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WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017 | TWENTY-FOUR PAGES VOL. 34 NO. 289 WWW.THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | SINGLE COPY
WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017 | TWENTY-FOUR PAGES VOL. 34 NO. 289 WWW.THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | SINGLE COPY
WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017 | TWENTY-FOUR PAGES VOL. 34 NO. 289 WWW.THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | SINGLE COPY
WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017 | TWENTY-FOUR PAGES VOL. 34 NO. 289 WWW.THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | SINGLE COPY
WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017 | TWENTY-FOUR PAGES VOL. 34 NO. 289 WWW.THEJAKARTAPOST.COM | SINGLE COPY

WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2017

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GRAFT

KPK zeroes in on Setya Novanto p4

RP 9,500 | GRAFT KPK zeroes in on Setya Novanto p 4 FESTIVAL Officials say Phuket

FESTIVAL

Officials say Phuket ready to

deal with Songkran influx

p10

IMAGES

Preserving Karia’a tradition in Wakatobi p24

p 10 IMAGES Preserving Karia’a tradition in Wakatobi p 24 JP/Dhoni Setiawan Cowardly attack: Corruption Eradication

JP/Dhoni Setiawan

Cowardly attack: Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chief investigator Novel Baswedan arrives at the Jakarta Eye Center on Tuesday for eye treatment. Novel was attacked with acid by two assailants on his way home after performing dawn prayers at a mosque near his house.

Top KPK agent victim of acid attack

Winda A. Charmila

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

In November last year, senior Corruption Eradication Com- mission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan was riding his motor- bike to the antigraft commission’s headquarters in South Jakarta, when a car suddenly veered to- ward him and hit him. Novel only sustained minor injuries in the hit-and-run accident. In early 2012, Novel was speed- ing on a motorbike in hot pursuit of Buol regent Amran Batalipu, who had been named a bribery suspect, when a car driven by Amran’s supporters crashed into him. Novel emerged unscathed from the incident. On Tuesday, Novel’s luck seemed to have run out. The 40-year-old KPK inves- tigator had just finished early morning prayers at the Al Ihsan Mosque near his home in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, when the attack happened. At 5:10 a.m., two unidentified assailants on a motorbike threw acid in his face before speeding off. Upon hearing Novel’s pained screams, members of the Al Ih- san congregation quickly came to his aid and rushed him to the nearby Mitra Keluarga Hospital, where he received intensive care to clean his face from traces of acid. Doctors at the hospital said Novel had suffered injuries to his forehead, face and eyes.

Two assailants throw acid at Novel

Novel leading KPK probe into e-ID case involving Setya Novanto

At around 2 p.m., Novel was transferred to the Jakarta Eye Center (JEC) in Menteng, Cen- tral Jakarta, after complaining about blurred vision. Later in the day, KPK spokes- man Febri Diansyah revealed that Novel would need to undergo sur- gery on his left eye. Former Constitutional Court chairman Mahfud MD, who visited Novel at the JEC, said the investi- gator remained in stable condition but had lost vision in his left eye. “Doctors will continue to ob- serve him for two to seven days to determine what will happen to his left eye. His right eye is fine, though,” Mahfud said. Mahfud added that Novel told him he was suspicious of a person who had frequented his neighbor- hood in the past few days. Novel even took pictures of the uniden- tified man. “I don’t know if that photo could be considered as evidence, but it could indicate that someone had been stalking him,” Mahfud said. The attack came as the Jakarta Corruption Court continues its trial on the embezzlement of state funds allocated for the e-ID pro- gram, which incurred Rp 2 trillion

(US$150 million) in state losses and has implicated a number of se- nior politicians, including Golkar Party chairman Setya Novanto. Novel appeared in court late last month to give his testimony as a KPK investigator in charge of the case. In his testimony, Novel said former House of Representatives member Miryam S. Haryani, who was questioned as a witness in the case several times, had received threats from at least five House members. Novel claimed those lawmakers were Golkar Party pol- iticians Bambang Soesatyo and Aziz Syamsuddin, Desmond Jun- aidi Mahesa of the Gerindra Party, Masinton Pasaribu from the Indo- nesian Democratic Party of Strug- gle (PDI-P) and Hanura Party pol- itician Sarifuddin Sudding. Novel, who is also leader of the KPK workers’ union, is one of the antigraft body’s most senior investi- gators. He has led investigations into numerous high-profile graft cases, including a bribery case involving 39 members of the House who col- luded to pick Miranda Goeltom as Bank Indonesia (BI) senior deputy governor. He was also in charge of the investigation that led to the ar- rest of then National Police Traffic Corps chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susi- lo, who was accused of embezzling funds meant for the driving-simu- lator procurement project. Former KPK chairman Busy- ro Muqoddas said Novel had survived six murder attempts

because of his role as a senior in- vestigator in the agency. “All the attempts against Nov- el’s life bore similar indications of terrorist acts because they were systematic, repeated and planned,” Busyro said during a press briefing held by the KPK in response to Tuesday’s attack. KPK deputy chairman Laode M. Syarifsaidthelatestincidentwould not deter investigators from ramp- ing up their investigations into graft cases, including the e-ID case. “Any investigation is team work and not one individual’s re- sponsibility. Targeting only one person is unfair,” Laode said at the KPK headquarters. KPK chairman Agus Rahard- jo referred to the attack as a “terrorist” act. “We strongly condemn the act of terror [against Novel]. We af- firm that the KPK will not surren- der or be affected by such a terror- ist act,” Agus said. Meanwhile, the National Po- lice responded to the attack by establishing a special task force comprising officers from the Ke- lapa Gading Police, the Jakarta Police and the National Police for a joint investigation. “For now, we have deployed officers to secure the hospital and [Novel’s] home,” said Na- tional Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian. (dea)

RELATED STORY p2 EDITORIAL p6

SYRIAN WAR

G7 presses Russia to break ties with Assad

Steve Scherer and Crispian Balmer

REUTERS/LUCCA, ITALY

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson carried a unified message from world powers to Moscow on Tuesday, denouncing Russian support for Syria and tak- ing up America’s traditional role as leader of the West on behalf of Donald Trump’s administration. Tillerson met on Tuesday in It- aly with foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major advanced economies, joined by Middle East

allies to forge a united position on Syria, which has been catapult- ed to the top of the international agenda since a poison gas attack killed 87 people a week ago. Western countries blame Syr- ian President Bashar al-Assad for the gas attack, and Trump re- sponded by firing cruise missiles

at a Syrian air base. That has put

his administration in open con- flict with Russian President Vlad- imir Putin, who has stood firmly by Moscow’s ally Assad, who de-

nies blame. Tillerson’s role as messenger for a united G7 position marks

a turning point for Trump, who

in the past alarmed allies by ex- pressing scepticism about the value of US support for tradition-

al friends, while calling for closer

ties with Moscow. Tillerson himself is a former boss of the oil company Exxon Mobil which has gigantic projects in Russia. He was awarded Rus- sia’s “Order of Friendship” by Pu- tin in 2012. On Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to

Trump, with both agreeing that there was “a window of opportu- nity” to persuade Russia to break

ties with Assad, May’s office said. Trump also spoke by telephone with German Chancellor Ange-

la Merkel about the US strike on

a Syrian airbase last week and

thanked her for her support. “I think we have to show a unit- ed position and that in these ne-

gotiations we should do all we can

to get Russia out of Assad’s cor-

ner, at least to the point that they

are ready to participate in finding a political solution,” German For- eign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday. “It is the right moment to talk about this, how the internation-

al community, with Russia, Iran,

Saudi Arabia, Europe, with the US, can drive forward a peace process for Syria and avoid fur- ther military escalation of the conflict.” Britain and Canada said finan- cial sanctions, imposed on Rus- sia in 2014 over its annexation of

territory from Ukraine, could be tightened if Moscow continued to back Assad. Multi-billion dollar

Russian oil projects by Tillerson’s former firm Exxon are among the biggest deals held up by sanctions. The US said its strike on the Syrian airbase near Homs on Fri- day was a one-off, and not a stra- tegic shift. But the White House has also said Trump could au-

thorize more strikes if Syria uses chemical weapons again. White House spokesman Sean Spicer indicated on Monday that

Washington could also retaliate

if Syria uses “barrel bombs” —

oil drums packed with explosives dropped from aircraft. “When you watch babies and children being gassed, and suffer under barrel bombs, you are in- stantaneously moved to action,” he said. “I think this president’s made it very clear that if those ac- tions were to continue, further action will definitely be consid- ered by the United States.” Retaliating for barrel bombs would require a major shift in US policy since rebels say the weap-

ons are used almost daily.

Female empowerment

say the weap- ons are used almost daily. Female empowerment JP/Bagas Rahadian Actress Dian Sastrowardoyo (

JP/Bagas Rahadian

Actress Dian Sastrowardoyo (seated, center) takes a selfie with TV pre- senter Najwa Shihab (seated, second right) and visitors during a pro- motional event for the movie Kartini at the Bank Indonesia Museum

in West Jakarta on Tuesday. Dian plays Kartini in the movie, which

celebrates the idealism and courage of Raden Adjeng Kartini.

Inside CITY | p5 Ahok, Anies gear up for final election debate SPORTS | p9
Inside
CITY |
p5
Ahok, Anies gear up for
final election debate
SPORTS | p9
Garcia no favorite for US Open
BUSINESS | p13
RI urged to firmly oppose
EU palm oil resolution

PROPERTY

Govt backs down fromtaxing vacant apartments

Farida Susanty

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

When it comes to fiscal policy, as with so much else, timing is key. With the property market con- tinuing to cool, the government has come to realize that it may not be the most opportune time to levy taxes on owners of vacant apartments. The plan, prepared in support of its land reform program, was aimed at optimizing the use of land and assets as well as curbing the purchase of land for specula- tive purposes, the cause of recent skyrocketing prices. Bowing to pressure from prop- erty business players, Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister So- fyan Djalil announced on Tues- day that taxes on unoccupied apartments would not be imple- mented this year given the on- going slowdown in the domestic

property market. “We will postpone the imple- mentation. The economy is still growing slowly, so the introduc- tion of that kind of [tax] policy would exacerbate the situation in the property sector,” Sofyan told journalists. Along with the delay of the tax on vacant apartments, the govern- ment also postponed the imple- mentation of taxes on idle land, with Sofyan describing the mea- sure as “not the current option.” Earlier, the government dis- cussed applying a progressive tax on idle land as an incentive for land owners to make their prop- erty more productive. Instead, it would opt to focus on speeding up land certification as part of its agrarian reform, So- fyan said, citing sluggish econom- ic growth as the major reason. Indonesia’s economic growth has struggled to pick up after fall-

ing to its slowest pace in five years in 2015, expanding by only 5.02 percent last year. The slow economic growth has weakened people’s purchasing power, which in turn has reduced purchases of apartments, a previ- ously much sought-after invest- ment choice. According to prominent prop- erty analyst Cushman and Wake- field, the apartment market is now mostly dominated by inves- tors, as shown by an occupancy rate of around 60 percent. This is despite the fact that many people in the country still struggle to own their own home, with the housing backlog stand- ing at 11.8 million houses as of last November. Since 2015, the property mar- ket has expanded at a rate of be- low 10 percent, down from the normal rate of between 10 and 15 percent each year.

The Indonesian Real Estate As- sociation (REI) had earlier hoped

that the recent tax amnesty could boost the property market through an inflow of repatriated overseas funds, which did not occur. Sofyan declined to specify the length of the postponement, but said the policy would remain an option subject to economic growth, which is expected to hit 7 percent in 2019. The tax also serves as an instrument to pre- vent overheating in the property market, which is marked, among other signs, by a significant jump

in apartment prices.

“For the time being, we will let the market mechanism work. But,

if the market overheats as hap-

pened in Singapore, we will do as

they [the Singaporean govern- ment] did [and raise taxes],” So- fyan said. Cushman and Wakefield has revealed that the apartment pric-

es have gradually declined since

2015. After surging by 20 percent

in 2015, they rose by only 10 per-

cent last year. Indonesian Chamber of Com- merce and Industry (Kadin) chairman Rosan P. Roeslani said business players in the proper- ty sector welcomed the govern- ment’s decision to postpone the taxes on apartments and land. “The property sector is still in

a recovery phase. The middle and high-end markets are still very

tough,” he said, adding that the gov- ernment might even need to come

up with an incentive, such as reduc-

ing the property transfer fee from 5 percent to 1 percent.

Separately, property developer Intiland Development corporate secretary Theresia Rustandi said

in spite of the postponement, the

plan had already created a distor- tion, resulting in the drop in prop- erty shares.

2

|| HEADLINES

2 | | H E A D L I N E S WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

EU moves to wipe out palm oil from the European economy

T he European Union has

since 2013 been slapping

anti-dumping counter-

vailing duties on Indonesian ex- ports of palm oil-based biodiesel, despite a lower EU court ruling last year that annulled the duties. Then early last week, the Eu-

ropean Parliament voted over- whelmingly to totally ban bio- fuels made from palm oil by 2020 to prevent the EU target of sourcing 10 percent of its trans- port fuels from renewables from inadvertently contributing to deforestation. While the motion is not yet le- gally binding, EU lawmakers are now drawing up amendments to EU legislation that would be le- gally enforceable if approved by the European Commission.

We see this move and its ob- jective simply as an illusion. Cer- tainly, the EU cannot take a farm commodity out of its economy and think that would solve its problems. The political move would instead only damage EU ties with Indonesia and Malaysia, which together supply more than

80 percent of the world’s palm oil,

and many other smaller produc- ing countries in Africa and Latin

America. Yet more worrisome, the palm oil issue could become a perpetual thorn in the side of Indonesia-EU relations at a time when they are negotiating a comprehensive eco- nomic partnership agreement. The EU Parliament’s motion seems to have been prompted mostly by the strong lobbying of the EU vegetable oil (soybean, rapeseed and sunflower) indus- try, which naturally would never be able to compete with palm oil. Palm oil, which now accounts for almost 50 percent of glob- al vegetable oil consumption, has increasingly been leading the market as its yield per hect- are is estimated by agronomists at nine times as high as soybean, five times as high as rapeseed and eight times as high as sunflower. Palm oil is now the most wide- ly used vegetable oil in the world. It is almost impossible for most consumers to go a day without us- ing or eating something that con- tains palm oil. Some analysts in Europe have even predicted that palm oil will steadily grow to be a

US$88 billion industry by 2022. Palm oil has been developing as one of the biggest non-oil ex-

COMMENTARY

Vincent Lingga

THE JAKARTA POST/ JAKARTA

ex- COMMENTARY Vincent Lingga THE JAKARTA POST/ JAKARTA ports from Indonesia and a very important part

ports from Indonesia and a very important part of the economy, as 40 percent of the estimated 11 million ha of oil palm estates are owned by smallholders. Indone- sia exported around 26 million tons last year, or almost half of the global palm oil trade. In fact, data submitted to the EU Parliament showed that palm oil lately accounted for two-fifths of all global trade in vegetable oils, and the EU is the second largest consumer, with annual imports of 7 million tons. Almost half of these imports are used to make biofuels. True, in the first decade af- ter the beginning of the palm oil boom in Indonesia in the mid- 1990s, oil palm estate devel- opment had caused deforesta-

tion and sometimes community conflicts.

and constantly scrutinized by green NGOs.

 

But

due to strong pressure from

Chain Reaction Research

international consumers with the

(CRR), which is partly funded by

full

support of green NGOs and

the Norwegian Agency for De-

the

increasing awareness on the

velopment Cooperation (Norad),

part of the government of climate change impacts, the industry has been subjected to much tougher rules designed to make the com-

concluded after a study last year of the 10 biggest oil companies listed in the Indonesia Stock Ex- change (IDX) that major palm oil

modity sustainable economically, socially and environmentally. Palm oil producers are now overseen and ruled under the sus- tainability standards of the In- donesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) program, which is legally compulsory; and the internation- al multi-stakeholder Roundtable

growers have increasingly found that what is bad for the environ- ment is also bad for business. The financial risk of losing buyers committed to sustainable supply chains has helped moti- vate four of the biggest planters to mend their ways, according CRR, which conducts sustainabil-

on

Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO),

ity risk assessment for financial

a market-driven certification scheme.

A nationwide sustainability

certification program has been

implemented since the early 2000s under RSPO and ISPO

principles and criteria by accred- ited certifying bodies supported

by independent social and en-

vironmental auditors. In fact,

oil palm cultivation is arguably

the most transparent industry now, as its farm practices are pe- riodically examined by auditors

analysts and investors in envi- ronmentally intensive commodi-

ties, especially palm oil, and pulp and paper. The survey shows the No De- forestation, No Peat, No Exces- sive Exploitation (NDPE) poli- cies do have an effect on suppliers

to strengthen their sustainability policies and practices.

