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Former Speaker of the Indonesian Parliament, Bambang Soesatyo., Jakarta – Bambang Soesatyo, a senior politician of the Golkar Party and former House Speaker, was announced as the Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) for the 2019-2024 period by acclamation.

Soesatyo was supported by nine political factions in MPR and the Regional Representative Council (DPR) Group in MPR.

The plenary meeting of MPR led by temporary chairmen, Abdul Wahab Daimente (80) as the eldest MPR member, and Hiallary Brigitta Lasut (23) as the youngest member, at the Parliament Building, here on Thursday (3/10/2019) evening also announced nine new deputy chairmen of the MPR.

They are Ahmad Basarah of the PDIP Party, Ahmad Muzani from the Gerindra Party, Lestari Moerdijat from the Nasdem Party, Jazilul Fawaid from the PKB Party, Syarief Hasan from the Democratic Party (PD), Zulkifli Hasan from the PAN Party, Hidayat Nur Wahid from PKS, Arsul Sani from PPP, and Fadel Muhammad from the DPD Group in MPR.

On October 1, Puan Maharani, former coordinating minister for human development and culture and daughter of Megawati Soekarnoputri, chairwoman of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), was named the new Speaker of the House of Representatives (DPR) for the 2019-2024 legislative term.

Puan Maharani was sworn in together with new Deputy House Speakers, namely Azis Syamsuddin from Golkar, Sufmi Dasco Ahmad from Gerindra), Rahmat Gobel from Nasdem, and Abdul Muhaimin Iskandar from PKB.

In addition to this, the House of Representatives also endorsed the leadership line-up of nine factions in the DPR Tuesday night.

– The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction will announce its leadership on Wednesday, October 2.

– Golkar Party faction: Chief, Aziz Syamsuddin; Secretary, Adies Kadir; Treasurer, Muhidin.

– Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party faction: Chief, Edhy Prabowo; Secretary, Desmond J Mahesa; Treasurer, Novita Wijayanti.

– National Democratic (NasDem) Party faction: Chief, Ahmad HM Ali; Secretary, Saan Mustofa; Treasurer, Ahmad Sahroni.

– National Awakening Party (PKB) faction: Chief, Cucun A Syamsurizal; Secretary, Fathan Subhi; Treasurer, Bertu Merlas.

– Democrat Party faction: Chief, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono; named of Secretary and Treasurer to be announced.

– Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) faction: Chief, Jazuli Juwaini; Secretary, Ledia Hanifa; Treasurer, Habib Aboe Bakar.

– National Mandate Party (PAN) faction: Chief, Mulfachri Harahap; Secretary, Yandri Susanto; Treasurer, Eko Hendro Purnomo. (rhp)

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The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD., Jakarta – The government took into account the impact on social and legal issues, as well as investment, before repatriating Indonesian foreign terrorist fighters, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD has assured. “There are some 660 alleged Indonesian foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) in various countries,” Mahfud said here Tuesday (21/1/2020).

Mahfud has held a meeting with some ministers and related institutions to discuss the repatriation of the Indonesian FTF.

Present at the meeting were Social Affairs Minister Juliari P Batubara, Law and Human Rights Affairs MInister Yasonna Laoly, Head of the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) Suhardi Alius, as well as representatives of the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Some of the fighters requested repatriation, while some others were returned by host countries, he said. “Some of the countries only return children, or women and children, but not the fighters.”

On the other hand, host countries were alarmed by their presence in their territories, he said.

“We have discussed the issues, whether or not we will return them all. It will not be easy because based on the constitution, each citizen has the right of citizenship and they should not become stateless,” Mahfud remarked.

The problem is that their return could pose a security threat, he said.

“This will involve some ministries. The Social Affairs Ministry, for instance, is dealing with the social impact while the Law and Human Rights Affairs Ministry with the legal issue and citizenship. Tourism and investment can also be affected if they pose a security threat,” he said.

President Joko Widodo has yet to make a decision on the repatriation of the FTF, Batubara said earlier.

“There is no decision yet (on Indonesian FTF). We have to wait for the President to decide,” Batubara said after the meeting. (zuh)

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Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD., Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, confirmed highlighting the issue of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang at his closed-door meeting with Chinese Ambassador in Jakarta Xiao Qian on Dec 5, affirming it had shaken Indonesian Muslims.

