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Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI), Jimly Asshiddiqe., Jakarta – Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Muslim Intellectuals (ICMI) Jimly Asshiddiqe asks all Indonesians to remain united and should not be split merely on difference in political preference ahead of the presidential election in April 2019.

“Indonesia is the most pluralistic nation and we should remind each other. In democracy we must respect each other,” Jimly said as a key speaker at a public discussion on `Strengthening National Unity in Political Constellation` held by the state run Islamic University in Ciputat, Banten on Monday (22/10/2018).

The former chairman of the Constitutional Court expressed concern with heated political situation, marked with rampant hoaxes and hate speeches in social media.

Debates in social media are more often degraded into a slanging match, each seeking to bring down the other in the run up to the legislative elections held at the same time with presidential election, Jimly said.

He called on the public especially students and those called millennial to be wiser.

“Lately social media were used as instrument to insult and seek to bring down political rivals. It is not right. Students are millennial not a hick. We have to learn to respect and accept differences,” he said.

Jimly, who is also the former chairman of the Honorary Council of Election Organizer (DKPP) repeated his call for national unity despite difference in political preference. (nat)

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Indonesian Health Minister, Terawan Agus Putranto., Jakarta – Indonesian Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto has dispatched a special team to examine and handle the spread of anthrax in Ponjong and Semanu Subdistricts in Gunung Kidul District, Yogyakarta Province.

“My team has been deployed in the district because the spores are there. We are directly monitoring and examining that,” he told journalists at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta Thursday (16/1/2020) while commenting on the spread of anthrax in Gunung Kidul District.

In helping to cure those who tested positive, the health ministry supplied antibiotics, he said and added that anthrax might have infected several residents who consumed the meat of a dead cow.

On January 4, 2020 the health workers found that 600 residents of the two subdistricts could have been affected by anthrax, and 78 of them were observed to have the clinical features of this disease, Head of the Disease Prevention and Control Unit at the Gunung Kidul Health Office Sumitro said.

The local health authorities sent the blood samples of the victims for tests. The result showed that 27 people had tested positive to the disease, he told journalists.

The infected residents had been administered antibiotic prophylaxis for 20 days, and were required to undergo another blood test at Bogor city’s BBVEt facilities in West Java Province, Sumitro said.

The residents who were suffering from the general signs and symptoms of this anthrax were just administered an antibiotic, he said, adding that the infected residents were not isolated because the disease was not contagious.

“Anthrax is a major cause of fatalities in cattle, sheep, goats, camels, horses, and pigs throughout the world,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated.

It had caused the death of the owner of the infected cow because he had consumed meat of the dead cow and regularly cleaned the cattle cage, Sumitro further said.

In halting the spread of the disease, the district’s health authorities had closely coordinated with those from the Food and Agriculture Office regarding education and public awareness campaign programs.

“We have also disseminated information to the people at large urging them to cook all meat properly, and not to consume the meat of ailing animals,” he added.

The anthrax poisoning cases have repeatedly occurred in certain parts of Indonesia over these past few years. But, according to Widagdo Sri Nugroho, a University of Gadjah Mada (UGM)’s veterinarian, “anthrax is found in almost all countries.”

He was quoted by the UGM’s official website (2017) as saying that “Of 180 states that join veterinary health organizations, anthrax is found in 94 percent of states. In Indonesia, it has been identified since 1884 in Teluk Betung, Lampung.”

Some 22 provinces in Indonesia are endemic, Nugroho noted. In handling the disease, farmers need to be aware of their cattle’s condition and are urged to contact veterinarians who would examine their cattle for any indications of anthrax, he added. (han)

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Minister of National Development Planning/Head of Bappenas, Suharso Monoarfa., Jakarta – The government discussed the archetype of the new capital city in East Kalimantan and will begin the construction of basic infrastructure in the first semester of 2020, Minister of National Development Planning/Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Suharso Monoarfa, said.

“The archetype of the new capital city has been discussed but according to the timeline, hopefully, the construction (of the city) can start in 2021,” Monoarfa said here on Monday (16/12/2019).

According to the minister, the construction of basic infrastructure such as roads can begin in the first half of 2020.

During the meeting on the relocation of the capital city, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reiterated that the move would also affect the development of the economy and education, as well as research and innovation centers, in addition to the relocation of government buildings.

The relocation of the capital city is aimed at encouraging economic transformation outside Java Island.

Jokowi said that the development of the new capital city should consider the movement of the basic economy toward a smart economy, and it is expected to mark the transformation process of productivity, creativity and the national industry.

Related news: New capital city must be aligned with smart-metropolis concept: Jokowi

The new capital city is also designed to become the center of research and innovation that applies smart energy and smart food production to boost the development of small and medium-scale enterprises.

The president has decided to relocate the capital city to North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara in East Kalimantan Province as it has a minimum disaster risk, and is located at the center of Indonesia close to the already developed cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.

The development of the new capital city would need an area of 256 thousand hectares. (ant)

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Indonesian Minister of Religion, Fachrul Razi., Jakarta – Indonesian Minister of Religion Fachrul Razi has called for religious moderation to be developed by the community to maintain religious tolerance in the country. “I think in our current situation it is very important because our nation is full of diversity,” Fachrul Razi said in Jakarta, Tuesday (19/11/2019).

Religious moderation should be developed continuously because it is firm about each other’s teachings but still full of tolerance, Facrul stated.

The government through the Ministry of Religion is currently developing and strengthening religious moderation.

Moreover, the previous religious affairs minister had launched a book on religious moderation.

Quoting a speech from Prof. Muhammad Adlin Sila, religious moderation is an effort to present a middle path for two extreme groups between liberalization and conservatism in understanding religion.

“The aim is to bring harmony in our lives as fellow nation’s children,” he remarked.

In his speech, Muhammad Adlin called on all parties to be aware of the emergence of exclusive and intolerant religious groups who often claimed that their understanding was the best while others were not or were misguided.

Meanwhile, Prof. Muhammad Adlin Sila, one of the research professors inaugurated by the minister, said that factually the Indonesian people currently have strong attitudes on diversity.

It was marked by the tendency to present religion not only by its symbols but also by its teachings in public life.

“These symptoms are not only for Muslims but for other religious communities as well,” he said.

Religious expressions in the public sphere, especially from Muslims, were already witnessed at the beginning of the reform era. (ant)

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