Despite the progress, green NGOs have constantly attacked the sustainability campaign, ei- ther motivated by real concern

about environmental damage or influenced by lobbyists funded by EU and United States vegetable oil producers who are afraid of the palm oil competitive advantage. Certainly, the achievement of the sustainability campaign is still short of expectations as the pro- gram is an ongoing development process, especially as the industry also involves millions of small- holders with complex poverty problems. The problem has been made more complex by the huge gap in land titling in the country. But a blanket ban, as the EU Parliament recommended, is de- structive, only reflecting a stance of bad faith that tends to see a glass-half-empty situation in- stead of half full. A constructive engagement modeled on the scheme EU and Indonesia have established under the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is much more productive for the global economy. This program audits the entire supply chain in Indonesia, up from the source of timber to downstream process- ing until the point of exports to ensure social and environmental sustainability.

exports to ensure social and environmental sustainability. JP/Ricky Yudhistira Tour worthy: People cherish the scenic

JP/Ricky Yudhistira

Tour worthy: People cherish the scenic view of the Mandalika

Special Economic Zone in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). The region will host Tour de Lombok Mandalika 2017, which will run from Thursday to Sunday featuring 22 cycling teams from

21 countries. The administration hopes the event will help realize

tourist numbers set at 4 million in 2018.

TOURISM

Lombok welcomes cyclists of the world to Tour de Lombok

Panca Nugraha

THE JAKARTA POST/MATARAM, WEST NUSA TENGGARA

As many as 22 cycling clubs from

21 countries are gearing up for the

Tour de Lombok Mandalika 2017, which will be held from April 13 to

16 in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

(NTB). The tour is sanctioned by the local tourism board and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which has granted the lo- cal organizers a license. The event offers a total cash prize of Rp 800 million (US$60,000). “We have designed the route and the security scenarios. All has been set up,” NTB Tourism Agen- cy chief Lalu Mohammad Faozal said in Mataram recently. Faozal added that the organiz- ers would provide rest areas and mobile medical clinics during the upcoming race. NTB Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Tribudi Pangastuti said a force of 1,173 personnel had been assigned to safeguard the event. She added that the personnel would be deployed to all spots of the race. “We will not close any roads for this route, as that could disrupt public [services]. We will halt traf- fic temporarily when the cyclists pass by,” she added. Besides five local cycling clubs, clubs from Laos, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, China, Philippines, Germany, Nether- lands, Australia, France, Colom- bia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Singa- pore, New Zealand, Luxemburg, Italy, Switzerland and Spain will

participate. The race will be divided into four stages, each of which comes with its own challenges and unique scenery. The first stage stretches 126.3 kilometers from the province capital of Mataram to the Mandalika Special Eco- nomic Zone, located in Central Lombok. The first stage is mostly flat, offering cyclists a more en- joyable start to the race. During the first stage, partici- pants will be spoiled with views of traditional rural landscapes and

paddy fields along the route. The participants will finally complete their first day as the beauty of Ku- ta’s beach greets them at the end of the first stage.

The second stage, from Kuta to Sembalun in eastern Lombok, is slightly shorter at 112.1 km,

but the route will be mostly up- hill and thus could be the hardest, especially when the cyclists ap- proach the Sembalun forest area. Sembalun is located at the foot of Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s sec- ond-tallest volcano, which stands 3,726 meters above sea level. The next stage is 113.3 km and runs from Bangsal Port to Senaru, also at the foot of Mount Rinjani. Another hilly route awaits the cy- clists on this stage, while they en- joy the scenery of paddy fields and villages by the roadside. “The final stage will be a sprint race of another 112 km in Mata- ram,” Faozal said. Faozal said he was optimistic that the race would boost Lom- bok tourism by luring more visi- tors to the island. He added that the agency, in cooperation with other parties, was looking to sport events like this one as an alternative to existing tourist attractions. “We are targeting 3.5 million tourists visiting this year. This race makes it possible to achieve,” he said. NTB National Sports Council chief Andi Hadiyanto noted that the province had staged many ex- treme sport events in the past. He cited as an example the Sumbawa cross-country long-distance run of 320 km on April 5, which was jointly organized by the Tourism Ministry and Kompas daily. “The region offers a great land- scape and ideal contours for ex- treme sports. There is massive potential,” he said. Indonesia is widely known for its international-scale races and has gained a reputation as one of the best landscapes for cycling. Tour de Singkarak in West Su- matra, which is usually held be- tween April and June, for exam- ple, has been widely praised for its breathtaking scenery.

Trial paused, Ahok lies low as Anies woos Christians

Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

The blasphemy trial of incum- bent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was put on hold on Tuesday, and the gov- ernor decided to lie low for the day, passing election-campaign- ing duties to his running mate, Djarot Saiful Hidayat. And Djarot had a busy day. First, he visited neighborhoods in East Jakarta, where he prom- ised to mitigate endemic flooding in the area, and then met with Ja- karta soccer club Persija in Cen- tral Jakarta. In Cipinang Melayu, East Ja- karta, Djarot promised residents that the administration would dredge the Kalimalang River to mitigate the flooding should he and Ahok be re-elected in the gu- bernatorial runoff election on April 19. “After dredging the Kalimalang River, we will install high sheet piling,” Djarot told the residents. Djarot met with Persija in Cen- tral Jakarta and promised to de- velop a stadium in BMW Park, Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta.

Ahok’s trial adjourned until April 20, after polling day

Djarot campaigns solo, while Anies camp gains support from Christian group

Meanwhile, his gubernatorial rivals, Anies Baswedan and run- ning mate Sandiaga Uno, chose to appeal to religious groups. On Tuesday, Sandiaga met with the Interdenominational Christian Church Community in Senayan, Central Jakarta. During the meeting, the com- munity voiced its support for Anies and Sandiaga, with 12 pas-

tors signing a note that stated their

commitment to support the pair.

The church community is re- portedly managed by Hashim Djojohadikusumo, the chairman of Gerindra Party’s management

board and the brother of the par-

ty’s chairman, Prabowo Subianto.

Gerindra has backed Anies and

Sandiaga from the very beginning of the campaign. After the declaration, Sandi-

aga said that if he and Anies were

elected, they would become lead- ers for all citizens regardless of their religion, race or background. “Today, we feel so much love and peace. This is the Jakarta that we long for. A Jakarta that is har- monious, friendly, safe and peace- ful,” Sandiaga said during the meeting, which was also attended by Hashim and Prabowo. Ahok’s blasphemy trial was adjourned after prosecutors re- quested a postponement to allow them to prepare their sentence demand. Initially the prosecutors had thought they would be ready with their demand. However, it turned out that they were unable to complete the document by late Monday. Therefore, during a hearing on Tuesday, when the prosecutors had been expected to read the de- mand, they asked the judges to postpone the hearing until April 20, one day after polling day. “A week is not enough for us [to prepare the sentence demand] because there are lots of addition- al witnesses and experts in the case dossier. It takes time,” pros-

ecutor Ali Mukartono said after

the hearing at the Agriculture Ministry’s auditorium in Ragu- nan, South Jakarta, on Tuesday. The prosecutors’ request to postpone the hearing came after Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan had sent a let- ter to the North Jakarta District Court dated April 4, suggesting the court delay the hearing until after the runoff vote, on security grounds. However, Ali insisted that the delay was not related to that letter. Ahok’s lawyer Trimoelja D. Soerjadi said the postponement would disadvantage the embat- tled governor in the runoff as it meant that Ahok would not get the chance to read his defense on April 17, as initially scheduled, which, he claimed, could straight- en out public misconceptions about the case. Regardless of whether or not Ahok benefitted from the post- ponement, the executive direc- tor of Voxpol center, Pangi Syar- wi Chaniago, said the delay could contribute to a fair election and reduce the already heightened public tension.

CORRUPTION

Novel leads charge in war on graft

Haeril Halim, Safrin La Batu and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

In December 2014, when the Corruption Eradication Com- mission (KPK) planned to arrest cleric Fuad Amin, known as the most powerful politician in Bang- kalan, East Java, a man who com- manded thousands of supporters, the antigraft body put its trust in Novel Baswedan to lead the risky operation. The operation was a success with Novel able to bring the for- mer Bangkalan regent to KPK headquarters in Jakarta for ques- tioning without any incident. Novel has been the go-to inves- tigator when the antigraft body decides to launch an investiga- tion involving political bigwigs. Indeed, Novel has risked his own life at times in the pursuit of end- ing corruption in Indonesia. The acid attack on Tuesday is the most serious assault he has experienced thus far and could force him to take a long break from his work so he can fully re- cover from the eye injuries he sustained in the attack. Prior to Tuesday’s attack, Nov- el had been subjected to threats and violence. Members of his family report that they have received many threats over the years, often when Novel took up a job investigating high-profile graft cases. The most obvious type of threat is the pres- ence of strangers taking pictures of Novel’s house in Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta.

In 2015, an attack came from

the National Police, the institu-

tion he left in 2007 to join the an-

ti-graft body. Following his move to launch a probe into three-star police gen- eral Budi Gunawan for alleged bribery, the police in Bengkulu arrested Novel on allegations he shot a civilian while serving as a local police chief in 2004. The KPK moved to investi- gate Budi soon after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo decided to nominate him as National Po-

lice chief.

In 2012, the police also decided to reopen the Bengkulu assault case when the KPK opened an in- vestigation into former national traffic police commander Insp.

Gen. Djoko Susilo for alleged cor- ruption. Novel led the investigation into Djoko and took charge of a raid

on Djoko’s office in East Jakarta.

During the raid, Novel was inter- cepted by his seniors and other

high-ranking police officers. Novel refused to give in and continued to search the headquarters of the na- tional traffic police despite warn-

ings from senior police officials.

In 2009, Novel risked his life

when trying to arrest former Buol regent Amran Batalipu, who was accused of taking bribes from

businesswoman Siti Hartati Mur- daya. A car driven by a supporter of Amran rammed into Novel’s motorbike. Novel suffered minor injuries in the incident.

In August 2011, Novel made

headlines after successfully repa- triating graft fugitive Muhammad

Nazaruddin, who had fled to Co- lombia to escape prosecution. In 2012, the Jakarta Corrup- tion Court sentenced Nazarud- din to four years and 10 months in prison for embezzling money from a state project. Within the KPK, Novel is also seen as an independent-minded investigator who has no qualms about challenging the leadership of the KPK. In late March, the KPK lead- ership reprimanded Novel, who also serves as chairman of the KPK workers’ union, for going public in his opposition to hiring an active police officer to lead a task force set up to help amplify the KPK’s antigraft campaign. He was issued a second warn- ing letter, which was revoked

earlier this month soon after the KPK nixed the proposal for the formation of the task force. In February 2016, he was offered the chance to pick a commissioner post at any state-owned enterprise in exchange for his departure from the KPK. Novel rejected the pro- posal and maintained his commit- ment to serving in the KPK. Former KPK chairman Abra- ham Samad said the attack on Novel should serve as a warning and propel the government to provide better protection to KPK investigators. “I urge the government to en- sure the protection of those on the front line in the fight against cor- ruption. If it doesn’t do this then no one will have the courage to fight corruption,” Abraham said.

THIS ODD WORLD

Mayor talks about potholes, interrupted by cat

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: The mayor of Latvia’s capital, Riga, was talking

about the city’s efforts to x potholes during his weekly online question-

and-answer show when he got interrupted

by his cat Dumka.

City Hall spokesman Viktors Smirnovs says the black-and-white uffy

feline decided to have a sip from Nils Usakovs’ mug while he was record-

ing the video that was posted Sunday on Facebook. Smirnovs said Friday “we thought it was funny,” so the City Hall decided to re-publish the clip Tuesday of the animal strutting into the frame and boldly starting to drink out of mug as Riga’s 40-year-old mayor calmly

watched. Usakovs tried to pet the cat but it jumped off the desk. — AP

Man gets $190 fine for snake without leash

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA: A man who was ned for allowing his pet

snake to slither freely in a South Dakota park said an animal control ofcer suggested he use a leash to restrain the reptile. Jerry Kimball said he initially thought the recommendation was a joke because it was April Fool’s Day when he was ned US$190 and ticketed last week for “animals running at large.” “He was literally asking me to put a rope around my snake,” Kimball said. “I was like, ‘Dude, no.’ I was dumbfounded.”

Kimball was approached by the ofcer after a woman complained that his Fire Bee Ball Python was roaming freely at Falls Park in Sioux Falls.

Animal Control supervisor Julie DeJong said a city ordinance requires all

pets to be leashed or restrained in public. She said pet snakes can be held or kept in a container to comply.

Kimball said he plans to ght the ticket in court. — AP

WEATHER FORECAST: APRIL 12, 2017 Banda Aceh Batam Semarang Denpasar Makassar Ternate Sunny 23 -
WEATHER FORECAST: APRIL 12, 2017
Banda Aceh
Batam
Semarang
Denpasar
Makassar
Ternate
Sunny
23
- 33 °C
24
- 32 °C
25
- 32 °C
25
- 32 °C
24
- 3310 °C
24 - 31 °C
Rainy
Medan
Jakarta
Yogyakarta
Samarinda
Manado
Ambon
Cloudy
24
- 33 °C
24
- 31 °C
23
- 32 °C
24
- 30 °C
23
- 31 °C
25 - 31 °C
Pekanbaru
Bandung
Surabaya
Palangkaraya
Gorontalo
Jayapura
Source:
Meteorology, Climatology
And Geophysics Agency
25
- 30 °C
21
- 29 °C
24
- 33 °C
24
- 32 °C
24
- 33 °C
26 - 31 °C

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 | | 3

||

3

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 | | 3

4 || NATIONAL

4 | | N A T I O N A L WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 ISLAND

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

ISLAND FOCUS

Empowered

 

CYBER LAW

Medan Semarang Jakarta
Medan
Semarang
Jakarta
Medan Semarang Jakarta   Facebooker acquitted of defamation charges
 

Facebooker acquitted of defamation charges

Andi Hajramurni

 

THE JAKARTA POST/MAKASSAR

Saldi Isra inaugurated as new MK justice

The Makassar District Court in South Sulawesi cleared on Tuesday a woman of defamation charges for comments she made in a Facebook post. Yusniar, a resident of Makas- sar, had earlier been detained and charged with defamation under the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law for writ- ing a comment that offended a lo- cal councilor. The acquittal of the 27-year- old housewife came as surprise amid the frequent guilty verdicts that have been handed down in cases involving the ITE Law.

“The charges are not proven. Therefore, she is now fully at liber- ty to go,” said presiding judge Ka- sianus while reading the verdict. The case embroiled Yusniar after Sudirman Sijaya, a council- or on the Jeneponto legislative council in South Sulawesi, who is also apparently a lawyer, filed a report against her over remarks she made on her Facebook page. She wrote on March 14, in Makassarese, “Thank God. The problem is finally over. Stupid [lawmaker], stupid lawyer. [You] want to help a guilty person, [but

JAKARTA: President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated on Tuesday Sal-

di

Isra, a law professor at Andalas University in Padang, West Sumatra,

as

the new Constitutional Court justice, replacing the disgraced former

justice Patrialis Akbar, who is in detention for alleged corruption. Saldi will serve in the post for the next ve years. The author of numerous books on good governance and constitu-

tional laws, Saldi has received awards in the past decade as a result of his active participation in various civil society movements. In 2004, as an activist from the West Sumatra Care Forum, he received the prestigious Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award for his role in revealing corruption cases centered around the West Sumatra Legislative Council’s deliberation of the state budget, dating back to

 

1999.

Born on Aug. 20, 1968, Saldi is currently head of Andalas Univer- sity’s doctoral program in its School of Law. He also teaches constitutional law at the Padang-based university. — JP

Diponegoro Military Command gets new chief

SEMARANG: Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman was sworn in as commander

of

the Diponegoro IV Military Command replacing Maj. Gen. Jaswandi

at

a ceremony in the Diponegoro Military Command in Watugong,

Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday. Tatang said he was honored to lead the Diponegoro Military Com- mand with the best members of the Indonesian Military (TNI). He

called on all personnel to be solid in maintaining the country’s security. “Soldiers must step up their discipline and professionalism,” he said

in

his opening speech. Tatang previously served as the Iskandar Muda military commander

in

Aceh. — JP

Student’s suicide over exam cheating probed

MEDAN: The Culture and Education Ministry has sent a team to investi- gate the death of Amelia Nasution, a 12 th -grader at a vocational school

is] clearly my parents’ land [that

you] came to and disturbed.” The post came a day after

her parents’ house on Jl. Sultan Alauddin was attacked by 100 people, allegedly including Sudir- man. Yusniar did not mention any names in her post. Yusniar was charged with vio- lating the ITE Law, which carries

it

in

Padang Sidempuan, North Sumatra, who committed suicide after

exposing alleged exam malpractices at her school. The student reportedly drank poison after she was threatened by a

teacher who had allegedly leaked answer keys to the national exams

to

some nal-year students at the school.

