreement was “the most effective way to defeat those who would do harm to the people of Australia and Indonesia”.

Extremist concerns

Both countries have expressed alarm that home-grown extremists are heading in increasing numbers to fight with violent groups such as the Islamic State overseas, and have stepped up counter terrorism efforts.

Yudhoyono said he hoped relations would be strengthened by the accord: “I am hoping, personally, that we could go back to our strong relations and effective cooperation.”

Allegations that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009 sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the two strategic allies in years.

Reports at the time said that Australia’s electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono’s activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor’s Kevin Rudd was prime minister.

The list of tracking targets also included his wife Ani, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister.

Jakarta responded furiously to the reports, which were based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, by suspending bilateral cooperation in key areas.

Ties were further strained by Australia’s policy of pushing people-smuggling boats carrying asylum-seekers back to Indonesia.

Indonesia and Australia are close strategic and trading partners and have traditionally worked together in many areas, including on anti-terrorism initiatives and on the sensitive issue of would-be refugees.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

SBY Satisfied on Leaving Office

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Aug 26, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (Antara Photo/Andika Wahyu)

Sydney. Outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday he leaves office with a sense of satisfaction after strengthening democracy and the economy during a decade in power.

The former general stands down in October when Joko Widodo, the reform-minded governor of Jakarta who won July’s presidential polls, takes the reins of Southeast Asia’s top economy.

In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Yudhoyono admitted there was more work to be done, but said he had accomplished much.

“I leave my office with a sense of satisfaction that I have tried to do my best to serve the nation, and that at the end of my 10 years in office Indonesia is a stronger nation, a stronger democracy and a stronger economy,” he said.

Yudhoyono took on a nation suffering widespread graft, an insurgency in Aceh province and bombings by the Jemaah Islamiyah network when he was elected in Indonesia’s first direct presidential poll in 2004.

“We had many challenges but, one by one, we fixed our problems,” he said.

“We resolved the longstanding separatist conflict in Aceh. We stabilized the situation in Papua. We survived the tsunami crisis [of 2004] and many other natural disasters.

“We fought corruption hard, not always successfully. We neutralized and disrupted terrorist groups. We pursued a more active international engagement in a turbulent world,” he added.

Yudhoyono said Indonesia, where around half of the mostly Muslim population of 250 million are poor, had also weathered the global financial crisis and completed direct elections for all local leaders.

Economic growth had been healthy, averaging 5.9 percent during the period of 2009 to 2013, he said.

And although it had fallen to 5.2 percent in the first part of 2014, Indonesia was still experiencing higher economic growth than many other nations.

“In fact, in the G20, Indonesia has the second highest growth after China,” he said, adding that he expected growth to reach 6.0 percent or more within two years.

The president said that while he had made the unpopular decision to increase the price of petrol last year, and this year hiked electricity and gas, costly fuel subsidies had needed to be adjusted.

“My hope is that the new government will give the subsidy to the poor. We should not give the subsidy to the commodities but to the people who need it: the poor,” he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Ani Yudhoyono at
the legislative complex in Senayan on Friday. (Antara Photo/Ismar Patrizki)

Related Articles:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Indonesia court upholds Joko Widodo poll victory

BBC News, 21 August 2014

Supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gathered
outside the court ahead of the verdict

Indonesia's top court has rejected an appeal from defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto over the results of July's presidential poll.

The constitutional court's decision upholds the results from the elections, which Joko Widodo won by a 6% margin.

Mr Subianto had claimed widespread electoral fraud, and taken his case to the court.

Hundreds of Mr Subianto's supporters gathered outside the court ahead of the verdict, clashing briefly with police.

The court decision means that Mr Widodo, who was declared president last month, has his position firmly sealed, the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta reports.

The constitutional court is the highest authority in the country - and the decision from the court is final, our correspondent adds.

Mr Widodo's win was seen as heralding a new era for Indonesia, whose leaders have generally been drawn from the military and political elite.