“I invited the Chinese ambassador to the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs’ office during which I told him that the situation pertaining to Uighur Muslims has perturbed several Muslims in Indonesia,” he stated.

In a statement on his Twitter account that quoted on Wednesday (24/12/2019) morning, Mahfud MD questioned the rationale behind a conflict erupting with Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang while other Chinese Muslims in other places felt secure.

The question he raised at the meeting with Ambassador Qian was in no way meant to intervene in the Chinese government’s affairs but instead to discuss the issue to unearth and address the root causes of the problem.

“I lay stress on the fact that we do not want to intervene in the problem. In its place, we are just keen to know about the problem. After he (the ambassador) explained it, it is sufficient. We do not want to intervene in the issue,” he explained.

Mahfud MD expressed interest in gaining a broader understanding of the issue of Uighur Muslims since during his several visits to China, he had noticed numerous mosques, halal restaurants, and Muslim settlements.

Indonesia shares a sound diplomatic relationship with China. Hence, Jakarta will not intervene in the Uighur Muslims-related issue since it is perceived as a domestic problem of the Chinese government.

“Hence, we adopt the approach of soft diplomacy. I just seek direct explanation from the Chinese ambassador,” he stated.

Over these past few months, China has come under the glaring light of global media outlets over its alleged human rights abuses against and mistreatment of Uighur Muslims.

On Dec 20, 2019, Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) Secretary General Anwar Abbas had urged the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Summit to take a firm, stern stance against China to optimally fight the repression of the Uighur ethnic group in Xinjiang.

“The MUI calls on participants of the summit of Islamic countries in Kuala Lumpur or the KL Summit to take a firm and stern stance against the Chinese government,” Abbas noted in a written statement made available to.

He stated that Muslims worldwide vehemently oppose China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims.

The Chinese government has committed blatant human rights violations against Uighur Muslims, including preventing them from offering religious services in accordance with their religion and belief, he pointed out.

“We realize that as a state, China has the right to govern them. However, they must not oppress the human rights of their people, especially the fundamental rights of Muslims there,” he remarked.

He urged the Chinese government to end violence against Uighur Muslims with immediate effect. The ethnic minority in China should be given an opportunity to exercise their religious rights and follow their religious teachings without any hindrance.

He cautioned that in the absence of this, the world will be siphoned into new local and global tensions.

“People in each country, especially Muslim nations, including Indonesia, will appeal to their government to take a firm stand with regard to the Chinese government. Thus, this will have a detrimental impact on the development they are conducting,” he added.

In response to this global allegation, the Chinese government maintains its stance by saying that the “Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity, or religion but about fighting violence, terrorism, and separatism. (abd)

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Deputy Chief of KPK, Laode M. Syarif., Jakarta – The amended law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) fails to comply with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), Deputy Chief of KPK Laode M. Syarif stated.

Indonesia has ratified the UNCAC, so it should conform to the convention’s principles and norms, Syarif remarked at the KPK’s Anticorruption Education Center here on Tuesday (10/12/2019).

“What is the mandate of the UNCAC that we have ratified? First, the anticorruption agency must be independent. Alhamdulillah (thank God), the KPK was once an independent agency. However, now, as we change it into a non-independent agency, it means that we did not comply with the UNCAC,” he expounded.

In 2012, he noted that some 80 countries had congregated in Jakarta and agreed on the “Jakarta Principles for Anti-Corruption Agencies”. It also made the KPK a model in corruption eradication.

“It said that the KPK has become a model. An anticorruption agency must be a permanent agency. It must be independent in terms of the financial aspect as well as human resources,” he noted.

He stressed that Indonesia should remain committed to eradicating corruption.

“We should revise the law on corruption first and not the law on KPK. However, we have to respect the parliament and government that have made the decision, although it is against the UNCAC,” Syarif stated.

The amended KPK Law contains articles that anti-graft activists claim would defang the KPK.

It also requires all KPK employees to be civil servants, which will turn it into a government body and necessitate the anti-graft body to obtain a wiretapping warrant from the supervisory council. (bfd)

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