Daryanto, the ministry’s inspector general, said the team would investigate the case and punish any perpetrators. “If it is proven that [a teacher] threatened Amelia and caused her

 

JP/Tarko Sudiarno

a

maximum penalty of six years in

Comedian Mamok carries Yati Pesek on stage during a fashion show on Monday to commemorate the birth

 

prison. She had earlier been de- tained but was later released on

of

Kartini, an icon for women’s emancipation, in Yogyakarta.

 

death, there will be sanctions against them,” he told The Jakarta Post

 

bail during the trial. Kasianus said Yusniar was not proven to have slandered Sudir- man in her Facebook post since she did not mention any names or refer in any way directly to him. “The defendant mentioned ‘a lawmaker,’ while Sudirman Sijaya is not a member of the House of

on

Tuesday.

Amelia and two of her friends took to Facebook after discovering that there appeared to have been a leak of the exam materials at the school. They alleged that the leak came from a fellow student who was also the daughter of one of the teachers. The student’s mother later threatened the three students, saying that they would be jailed and ned Rp 750 million (US$56,460) for exposing cheating at the school. — JP

KPK zeroes in on Setya Novanto

 

Representatives. He is a Jenepon- to councilor,” he said. Yusniar and her lawyer team

received the verdict with delight. Abdul Aziz Dumpa, one of her lawyers, said he appreciated the panel of judges’ decision. “This is a true form of justice for the defendant and other peo- ple who are threatened with the ITE Law,” he said. First enacted in 2008, the ITE Law has become a scourge of the country’s internet users. According to data from the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expres-

UNREST

Yogyakarta street musicians protest busking ban

Haeril Halim, Safrin La Batu, Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Margareth S. Aritonang

Setya banned from traveling abroad for six months

tician to discuss the e-ID project. Several witnesses during the hearing said Setya was close with Andi, but the politician said he had only met the businessman twice and had no business ties with him. Separately, Setya said he had just been informed about the travel ban and promised to obey the entire legal process. “As a citizen who adheres to the law and hopes this matter can be solved soon, I’ll be patient to do the best I can,” Setya said. The House’s ethics council ex- pressed concern that the travel ban would disrupt Setya’s duty as House speaker. “It will disrupt his work very much, given his role as a speaker who is a bridge for parliamentary relations with other countries,” said the council’s deputy chair- man, Sarifuddin Sudding. The case started in 2009 when Andi learned that the government was planning the e-ID project. Andi asked former home minister Gamawan Fauzi to ask the House to allocate budget funds for the project. According to prosecutors, Andi then met with Setya to discuss the budget of the project. They reportedly agreed that the House would allocate Rp 5.9 trillion to the project, but un- der one condition: 49 percent or Rp 2.5 trillion of that money would be used to bribe House lawmakers and ministry officials.

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

After his name was frequently mentioned in a colossal corrup- tion case, House of Representa- tives Speaker Setya Novanto has beenbarredfromtravelingabroad. The Corruption Eradica- tion Commission (KPK) has slapped a six-month travel ban on the Golkar Party chair-

Court told that Setya has business ties with e-ID graft suspect Andi Narogong

confirmed that the antigraft body had asked immigration authori- ties to prevent Setya from traveling overseas in the next six months. “Yesterday [Monday], [we] signed a letter requesting [the Im-

Bambang Muryanto

sionNetwork,200peoplehavebeen

THE JAKARTA POST/YOGYAKARTA

prosecuted using the draconian law since it was first implemented. The number of people crimi- nalized has increased in recent years, reaching 62 people in 2015, compared to just two in 2008, the data showed. Roughly 90 per- cent of the cases were defamation cases. The most infamous case was housewife Prita Mulyasari, who was imprisoned for complaining about OMNI International Hos- pital in 2009 in a private email that went viral. The most recent case involved

man so that it can intensify its probe into him as a witness in

a

corruption case related to the

migration Office] to slap a travel ban [on him],” Agus told The Ja- karta Post on Tuesday.

e-ID project that is estimated to have caused Rp 2.3 trillion

in

state losses.

The issuance of a travel ban on a witness is at times followed by a decision by the KPK to name that person a suspect, but Agus said any future move on Setya would be based on evidence from fur- ther investigation in the case. KPK spokesman Febri Dian- syah said that the issuance of a travel ban allowed KPK investiga-

Witnesses in the trial of two defendants in the case, former Home Ministry officials Irman and Sugiharto, have alleged that Setya was deeply involved in se- curing House approval for the

project’s Rp 5.9 trillion budget and rigging the project at the ministry in favor of a consortium

of

companies owned by business-

tors to focus on questioning Setya. In addition to Setya, the KPK also issued a travel ban on An- di’s wife Inayah and her brother

man in Medan, North Sumatra, who was sentenced to 14 months in prison in August for being tagged in a story on Facebook. Upon hearing her acquittal, Yusniar immediately broke down and expressed her gratitude by falling to her knees and kissing the ground. “Thanks to all of you who have supported me,” she said while wiping away her tears.

a

man Andi Narogong, another sus- pect in the case.

 

Setya was further implicated

 

in

the case after the Jakarta Cor-

Raden Gede. The antigraft body grilled Setya in December, and the Golkar Par- ty chairman testified in the case’s hearing on Thursday. Setya denied knowing Irman and Sugiharto despite the two saying they had met with the poli-

ruption Court on Thursday heard that Setya co-owned several com- panies managed by Andi. Whether any of those compa- nies are related to the project, however, has yet to be clarified. KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo

ASSAULT

 

Cleaver-wielding man attacks Banyumas Police post

Agus Maryono

 

and Suherdjoko

THE JAKARTA POST/BANYUMAS, SEMARANG

Street musicians playing the traditional musical instrument angklung in Yogyakarta have lambasted the provincial admin- istration for violating their rights by banning their performances at traffic lights. Grouped under the Yogyakar- ta Angklung Association (PAY), as many as 15 angklung bands staged a rally on Monday in front of the provincial legislative council building on Jl. Malioboro to protest the ban. They sang “Wakil Rakyat,” (People’s Representatives) a song composed by noted com- poser and singer Iwan Fals, to demand that Yogyakarta law- makers fight for the people’s in- terests. “[These angklung musi- cians] are not homeless, nor are they beggars. They possess ID cards and play music dressed in neat attire to entertain mo- torists waiting at red lights,” Sugiyarto, director of the Pan- dawa Legal Aids and Consulta- tion Institution (LKBH), said at the rally. The Yogyakarta governor is- sued through the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) a decree ban- ning angklung bands from play- ing on city streets, categorizing them as beggars who disturb mo- torists and pedestrians. Angklung is a traditional mu- sical instrument from West Java that is fashioned from bamboo. The decree was issued based on the 2004 Bylaw on traffic, and the 2014 Bylaw on homeless peo- ple and beggars. Sugiyarto argued that ang- klung bands have performed in Yogyakarta’s thoroughfares for years and are now considered an iconic fixture of the city. These musicians do not dis- turb pedestrians on sidewalks as they never stay in one place for too long, he added. “They are simply trying to make a living, which is guaran- teed by the 1999 Law on human rights,” Sugiyarto said.

Yogyakarta provincial leg- islative council deputy speak- er Dharma Setiawan, who met with protestors at Monday’s ral- ly, spoke in defense of the musi- cians, saying they did not belong in the same category as beggars and the homeless. And as a daily commuter of Yogyakarta’s streets, he claimed he never felt disturbed by their performances. For Widi Ariska and her fel- low Ariska angklung group band members, busking is her main line of work and source of income. Ariska comprises six musi- cians who usually play at one of the traffic lights on Jl. Sultan Agung. “This is my full-time job. I work every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and can earn up to Rp 100,000 [US$ 7.52] a day,” said the mother of two, who hails from Purbalingga, Central Java. She was worried that if the city continued to ban musicians from playing on roadsides, she and her band members would lose their daily income. Most of the city’s angklung street buskers come from Banyu- mas, Centra Javal, she conceded. However, some 40 percent is originally from Yogya. Other angklung bands attend- ing Monday’s protest echoed Ariska’s concerns, further ar- guing that banning them would only add to Yogyakarta’s unem- ployment rate and place a heavy burden on the city. Angklung musicians usual- ly perform in areas frequented by tourists, such as Yogyakarta’s iconic tourism spot Malioboro, the Tugu railway station and the North and South Squares. Head of Yogyakarta Satpol PP, GBPH Yudhaningrat, said the administration is staying firm on its ban on angklung street bands. He also disagreed with protes- tors’ arguments, equating street buskers with beggars because they ask people for money. “If we do nothing about them [angklung musicians], then we are the ones breaking the law,” said Yudhaningrat.

The police have started a probe into the motorcycle riding, cleav- er-wielding man who allegedly at- tacked Banyumas Police person- nel in Banyumas, Central Java, injuring three officers on Tuesday morning. The man, identified as 22-year- old Muhammad Ibnu Dar, a resi- dent of Karangaren Village, Pur- balingga regency, allegedly broke into the field of the Banyumas Po- lice headquarters at high speed and steered his motorcycle into police officer Adj. First. Insp Ata Suparta at 10 a.m. Witness Driyanto, 45, said Ata instantly fell to the ground after being hit. “Another policeman, Karsono,

tried to help Ata but he too was [allegedly] attacked by the perpe- trator with a cleaver,” Driyanto, a journalist at local newspaper Ke- daulatan Rakyat, said. Another policeman named Chief. Brig. Irfan also suffered an injury to his thigh as he tried to help his partners. Around 10 policemen then swarmed and arrested Ibnu not long after the attack. When the at- tack occurred, Banyumas Police in- vestigatorswereconductingapress conference on a robbery case. When searched, Ibnu allegedly had an attribute associated with the Islamic State (IS) group in his possession, Banyumas Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Azis Andrian- syah said without giving further details. “We are investigating who he really is,” he told The Jakarta Post. Police also seized a fabric with

the IS logo imprinted on it from Ibnu’s house as well as books, sand-like material and sharp weapons. He is undergoing intensive questioning by investigators. “He does not say much. He only says thogut [infidel] to the investi- gators questioning him,” Azis said. All three injured policemen were admitted to Purwokerto Hospital for medical care. Separately, Central Java Po- lice spokesman Sr. Comr. Djarod Padakova confirmed the arrest of an alleged terrorist named Irsyad, aka Syeh, 40, by the National Po- lice’s anti-terrorist squad Densus 88 on Monday morning in Kendal regency. Irsyad, a resident of Randusari village was arrested while driving his wife and baby to a local mid- wife. Irsyad showed no resistance during arrest, he added.

Several areas in Central Java are known to contain terrorist networks. The incident at the Banyumas Police headquarters adds to the list of attacks on the country’s po- lice personnel. Last Saturday, traffic police in Tuban regency were attacked. The attack, launched by six al- leged terrorists, fizzled and did not cause any harm to the police members, but it prompted shoot- out that led to the deaths of the six alleged terrorists. The National Police revealed that the attack was allegedly launched in retaliation for the ar- rest of members of IS-affiliated local terrorist group Jamaah An- sharut Daulah (JAD) in Lamon- gan a day earlier. One of the three arrested is Zainal Anshori, be- lieved to be the newly appointed leader of the JAD.

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 CITY | | 5 Ahok, Anies gear up for final election debate

CITY || 5

Ahok, Anies gear up for final election debate

Indra Budiari

GREATER JAKARTA

Rawa Badak stadium to be renovated

JAKARTA: The Jakarta Youth and Sports Agency has allocated Rp 4.2 billion (US$315,980) to renovate the Rawa Badak stadium in Koja, North Jakarta. The agency’s head, Ratiyono, said the administration would renovate the roof of the bleacher section, which had decayed, the bleacher itself, the eld and the drainage. “The decaying roof will be replaced and we will also add addition- al seating,” he said on Tuesday as quoted by beritajakarta.com. Ratiyono said the renovations had entered the nal stage of planning and that the agency would soon hold a tender to choose a contractor for the project. “After the winner of the tender is chosen, construction will start immediately. We aim to begin the construction as soon as possible so that it is nished this year,” said Ratiyono. — JP

THE JAKARTA POST/JAKARTA

Ahok, Anies prepare for nal debate

didates are expected to clash over their different points of view on a number of basic issues in Jakarta. Among the topics included in the debate are transportation, housing, reclamation, educa- tion and business, with some of the questions drafted by Jakarta residents. Regarding housing, for in- stance, Ahok has pledged to build more vertical housing for margin- alized and middle-class residents if reelected, with a large part of the apartments to be located in transportation hubs. On the other hand, Anies con- tinues to promote his zero down payment program to make hous- ing affordable for low and middle- income residents. Anies and Ahok also have op- posing opinions on reclamation issues with the incumbent gov- ernor believing that reclamation of North Jakarta Bay is necessary to revitalize the bay area as well save residents from future major disasters. On the other side, Anies has pledged to stop the controver-

sial project as it would affect the livelihoods of those living

Millions of eyes will be fixated on Bidakara Hotel on Gatot Sub- roto, South Jakarta, on Wednes- day night when Anies Baswe- dan and Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama are set to square off in the last official gubernatorial election debate. Wednesday’s debate will be the candidates’ final chance to per- suade more than 7 million voters on the same stage. After the debate, both Anies and Ahok will only have three days of campaigning left as the gubernatorial race enters its cool- ing off period. Both camps are aware of the magnitude of the debate, with Ahok saying he was busy collect- ing data to support his arguments during the debate. His running mate, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, said on Tues- day that they would also exam- ine their findings during the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Anies’ running

Both camps target swing voters

around the bay. Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU Jakarta) commissioner Moch. Sidik said marginalized communities, in- cluding street vendors and low- cost apartment residents, were among the people who would be given the opportunity to ask questions to the candidates at Wednesday’s debate. “Marginalized residents have struggled to get access to share their aspirations. We hope to give them that in this debate,” Sidik said. The inclusion of residents in a town-hall debate format might put both candidates on unfa- miliar ground as it is a difficult format wherein the candidate who connects most with the in- dividuals asking the questions fairs best.

Swing voters to be game changer

mate, Sandiaga Uno, said the one and only official debate in the runoff would be a golden oppor- tunity to attract the ever-elusive swing vote, estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. According to Sandiaga, Anies will focus on themes related to human interest while answering economic and infrastructure-re- lated questions. “We will focus our debate on the issues considered most im- portant, especially to undecided voters,” he said on Monday. Swing voters may be the game changer in an election race, de- scribed by many, as one of the tightest in the capitals history. Under the theme “from resi- dents to Jakarta,” the pair of can-

S. Jakarta to have disabled-friendly sidewalks

JAKARTA: The Jakarta administration is aiming to revamp all side- walks in South Jakarta to accommodate disabled people by the end of this year. South Jakarta Bina Marga road agency head Agustio Ruhuseto said that the design for the disabled-friendly sidewalk had been nalized. He added that the construction would begin at the end of April. “We will make guiding blocks along the sidewalk. This year, all sidewalks in South Jakarta must be disabled-friendly,” said Agustio as quoted by beritajakarta.com on Tuesday. He added that the rst stage of the project will consist of revamp- ing sidewalks in Tebet, Pasar Minggu, Prapanca and Kebayoran Lama. “After that, we will proceed with other areas,” Agustio said. Last year, incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Pur-

A

recent poll showed Ahok

nama announced a plan to widen the sidewalks of Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin by 9 to 10 meters. After the sidewalks are widened, Ahok expects the added space to include small cafes, which will serve as hangout spots for Jakar- tans. — JP

had lost his frontrunner status to Anies as the former is being tried for a blasphemy case at the North Jakarta District Court.

TRAFFIC WOES

Commuters stuckfor hours after Karang Tengahtoll gate closure

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA

The Karang Tengah toll gate in Tangerang, Banten, has been closed since Sunday as it is deemed to be the cause of dai- ly congestion on the Jakarta- Tangerang toll road. The toll gate used to be the only payment gate on the toll road, but now that the payment booths have been closed, commuters have to pay when they exit the toll road, either in Alam Sutera, Tangerang or Karawaci. The closure turned out to be ill- advised, as it caused massive traf- fic jams at the exits of the Jakar-

ta-Tangerang toll road, severely hampering access to premium business and residential areas like Alam Sutera and Lippo Kar- awaci in Tangerang. The congestion is believed to be caused by a lack of pay- ment booths at each exit, with most of the booths still under construction. Toll road operator Jasa Marga has announced plans for a mini- mum 51 payment gates on the toll road, but on the first day of the closure, only 24 payment booths were ready. As a result, congestion built up as early as 5 a.m. on Monday. Agustina Elyn, a 23-year-old

Tangerang resident, was unfortu- nate enough to be one of the peo- ple stuck in the traffic on the way to her office on Jl. Sudirman, Cen- tral Jakarta. “It was only 5 a.m., but there was already congestion at the toll road entrance in Karawaci,” she said, adding that the congestion was caused by the road’s partial closure leading to the toll road due to construction work at the toll gate. Agustina said she had heard from her friend that the traffic had got worse in the afternoon as the line of vehicles had reached 1 kilometer in length. 42-year old Erwin Panigoro,

meanwhile, got stuck in traffic on his way home in Alam Sutera on Monday afternoon.