Mr Prabowo is a former army general closely associated with the traditional elite, while Mr Widodo, a former furniture-maker who grew up in a small village, has promised a decisive break with Indonesia's authoritarian past and better social welfare for the poor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Australia, Indonesia Agree to Bury Spy Row

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Aug 19, 2014

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, shakes hands with her Indonesian
 counterpart Marty Natalegawa at the latter’s office in Jakarta, on Dec. 5, 2013.
(Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Sydney. Australia and Indonesia have agreed a pact to put a damaging spy row behind them, paving the way for the resumption of full defense cooperation, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday.

Ties between the neighbors sank to their lowest point in years in November after reports Australian spies tried to tap the phones of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his inner circle.

Jakarta recalled its ambassador from Canberra and suspended cooperation in several areas over the incident, including efforts to stop people-smuggling boats reaching Australia.

Yudhoyono called for a code of conduct to govern behavior during talks with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in June, and the agreement reportedly includes a promise from Canberra never to use its intelligence agencies to harm its neighbor.

“We have reached agreement on the joint understanding and we are currently arranging a time to sign it,” Bishop said Tuesday.

The deal will be signed in Indonesia by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, with outgoing president Yudhoyono a witness, her office said.

Bishop told Fairfax Media the agreement was a “concise statement of our commitment to respect each other’s sovereignty… and not to harm each others interests”.

“This means we will not be using our intelligence resources to harm Indonesia’s interests,” she said, adding that full defense, border security and intelligence cooperation would be restored.

Allegations that Australian spies tried to tap the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and several top officials in 2009 sparked one of the worst diplomatic crises between the two strategic allies in years.

Reports at the time said that Australia’s electronic intelligence agency tracked Yudhoyono’s activity on his mobile phone for 15 days in August 2009, when Labor’s Kevin Rudd was prime minister.

The list of tracking targets also included his wife Ani, former vice president Jusuf Kalla, the foreign affairs spokesman, the security minister and the information minister, the reports said.

Jakarta responded furiously to the reports, which were based on documents leaked by US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden, by suspending bilateral co-operations in key areas.

Ties were further strained by Australia’s policy of pushing boatloads of asylum-seekers back to Indonesia when it was safe to do so.

Indonesia and Australia are close strategic and trading partners and have traditionally worked together in many areas, including on anti-terrorism initiatives and on the sensitive issue of asylum-seekers.

In June, Abbott said he was confident that ties were back on track.

“One of the great things about this relationship is that on those rare occasions when there are problems, we talk them through. We speak candidly to each other, and that’s exactly what’s happened between myself and [the] president today,” he said.

Agence France-Presse

Related Article:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Yudhoyono Delivers Swan Song to House Ahead of Independence Day

Jakarta Globe, Aug 15, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife Ani Yudhoyono at
the legislative complex in Senayan on Friday. (Antara Photo/Ismar Patrizki)

Jakarta. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered the final state speech of his ten-year tenure on Friday, thanking the electorate for its “support” and painting a picture of Indonesia’s transformation during his decade at the State Palace.

“On behalf of of myself and my family I want to convey my gratitude and sincere appreciation for the government and all Indonesians for your support and participation in achieving the development agenda over the past ten years,” Yudhoyono said during his speech to mark the 69th anniversary of Indonesian independence.

Yudhoyono specially mentioned public servants working in the far-flung corners of the archipelago, from dusty frontier towns to remote jungle encampments.

“Thank you for your dedication, which has been above and beyond the call of duty,” Yudhoyono said.

The outgoing president has overseen a near-fourfold increase in the size of the economy, in dollar terms, during his decade in power, with GDP in 2013 recorded at $868 billion, according to World Bank data.

Yudhoyono said that while most Indonesians in the past were unable to read and write, the country’s education system now comprised 200,000 schools, 3 million teachers and 50 million students.

The country, he said, had grown into a middle-income nation ranked as the 16th-largest economy in the world, and inside the top ten of states when looking at Purchasing Power Parity, a hypothetical indicator that adds foreign-exchange relative value.

“After being an independent nation for almost seven decades, in this 21st century Indonesia has become a united country that is peaceful and prosperous,” he said.

Yudhoyono also pointed to the country’s successful record on holding elections. He said his administration had been a thorn in the side of corrupt officials — with some 277 public officials having been forced out by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

The president ended on an optimistic note, reminding the electorate of how far the country had come in its democratization drive, and of the importance of ensuring that the process continued.

