Stalled Jesus statue project dismantled in North Sumatra because of construction flaws

first_imgFurther investigation also revealed that the steel frame tilted 4 centimetre’s forward, which would cause the statue to be unbalanced when completed, Horas added.North Tapanuli regent Nikson Nababan apologized to residents for the demolition and asked them to understand that it was in accordance with the court’s ruling on the safety of the construction.The regency administration began the project in 2013 during the term of previous regent Torang Lumbantobing. However, the project was stalled because of legal issues.The deputy head of economic affairs in the administration, Osmas Silalahi, said the administration decided to dismantle the statue’s frame in late December over fears it could harm residents visiting the area. The administration is considering whether to build a replacement statue of Jesus in another location. (vny) The frame of a 45-meter-tall statue of Jesus in North Tapanuli regency, North Sumatra, was dismantled Thursday following a court order that declared that the stalled project had constructions faults.The North Tapanuli Prosecutor’s Office oversaw the dismantling of the project in Perbukitan Pea Tolong, Siatas district, on Thursday following a ruling by the Medan District Court on Aug. 8, 2017. The court ordered that the statue be demolished because construction flaws had be detected.North Tapanuli Police Chief Adj. Sr. Cmr. Horas Marasi Silaen explained that an investigation into the construction of the statue had uncovered a number of structural flaws, such as a cracked altar floor, welding and pipework that was not to standard and low quality concrete. Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia announces Rp 405 trillion COVID-19 budget, anticipates 5% deficit in historic move

first_imgIndonesia will issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) that will boost state spending by up to Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion) as the budget deficit is anticipated to widen to 5.07 percent of GDP in the nation’s fight against COVID-19.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Tuesday the Perppu would serve as a foundation for the government and banking and financial authorities to carry out “extraordinary measures to ensure the people’s health, safeguard the national economy and financial system stability”.Of the extra spending, the government will allocate Rp 75 trillion for healthcare spending, Rp 110 trillion for social protection and Rp 70.1 trillion for tax incentives and credit for enterprises. The biggest chunk, Rp 150 trillion, will be set aside for economic recovery programs including credit restructuring and financing for small and medium businesses. Jokowi will need approval from the House of Representatives to pass the Perppu. Indonesia’s 2020 state budget originally planned for Rp 2.54 quadrillion in state expenditure with a budget deficit of 1.76 percent of GDP, equal to Rp 307.2 trillion.“The House is ready to support mitigation measures needed by the government through the state budget and [we will support] a government regulation in lieu of law [Perppu] to improve fiscal resilience,” said House Speaker Puan Maharani during the House’s plenary meeting in Jakarta on Monday.Center of Reform on Economics (Core) Indonesia research director Piter Abdullah described the decision to increase spending and the state budget deficit limit as a “brave step that should be appreciated”.“We need a wider deficit to increase healthcare services and contain the COVID-19 pandemic, channel safety net assistance to those who are affected, as well as for stimulus for the business sector to speed up economic recovery,” Piter told The Jakarta Post.“The amount is enough although it is small relative to the stimulus and safety net measures of other countries. But this is a much-needed brave breakthrough amid the COVID-19 outbreak.”The World Bank has estimated that more than 11 million people could fall into poverty in East Asian-Pacific countries. The financial shock of the pandemic will have a serious impact on poverty, defined as a situation where an individual earns less than $5.5 a day, the bank said.In Indonesia, only one in five people is economically secure, according to the World Bank report Aspiring Indonesia. Around 24.8 million Indonesians live on under US$1 a day — 9.22 percent of the population — and more than 60 million are vulnerable to falling into poverty.“Lockdowns will inflict significant economic pain on those least able to take care of themselves,” World Bank East Asia Pacific chief economist Aaditya Mattoo told the media in telebriefing on Tuesday. “The [government’s] priority has to be to find a way to soften the pain both for households and informal workers.”Mattoo said the pandemic required drastic action, such as strong social distancing and travel restrictions, adding that the government had to provide compensation for informal-sector workers, such as by devising new sick pay arrangements.“It serves a double benefit: They soften the pain while they also encourage workers to stay at home,” he added.The government, he went on to say, must try and think of ways to provide credit liquidity transfers to firms and exempt them from tax payments.“If the firms go bankrupt, this can be durably destructive,” Mattoo said. “These are the complementary economic measures, that in the short run, when people can neither work nor consume as freely as they would have, are absolutely essential to minimize the economic pain and prevent short-term economic shocks.”Topics : “I have just signed a Perppu on state finance policy and financial system stability,” Jokowi said in a telebriefing. “We will issue the Perppu to anticipate the possibility of a state budget deficit that is estimated to reach 5.07 percent.”The relaxation of the state budget deficit limit from the current legal limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) will apply for three years until 2022. “Afterwards, we will return to imposing fiscal discipline of below 3 percent of GDP starting 2023,” he added.Indonesia’s fiscal discipline has been lauded, as the country has never exceeded its self-imposed state budget deficit limit of 3 percent of GDP introduced after the 1998 Asian financial crisis. The move to widen the state budget deficit, the first time in history, comes as Indonesia declared a public health emergency that involves imposing large-scale social restrictions as stipulated in the Health Quarantine Law.COVID-19 cases in Indonesia reached 1,528 on Tuesday with 136 deaths, just a month after the nation declared it had zero cases.last_img read more