“I have to spend an additional

25 minutes to exit the toll road in Alam Sutera due to the unusual

congestion,” he said. Erwin added that the heavy traffic had begun at a nearby rest area in Karang Tengah located around 1.6 km from the Alam Sutera exit. Another commuter, Andy Tanamas, was also baffled by the fact that the closure could cause such bad traffic on a weekend, which usually saw less traffic than working days. “Good job PT Jasa Marga

for creating traffic jam on Sun- day!” he wrote on his Twitter account.

According to several reports, the congestion also caused sev- eral high school students to come late for the national exam on Monday as they were trapped in traffic in Karawaci. Conditions finally got better on Tuesday morning, as Agusti- na said she found minimum con- gestion on the road leading to the toll road. “I only got stuck at the Karang Tengah gate, as vehicles were slowing down when approaching the defunct gate.” To prevent further congestion

at the exits, officials will acceler- ate the construction of the pay- ment toll gates, which is now ex- pected finish on April 23. “If there’s any congestion again in the future, we will open ad- ditional toll booths. We will also deploy more officers to do trans- actions on the road instead of waiting for cars to come to the booths,” said Herry Trisaputra Zuna, the head of the Indonesian Toll Road Authority (BPJT), on Monday. Herry added that the operator would let toll road users to pass for free should additional booths and officers fail to ease congestion at the toll road exits. (kuk)

O ver the past two decades, laparoscopy has become an increasingly popular option for patients
O ver the past two decades, laparoscopy has become an
increasingly popular option for patients in Indonesia
Cutting-edge
surgical solutions for
who need to undergo some form of abdominal surgery.
“Obstetri-
“Now, innovations have made it even less invasive,”
cians, for example,
claims Dr. Seno Budi Santoso, who is a digestive surgery consulta-
tion specialist at Siloam Hospitals TB Simatupang.
Patients typically undergo a laparoscopy when doctors are trying
to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids and infections in
the abdominal area. Using thin tubes inserted through small inci-
sions in the belly, tissue samples can be taken for a biopsy.
In contrast with a laparotomy – the typical surgical solution that
have started using it to
treat tumors that affect the repro-
ductive organs.”
The procedure is also beneficial for treat-
ing inguinal hernias, where the intestine or the blad-
der protrudes through the abdominal wall or into the ingui-
nal canal in the groin. Through a laparoscopy, the protrusion is
pulled from the upper stomach area, minimizing the risk of re-
lapse among patients.
There are, however, a number of contraindications. The proce-
Indonesians

involves a large cut across the abdomen – a laparoscopy only re- quires small incisions and consequently, a short recovery period. Because of this, Dr. Seno claims that a laparoscopy is less stress- ful to patients, has fewer potential complications and is more cost- efficient. “It can often be done without needing to stay overnight in the hospital. Even when patients have to be hospitalized, their recovery period is faster,” explained the doctor. For instance, gallbladder removal through laparotomy requires patients to be hospitalized for about a week. With a laparoscopy,

however, their hospital stay can be as short as just two to three days.

A laparoscopy also minimizes the risk of intestinal constriction, a

potential complication of laparotomy, as well as the risk of infection because it requires smaller incisions. The tool typically used to perform the procedure is called a multi- port laparoscope. It has three instruments, each with its own port:

one for the camera and two for each of the surgeon’s hands. This means the procedure requires three small incisions to be made in the abdomen. Now, single-port laparoscopes are available, where all three in- struments are in one port. This means only one incision needs to be made on the patient’s body, although one to two centimeters lon- ger than the ones for the multi-port laparoscope to accommodate all three instruments. “The single-port laparoscope is now available in Indonesia, in- cluding in Siloam Hospitals. This equipment has a cosmetic advan- tage – patients who use it will only have one small scar after the operation,”Dr. Seno says. Studies have also shown that patients recover faster and report less pain after a procedure using a single-port laparoscope. Regardless of whether the single or multi-port laparoscopes are employed, the technique is increasingly being used for a wider range of medical problems. When the technique was first used in Indonesia in 1996, it was only used to treat appendicitis and gallbladders. Today, laparoscopy is commonly used to treat tumors, particularly those that affect the intestines and liver. “Laparoscopy is usually used to treat or diagnose digestive prob- lems, but it can actually be used for different types of illnesses, depend- ing on the skills and proficiency of the surgeon,”Dr. Seno explains.

skills and proficiency of the surgeon,”Dr. Seno explains. dure is not advised for patients who suffer

dure is not advised for patients who suffer from heart or respi- ratory problems, as it requires the stomach to be inflated with gas in order for the surgical instruments to operate properly. Laparoscopies also cannot be used for tumors that have already grown too big. According to Dr. Seno, despite the benefits of laparoscopic sur- gery, a number of factors still hamper its adoption among Indone- sian patients. The first is the biggest problem that hampers the successful treatment of most diseases in Indonesia: The lack of awareness of the importance of early detection. As a result, many patients are diagnosed only when their diseases are already at advanced stag- es, during which a laparoscopy is not recommended. When more complex surgical solutions are required, doctors can still conduct a laparotomy. The second obstacle relates to the perception that laparoscopies are costly. “When patients ask how much it will cost, the first information they will get is the cost of the surgery package. When we look at it, the surgery package for a laparoscopy is admittedly more expen- sive because it requires skilled surgeons, not to mention the equip- ment,”Dr. Seno explained. However, in terms of the overall treatment costs, a laparos- copy turns out to be more cost-efficient than a laparotomy. Be- cause the minimally invasive type of surgery involves shorter recovery and hospitalization periods, the final bill often comes out cheaper. Treatment costs, obviously, vary from patient to patient. “If a particular patient has a number of exacerbating factors that slow down his or her recovery period, such as diabetes or malnutrition, the hospitalization and medication fees will of course still be high despite undergoing the laparoscopic surgical procedure,” Dr. Seno said. If you would like to know more about laparoscopy or have a per- sonal consultation with Dr. Seno, you may schedule an appoint- ment by contacting our call center at 1-500-181 or by reserving an appointment online through www.siloamhospitals.com.

Online Appointment: www.siloamhospitals.com 24 Hour Siloam Ambulance Service: 1 – 500 – 911

6 | OPINION

6 | O P I N I O N WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 Terrorizing graft busters

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

Terrorizing graft busters

Off-grid green energy:

 

T

uesday’s shocking acid attack on Novel Baswedan was the latest, most crude assault against top graft investigator and the Cor- ruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

Revolution to evolution

An unidentified person on a motorcycle threw acid in Novel’s face as he was walking home from attending morning prayers at a nearby mosque in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo ordered National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian to investigate what the President rightly described as “brutal” crime. Activists said the attack was not an isolated incident, citing earlier threats and physical intimidation of KPK investigators such as Novel, including reported attempts to run his motorcycle off the road. Few were surprised at what has become persistent attempts to undermine the KPK, its bold leaders and its investigators shortly after the commission’s establishment in 2002. Because the KPK has managed to convict hundreds of local leaders and politicians, it has faced various lawsuits that have led to the ouster of its leaders, attempts to end its wiretapping powers, quite apart from brazen assaults like the one on Novel early on Tuesday. Novel led a probe into the recent electronic ID scandal that has implicated top lawmakers such as House of Rep- resentative Speaker Setya Novanto. Enemies of the KPK and Novel, a police officer sec- onded to the anti-graft body, became crystal clear after the ugly face-off with his National Police colleagues in 2012, which occurred when Novel was tasked to search the Police headquarters in relation to a case involving driving simulators. The search led to the conviction of then traffic police chief Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo. That same year, police attempted to ensnare Novel for the alleged shooting of a thief in 2004, in a sus- pected effort to stop his investigations into cases involving police officers. This latest attack on Novel caused injuries to his eye and face. “We cannot let individuals with steadfast princi- ples be [attacked] in such uncivilized ways,” Jokowi said in response to the incident. Fearless individuals are indeed rare. Apart from reminding us of the terrifying resistance against corrup- tion investigations, the attack is also a painful reminder of the unresolved murder of leading rights defender Munir, who was poisoned on a flight to Amsterdam in 2004 Jokowi cannot afford to let such criminals walk free right under his nose. Novel’s attackers clearly planned to terrorize and maim one of our most respected inves- tigators. The assault also signaled the strong belief that Jokowi’s government is fairly powerless in capturing these masterminds — given the chronic impunity that they still enjoy. The ensuing outrage will hopefully inspire instead of discourage more graft busters. Indonesians are sickened by the predatory instincts of those pursuing any oppor- tunity to milk cash out of local and nationwide projects. May Novel have a speedy recovery and may the state better protect its steadfast guardians of public funds.

I ndonesia has reached a nearly 97 percent ratio of villages with electricity, in which over 2,500 villages

had no electricity in 2014.

reached a nearly 97 percent ratio of villages with electricity, in which over 2,500 villages had
 

types of contributions. Despite the “warm glow” of communi-

was suggested in IRENA’s recent report, wherein the higher tech-

ty

RE projects, business is busi-

nology and financing risks asso- ciated with RE implies the wide- ly required public support for the development. It is especially so in the developing countries, usually in the form of syndicated loans that involve multiple de- velopment banks (IRENA, 2017). In addition to the above points, proper incentives should be prepared to lure investors in this sector. Otherwise, the busi- ness may not be able to sustain

ness and must be profitable; es-

The plan of state-owned elec- tric company PLN to build more

power plants is merely to cover 504 villages up to 2019 (Central Statistics Agency [BPS], 2015), which implies that more than 2,000 villages will still not be elec- trified by 2019. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity. Then comes off-grid renew- able energy (RE) development. It is where developers create new supplies and micro-grid so- lutions that are disconnected from PLN’s grid. Based on the re- cent statistics published by the International Renewable Ener- gy Agency (IRENA) titled “Re- thinking Energy 2017,” the RE electricity generation in Indone- sia in 2014 was 33,750 gigawatts per hour (GWh). This is diminutive com- pared to China’s RE genera- tion of 1,253,230 GWh, India with 185,569 GWh, and nearly half of Vietnam’s generation of 66,489 GWh. Ministerial Decree No. 38/2016 was devised to help ex- pedite electricity development

Aretha Aprilia

JAKARTA

rates may challenge profitability and sustainability of RE provid- ers. Some have argued that incen- tives should not be offered and further suggested that Indone- sia should also be able to reduce the high prices in the sector to encourage further development, especially in remote regions (The Jakarta Post, Jan. 25). However, despite this senti- ment, the reality is that the In- donesian archipelago includes many remote regions that are not easily accessed. The chal- lenges of rural off-grid RE are, among others, due to the high cost of equipment and person- nel mobilization to remote sites, high costs for operation and maintenance personnel costs and battery replacement (partic- ularly for solar photovoltaic). Vi- able business plans are required to ensure the sustainability of off-grid community renewable energy. There have been many prior

pecially so if the private sector is involved.

The RE-based electricity rate price caps promoted through Ministerial Regulation No. 12/2017 is a top-down measure; which appeared to have missed the points on the significance of taking into account bottom-up measures such as the commu- nity’s willingness (and ability)

pay, as well as viable business

plan that takes into account the expenses to be incurred and the projected streams of revenues — not merely for consumption but also for establishing lucrative production of goods and services. Further to the discourse on the off-grid electrification to more than 2,000 unelectrified villages, the government could help to provide investment in the following ways. Central and provincial govern- ments should support projects that ease access for mobilizing equipment and personnel for en- ergy development. In this regard, road/sea/air infrastructure are of quintessential requirements. The government would need to have sound establishment of inter-ministerial and inter-sec- toral coordination in to priori- tize villages to be electrified and the associated port, road, bridge investment. This is also in sync with what

to

given the high capital and opera- tion expenditures that should be incurred to mobilize, construct, and sustain the power plant. In a similar line of statement by Ralph Nader; the shift of fossil fuel energy to green energy is not yet much-tapped, because the in- dustry sectors do not own the sun, the wind, or the rivers. Turning from fossil fuel to green is a fore- seeable future, however all stake- holders must share the same level of determination to achieve this overarching goal. Moving beyond the green ener- gy revolution that has already tak- en place, we shall move forward to evolution for further development and widespread application.

in

the remote villages across the

nation. Shortly after, Ministerial Regulation No. 12/2017 on new and renewable energy was intro- duced, which put price caps on RE rates. As such, the capping of RE

community-based projects that have failed owing to insufficient funds to operate and maintain the infrastructure. The commu- nities must be preconditioned to have ownership of the power plant, through shares or other

The writer is the lead of commu- nity renewable energy program — CDM Smith, Jakarta, and a doctorate alumnus of Kyoto University, Japan. The views expressed are her own.

Banks’ hiring suggests they trust Trump

Mark Whitehouse

BLOOMBERG VIEW

T ime and again, Presi-

dent Donald Trump and

administration officials

That’s the fastest quarter-on- quarter pace of growth since 2006, and compares with an an- nualized gain of 1.5 percent for nonfarm employers overall. Here’s a chart:

rhetoric, bank lobbyists and Con- gressional Republicans have put forth proposals that range from defanging the Financial Stability Oversight Council to providing relief for community banks. Granted, financial companies may have other reasons to add jobs. For one, profitability has been on the rise: The industry’s profits amounted to about $114 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 22 percent from a year earlier, according to the Bureau

Economic Analysis. That said,

of

to rewrite the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act will face a battle in Congress. It’s also possible that change will be more radical than what banks expected: White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, for example, has come out in favor of restoring the Depression-era Glass-Stea- gall Act, which separated bread- and-butter commercial bank- ing from high-octane investment banking. So to the extent that financial companies are getting excited

about deregulation, their enthu- siasm might be premature.

have promised to cut regulations that they say hold back the finan- cial industry. The latest jobs data

suggest that bankers might be buying it. In an otherwise mixed jobs report for March, finance was among the sectors that outper- formed. During the three months through March, employment in the category (which includes real estate and insurance) averaged an estimated 8.4 million, up an an- nualized 2.7 percent — or 56,000 jobs — from December.

The hiring doesn’t seem to be primarily a Wall Street phenom- enon. State-level data, which go through February, suggest that a lot of the job growth is happen- ing outside New York, in states such as Illinois, Texas and Ohio. Here’s a chart showing the states with the largest gains since Octo- ber, the month before Trump was elected:

why the hiring? Well, banks

have been getting pretty fired up about the prospect of deregu- lation. Encouraged by Trump’s

So

OTHER OPINION

cost-cutting has played a signifi- cant role.

Serbian election erodes democracy

 

Beyond signing memos and meeting with executives, the pres- ident hasn’t yet done much to put his words into action. Any efforts

W ith Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s victory in the

presidential election on April 2, Serbia has edged

closer to autocracy. Vucic can handpick his successor

The author writes editorials on global economics and finance for Bloomberg View.

 

and consolidate his power, since Parliament and the judiciary are all but locked up by Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party. Though Vucic won more than 50 percent, the election was marred by accusations of voter intimidation and a near total domination of Serbia’s media by Vucic and his party. Every day since the election, thousands of protesters have turned out. Vucic could show a commitment to democracy by restoring freedom of the press and ordering an independent in- vestigation of allegations of voter intimidation. European leaders who see in strongmen such asVucic a force for stability — and who hope Vucic will make good on his prom- ise to keep Serbia on track to join the European Union — must avoid the temptation to look the other way as Vucic and his al- lies seize monopoly control over the country’s political institu- tions and its press. To accede to such control by Vucic would be a betrayal of the EU’s core values, and of the many Serbians who look to the EU as a beacon of democratic rights and freedoms at a time when Eastern and Central European leaders are turning their backs on democracy.