“Let’s all work together to guard the 2014 election process so that it stays peaceful and constitutional, just like the previous election,” Yudhoyono said. “The 2014 election is not merely the fight of the elites.”

Related Articles:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jokowi Meets N. Korean Foreign Minister and S. Korean Ambassador

Jakarta Globe, SP/Deti Mega Purnamasari, 13 Aug 2014

President-elect Joko Widodo. (Antara photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. President-elect Joko Widodo held two separate meetings on Monday with senior officials from both North and South Korea to discuss Indonesia’s bilateral ties with the two countries ahead of him assuming the office of president in October.

“North Korean foreign minister, Ri Su-yong, congratulated me for winning the presidential election, it was a direct message from Kim Jong-un,” Joko said on Monday at City Hall.

Ri praised the Jakarta governor, calling him a humble man with an impressive track record as an administrator. Pyongyang had praise for Joko’s efforts to raise living standards, the foreign minster said.

“I hope he can work even harder for his people,” Ri added.

The North Korean minister on Wednesday also met with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his Indonesian counterpart, Marty Natalegawa.

After meeting Joko, Ri said he hoped for a deepening of bilateral ties between Pyongyang and Jakarta.

“I expect major successes in public services and the country’s development,” he added.

Earlier in the day Joko also met with the South Korean ambassador to Indonesia, Cho Tae-young.

“The discussion was mostly about the economy and culture,” Joko said, adding that Cho had invited him to Korea for a state visit after his October inauguration.

Related Article:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SBY, US Senators Touch Base on ISIS, Defense Cooperation

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite & Markus Junianto Sihaloho, Aug 12, 2014

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shares a light moment with US
 Senator John McCain at the State Palace on Aug. 12, 2014. (Rumgapres
Photo/Abror Rizki)

Jakarta. US Senator John McCain described the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria movement as the “strongest terrorist organization in history,” with strong financial backing and military equipment.

In a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, McCain said the United States was forced to take military action in an effort to crush the hard-line group known as ISIS.

“ISIS has shown a significant amount of power since it took control of the border of Iraq,” said McCain, who was accompanied by junior senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, in his visit to the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday.

McCain said ISIS has successfully spread its ideology of hate and violence to other countries, including to Indonesia and the US, with the return of Indonesian and American youths from Syria to their respective countries.

McCain called on all nations to immediately squash the dangerous, hard-line methods of ISIS, “so that people would not be attracted to its ideology.”

McCain believed that air strikes would be effective in crushing ISIS, which has recently changed its moniker yet again to Islamic State, or IS.

Meanwhile, Iraq and Syria, the two countries that served as the basis for the group, should be proactive in handling the problem, he said.

“Air strikes and military forces are needed to weaken ISIS,” said McCain, adding that he is confident Indonesia has what it takes to stop the movement in its tracks.

“I believe that all countries, including Indonesia, are doing what they have to do to prevent people from becoming interested in the radical Islamic ideology like that,” he said.

Gaza conflict

During the meeting, McCain and Yudhoyono refrained from discussing the Gaza conflict in length, despite Indonesia’s strong rejection toward Israel’s aggressive military strikes, which have killed more than a thousand civilians.

However, McCain said that he hoped that the cease-fire between the Israeli military and Hamas would continue so that both Israel and Palestine could reach an agreement that would finally put an end to the month-old conflict.

McCain then called on the Sunni Islamic outfit to “stop the terror.”

McCain said negotiations between both parties can resume following the cease-fire, adding that the United States is encouraging both parties to find a peaceful solution that would prevent further bloodshed.

Indonesian presidential adviser on international relations Teuku Faizasyah confirmed that the president and the visiting US senators did speak in detail regarding the Gaza issue.

“The discussion was more on ISIS,” said Faizasyah.

Faizasyah added that the politicians also reviewed the South China Sea dispute as well as bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US.

Defense, economic cooperation

Yudhoyono told the US senators that with Indonesia’s economy recovering, the government is taking the momentum to start making improvements on its defense system.

“Our economy has improved, therefore we are able to modernize our military [equipment],” said Yudhoyono.