COVID-19: Study shows high public trust in West Java administration

first_imgThe report calls on the administration to educate and prepare its citizens to anticipate the worst-case scenario of the current health crisis.“Administrative and public preparations may be bolstered by involving more parties, such as mass organizations, NGOs, academics and public figures,” the report said.As of Tuesday, West Java was the second most affected province in the country after Jakarta with 530 confirmed cases and 52 deaths. The administration’s Pikobar data showed that the highest number of positive cases in the province was recorded in Bandung city with 67 cases.The administration is currently reviewing requests for large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to be imposed in Greater Bandung that will be submitted to the Health Ministry following the approval of such measures in several areas of the province that border Jakarta.Topics : The analysis also showed increased public engagement and positive sentiment in regard to a number of key topics related to West Java’s response to the health emergency, such as rapid tests in the province, restriction of the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus) and pay cuts for administration officials including the governor, deputy governor and civil servants.TRUSTKepercayaan kepada pemda jabar naik melalui dibukanya peta sebaran COVID19 di Jabar, diadakannya Rapid Test, dan informasi yang lebih transparan soal sebaran kasus oleh @ridwankamil.— Ismail Fahmi (@ismailfahmi) April 11, 2020Governor Ridwan Kamil’s verbal delivery also factored into the equation, as the report found a correlation between his public persona and increased public support.“Ridwan Kamil, who communicates warnings in a relaxed tone without sacrificing the substance of his core messages, serves as one of the drivers of public support for the policies issued by the West Java administration,” the report stated.Ridwan’s criticism of the central government’s bureaucratic red tape amid the pandemic has also contributed to a higher level of public affinity for his administration, the study suggested. The West Java administration’s ongoing efforts to slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks have largely been well received by the public, according to a recent report by big data consulting firm Drone Emprit.The study analyzed overall public sentiment toward West Java’s handling of the health emergency as reflected in more than 150,000 tweets, 2,000 Facebook posts, 6,000 Instagram posts, 1,400 YouTube posts and 34,000 online news articles published between March 9 and April 9.The report found that netizens mostly viewed the West Java provincial administration as more trustworthy than the central government in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.last_img read more

Residents kill crocodile thought to have eaten man in Riau

first_imgThe residents of Teluk Lanus village in Siak regency, Riau captured and killed on Monday a 4-meter-long saltwater crocodile in the Lakar delta believed to have eaten Syafri, a 55-year-old fisherman from Meranti Islands regency. On Sunday evening, Syafri and his friend Toha were setting fish traps at the Lakar River delta when a crocodile attacked. Toha managed to escape the attack and tried to help Syafrin, but to no avail as Syafrin was dragged into the river by the crocodile.Toha immediately sought help from the Teluk Lanus village officers. Teluk Lanus residents teamed up with the Military and the Police to search for Syafri on Sunday, but the man was not found. The next morning, the search continued and residents found the left leg of a man in swamps not far from the location of the crocodile attack.Residents continued along the swamp canals in canoes and lay nets around the delta of the Lakar River.The crocodile was eventually captured, and residents decided to cut open the animal’s stomach to prove that it had eaten a man. Human body parts including a head were found inside the stomach.Read also: Jambi wildlife agency investigates death of crocodile Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) conservation and resources unit head Heru Sutmantoro regretted the man’s death.“We have long warned the public to avoid saltwater crocodile habitat and be careful around that area. This was not the first attack, similar attacks have happened before around the Lakar River,” he said on Monday.Heru said the agency had disseminated the information to residents in June 2019.“The victim probably did not know the area was a habitat for saltwater crocodiles,” he added.He also regretted that the crocodile was killed by residents. “Saltwater crocodiles are among the wild animals protected by the law,” said Heru.He said, however, that the Riau BKSDA had no authority to impose sanctions.“It is the authority of the Police or the Environment and Forest Ministry’s law enforcement center. We will increase our capacity in surveying and mapping crocodile habitats as well as monitoring the crocodiles,” he said. (aly)Topics :last_img read more