— THE NEW YORK TIMES, NEW YORK

Humanity at sea

Jokowi’s cross-border facilities upgrade

Kurniawan Hari

JAKARTA

T he dates of March 16 and 17 were historic, particularly for residents living around

Nanga Badau in Kapuas Hulu re- gency and Aruk in Sambas regen-

part of the government’s effort to boost economic growth. The two were among seven posts to be upgraded this year. The five other cross-border posts were in West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Papua. The development of the cross-

We must not forget Dec. 17, 2002 when this nation lost the Sipadan and Ligitan islands to Malaysia following years of legal wrangling at the International Court of Justice. The court learned that In- donesia’s claim to sovereignty over Sipadan and Ligitan was based on the 1891 Convention between Great Britain and the

The court considered that In- donesian authorities had never protested the construction of lighthouses by Malaysia and con- cluded that Malaysia has sover- eignty over both islands. Learning from the Sipadan and Ligitan case, the government should continuously show its ex- istence and activities in the bor- der areas. Otherwise we could lose other territories to neighboring coun- tries as the international court could issue similar rulings based on the scale of activities of an- other claimant on a disputed territory.

cy,

After several decades, locals finally saw major renovations of the integrated cross-border posts (PLBN), followed with up- grades of immigration check- points and customs offices. The projects also included improvement of trade facilities,

the electricity power supply and road quality, which would halve travel time to and from the bor- der posts. On those dates President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the cross-border posts and the new facilities nearly two years after he issued an executive or- der for the projects. So remote was Nanga Badau that President Jokowi and his entourage, which included First Lady Iriana, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basu-

both in West Kalimantan.

border posts are strategic for, among others reasons, defense, security and the economy.

more sophisticated immi-

gration checkpoint would help reduce the potential inflow of il- legal migrants.

The upgraded security checks, including the availability of proper animal and plantation quarantines, would mean in- creased security to tackle the possible spread of diseases. Meanwhile, the improved in- frastructure and customs offices could facilitate easy exports and imports along the borders. That is not to mention the growing pride and dignity of In- donesians living in border areas, as many previous border check- points were said to be in worse condition than the average vil- lage administration office.

A

Netherlands, which defined the boundaries between the then Dutch possessions on Borneo

and the territories under British protection. Meanwhile, Malaysia claimed sovereignty over the two islands

 

as

an inheritance from the Sultan

History aside, I wonder why all the development of cross- border areas happened during the Jokowi administration. May- be it has something to do with his choice of sports: archery — a solo

C onfirmation of the theory that the seas unite as much as they divide has just been underscored by ships of the In- dian and Chinese navies conducting a joint operation to

counter an attempted act of piracy off the African coast. Both responded to a “distress call.” The joint action may not have amounted to much, but that was not known to the naval commanders when they responded to a call from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organization about a merchant ship having come under pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden. The Chinese and Indian warships adhered to long-standing protocols and acted immediately. And that re-emphasizes the reality that when left free to act of their own accord, military personnel respond positively to crisis situations at sea. Some- thing both Beijing and New Delhi must applaud: the “baggage” of history must not determine every course of action. Recent events point to a revival of Somali-based pirate activi- ty. The pirates seem keen to “loot” the cargo, rather than extort ransom money. However, the situation merits close monitor- ing for the menace to shipping can easily resurface. The Indi- an Navy had played its part in — it must be ready to once again shoulder the international responsibilities that befall a major maritime power.

of Sulu, who passed the sover- eignty first to Spain, then to the United States, the United King- dom and ultimately to Malaysia. The country backed its claim

the number of British and Ma-

laysian effectivites (acts by the state) over the islands. Among such acts Malaysia mentioned were its control of turtles and its collection of turtle eggs, believed to be the most im- portant economic activities on Sipadan for years. The neighboring country also mentioned the construction of

by

game. There are indeed many chal- lenges that could make him miss the target, Jokowi said, as he opened the Bogor Archery Com- petition one windy January day. “But I wouldn’t blame the wind,” he said, adding he had been practicing on weekends for the preceding several months. Despite the gusts the Presi-

ki

Hadimuljono and Coordinat-

ing Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Mahara-

ni, found it impossible to locate

Two years ago, people cross- ing the Indonesia-Timor Leste border would have seen the bet- ter immigration checkpoint in

a

bird sanctuary on the island

dent focused on his target and with a few dozen arrows he man- aged to hit at least one bulls-eye.

proper restaurant for lunch.

Eventually, the President and his entourage enjoyed a meal at a modest food stall. The upgrade of the two posts

bordering with Malaysia was

a

Timor Leste. The better-equipped cross- border infrastructure would also trigger more activities and eco- nomic growth in the surround- ing areas.

in 1933 and the development of lighthouses by British colonial authorities on Sipadan and Ligi- tan in the early 1960s. All those structures still exist and are maintained by Malaysia.

 

— THE STATESMAN, KOLKATA

The author is a staff writer at The Jakarta Post.

 

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WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 OPINION | | 7 The temptation of Theresa May   New face

OPINION || 7

The temptation of Theresa May

 

New face of business competition

 

Robert Harvey

similar to what it has today, with somewhat more control over mi- gration from the EU and an end to deference to EU institutions such

the European Court of Justice.

exchange, the UK will forfeit

In

as

 

PROJECT SYNDICATE/LONDON

 

T he three great Theresas in

history are all saints. The

most recent to be canon-

 

T he market is a meeting

place for supply and

demand. It is where

companies — as value

recent to be canon-   T he market is a meeting place for supply and demand.
recent to be canon-   T he market is a meeting place for supply and demand.
recent to be canon-   T he market is a meeting place for supply and demand.

ized was Mother Teresa, a tireless charity worker and controversial campaigner for the poor; the first was Teresa of Ávila, one of the Catholic Church’s most dynamic and powerful personalities dur- ing the 16 th century. And in the 19 th century, Thérèse of Lisieux spoke to animals, cultivated gardens, performed good works, and be- came known as the Little Flower. British Prime Minister The- resa May is, at times, as philan- thropic as Mother Teresa, as am- bitious as Teresa of Ávila, and as modest as the Little Flower. But will she be remembered as well as any of them? Like the Little Flower, May is so discreet that even many mem- bers of her own party have doubts about what she actually believes. She has pandered to America’s toxic president, Donald Trump, and courted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Both gestures have eclipsed even former British prime minis- ter David Cameron’s kowtowing to Chinese President Xi Jinping dur- ing Xi’s visit to the United King- dom in 2015. But there seems to be some- thing deeper to May. By invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, her government has now pushed Britain’s narrow Brexit referen- dum decision past the point of no return with minimal controversy, while remaining extraordinarily popular. Of course, very little has actu- ally happened in the nine months since the referendum took place. Investors are apparently banking on the fact that nothing signifi- cant will happen for at least an- other year, because Europe will be in the throes of its own elec- tions in France, Germany, and probably Italy. Incumbent European govern- ments will not want to risk em- powering their populist right- wing rivals by accommodating British bluster. On the other hand, the Dutch populist avatar Geert Wilders recently suffered an electoral defeat, relative to what many expected. And in France, a mainstream candidate such as Emmanuel Ma- cron or François Fillon will like- ly win the presidency in a run- off against the far-right National Front’s Marine Le Pen. After that, German voters will either reelect Chancellor Angela Merkel, or give the job to the pro- European Union Social Democrat Martin Schulz. And the next Ital- ian leader will surely be anyone but Beppe Grillo, the eccentric Five Star Movement leader. When the election dust final- ly settles, a phony war between Britain and the EU will ensue. In a replay of British prime min- ister Margaret Thatcher’s own fights with Europe three decades ago, both sides will huff and puff, threaten to withdraw from the talks, and then reach a last-min-

most of its influence in determin- ing how the European single mar- ket operates. By accepting such a compro- mise, May would certainly fulfill

her promise to those who voted for Brexit, and possibly unite the dif-

ferent camps within her own Con- servative Party. But a lot could go wrong. If European countries do not lurch to the right, and if Schulz emerges as Germany’s leader — and the EU’s de facto president — the EU will have less tolerance for British demands. By appealing to Trump and Erdoğan, May’s current strategy seems to be geared toward ap- peasing right-wing Brexiteers and Euroskeptics. But if she concedes too much to them, she could make it impossible to reach a final

suppliers — compete to win the minds and hearts of customers — as value demanders. In the business world, the market is also like an estuary for changes that occur at the mac- ro scale. The technological revo- lution further drives economic, political-legal and sociocultural changes, all of which culminate in the market. Several ASEAN countries have experienced structural changes in the market, inevitably result- ing in greater competition. The development of technologies, which have increased informa- tion availability, has prompted profound changes in the politi- cal systems of several countries, while the more open economy has

Hermawan Kartajaya and Ardhi Ridwansyah

JAKARTA

than eliminate the boundaries of competition between coun- tries. Digitalization has also ren- dered irrelevant the boundaries between industries. Competition today can emerge from any indus- try or sector. Look no further than the hos- pitality industry. Hotels are not just competing with other hotels, but are also under threat from websites such as Airbnb, which simply aggregates a list of lodg- ings in a city that can be rented by users. The website, which gives a vir- tually unlimited range of options to travelers based on price, qual- ity of accommodation and loca- tion, has over 1.5 million listings in 190 countries and 34,000 cities. Conventional transportation companies are also panicking in the face of a very real threat. The emergence of online transporta- tion networks such as Uber, as well as other ASEAN counterparts — Malaysia’s Grab and Indonesia’s Go-Jek — has aroused a string of negative reactions from conven- tional transportation organizers, especially taxi operators. Governments have also come under pressure and face a unique dilemma. While these emerging online transportation networks are growing increasingly popular among customers, the question remains whether they should be allowed to thrive at the expense of conventional transportation companies, which feel disadvan- taged by the convenience and af- fordability of these alternative transportation players. Similar disruptions have long been experienced in other indus- tries. Craigslist, a classified adver- tisements website, which puts lo-

cal buyers and sellers together, has made this role of newspapers obsolete, Amazon.com has dis- rupted publishers and bookstores

tween Telenor Pakistan and Ta- meer Microfinance Bank to offer mobile money for the unbanked sector in Pakistan.

agreement with Europe. Either way, Europhobes such

Liam Fox, May’s trade secre- tary, will denounce any deal as a Cameron-style sellout, and push for a “pure,” off-the-cliff Brex- it. This would entail acceding to World Trade Organization rules with respect to Europe, which would put Britain at a significant disadvantage. The fact that May is facing the weakest domestic opposi- tion imaginable may actually compound her difficulties. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is sticking with his old far-left ex- tremism, except on immigration, where he is compromising one

as

meant the boundaries of monop- oly restrictions have diminished

to a large extent. In a number of important in- dustries such as telecommuni- cations and banking, we have witnessed an influx of private players entering the markets, both indigenous and from out- side the country. The increasingly competitive business environment has en- couraged players to continue to innovate and improve efficiency. The customer has largely ben- efitted from this phenomenon, not least with a more varied se- lection of products and services. And technology continues to

and Google and Baidu have made libraries less relevant. The list goes on and on. In fact, even conservative sectors such as banking are no longer immune from disruption. Banks now have to deal with new competitors from telecommunication oper- ators and financial technology companies. However, rather than seeing these new players as a threat, some banks have found ways to forge new, and profitable, part- nerships with them. The tradi- tional limitations faced by these new players — both legal and technical — have in turn opened up collaboration opportunities with conventional financial in- stitutions. Examples include the provi- sion of funding for alternative business finance providers or re- ferral arrangements, whereby small business customers, who do not qualify for a loan, can be referred to the bank’s associated peer-to-peer lenders. The trend is already catching on in the United Kingdom where it has received encouragement from the government. Another example is the collaboration be-

In some Asian countries, the regulator acts as the facilitator of collaboration by requiring tele- com firms and banks to work to- gether, with banks holding licens- es for transaction platforms. In India, the country’s larg- est private sector bank ICICI has teamed up with Vodafone India to bring Africa’s famed mobile payment service M-Pesa to cus- tomers, while Indonesia’s cen- tral bank has invited commercial banks and mobile network opera- tors to introduce hybrid products in certain rural areas. Market disruption will inargu- ably continue as a consequence of the continuing development of digitalization. Business players must be pre- pared to adapt and find new ways to break through. Governments, as the regula- tors, must also act intelligently to ensure policies do not hamper technological innovation in the business world.

of

Labor’s most sacred principles

evolve. The emergence of inter-

to

curry favor with the shrinking

net and related technologies has made the “whole world flat,” as claimed by Thomas Friedman

(2005).

electorate once claimed by Os- wald Mosley and other far-right leaders, and now represented by the UK Independence Party. Corbyn, like a true Leninist, be-

lieves that any strategy is accept- able in the pursuit of power. In a career spanning nearly 35 years,

The barriers between coun- tries are seemingly engulfed in the wave of change. In this con- text, Harold Sirkin (2008) stated that the business world would be

he

has always taken the long view.

faced with a phenomenon called “globality,” in which a compa- ny will compete with everyone, from everywhere, for everything. However, the disruption caused by technology does more

 

He now seems to think that he could emerge, Trump-like, as an

Hermawan Kartajaya is founder and chairman of MarkPlus Inc. Ar- dhi Ridwansyah is director of EMBA SBM-ITB/MarkPlus Institute.

unexpected victor in 2020, espe- cially if Brexit sends the economy into a downward spiral. But with even trade union leaders such as Unite’s Len Mc- Cluskey now criticizing Corbyn,

such as Unite’s Len Mc- Cluskey now criticizing Corbyn, a more moderate replacement could be found.

a

more moderate replacement

could be found. If former shad-

ow chancellor Ed Balls or former foreign secretary David Miliband takes the reins, Labour might have a real chance at victory in

2020.

 
 

Still, May could frustrate La-

 

bor by holding an election this fall, which would strengthen her position vis-à-vis her party’s Eu- rophobic fringe and whoever governs Europe next year. For now, she seems to have ruled out calling an early election ahead

of

the Brexit negotiations. But,

equipped with a popular mandate

of

her own, and with the vision,

strength, and courage of her three namesakes, she could secure a deal with Europe that serves both Britain and the cause of global stability.

ute compromise. Ultimately, the deal that emerges will most likely resemble Norway’s membership in the Eu- ropean Economic Area, but it will be labeled “bespoke” for Britain. In this scenario, the UK’s access to the European market will be

 

The writer, a former member of the House of Commons Foreign Af- fairs Committee, is the author of Global Disorder and A Few Bloody Noses: The Realities and Mytholo- gies of the American Revolution.

Strategy – not weapons – wins wars

Bernard F.W. Loo

RSIS COMMENTARIES/SINGAPORE

I n a meeting with state gover- nors before his first speech to Congress, President Don-

ald Trump declared: “We never win, and we don’t fight to win.” As a consequence, President Trump argued in Congress for a defense budget totaling US$603 billion, which represents an increase of $54 billion beyond what the Bud- get Control Act has capped for fis- cal year 2018. The purpose of this proposed defense budget is to provide the United States military with the tools to maintain its deterrent posture and, where necessary, “to start winning wars again.” Interestingly, the chairs of the House and Senate Armed Servic- es committees, Mac Thornberry and John McCain respectively, criticized the proposal as insuffi- cient: “With a world on fire, Amer- ica cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than president Obama’s budget.” The proposed budget increase highlights two sets of issues: the capacity for US military forc- es to maintain peace and secu-

rity throughout the world; and the capacity of the US military to win wars. The efficacy of military power in both is at best mixed. In the first instance, military power is used for deterrent and peacekeeping purposes. For the US military, this translates into

a range of missions around the

world, from the Baltics and the Black Sea to the South China Sea. Such missions require presence, and this demands that capabili- ties be available. For countries such as the Bal- tic states, South Korea and Ja-

pan, the continued presence of US military forces is regarded as desirable, even essential, for the maintenance of peace and stabil-

ity in the respective regions.

Arguably, the US military is overstretched. Its military pres- ence is truly global, deploying personnel and equipment from all three armed services. For a number of countries around the world, a continuing US military presence is regarded as contrib- uting positively to the mainte- nance of security and stability in the respective region. This military presence is re- garded as evidence that the US

maintains an interest in the se- curity and stability of the particu- lar region. An increase in military spending is potentially desirable in this regard, if it results in a US military that is better able to ful- fill its global security missions. But there is a rub. It is difficult at

best to ascertain the effectiveness of such operations by the US mili- tary. Much of the problem relates to the issue of deterrence: in any given situation, just because noth- ing happens does not necessarily mean that deterrence has held. Similarly, the absence of an outbreak of armed conflict be- tween otherwise adversarial states in any region cannot be ab- solutely attributed to the pres- ence of US military forces. However, it is the second is- sue — the capacity of US military forces to win wars — that is even more problematic. Simply put, as the title suggests, weapons alone do not win wars. If it were so, the US should not have lost the war in Vietnam; the Soviet Union should not have withdrawn from its failed intervention and occupa- tion of Afghanistan in 1989. Indeed, the history of wars tells us that every once in a while, a

smaller power will defeat its mili- tarily stronger adversary in war, if not in battle. Superior weapons capabilities can result in victory in battles. The capability to locate adversar- ial military forces is essential to any armed forces ability to wage battle; and if one side can locate its adversary before the adversary can do likewise, this confers on the first side a potentially signifi- cant tactical advantage. Second, if the first side can then bring accurate and devastating ki- netic force to bear against that adversarial force, the adversarial force faces the distinct prospect of being destroyed in battle. However, the winning of bat- tles, while desirable and even essential in war, does not itself guarantee strategic success — or victory — in war. The US, arguably, did not lose any battle against its North Vietnamese and Vietcong adversary; yet this is clearly stra- tegically irrelevant. Arguably what caused the US to lose the war in Vietnam and the former Soviet Union to lose in Afghanistan was the absence of sound strategy. A sound strategy is one that takes into consider-

ation the following factors, none of which is more important than the other.