Indonesia has not upgraded its defense system in 20 years but instead has been taking measured steps toward its 2024 goal of reaching the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) with the recent purchase of Leopard tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles from Germany.

Yudhoyono hoped that Indonesia and the US will be able to build stronger, defensive ties in order to create peace within the Asia-Pacific region, according to Faizasyah. The US has one of the strongest military forces in the world, and it deploys drones to conduct surveillance and perform air strikes.

“They discussed various issues pertaining to regional developments, including the South China Sea issue and the president’s views on the reformation [process] in Myanmar,” he said.

Touching on matters such as religion, McCain expressed his hopes of Indonesia showing the world that Islam and democracy can work together to create a fair and free country.

“We believe Indonesia is an open and democratic country under [Yudhoyono’s] leadership, with the most populous Muslim population,” said McCain. He added that the US is committed to supporting Indonesia’s multi-faceted developments and will work to enhance cooperation between both countries.

“We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with Indonesia, among them in the economic, education, environment and military sectors,” McCain said.

PDI-P’s foreign ties

Andreas Hugo Pareira, head of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) defense and foreign affairs unit, reminded both the public and Indonesian politicians not to speculate about the meeting that took place between the US senators and the officials of the party.

“I don’t understand these comments people have made about foreign intervention. What intervention? This is just normal,” he said, referring to rumors that questioned PDI-P’s connections and loyalties to the US.

PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is on vacation in the US, was invited to a discussion on global issues. In Indonesia, US senators met with Sidarto Danusubroto, who is the speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), and Pramono Anung, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. Both men are PDI-P politicians.

Andreas insisted that it was customary for the former leader of a country to be invited to a discussion on global issues while in the US.

“Don’t be too paranoid when you hear of a politician communicating or having a discussion with foreign politicians. This is to maintain good relations. It’s good to express our stance,” he said.

Andreas added that it was normal for Sidarto, who is often approached by foreign dignitaries, to meet with visiting US senators.

Saying ‘No’ to Party Positioning in Jokowi’s Cabinet

New Form of Government: President-Elect Joko Widodo wants any appointed minister in his cabinet to give up roles within political parties

Jakarta Globe, Deti Purnamasari & Hotman Siregar,  Aug 12, 2014

President-Elect Joko Widodo appears with members of his transition team
in Jakarta on Aug. 4, 2014. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta. President-Elect Joko Widodo has reiterated that the coalition that he is building with political parties is unconditional, meaning that there will be no proportional power sharing with political parties.

Joko maintained that his cabinet will be filled with professionals, either from political parties or independent ones. He also indicated that he wanted to reduce ministerial positions within the cabinet.

“I have mentioned previously about the conditions when establishing the coalition. They already know the answer: it is unconditional,” Joko, who is still Jakarta’s governor and also goes by Jokowi, said at City Hall on Tuesday.

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) senior politician Pramono Anung defended Joko’s decision to not fill his entire cabinet with politicians, saying that the move was not meant to disrespect political parties but instead reflected a mature democratic process.

Pramono cited the United States as an example in which public officials, would relinquish their positions in political parties once elected.

“In the US, [people] in the government are not political party officials. Take, for instance, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others,” Pramono said, referring to the US president and the former state secretary.

Pramono called on coalition parties to accept Joko’s decision, adding that it was the prerogative of the president-elect to make such choices.

Pramono, who is also the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, says that the functions between political parties and government are separate in a modern democracy.

He said Joko’s move was a first in Indonesia’s presidential history.

“This is a genuinely new idea. Based on what I see in the presidential history, Jokowi does not have direct control on political parties. But I appreciate [Joko’s move] if he builds a new tradition like this,” he said.

Most importantly for Joko, Pramono added, is that the president-elect should elect ministers with no political baggage, such as involvement in corruption cases.

Pramono said that in order to pick ministers with clean track records, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has data on public officials who have been involved in graft cases and he can dismiss such individuals.

Muhammad Yamin, chairman of the Jokowi National Secretariat, a supporters group, hoped that Joko would choose non-politicians to fill his cabinet.

“We will monitor and support the house of transition. With regards to the pros and cons, we hope that the cabinet [members] who are elected have no political background,” said Yamin on Tuesday.

