The wRap Indonesia: Sept. 9, 2014
The wRap Indonesia: Sept. 9, 2014


The latest on the controversial local elections bill, lawmakers implicated in the hajj graft scandal, a petition to raise the marrying age for girls and more

JAKARTA, Indonesia – President-elect Joko Widodo’s comments on the controversial Regional Head Elections Bill and the 6 lawmakers implicated in the hajj graft scandal lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia the past day. 

1. Jokowi calls Regional Head Elections Bill ‘setback’ for democracy

President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday, September 8, that the Regional Head Elections Bill (RUU Pilkada) being pushed by Prabowo Subianto’s majority coalition in the legislature would be a setback for democracy. The bill seeks to go back to the old way of having the local legislature select regional heads – governors, mayors, district heads – as opposed to the current direct election system, raising protests from the public. Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a member of Prabowo’s party, pointed out that he and Jokowi would not have won in Jakarta if not for direct elections. Despite the strong public resistance to the bill, its supporters – 6 of the 9 parties in the legislature – insist it would be better for the country as it would reduce election costs, and risks of election violence and “money politics”. Others see it as a power play, with reporting that Prabowo’s coalition controls the local legislature in 31 of the country’s 34 provinces. The bill is set to go to plenary on Sept. 25 and will likely pass unless political alliances change over the next two weeks. Read more on Rappler.    

2. Travel bans slapped on 6 lawmakers over hajj graft, including former religious minister’s wife

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) announced Monday that it had imposed travel bans on 6 lawmakers in relation to its investigation into irregularities surrounding the hajj fund, which resulted in state losses amounting to IDR1 trillion ($85 million). The lawmakers include Wardatul Asriah, the wife of former Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, who resigned in May after being named a suspect by KPK in the case. Suryadharma is accused of using the hajj fund – deposits of would-be pilgrims – to fly dozens of people, including his relatives, ministry colleagues and lawmakers, to Mecca. Read the full story on the Jakarta Post and

3. 2 rare Sumatran elephants found dead in Aceh

DEAD ELEPHANT. This photograph taken by a villager on August 21, 2014, shows a man placing a fruit on a dead baby Sumatran elephant found in a river in Serbajadi in East Aceh district in Aceh province, located near the Leuser ecosystem forest conservation area. Two more Sumatran elephants were found dead in Aceh over the weekend. Photo by AFP

Two critically-endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in Aceh province with their tusks missing, police said Monday. The first was found in a palm oil plantation in East Aceh district on Sunday, while the other was discovered in Aceh Jaya district on Friday. There are fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, marking a 50% drop in numbers since 1985. Read the full story on Rappler.

4. Activists ask court to raise minimum marrying age to 18 for girls

The Constitutional Court on Monday heard a petition from a group of activists challenging articles in the 1974 Marriage Law that state girls can get married by the age of 16 or with the consent of both parents, reported. The rules, they argued, lead to a lot of underage marriages, thus depriving those girls their right to develop and grow, and threaten their reproductive health. The court, however, asked the activists to improve their petition and clarify how the articles in question violated the Constitution.     


JAKARTA ROADS. Motorists in Jakarta's central business district. File photo by AFP

5. First day of Jakarta’s illegal parking crackdown sees 11 motorists fined and much confusion 

Jakarta’s transportation authority began its crackdown on illegal parking on Monday, charging 11 motorists with the hefty IDR500,000 ($42.50) fine. Transport officers also removed the tire valve stem from 33 illegally parked cars and 53 motorbikes, Kompas daily reported. Many of those caught, however, complained they were unaware of the new policy.




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