A sound strategy first identi-

fies a political stake involved that

is unequivocally important to the national interests of the country such that the country has to re-

sort to the use of military force.

As long as the national interest

at stake is clearly important, and this importance is recognized not just by the political elites but by the rest of the population as well, this provides a firm foundation for the crafting of sound strategy. Next, the country’s resources will need to be mobilized to en- sure that the armed forces has the necessary wherewithal to wage war successfully. And there can be no half measures: no country should go to war while handicap- ping itself. However, as long as the nation- al interest at stake has been clear- ly articulated to the population, and the population unequivocal- ly accepts this articulation, the mobilization of resources can be achieved with a minimum of po-

litical fuss. Third, a coherent causal argu- ment has to be constructed that

relates the application of military power to the attainment of the political interests at stake.

In other words, sound strategy must be able to show how the use of military power can achieve the political end-states that the coun- try seeks to establish. And sound strategy can be

crafted only when political elites and military planners are in- volved in the process. However, there is a final rub. Even sound strategy does not guarantee strategic success. War is just too non-linear: the law of unintended consequences always applies, and actions will not nec- essarily result in the intended outcomes. The combination of over- whelming military power applied in a sound strategy merely increas- es the probability of a successful outcome. Just do not expect weap- ons per se to get the job done.

The writer is associate profes- sor at the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies of the S. Rajarat- nam School of International Stud- ies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

8 || SPORTS

c BrindicciReuters/Marcos Reuters/Marcos Brindicci
c
BrindicciReuters/Marcos
Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

w we’ve

h he’s

t the

Edgardo Bauza

Rex Gowar

REUTERS/BUENOS AIRES

Twice World Cup winners Ar- gentina sacked coach Edgardo Bauza on Monday after a string of poor results in South American qualifying rounds left them strug- gling to reach the 2018 finals in Russia. Media reports suggest Sevilla’s Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli, who has never disguised his ambition to take charge of the national team and steered neigh- boring Chile to the Copa Ameri- ca title in 2015, will step into the vacancy. “We’ve reached an agreement,

will step into the vacancy. “We’ve reached an agreement, WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 PUTTING IT BRIEFLY

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

PUTTING IT BRIEFLY

Anichebe hopes to save Black Cats

LONDON: Rock bottom Sunderland have to do whatever it takes to grind out results if they are to stand any chance of avoiding relega- tion from the Premier League, striker Victor Anichebe said. Anichebe, who was out with a knee injury, returned to the starting side for the rst time since January in the 3-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday and he is keen to nd his best form as soon as possible for the nal seven matches. “It’s going to take me a couple of games, I wish I had time, or we

had time, but we don’t [ told British media.

“We just have to go out every game and try and perform. I need

to just keep going and so do the team, just grind out results any way

we can. It’s not good enough, let’s be honest, we need to improve as

a team.” Sunderland’s loss to United left them winless in seven games and

10 points adrift of safety ahead of Saturday’s home match against

14 th -placed West Ham United. — Reuters

]

we haven’t had a good week,” Anichebe

United must improve home form: Mata

LONDON: Manchester United have won just six times at home in the

Premier League this season and midelder Juan Mata says they must start converting draws into victories at Old Trafford if they are to n- ish in the top four. United are fth and trail fourth-place Manchester City by four points, albeit with a game in hand. United have drawn nine of their

16 home league games and collected more points on their travels

than at home. Mata hopes United’s home fortunes change when they host lead- ers Chelsea on Sunday. “We will ght until the end to be in the top four, and in order to do so we need mainly to get better at Old Trafford, at home,” Mata wrote in his blog. “We have an opportunity the next weekend against the leaders Chelsea. It’s one of those games that everybody wants to play.” Mata might not play again this season after he underwent groin surgery last month but the Spain midelder hopes to make a swift return. While a top-four nish secures participation in next season’s Champions League, they could also get there by winning the Europa League. United travel to face Belgian side Anderlecht on Thursday in the quarter-nal rst leg of Europe’s second-tier club competition. — Reuters

EPL

Allardyce factor the difference for Palace, says Townsend

Tom Hayward

REUTERS/LONDON

The ‘Sam Allardyce factor’ has been driving Crystal Pal- ace’s resurgence, midfielder An- dros Townsend said after a 3-0 win over Arsenal boosted their

improving Premier League sur- vival bid. Allardyce, who has developed a reputation over the years as a sur- vival specialist and last season led Sunderland to an unlikely escape from the drop, has been the driv- ing force behind the stunning up- turn in fortunes experienced by Palace. He initially struggled to turn things around after joining the south-London side in Decem- ber, but since late February Pal- ace have collected 15 points from

a possible 18, to climb three places to 16 th .

“Sam Allardyce has been in- credible,” Townsend, who scored Palace’s first goal on Monday, told Sky Sports. “I was on the wrong end of the [then Sunderland manag- er] Sam Allardyce factor when

I was at Newcastle last season

but he looks to have worked his magic again and hopefully we can keep these performanc- es up and get enough points to survive.” Allardyce’s tactics have not always been the most subtle but

under his stewardship Palace

have become formidable oppo- nents — particular at their rau- cous Selhurst Park ground. Their form is built on a strong, well-organized defense, a physi- cal target man in Christian Ben- teke and the skill and coun- ter-attacking ability of French playmaker Yohan Cabaye — scor- er of their second goal — Wilfried Zaha and Townsend. Combative Serbia internation- al Luka Milivojevic, who added the third, has looked like an astute acquisition since he arrived from Olympiakos Piraeous in January. “Tactically the players were aware of how to beat Arsenal,” Al- lardyce told Sky Sports. “The first thing was to defend and frustrate them, keep them playing sideways, then use the space behind the full-backs.

“Arsenal have been weak de- fensively, they leave the centre- backs exposed. We won a lot of possession off them and created lots of chances. “Cabaye’s goal, what a finish — and that was down to us pressing them. It wasn’t a shock for me be- cause we played Chelsea and won

that game [2-1 away on April 1]. “The result might be a shock, but we did that again and did it better. We all know Arse- nal are going through their worst spell for years, but the only way to take advantage is by playing well. Everything worked perfectly for us today.”

SCOREBOARD

Soccer

EPL Results from the English premier league matches on Monday

Crystal Palace 3 La Liga

Results from the La Liga matches on Monday

Real Sociedad 3

Baseball

Results from the MLB games on Monday (home team in CAPS)

San Diego

CHICAGO CUBS

Cincinnati

NY Mets

WASHINGTON

Arsenal

0

1

Sporting Gijon

5

3

7

4

14

COLORADO

LA Dodgers

PITTSBURGH

PHILADELPHIA

St. Louis

3

2

1

3

6

SEATTLE

SAN FRANCISCO 4

2

DETROIT

NY YANKEES

2

8

6

Oakland

Houston

Arizona

KANSAS CITY

Boston

Tampa Bay

0

1

0

1

1

Basketball

Results from the NBA games on Monday (home team in CAPS)

LA CLIPPERS

Utah

PORTLAND

CHICAGO

MILWAUKEE

Washington

BOSTON

MIAMI

Indiana

125

105

99

122

89

105

114

124

120

96

GOLDEN STATE 99

98

San Antonio

75

Charlotte

79

DETROIT

Houston

Orlando

Brooklyn

Cleveland

101

105

121 (OT)

PHILADELPHIA 111

ARGENTINAARGENTINA SACKSSACKS COACHCOACH BAUZA,BAUZA,

lineslines upup Sevilla’Sevilla’ss SampaoliSampaoli

told

trip to play Uruguay in Montevi-

deo.

Tapia has announced a news

conference for Tuesday to give details of Bauza’s departure and his possible successor. The new AFA leadership made the decision to dispense with Bauza after Argentina were lucky

to beat Chile 1-0 at home with a

Messi penalty then lost 2-0 away

to Bolivia at high altitude in La Paz last month.

Argentina, who had Messi sus- pended before the Bolivia game, could be without their talisman

in Uruguay and at home to Peru

and Venezuela later this year un- less they manage to get the ban reduced on appeal. If the appeal fails, Messi would only come back for the final, po- tentially decisive qualifier away to Ecuador at high altitude in Quito

in October.

Bauza was appointed last July by Armando Perez, who headed

a FIFA committee that admin-

istered the AFA and prepared it for the presidential election that

Tapia won last month. Messi had quit international football after Argentina’s second successive Copa America final defeat on penalties by Chile in the United States in June, having missed the opening spot kick in the shootout. Bauza persuaded Messi to re-

turn in August and the captain re- sponded with a goal in a 1-0 home win over Uruguay on Sept. 1. The 59-year-old’s team was un- convincing, though, with draws away to Venezuela and Peru, loss- es to Paraguay and Brazil and a

win over Colombia between Sep- tember and November. Messi missed all but the Brazil and Colombia matches through injury. Sampaoli quit as Chile coach after lifting the 2015 Copa Amer- ica but had just taken charge at

Sevilla when the Argentina job became vacant last July after Ge- rardo Martino resigned.

The AFA would have to pay

a buyout clause to trigger Sam- paoli’s release from Sevilla.

Bauza

ceased to be

team

the Argen-

tine FA’s recently elected president Claudio Tapia told r reporters after a meeting at the organiza-

tion’s Buenos Aires headquarters. Argentina, whose captain Li- onel Messi has been banned for four matches for insulting

a match official, are fifth in the

South American group with four qualifiers remaining. The top four in the 10-nation group go through to the 2018 finals in Russia, while the fifth-placed country qualifies for a playoff against a team from Oceania. Bauza presided over eight matches, all 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with three wins, two draws and three defeats. If the AFA can successfully prize Sampaoli away from Sevilla

at the end of the season, he would

have until Aug. 31 to prepare for Argentina’s next qualifier, a tricky

national

coach,”

WORLD CUP

FIFA changes mean no rival yet for North American bid

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governing erning

two two potential potential riva rivals.

Reuters/Andrea De Silva

Gianni Infantino

80 games, while also opening the

door to joint bids. FIFA had been against joint bids since the only time such an

approach was tried in 2002, when South Korea and Japan held the

Simon Evans

month-long month-long event, even but the orga-

Gianni In-

fantino fantino has has been been v vocal in his sup-

REUTERS/MANCHESTER

president preside

The bidding process has yet to

begin but the joint proposal from

the United

Mexico to host the he 2026 2026 World World

Cup is already the heavy favorite

to win.

series of decisions cisions made made by by

A

the sport’s

FIFA, since the scandal candal over over

the voting for the 2018 and

2022 editions,

the dice heavily in favor of the

North American bid. bid.

In

October, FIFA’s FA’s ruling ruling body body

decided that no country ountry could could bid bid

for the 2026 hosting if their conti-

nental confederation tion had had hosted hosted

one of the two preceding eceding tourna- tourna-

ments.

The

controversial sial

sion awarded 2018 8 to to Russia Russia and and

2022 to

there is a major change change of of heart heart

Qatar

from FIFA, no European ropean or or Asian Asian

country can compete pete with with the the

North American bid. bid.

That

leaves

America and Oceania ania as as poten- poten-

tial bidders, but no candidate has emerged so far, although the Confederation of African Football has talked, in vague terms, about a possible Moroccan bid. FIFA have also voted to expand the World Cup to 48 teams for the 2026 edition, requiring more fa- cilities to handle the increase to

The The US, US, with with its it many modern

stadiums, stadiums, mainly mainly used by the Na-

tional tional Football Football Le League (NFL), has

the the capacity capacity to to host ho an expanded

tournament tournament alone alone but Infantino’s

opening opening to to multi multi-national host-

ing ing provided provided a a ha handy political so-

lution lution for for US US Soc Soccer Federation

president president Sunil Sunil Gulati. G

Gulati, Gulati, who who is is al also a FIFA coun-

cil cil member member and and played p a key role

helping Infantino win the pres-

idency idency of of FIFA FIFA in in February, 2016,

a wily operator and by bringing

Mexico Mexico and and Cana Canada into his bid

has has eliminated eliminated fr from the process

Mexico Mexico has has h hosted twice be-

and 1986, but

had had made made noi noises about a solo

Soccer

president Vic-

tor tor Montagli Montagliani, who is also

and

president president of of regional regio confedera-

Ca Canadian

vice vice-president

tion tion CONCACAF, CONCACAF, has long talked

his country eventually hosting

a World Cup. A split within the CONCA- CAF region could have encour-

aged other potential bidders, but although Canada and Mex- ico will only get 10 games each, they will share in the glory and their support helps the North American bid look so formidable

at this stage.

There are however some po- tential pitfalls for Gulati’s effort

to achieve what he could not man-

age in 2010 when a solo US bid was beaten by Qatar. Some in FIFA may be reluc- tant to let Mexico have a third World Cup when so many coun- tries have yet to enjoy the tour- nament even once. The violence of Mexico’s “drug wars” may also be a concern to some FIFA voters. The political rhetoric of US President Donald Trump regard-

ing immigration and travel from certain Muslim-majority coun-

tries could also play on some minds. There are also some in FIFA who are unhappy at the leading role the US Department of Jus- tice and FBI played in investigat- ing FIFA corruption and arrest- ing several FIFA figures. And while soccer has grown in popularity in the US since the country’s hosting of the 1994 tournament, the sport remains outside of the mainstream, still

overshadowed by American foot- ball, basketball and baseball. But FIFA’s recent financial troubles mean the huge revenue potential of a North American tournament will be very attractive to Infantino and the leadership. And so far, in the post-scandal FIFA, what Infantino has wanted, he has received.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real’s trio out to reignite spark against Bayern

Richard Martin

REUTERS/MADRID

Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to rekindle some of the magic they once served up under Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday when they face their old coach in the latest edition of Real Madrid’s rivalry with Bayern Munich. Real’s “BBC” trident enjoyed one of their most productive nights under Ancelotti the last time they were in the Allianz Are- na, running riot in a 4-0 win to in- flict the heaviest ever defeat on a side coached by Pep Guardiola. The expensively assembled trio have frequently been blamed by the Spanish media for Real’s un- convincing attacking displays this season, however, with the team relying on other parts of the team,

not least defender Sergio Ramos, for goals. The spotlight will be on the out- of-form trio in Wednesday’s quar- ter-final first leg in Germany as Real resume their bid to become the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy. Bale, albeit while missed three months of action through inju- ry, has endured his worst season

since joining Real with nine goals

in all competitions, while Ronaldo,

with 19 in the league, is on course for his worst domestic tally since

2010.

Benzema, meanwhile, has also been far less prolific in domes- tic matches this year but is the team’s top scorer in the Champi- ons League with five goals to only two each from his Portuguese and Welsh team mates. There will be extra pressure on

Bayern Bayern
Bayern Bayern

Carlo Ancelotti

Reuters/Michael Dalder

the forwards because of the ab- sence from the Real defence of the injured Pepe and Raphael Varane, while Bayern will be missing de- fender Mats Hummels with an an- kle problem. Bayern’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski should be able to start, despite being forced off with a shoulder injury towards the end of the 4-1 win over Borus- sia Dortmund in the Bundesliga

on on Saturday. Satu

Gam Games between the most suc-

cessful cessful clubs from Germany and

Spain Spain have h thrown up plenty of

violent violent scenes in the past, from

Sepp Mai-

er er bre breaking Roberto Martinez’s

goalkeeper

nose nose in in 1976 to Juanito stamping

on on Loth Lothar Matthaus’s head in 1987.

Bayern’s Arjen Robben, howev- er, thought there would be no re-

sidual hard feelings left over from the thumping his side suffered in

2014.

“Not at all, it is part of the past and not important anymore, we

are only interested in the future,” the former Real Madrid winger told Spanish daily AS. “We are playing to reach the semi-finals against a team of the size of Real Madrid and our objec- tive is to progress. Nothing else interests us.”