Beer convoys en route to outback Aussie pubs as lockdown lifted

first_imgOn Thursday, Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner welcomed the first shipment of 175,000 liters of “the good stuff”.”The beers are here and the jobs are back,” Gunner said at a press conference surrounded by some freshly delivered cases.The beer market has dipped 20 percent since the lockdown with the loss of keg sales hitting brewers and pubs hard, said Lion Beer Australia — one of the largest brewers in the country.”March 23 was the most devastating and soul-destroying day our industry has ever experienced,” the firm’s Managing Director James Brindley said of the day pubs and restaurants across Australia were ordered closed as part of lockdown restrictions.  Trucks laden with thousands of beer kegs headed to Australia’s remote Northern Territory on Friday as pubs there prepare to reopen after weeks-long virus shutdown.With the fewest cases of COVID-19 of any of Australia’s states and territories, the region has authorized pubs to serve drinkers inside their doors from May 15.”I understand there’s a whole bunch of kegs on their way to Darwin as we speak, running up the highway — much eagerly anticipated, I’m sure,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told media in Canberra. “For many of us being able to get back to the local and have a beer with our mates is the morale boost that we’ve all been waiting for,” he said.Some social-distancing measures will remain in the Northern Territory, with drinkers required to eat a meal and limited to two hours in a venue.But in a national plan outlined by the prime minister on Friday, other regions may have to wait a while before they could also head to the pub, as the decision to reopen is up to individual states.”They’ve all got different starting points. The whole country has the same end-point — to get to a COVID-safe economy,” Morrison said, as he outlined a path out of restrictions.Virus cases in the nation have slowed in past weeks, with close to 7,000 confirmed cases and 97 deaths connected to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.The sparsely populated Northern Territory has registered just 30 cases and no deaths.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Jokowi raises BPJS Kesehatan premiums, again

first_imgThe premium for the third-class service was increased by a smaller amount, from Rp 25,500 to Rp 42,000, and the government will provide a Rp 7,000 subsidy for this service category, so participants only have to pay Rp 35,000.Read also: BPJS Kesehatan to return excess payments as participants continue to pay higher premiumsThe decree also states that the premium raise only applies to workers who pay their premiums independently, rather than paying through a cost-sharing structure between employees and employers.According to the decree, the premium hike takes effect immediately.BPJS Kesehatan manages Indonesia’s national health insurance (JKN). In October last year, the President signed Perpres No. 75/2019, which stipulated a similar rise for BPJS Kesehatan premiums.However, the Supreme Court revoked the regulation in March, arguing that the provision violated a number of prevailing laws. (dpk)Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has raised the premiums for the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) – roughly two months after the Supreme Court annulled his earlier decision to increase the premiums.The higher rates are stipulated in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 64/2020 on health insurance signed by Jokowi May 5. The Perpres is the second amendment of the previous regulation, Perpres No. 82/2018, on the same matter.The new regulation raises the premium for the first-class service to Rp 150,000 (US$10.11) per month per person from Rp 80,000, while almost doubling the cost for the second-class service from Rp 51,000 to Rp 100,000.last_img read more

