The wRap Indonesia: Nov. 18, 2014
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Reactions to the fuel price increase and Jakarta's new minimum wage lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia.
1. Protests online but no widespread demonstrations after fuel price hike
Within minutes of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo announcing the subsidized fuel price hike on Monday, November 17, gas stations were flooded with motorists seeking to buy the last of the cheap fuel. In Jakarta, students protesting in front of the Cikini gas station burned a rubber tire. In Malang, students sealed a gas station after midnight, but other residents quickly drove them away. In Makassar, a hotbed of protest activity, students and Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) hurled stones at each other. But these are comparatively few and small compared to previous protests against fuel price hikes.
By Tuesday morning, the streets were free of protesters but netizens against the price hike made their sentiments known using the hashtags #SalamGigitJari and #Salam2Ribu (a play on Jokowi's #Salam2Jari campaign hashtag) and #ShameonyouJokowi, which topped Twitter trends for Indonesia.
To protest the fuel price hike, the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) also announced a nationwide strike on Wednesday – which they also did when fuel prices rose in 2008 and 2013. Such strikes did not paralyze transportation in the past.
2. Jakarta minimum wage set at IDR2.7 million
The minimum wage in the capital in 2015 will be IDR2.7 million ($221) per month – higher than the IDR2.53 million figure set by the wage council as the minimum needed to live decently in the capital, and much lower than the IDR3.5 million workers demanded. Acting Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama signed the decree on the minimum wage on Monday, and is set to announce it on Tuesday. The tough-talking would-be governor said companies who can't affort to pay new wage should just leave Jakarta. At the same time, he also said workers who complain that Bekasi, a city on the outskirts of Jakarta, has a higher minimum wage of IDR2.9 million should move to that city instead.
3. Ahok's inauguration set for Nov. 19
Ahok said on Tuesday that his inauguration as governor of Jakarta will be held on Wednesday, November 19, at the Presidential Palace. "The plan is for the inauguration to take place at 2pm tomorrow at the Palace," he told reporters, according to Kompas.com. Jokowi is set to inaugurate Ahok himself – the first time the head of state will swear in a governor under a new government regulation in lieu of law on regional elections issued by former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that mandates it. Police and military have said they were ready to secure the inauguration, amid hard-line opposition to the first ethnic Chinese governor of the capital.
4. More than $6 million in cash confiscated from convicted former taxman
The Attorney General's Office formally confiscated on Monday the assets of a former tax officer convicted in 2010 of accepting bribes to manipulate the tax bills of companies. And it was pretty substantial. Gayus Tambunan, who was only 31 when he was caught, had more than $6 million in US and Singapore dollar bills and 31 gold bars confiscated from him. The assets had been stored at bank Indonesia and would now be turned over to the state treasury. These are aside from the luxury house in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, that was also taken from him.
5. Woman from Yogyakarta could be jailed over Facebook post
Ervani Emy Handayani, a 29-year-old woman from Yogyakarta, was granted temporary release from prison on Monday, Detik.com reported. But her ordeal is not yet over. She was detained on October 29 after she went on Facebook to complain about the dismissal of her husband from his job. Her husband's bosses saw the post and reported her to the police for defamation under Indonesia's controversial Electronic and Information and Transaction (ITE) law. The court said she would be fined IDR30 million ($2,455) and immediately arrested if she misses a hearing. – Rappler.com