Sihol Manullang, chairman of Joko’s volunteer group Projo, also expressed the same view, saying that choosing ministers with no political background will help Joko avoid the trap of accommodating various political parties’ interests.

“I’m sure Jokowi will not be trapped [to accommodate the interests] of political parties. We’re here to protect him from such traps set by political parties,” Sihol said.

Budi Arie Setiadi, coordinator of Joko’s volunteers, envisions no problem if Joko’s cabinet is filled with politicians who are professionals and care about the public.

“If they don’t care about the people, we will drag them in and hold them accountable for their performance,” said Budi.

Slim cabinet

Joko also said that he will form a smaller cabinet and that he would remove the position of deputy ministers in most ministries as part of his budget efficiency measure. There are 34 ministers in President Yudhoyono Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s cabinet, and some have deputy officials. A president has the exclusive privilege of appointing ministers to fill positions that he feels are necessary.

“It depends on the [condition] of every ministry, and it’s related to the budget burden, and the burden is not exactly light. It [the deputy minister’s position] can be removed, or maybe only one or two ministers will get deputy ministers,” said Joko.

Despite already disclosing his plan to remove the deputy minister’s role, Joko was still reluctant to talk about candidates who would fill his cabinet.

Joko said that his team would start considering names in mid-September or following the resolution of the presidential election dispute at the Constitutional Court. The court will issue its ruling, which becomes final, on Aug. 22.

Prabowo Subianto, Joko’s contender in the presidential election, challenged the ruling General Election Commission (KPU), which declared Joko as the winner. Prabawo alleged fraud in the election that benefited Joko.

Joko said that his transition team is still identifying problems in the government’s bureaucracy as well as formulating programs that will be prioritized.

Identifying problems and formulating priority programs would ensure a smooth transition of power from Yudhoyono’s administration to Joko’s.

“We haven’t advancted to [selecting] names [of cabinet ministers] yet. The team is preparing a transition from the SBY administration,” Joko said, referring to Yudhoyono by his initials.

The transition team is headed by Rini M.S. Soewandi, the former industry and trade minister during Megawati Soekarnoputri’s presidency. Rini is being assisted by four deputies, namely PDI-P deputy secretary-general Hasto Kristianto; secretaries of Joko’s campaign team Andi Widjajanto and Akbar Faisal; and Joko’s campaign team spokesman Anies Baswedan.

The tasks of the transition team include drafting programs and policies for Joko’s administration and to help find cabinet ministers based on Joko’s needs.

Akbar said that the first criterion to become a cabinet minister was not competence but courage.

“Pak Jokowi has set three criteria, the courage to take action, being clean and being competent. The first is not competence but the courage to take action,” Akbar stressed. “It’s not a matter of who but whether [that appointed minister] can or is able to take a stand.”

Akbar also said that the transition team was working according to Joko’s style and that their duties would finish at the end of September.

“Right now we are preparing the mechanism of the programs, and we will leave it up to the president [elect] and the vice president [elect] to choose the ministers,” said Akbar.

Joko has also asked Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to offer suggestions on people who would make a good fit in his cabinet. Joko, though, declined to disclose Basuki’s suggestions.

Political analyst Arbi Sanit hoped that Joko and vice president-elect Jusuf Kalla would eliminate three ministries to prevent overlapping in coordinating policies, and that ultimately there should be only 20 ministries in his cabinet.

He cited the position of the coordinating ministry of the economy, for instance, which failed to coordinate the distribution of cooking gas to households following increases in subsidized fuel prices and problems related to food imports.

“SBY’s cabinet has been very ineffective. There has been an overlapping of [policies] between the agriculture minister and the trade minister on those cases,” Arbi said.

He said that Joko should liquidate the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry, the Research and Technology Ministry, the Maritime Ministry, the Manpower Ministry, the Industry Ministry and the three coordinating ministries for economy, security and the people’s welfare.

Arbi said that those ministries are only wasting the state’s budget and have made the government ineffective.

“In the future, Jokowi should have only 20 ministers. The Public Works Ministry can be merged with the Transportation Ministry and the National Land Agency. The Social Affairs Ministry can be merged with the Health Ministry,” he said.