CRICKET

Metro Indians, Jakarta Barbarians, both Yadavas teams secure hard-fought wins

Suresh Subramanian

CONTRIBUTOR/JAKARTA

Teams showing mental resolve and a strong team-spirit pre- vailed in this weekend’s match- ups in the Texmoda JCA League. Ceylon CC’s batting woes con- tinued as tight bowling from Ya- davas Chairos Tigers’ Agi Sap- tiazi, followed by wickets from Rizky Nugraha at the other end, left the Ceylon batsmen to cool off in the shade of the Cibubur Pavilion. It needed a fantastic knock from Rajeev Kumar, who in part- nership with Kesavadas put on more than 70 runs for the 9 th wicket to give Ceylon a fighting chance. However, the young Indone- sian duo of Aditya Haryanto and Repan Desnika showed gump-

sian duo of Aditya Haryanto and Repan Desnika showed gump- tion, putting on 98 runs for

tion, putting on 98 runs for the 2 nd wicket, guiding Yadavas to a comfortable 6 wicket win with 12

overs to spare. Elsewhere, the senior Yada- vas side took on Menara CC in

what should have been an easy game. However, Menara CC were prepared to put up a fight. Their openers, Ishaq Khan and Deepak Khullar, started off solid, but the introduction of Manbhir Singh and Lucky Kusuma triggered a collapse and yet another low to- tal loomed. However, in what was to be

a weekend of late-order fight- backs, Prakash Kewlani and Amit Bhat got together to put on

70 runs, taking Menara to a score

of 164 in 35 overs.

Menara showed fight when Faheem Butt got rid of Viraj Bhammar and Manbhir Singh fluidly, and two further wickets, including one to Deepak Khullar, kept them within range of their first win. Gamantika, who has started to show form recently,

then partnered beautifully with

Raj Kapadia to resurrect the Senayan innings. When bowled by Vipul, Lucky Kusuma then took on the man- tle of batting sensibly to take his team home with 4 wickets and 5 overs in hand. WPP India XI self-destruct- ed in the last couple of overs of the game to hand Metro Indi-

ans a last-ball win in their T20 game. Electing to bat first, Kiru- basankar anchored Metro’s in-

nings with help from Dhanasek-

ar. But WPP India XI fought back through Anish Param and Gau- rang Kapadia. However, accurate batting by Sakthi and Murali with help from plenty of dropped catches saw 30 runs come in the last 3 overs for Metro. The tall Rakhitha start- ed well by accounting for Pallav, but Naidu and Anish Param too

played well to give WPP India XI

a strong start, putting the pieces

in place for a victory. However, with 12 needed of the last 2 overs, careless batting

ensued, gifting Dhanasekar 3 wickets for the 19 th over. Needing 8 off the last over, Sakthi bowled tightly to help Metro steal an un- likely win. Ben Burgess ended his very successful season in style with a classy 94 not out and his knock, with some help from Jon Baker, carried the Jakarta Barbarians to

a score of 151 in their 20 overs. In response, Bilal Qureshi and Riaz Hyder powered Jaguar CC to a 97 run opening stand. Mo- hib Hussaini then struck with 4 wickets and Ben Burgess contin- ued his form to limit Jaguar CC to only 129 runs in their 20 overs, short by 22 runs.

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 SPORTS | | 9 NO SHANGHAI SURPRISE but Ferrari confirms challenge PUTTING

SPORTS || 9

NO SHANGHAI SURPRISE but Ferrari confirms challenge PUTTING IT BRIEFLY Kings dump Sutter, Lombardi Abhishek
NO SHANGHAI SURPRISE
but Ferrari confirms challenge
PUTTING IT BRIEFLY
Kings dump Sutter, Lombardi
Abhishek Takle
REUTERS/SHANGHAI
Lewis Hamilton may have tak-
en
the spoils in Sunday’s Chinese
Grand Prix but Sebastian Vettel’s
second-place finish provided clear
evidence that Ferrari appear more
than capable of taking the fight to
the Briton’s Mercedes tam.
Vettel sprung something of
surprise when he won last
month’s season opener in Austra-
a
lia
and despite racing on a vastly
different layout in much cooler
weather, there was little to choose
between the pair for the second
weekend in a row.
The results in Melbourne and
Shanghai have raised hopes that
LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Kings made huge changes to their
front office on Monday as they fired coach Darryl Sutter and general
manager Dean Lombardi, who helped guide the team to its two NHL
Stanley Cup titles.
Luc Robitaille was named club president, and fellow former Kings
standout and Hockey Hall of Famer Rob Blake was selected as vice
president and general manager.
The Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014 but missed the
playoffs for the second time in three years this season.
Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of AEG, the Kings’ parent com-
pany, said in a statement the moves were made with a view to the
team’s future.
“This was an extremely difficult decision and was made with an
enormous amount of consideration for what we have accomplished in
our past,” said Beckerman. “But the present and future of our organi-
zation is the highest priority.”
Sutter was hired in December 2011 and led the team to a memo-
rable title run as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. He also
guided the Kings to the Western Conference Final in 2013.
Sutter and Lombardi, hired in 2006, depart after recording the most
wins for a Kings coach and general manager. — Reuters
Walker ends Evans’ bid for appearance
the early-season rivalry between
a
duo with seven Formula One
championships between them
and locked on 43 points apiece in
the overall standings, could be-
come a full-blown title duel.
The China performance in par-
ticular also erased any lingering
doubts about the championship
credentials of the sport’s most
successful team, for whom the
season-opening triumph marked
a welcome return to form after a
winless 2016.
“On a track and in conditions
which were very different from
those we had in Melbourne, we
proved that we have a strong car,”
Ferrari team principal Maurizio
Arrivabene said.
Ferrari have looked competi-
tive since pre-season testing and
there was very little to choose
between Germany’s Vettel and
Reuters/Andy Wong
Shadow: Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives his car into the pit lane during the Formula
One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Saturday.
Shanghai weekend.
Mercedes non-executive
chairman Niki Lauda went so
far as to suggest that Vettel had
the speed to seize Ferrari’s first
pole position since the Singapore
Grand Prix in 2015 but Hamilton
did just enough in qualifying to
secure top spot.
“The explanation is that Ferra-
ri grew up in the Barcelona tests,
won the first race and is still on
the way up,” said the 68-year-old
The outcome of the race could
also have been different had Vet-
tel’s gamble to pit under the vir-
tual safety car on the opening lap
not been undermined when the
actual safety car was deployed fol-
lowing crash a few laps later.
The strategy left him bottled up
behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo
and Ferrari team mate Kimi Raik-
konen, but the four-times champi-
on was able to match Hamilton lap
for lap once he found a way past
like we were the quickest, we were
the quickest, man,” the 29-year-
Hamilton in terms of pace and
performance throughout the
Austrian, a three times Formula
One world champion.
the cars in his path.
“In the mixed conditions it felt
old enthused to his team over the
radio. “Couldn’t prove that but
next time we will.”
Mercedes, who have swept to a
hat-trick of both driver and con-
structor titles over the last three
years, are certainly feeling the
heat from their Italian rivals.
“I hope they’re feeling the spir-
it,” triple champion Hamilton
said after Sunday’s race, referring
to his team. “I hope they’re feel-
LONDON: Reanne Evans’ bid to become the first woman to reach the
final stages of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre
in Sheffield ended after she lost 10-6 to Lee Walker at Ponds Forge in
the second round of qualifying on Monday.
Evans trailed 6-1 on resumption but fought back gallantly to make
the score 9-6 before world number 91 Walker wrapped up the low-
scoring encounter at the end of the evening session to advance to the
third and final round of qualification.
“I was in control of most of the frames,” Evans, who made the only
three 50 breaks of the match, told the BBC. “I think I should have won
every frame in the second session. I think if I’d have pulled one more
back, I’d have been the favorite.”
The 31-year-old Briton, an 11-times women’s world champion, won
her first ever qualifier against the men when she beat Finland’s Robin
Hull 10-8 last Wednesday.
“The buzz off winning [the first qualifying round] was immense and
I couldn’t wait to play again. Maybe if it was a day later, I’d have been
more on the ball. I still felt really good out there,” Evans added.
Evans will not be eligible for entry into next year’s tournament un-
less she receives a wild card entry as Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee won the
World Women’s Championship in Singapore last month to earn a first
qualifying round berth for 2018.
Welshman Walker advances to face Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham
in a best-of-19 encounter. Briton Mark Selby is the reigning world
champion and will begin the defense of his title at the 32-player finals
starting on April 15. — Reuters
ing the fight [
]
because it’s on.”
Reanne Evans
Victorious
Reuters/Yong Teck Lim
SKATING
Japan’s Asada retiring, has lost
‘will to compete’
Reuters
TOKYO
Courtesy of KBRI Beograd
Members of Indonesia’s paragliding team pose for a photograph after securing gold and silver medals in the men’s and women’s categories at the
Paragliding Accuracy World Cup, which was held in Vrsac, Serbia, from April 3 to 7.
GOLF
Garcia no favorite for US Open
Andrew Both
REUTERS/NORTH CAROLINA
Sergio Garcia’s victory at the
United States Masters on Sunday
was received with delight through-
out the golf world, but it seems un-
likely to lead to a subsequent flood
That is not to say 37-year-old
Garcia will fail to add to his first
major win, but the best players
are too evenly matched in the
post-Tiger Woods era to realisti-
cally expect him to suddenly run
up his major tally in his late 30s.
The top 20 or so players are
of
major titles for the Spaniard.
all eminently capable of winning
when in top form. Woods may
have been capable of winning
with his “B” game, but no-one else
is, not even current number one
Dustin Johnson.
Since Rory McIlroy and Jordan
Spieth combined to win four con-
secutive majors at the end of 2014
and start of 2015, seven players
have shared the spoils in the past
seven majors, much as it used to
be before Woods.
Garcia and Masters runner-up
Justin Rose were ranked 11 th and
14 th respectively in the world last
week, but it was hardly a surprise
they ended up separating them-
selves from the field, especially
in the absence of Johnson, who
pulled out at the last minute with
on Sky Sports.
“It was kind of difficult,” Mc-
Ginley said on Golf Channel on
Monday. “To be honest I had a big
lump in my throat.
“I was so happy for him I can’t
tell you how happy. I’ve been
through so much with him. I felt
his pain [after previous near-
misses]. He’s an emotional per-
son. I know how much it hurts
him.”
It seemed as though most of
the gallery at Augusta felt the
same way, as the Garcia who
a
back injury.
A little luck is often required to
win, and if Rose’s seven-foot bird-
made a rude hand gesture to a
spectator who heckled him at
the 2002 US Open was trans-
ie
putt at the 72 nd hole had toppled
Rory McIlroy
in instead of grazing the cup, the
Englishman probably would be
celebrating getting halfway to the
career grand slam, after winning
the 2013 US Open.
Indeed, Garcia’s victory hardly
elevated him to the top echelon
of favorites in betting for the next
major, the US Open at Erin Hills
in Wisconsin in June.
Betting website Centrebet on
Monday had Dustin Johnson a 7/1
favorite, followed at 8/1 by McIl-
roy and Jason Day, with Jordan
Spieth at 9/1.
Garcia was 33/1, similar to his
pre-Masters odds.
But he will not care as he cel-
ebrates an occasion that he
thought might never come. He
was not the only one.
Japanese figure skater Mao
Asada, a silver medalist from the
2010 Winter Olympics and three-
time world champion, is retiring
from the sport after a disappoint-
ing season, saying she has lost the
will to compete.
The 26-year-old took a year off
from competition after the Sochi
Olympics before resuming train-
ing in 2015, but said on her blog
late on Monday that this time she
was quitting for good.
“After coming back to com-
petition, I have not been able to
achieve either the techniques or
the results I wanted, and the num-
ber of things I worried about in-
creased,” wrote Asada, known in
Japan by the affectionate nick-
name “Mao-chan.”
“After last year’s Japan nation-
als, all the goals that had kept me
going disappeared, along with my
will to compete.”
Plagued by knee pain this past
season, Asada finished 12 th at the
national championship in Decem-
ber, the lowest finish of her career.
She had previously won the event
six times.
Asada began skating at the age
of 5, lured into the sport by her old-
er sister Mai, and began to draw at-
tention while still a junior, sharing
the limelight with South Korea’s
Kim Yuna at the start of a long ri-
valry.
This climaxed at the 2010
Games, when Asada had to settle
for silver while Kim claimed gold.
The only woman to land the
complicated triple Axel jump
three times in competition, Asada
was tipped as a leading medal con-
tender at the 2014 Sochi Olympics
but had a disastrous short pro-
gramme, although she rebounded
with a strong free skate to finish
sixth overall.
She won her third world cham-
pionships title a month later, set-
ting a world record with the same
short programme that had been
her undoing at Sochi, but wrote
that she did not regret either tak-
ing a one-year break or coming
back for another go.
“I have no regrets about my
skating career,” she added.
“This was a huge decision for
me, but I regard it as only one stage
of my life and will find new dreams
and goals going forward.”
The announcement was met
with surprise in Japan, where
Asada is a household name and
has appeared in a range of adver-
tisements from chocolate to cold
medicines.
Even the staid Japanese govern-
ment joined in, with chief cabinet
secretary Yoshihide Suga telling a
news conference: “I am very sur-
prised and think that it’s too bad.”
Others appreciated her dedica-
tion to figure skating and deliver-
ing so many eye-catching routines.
“She has worked so hard and
shown us many great perfor-
mances,” said Tokyo resident Nor-
iko Yamaguchi. “So I just want to
thank her.”
Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
formed into an almost beloved
figure who seemed to feed off the
crowd’s affection.
“Sergio often feels like he’s not
supported the way he would like
to be here in America,” said the
vanquished Rose.
“It was encouraging to see the
crowd get behind him. I think
they realised that he paid his
dues, he’s been close so many
times and they probably were
pulling for him to pull through
on this occasion.”
McGinley, meanwhile, admit-
ted that he was starting to wonder
whether Garcia would ever close
the deal.
“I think his career deserved a
major and we were all worried his
career wasn’t going to end with
one,” the Irishman said.
“And to see it be done on such
a grand stage, in such an impres-
sive way, anyone who knows Ser-
gio would have felt the same.”
Losing appetite:
Former European Ryder Cup
captain Paul McGinley struggled
to retain his composure during
the live television commentary
Mao Asada of
Japan competes
during the ISU
Grand Prix of
Figure Skat-
ing Trophée de
France 2016/2017.
Reuters/Charles Platiau/File Photo
1 0 | | WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017   AROUND THE REGION Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom  

10 ||

1 0 | | WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017   AROUND THE REGION Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom   Riau

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

 

AROUND THE REGION

Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom

 

Riau Islands to be economic diplomacy hub

INDONESIA: The Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Riau Islands provincial administration, plans to make the archipelagic province a hub for Indonesia’s economic diplomacy. Riau Islands province comprises 2,408 islands, including Natuna Islands, a stretch of resource-rich islands jutting at the frontiers of the South China Sea and bordering Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia. During a promotional event highlighting the province on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir announced that the government would make Riau Islands a hub for Indonesia’s foreign dealings. “Last year we organized the rst ever event in Riau Islands, where we managed to gather ambassadors from Jakarta and Singapore,” Fachir said in his opening remarks. “This will become our annual event, with the blessing of Pak Gover- nor,” he added, referring to Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun, who will host a gathering of envoys in October. Fachir stressed the important role foreign ambassadors played in helping promote Indonesia in their home countries. Meanwhile, Nurdin said his administration was well aware of its proximity to Indonesia’s neighbors, particularly its maritime borders in the South China Sea. He thanked the ministry for helping them to promote Riau Island’s potential in a green economy, tourism and other business sectors such as the maritime industry. — JP

King to be asked to name three new subs

THAILAND: Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn will be asked to name the three submarines Thailand orders from China, Royal Thai Navy spokes- man Adm. Jumpol Lumpikanon said on Tuesday. He said the purchase of the three Yuan-class S26T submarines for US$1 billion was still in the process of examination of the procurement Thailand bought four submarines in 1937, becoming the second country in Asia to have submarines. They were decommissioned from service in 1951. The four were Matchanu, Wirun, Sinsamut and Phlai-chumphon, all named after literary characters known for their mythical diving abili- ties. — The Nation/ANN

Junta rejects conditional peace talks

Merry spray: An elephant sprays tourists with water in celebration of the Songkran Water Festival in Ayutthaya province, north of Bang- kok, Thailand, on Tuesday.