Jakarta starts easing restrictions as places of worship reopen

first_imgThe move comes as the Jakarta administration extended its PSBB status with additional provisions to gradually ease restrictions throughout the month of June. During this transition period, Anies vowed, the city would undo the reopening of various places should case numbers surge again.Munahar Muchtar, the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI) Jakarta chapter, said Muslims in the capital would be allowed again to observe mass Friday prayers, with the exceptions of areas declared as infection “red zones”.“In the community units [RW] declared as red zones, we don’t recommend any resumption of activities at mosques to prevent contagion,” Muhahar said in a press conference on Thursday.The Jakarta administration has revealed that 66 RW, or 2.48 percent of the city’s total number of community units, are considered red zones due to the growing number of cases.Aside from the capital, Jakarta’s satellite cities also have plans to reopen houses of worship.The Banten administration has issued a decree detailing a transitional phase of the PSBB that ushers in the so-called “new normal” for the municipalities of South Tangerang and Tangerang as well as Tangerang regency.The decree stipulates that places of worship may resume their activities, although details of the protocol would be prescribed in separate regulations.Other regions, particularly in agglomeration areas spilling into West Java, such as Depok, Bekasi and Bogor, have also hinted at a gradual reopening of places of worship in select areas.The move follows the issuance of Religious Affairs Ministry guidelines for reopening places of worship last Friday.“Houses of worship must set the best example on curbing the spread of COVID-19,” Minister Fachrul Razi said recently.In largely conservative Indonesia, where religion plays a significant role in the fabric of society, worshipers have had to refrain from mass religious gatherings to curb the spread of the disease.Places of worship have proven to be a fertile breeding ground for COVID-19. A recent report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict found that the lack of an early response to ban mass religious gatherings had contributed to the emergence of infection clusters in South Sulawesi and West Java.The city of Brebes in Central Java was designated a COVID-19 red zone early last month after 16 of its residents had tested positive for the disease upon returning from an Islamic event in Gowa, South Sulawesi, while 127 people were infected at a church seminar in Lembang, West Java.Indonesians have since turned to virtual congregations as the outbreak temporarily shuttered various houses of worship, even though a government ban on public congregations did little to stop people from observing mass Idul Fitri prayers last month.But the government’s plan to gradually reopen places of worship has also drawn mixed responses from the general public, with many insisting that any possible easing of curbs anywhere should be contingent on low risk of transmission.Religious groups have urged local administrations and the public as a whole to enforce health protocols during mass prayers.Robikin Emhas, chairman of the country’s largest grassroots Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, said health protocols should be observed as a part of ikhtiar (religious effort) to maintain ones’ health and safety.“That is also God’s commandment,” he told The Jakarta Post.The chairman of the nation’s second-largest Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, Haedar Nashir, said the group had called for Muslims in red zones to continue observing prayers at home.In green zones that are considered “safe” from infection, sunnah (optional) and fardhu kifayah (collective obligations) prayers may also be observed at home if the other rites had been completed, Haedar said.“[Muslims] should prioritize their health, weigh the benefits [of their actions] and account for safety and security considerations […] to prevent mafasadat [harm] and to curb COVID-19 transmission,” he said in a circular distributed on Thursday.Concerns about the transitional policy are not limited to the nation’s Muslim majority.Jandi Mukianto, the vice chairman of the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi), stressed that regions with plans to reopen houses of worship had to be able to guarantee that health protocols were implemented.”[Local administrations and the public] should also be prepared to close them again should cases surge again,” he told the Post.Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) chairman Gomar Gultom has urged church administrators not to resume activities without first implementing the necessary health protocols.“There is no guarantee that people who go to church are free from COVID-19,” he said.Topics : Houses of worship include mosques, mushola (Muslim prayer rooms), churches, viharas, temples and klenteng (Chinese temples), Anies said during a live-streamed press conference announcing the extended but relaxed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).Among several rules governing religious rites at places of worship, attendees are required to maintain a safe distance of 1 meter from others and clean up before and after their prayers.Room capacity will be halved, and opening hours will be restricted to activities considered routine.For the city’s many mosques and mushola, attendees must bring their own prayer mat and bag for footwear storage, as the usual cubbyhole services are still suspended. Jakarta, the first epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia, is claiming a reduction in the rate of infections and welcomes a period of fewer restrictions, including the reopening of houses of worship, beginning on Friday.center_img “Activities at houses of worship may resume […] but only for routine activities, and [attendees] must follow health protocols,” Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Thursday.last_img read more