Papua People’s Council (MRP) chairman Vitalis Yumte said that the new government should consider setting up a new ministry to handle provinces with special privileges such as Aceh, Papua, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta.

“As for Papua, we really need a ministry to handle Papua issues so that all the problems can be solved quickly and effectively,” said Vitalis.

Further Coverage

Monday, August 04, 2014

Indonesian Government Officially Bans ISIS

Jakarta Globe, Ezra Sihite, Aug 04, 2014

The coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Djoko Suyanto,
 center, said on Monday that there is no place for ISIS in Indonesia. (JG Photo/
Ezra Sihite)

Jakarta. The Indonesian government on Monday officially banned the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, saying the militant outfit should not be allowed to spread its teachings in the archipelago.

“The government bans ISIS from developing in Indonesia, because it goes against the ideology of Pancasila, the unitary Indonesian nation-state and pluralism,” Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, said during a press conference at the president’s office on Monday. “Every attempt to promote ISIS should be prevented, Indonesia should not be the place to spread [this ideology].”

The announcement came after a limited cabinet meeting about ISIS led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Djoko was accompanied by high-ranking officials when declaring the ban, including Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Marciano Norman, Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin, military chief Gen. Moeldoko and Gen. Sutarman, the chief of National Police.

“The activities of ISIS and now IS [Islamic State, as the movement officially calls itself] have since the beginning been monitored by some ministries, [including] the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the National Police,” Djoko said.

He said that ISIS should not be understood as a religious movement, but as an ideology that runs counter to Indonesia’s state ideology of Pancasila. The National Police and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Djoko added, would lead the law enforcement effort against ISIS activities in Indonesia.

The minister also said that regardless of the situation in the Middle East, support from Indonesia should be in the form of humanitarian aid and diplomacy, not by sending people to fight, which would only make matters worse. “Let’s not get influenced, and not be easily provoked to join ISIS,” Djoko said.

The government also said it would be monitoring Indonesians who plan to travel to countries in the Middle East and South Asia where there is armed conflict, to ensure they will not be joining or working for ISIS. “The Foreign Affairs Ministry will take the lead, the National Police and the BNPT will be the clearing house to monitor Indonesian citizens who travel to the Middle East, South Asia and other conflict regions,” Djoko said.

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Friday, August 01, 2014

KPK Says Ready to Help Australia Uncover Wikileaks Corruption Allegations

Jakarta Globe, Rizky Amelia, Aug 01, 2014

Jakarta. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) pledged on Friday to help Australian authorities investigate an alleged international corruption scandal implicating two subsidiaries of the Australian central bank and authorities in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

The commitment from the KPK comes after Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed the Supreme Court of Victoria had issued an injunction on June 19 that prevented Australian media from reporting on corruption allegations related to Note Printing Australia (NPA) and Securency International, two subsidiaries of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The gag order followed the secret June 19 indictment of seven senior executives from NPA and Securency concerning allegations of multi-million dollar bribes made in order to secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes in several countries, including Indonesia.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri and Laksamana Sukardi, the State Enterprise Minister in Megawati’s administration, were listed in the court order, which also mentioned the current and former heads of states of Malaysia and Vietnam.

“The KPK must be ready and is now preparing itself if the Australian government supplies data and preliminary information regarding the corruption allegations,” KPK deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto told the Jakarta Globe in a text message on Friday.

Yudhoyono on Thursday held a press conference demanding Canberra be transparent in order to clear things up. “The Wikileaks information … has tainted my good image and that of Ibu Mega,” Yudhoyono told reporters.

“I really hope and I want the Australian government and authorities to open and reveal as clearly as possible the legal [case].”

The Australian embassy in Indonesia issued a statement on Thursday saying that even though Yudhoyono and Megawati were named in the court order it did not “imply wrongdoing on their part.”

Yudhoyono said on Thursday that Australian authorities should work with the KPK to investigate the matter, but the corruption watchdog must further study the case before making any official statements or taking action.

KPK spokesman Johan Budi said that the anti-graft czar had never conducted a joint investigation with another country and, if it took place, it would be a first.

“So far there has not been a [joint] investigation like that,” Johan said on Friday.

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