Officials say Phuket ready to deal with Songkran influx

THAILAND: Thailand’s military junta on Tuesday rejected a conditional offer from the main Muslim separatist group ghting in southern Thai- land to enter into formal peace talks. The Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) said on Monday that it would be willing to enter into formal negotiations on the decades-old insur- gency if certain conditions were met by the Thai government. Among its demands were mediation by a neutral third party and the participation of international observers. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha rejected the offer and said peace talks were an internal matter and required no international mediation or observation. “Why do they need to come mediate? Can we not x these prob- lems ourselves? And if they do come what guarantees do we have that they would understand the issues?” Prayuth said. The insurgency in the largely ethnic-Malay, Muslim-majority south- ern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat has claimed more than 6,500 lives since it escalated in 2004, says independent monitoring group Deep South Watch. — Reuters

The Nation/ANN

Phuket adminstration

gation Department deputy direc- tor-general Kobchai Boonyaora- na said the reason for ramping up traffic law enforcement was that statistics showed that the main cause of road accidents in Thai- land was lack of traffic discipline. “We have learned from previ- ous traffic accident monitoring periods that we have a problem in our traffic law and law en- forcement. So, this Songkran we had to come up with many tight- er measures, such as requiring all passengers in the car to wear their seatbelts all the time and forbidding passengers to sit in the back of [pickup] trucks,” Ko- bchai said. Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket director Anoma Wongyai said that at least 5 billion baht will be added to Phuket’s economy during the Songkran festivities. “About 76 percent of the hotel bookings are from Chinese and other Asian visitors, as well as Eu- ropean tourists, as Songkran also coincides with the Easter holi- days,” said Anoma. She added that several cultural shows will also be held through- out Phuket for visitors to enjoy, including food and art festivals, games and parades. “Visitor numbers are expected

to

be up this year, especially at the

PHUKET

 

beach areas,” Wal Brown, founder and coordinator of the Region 8 Police Volunteers, said. “Subsequently, there will be more officers on duty than in pre- vious years and they will be fo- cused on the safety of everyone

Phuket International Airport director Monrudee Gettuphan has confirmed that an in-line screening system was recently added to the airport, which will help ease passenger congestion, make processing times faster and highlighting and alleviating any ‘suspicious circumstances’ that might affect the island. Newly appointed Phuket Gov- ernor Norraphat Plodthong em- phasized Songkran safety as his top priority on his first day in office on Tuesday. Phuket Vice Governor Sa- nit Sriwihok has similarly revealed the safety measures that will be im- plemented during Songkran. “Every year, the [central] gov- ernment provides us with addi- tional support to prepare for Song- kran. Safety measures include stricter police patrols at check- points to force people to drive safely, as well as strict measures to prevent drunk driving. Most im- portantly, I ask people to be pa- tient, have discipline and cooper- ate with officials,” Vice Governor Sanit told the Phuket Gazette. He also spoke about the is- land’s semi-annual “Seven Days of Danger” campaign, to be held

ready to welcome Songkran influx

Traffic safety is top priority for newly appointed governor for the New Year festival

— both locals and foreigners. Ev- ery year, we see far too many ac-

from Tuesday until midnight next Monday. “Our aim is always to meet the ‘zero deaths’ target during Song- kran, but sometimes, even despite our best efforts, we cannot change people’s reckless behavior. If every- one follows the rules of the road, it will certainly help reduce the num- ber of accidents and deaths,” added Vice Governor Sanit. Police and military agencies, as well as public and private sector groups have also joined forces to campaign for safer roads, includ- ing setting up more traffic check- points and tighter law enforce- ment, especially against drunk and speeding drivers. After a deadly New Year festi- val, which saw a national death toll of 478 and some 3,919 accidents, the government aims to slash the number of deaths and accidents for the upcoming holiday. Disaster Prevention and Miti-

cidents, especially on the roads.” Brown also requested party go- ers not to throw water at law en- forcement officers and volunteers

in

“From previous years, we know that it’s really problematic to pa- trol when drenched,” he said. Brown also said that police would be focusing on dangerous actions with the use of water as well as unsafe driving and alco- hol abuse. “Everyone over the blood alco- hol limit will be arrested, charged and put through the courts — no exceptions. This can lead to de- portation and a ban on re-enter- ing Thailand,” Brown said. When asked about a potential shortage of water during Song- kran, Sayan Wareearoonroj, man- ager of Phuket Provincial Water Supply, said that he was not ex- pecting water shortage to pose a serious problem in Phuket.

uniform.

SECURITY

 

Philippine troops, suspected militants clash; 6 dead

Jim Gomez

have crossed the sea border with Malaysia on powerful speedboats and kidnapped scores of foreign tourists in past years. “If we were not able to moni- tor this and engage them with our government forces, it’s a cause for alarm if they were able to carry out kidnappings,” dela Rosa said.

ASSOCIATED PRESS/MANILA

At least six people have been killed in battle between Philip- pine forces and suspected Abu Sayyaf militants on a central re-

sort island, far from the extrem- ists’ southern jungle bases and in

a

region where the United States

Military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associ- ated Press that military intelli- gence operatives had been try- ing to track down the movements

 

government has warned the gun- men may be conducting kidnap- pings, officials said. The national police chief said

MINORITY GROUP

Myanmar reiterates no ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people

a

soldier died, and the military

of the suspected militants, who first traveled from Sulu to south- ern Zamboanga peninsula. Intel- ligence later indicated the gun- men landed ashore in Inabangan, prompting military and police of- ficials to deploy their forces, the official said. The US Embassy recently ad- vised Americans to take precau- tions amid “unsubstantiated yet credible information” of possible kidnappings by terrorists in Bo- hol, nearby Cebu province and other central areas. The US and the Philippines have separately blacklisted the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organi- zation for bombings, kidnappings for ransom and beheadings. Some Abu Sayyaf commanders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered troops to destroy the ex- tremists in Sulu and in outlying island provinces.

chief of staff reported that at least

 

five gunmen were killed in an on- going gunbattle in Inabanga town in Bohol province. National Police chief Direc-

Reuters

crimes against humanity. The military has denied the ac- cusations, saying it was engaged

His comments come amid sev- eral ongoing investigations into the allegations, including one mandated by Suu Kyi’s govern- ment and chaired by the vice- president and former head of mil- itary intelligence, Myint Swe. Last month, the top UN human rights body agreed to send an in- ternational fact-finding mission to investigate the allegations — a move that Myanmar has opposed. While the UN February report stopped short of explicitly labelling the actions of the security forces as ethnic cleansing, it said the vio- lence committed against the Ro- hingya “has been described in oth- er contexts” as ethnic cleansing. It also expressed “serious con- cerns” that the attacks were a re- sult of a “purposeful policy de-

signed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civil- ian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.” Thaung Tun said the govern- ment needed time and space to address the issues and “where there is clear evidence of wrong- doing, we will take firm action in accordance with the law.” He added the government had initiated the process of closing down some of the camps where tens of thousands of Rohingya internally displaced people have

YANGON

tor General Ronald dela Rosa said troops and policemen attacked the gunmen early Tuesday in coastal Inabanga, where the gunmen had arrived aboard three boats. The gunmen took cover in three hous- es as the firefight broke out. The more than 10 militants have either been forced out or killed in the two houses and the others were holed up and surrounded by gov- ernment forces in the third house, dela Rosa told reporters. If it is proven that the gunmen were from Abu Sayyaf, it may be the group’s first known attempt to

carryoutransomkidnappingsdeep

 

A

senior Myanmar government

in a legitimate counter-insurgen- cy operation. Thaung Tun, a recently ap- pointed National Security Advis- er, reiterated the claim made by Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi

official on Tuesday denied there

was ethnic cleansing against Ro- hingya Muslims in the troubled northwestern state of Rakhine,

where a military operation aimed

at

the minority has forced 75,000

during a recent interview when she said “ethnic cleansing is too strong an expression to use for what is happening.”

people to flee to Bangladesh. Attacks on Myanmar border

guard posts in October last year by

a

Rohingya insurgent group ignited

“There is no ethnic cleansing of Muslim minority in Rakhine,” Thaung Tun told a group of dip-

the biggest crisis of country leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s year in power.

 

A

United Nations report in Feb-

lomats in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. “It is a matter of people on different sides of the divide and the government is striving to overcome the situation and to close the gap.”

ruary said Myanmar’s security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes against Rohingya during their campaign against the insurgents, which may amount to

lived since clashes with ethnic Ra- khine Buddhists in 2012, but did not provide any specifics of what

into the heartland of the central Philippines, far from its jungle lairs in the southern provinces of Sulu and Basilan. Abu Sayyaf militants

is

likely to be an extremely com-

plex process.

 
 

CAMBODIA

 

Symbolic show

 

Police seek shoe-throwing critic

Sopheng Cheang

 
The 13-second video clip of Sam Sokha shows her looking at

The 13-second video clip of Sam Sokha shows her looking at

ASSOCIATED PRESS/PHNOM PENH

police to arrest her. The original charges against her carry a punish- ment of up to three years in pris- on, though it appears her arrest is sought for ignoring a summons. Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party has been aggressively prosecuting critics and political opponents ahead of nationwide local elec- tions this June, and a general election next year. Hun Sen has been in power for three decades, and while maintain-

“Over the last 18 months we have seen repeated examples of the criminal justice system being used to threaten and punish those critical of government as the elec- tions approach, which has already had an alarming and chilling effect on freedom of speech in Cambo- dia,” said Chak Sopheap, executive director of Cambodian Center for Human Rights, commenting on the billboard case. “People have every right to criti- cize, insult, and satirize their gov- ernment or political leaders with- out fear of retribution,” she said. “It is unacceptable and unlawful for state authorities to subject individ- uals to judicial harassment and po- tential criminal charges simply for expressing their negative opinion of those in power.”

a

roadside ruling party billboard,

Police in Cambodia are seeking to arrest a woman who was seen on a video clip on Facebook show- ing her throwing a shoe at a bill- board of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Sam Sak, a police chief in west- ern Kampong Speu province, said Monday that his force was look- ing for 38-year-old Sam Sokha, who he said was understood to be

then throwing one shoe at the im- age on it of Hun Sen, followed by another at a picture of his par- ty colleague, National Assembly President Heng Samrin. “This man even came here to destroy the nation,” Sam Sokha can be heard saying in the video. It was not immediately known who originally posted the clip, but it was widely shared on social media. Kampong Speu provincial court prosecutor Keo Sothea is- sued a summons Saturday seek- ing to question Sam Sokha on charges of “insulting and inciting discrimination,” crimes that car-

ry a total of up to three years in prison if convicted.

a

labor activist and supporter of

ing a framework of democracy, tol- erates little opposition. But his grip

the opposition Cambodia Nation-

 

Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

al

Rescue Party.

on power seemed shaken in 2013’s general election, when the Cambo- dia National Rescue Party mount- ed a strong challenge, winning 55 seats in the National Assembly and leaving Hun Sen’s party with 68.

An activist wearing a costume of Jesus Christ reenacts his crucifixion as part of a symbolic protest against the numerous killings in connec- tion to the Philippine government’s anti-drug campaign during a Holy Week Lent rally outside the presidential palace in metro Manila, on Tuesday.

The provincial prosecutor’s of- fice issued a summons on Saturday for her to appear for questioning, but when she did not show up and apparently fled her home, it asked

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017

WEDNESDAY April 12, 2017 WORLD | | 11 Big bang   AROUND THE WORLD   AP

WORLD || 11

Big bang

 

AROUND THE WORLD

 
AP

AP

 

2,328 workers halted from going abroad

 

INDONESIA: The country’s immigration agencies have in the last three months prevented the departure of more than 2,000 Indonesian work- ers seeking employment overseas through illicit channels, ofcials say. As many as 2,328 Indonesians have had their passport requests blocked by immigration agencies across the country, according to a statement from the Immigration Directorate General at the Law and Human Rights Ministry. Directorate General of Immigration spokesperson Agung Sampurno said the operation to foil the departure of non-procedural workers was carried out in 92 regional immigration agencies nationwide. “The preventive measures taken to prevent non-procedural migrant workers is a priority program of the Immigration Directorate General in 2017,” Agung said in the statement on Tuesday. He said the majority of blocked requests were recorded at the Batam Immigration Ofce in Riau Islands province with 223 rejected applications, followed by the Jember and Tanjung Perak agencies in East Java, with 157 and 120 rejected applications, respectively. The Foreign Ministry’s director for the protection of Indonesian nation- als and entities abroad, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, welcomed the initiative to prevent non-procedural migrant workers from going abroad. — JP

Official punished for not daring to smoke

CHINA: Authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region have punished a local ofcial for declining to smoke in front of Muslim elders, seeing that as a sign he was insufciently committed to the region’s ght against religious extremism, according to a government report and state media Tuesday. Jelil Matniyaz, Communist Party head of a village in Hotan Pre- fecture, was demoted for “not daring” to smoke in front of religious gures, said the report, issued Saturday and reproduced by ofcial newspapers and websites. Matniyaz, identied as a member of Xinji- ang’s indigenous Uighur ethnic minority, was cited by the report as not having a “resolute political stance.” The state-run Global Times newspaper on Tuesday quoted other local ofcials as saying that government leaders should push back

against rather than comply with religious prohibitions against smoking to demonstrate their “commitment to secularization.” The punishment appears to be the latest extreme measure by the authorities to exert their will in Xinjiang, particularly its southern portion including Hotan where Uighur culture is strongest. Chinese authorities and the state-controlled media have increasingly equated religious expression with extremism in their ofcial rhetoric, partly in response to

Firefighters and rescue workers work at the site after an explosion which killed one man and injured a number of other people in Diyarbakir, Turkey, Tuesday. The explosion on occurred inside a workshop where a police armored vehicle was being repaired, officials said.

 

CHURCH ATTACK

State of emergency approved in Egypt

 

N.Korea media warns of nuclear strike

 

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bloody insurgency blamed on Uighur Islamic militants. — AP

Unexploded mortar round kills 4 children

 

Park Ju-min

North Korea media warns of nuclear strike on US if provoked

rity Council resolutions. The North’s foreign minis- try, in a statement carried by its KCNA news agency, said the US navy strike group’s approach showed America’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase.” North Korea and the rich, dem- ocratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regular- ly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the US. North Korea is emerging as one of the most pressing for- eign policy problems facing the administration of US President Donald Trump. It has conduct- ed five nuclear tests, two of them last year, and is working to devel- op nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the US. The Trump administration is reviewing its policy towards North Korea and has said all op- tions are on the table, including military strikes, but US officials said non-military action appears to be at the top of the list if any action were to be taken. The U.S. Navy strike group Carl Vinson was diverted from planned port calls to Austra- lia and would move toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, a US official told Reuters over the weekend. US officials said it would still take the strike group more than a week to arrive near the Korean peninsula.

AFGHANISTAN: An Afghan ofcial says a group of children were playing with an unexploded mortar round when it blew up, killing four of them. Police spokesman Mafuz Akbari says the deaths took place Monday

Osama Naguib and Amina Ismail

REUTERS/SEOUL

North Korean state media on Tuesday warned of a nuclear at- tack on the United States at any sign of a US pre-emptive strike as a US Navy strike group led by a nu- clear-powered aircraft steamed

towards the western Pacific. Tension has escalated sharp-

 

in

a remote district controlled by the Taliban in the northern Kunduz

REUTERS/ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT

US warships head for Korean peninsula

province. He says another six children were wounded and brought to a hospital in the provincial capital.

Families of victims of Sunday’s bombing at Alexandria’s Coptic cathedral gathered at the Mon- astery of Saint Mina under heavy security on Monday as Egypt’s cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency ahead of a scheduled trip by Pope Francis. Coffins of the 17 killed were lined up on the tiled square out- side the monastery ahead of the funeral. Police checked cars as they entered the grounds, with hundreds of people gathered out- side, and dozens of tanks lined parts of the road from Cairo. The blast in Egypt’s second largest city came hours after a bomb struck a Coptic church in Tanta, a nearby city in the Nile Delta, killing 27 and wounding nearly 80. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) movement, which has waged a campaign against Egypt’s Christian minority, the largest in the Middle East. The Copts, whose presence in Egypt dates to the Roman era, have long complained of religious persecu- tion and accused the state of not doing enough to protect them. Coming on Palm Sunday, when Christians mark the arrival of Je- sus in Jerusalem, the bombings appeared designed to spread fear among Copts, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population. They also raised security fears ahead of a visit to Cairo by Roman Catholic Pope Francis planned for April 28 and 29. Coptic Pope Tawadros, who was leading the mass in Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral when the bomb exploded, was not harmed, the Interior Ministry said. The nationwide state of emer- gency declared by President Ab- del Fattah al-Sisi and agreed by the cabinet on Monday is expect- ed to be approved by parliament within seven days in order to re- main in place. “The armed forces and police will do what is necessary to con- front the threats of terrorism and its financing,” the cabinet said in a statement. Measures would be taken to “maintain security across the country, protect public and private property and the lives of citizens,” it said. In Tanta, where many fami- lies buried their dead on Sunday, members of the Coptic commu- nity expressed anger at the lack of security, saying that despite warn- ings of an attack,