West Java extends PSBB in Jakarta’s satellite cities until July 2

first_imgThe West Java administration has extended large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Bogor, Depok and Bekasi (Bodebek) until July 2.West Java COVID-19 task force secretary Daud Achmad said the 28-day extension of the policy in Jakarta’s satellite cities had become effective on Saturday. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has issued a circular on the province’s plan to prepare for the so-called “new normal” to resume certain activities under health protocols. The letter was distributed to regents and mayors across the province.In the circular, Ridwan asked regents and mayors to set PSBB policies that were proportional to the level of emergency in their respective areas. The governor also asked regional leaders to give leeway for religious activities in houses of worship.The provincial administration has urged mayors and regents to be consistent in sanctioning people found in violation of PSBB.“Regency and city administrations are required to submit a proposal to revoke PSBB and implement the new normal policy to the Health Minister through the governor. They must attach a study showing their preparedness to implement the new normal policy,” Daud said.As of Saturday, health authorities had confirmed 2,376 cases of COVID-19 in West Java, with 158 deaths and 779 recoveries. Nationwide, there have been 30,514 cases and 1,801 deaths.Topics : He said polices would be adjusted to each district, village and sub-district based on the level of emergency. The policy would also be adjusted to Jakarta’s plan to gradually ease restrictions in several sectors in June.Daud added that Bodebek residents were required to follow PSBB and continue wearing masks, washing their hands and maintaining physical distance.“The key to the success of PSBB in Bodebek is the public’s adherence to the rules, which could help break the COVID-19 transmission chain,” said Daud.Read also: Indonesia records unprecedented daily spike in COVID-19 caseslast_img read more

Brazil resumes publishing virus toll, criticizes WHO

first_imgBrazil’s government resumed publishing the country’s total death toll from the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, after facing accusations of trying to hide the magnitude of its raging health crisis.Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government had stopped publishing the total number of deaths from the new coronavirus Friday, saying it was adopting a new methodology and would only report the number of deaths recorded in the past 24 hours in its daily bulletin.That drew accusations of foul play from a long list of high-profile critics, as well as a ruling from Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes on Monday that the government must return to the old format. Bolsonaro, who famously compared the virus to a “little flu,” has railed against the consensus response to the pandemic, saying stay-at-home measures are needlessly wrecking the economy.He threatened Friday to quit the World Health Organization over “ideological bias” — criticism echoed Tuesday by his foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo.”The WHO lacks independence, transparency and coherence. The foreign ministry is following its role with great concern,” Araujo said.”We need to look into it. Is it a matter of political influence, is it a matter of non-state actors influencing the WHO?”Bolsonaro’s threat to quit the WHO followed in the footsteps of President Donald Trump, whom he admires, and who withdrew the United States from the organization last month.Trump accused the WHO of bias in favor of China, with whom his administration has clashed over the origin and handling of the pandemic. The health ministry did so Tuesday, indicating the death toll had risen by 1,272, to a total of 38,406 people killed by the virus — the third-highest toll in the world, after the United States and Britain.The ministry said the total number of confirmed infections had risen to 739,503, the second-highest caseload in the world, after the US.Experts say under-testing means the real numbers in the country of 212 million people are probably much higher.The health ministry did not immediately respond to questions from AFP on why it returned to the old format and its plans for the future.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Portugal brings back some coronavirus lockdown measures in Lisbon

first_imgPeople in several parts of Greater Lisbon will have to go back to staying at home from next week as Portuguese authorities deal with a worrying wave of coronavirus on the city’s outskirts, the government announced on Thursday.Those living in the affected areas of the capital – a total of 19 civil parishes that do not include downtown Lisbon – will be allowed to leave home only to buy essential goods such as food or medication, and to travel to and from work.”The only effective way to control the pandemic is to stay home whenever possible, keep physical distance at all times and always maintain protection and hygiene standards,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference. The measure will be in place from July 1 until July 14 and it will then be reviewed, according to a government document.In the designated 19 areas, there will be a limit of five people for gatherings, compared to 10 in Greater Lisbon as a whole and 20 for the rest of the nation.Thursday’s announcement came after the government introduced restrictions on Tuesday that included an order for most commercial spaces in Greater Lisbon, excluding restaurants, to shut at 8 p.m. each day.Overcrowded trains There will be more police patrols to ensure people follow the rules, and those who fail to comply will be punished, Costa said.Portugal, which has reported a total of 40,415 cases and 1,549 deaths from the coronavirus, has been hailed as a success story in the fight against the disease. It began lifting its lockdown on May 4.But localized outbreaks in poorer neighborhoods and industrial hubs, as well as stemming from parties and raves along the coast, have kept cases increasing at a steady daily rate in the hundreds for the past month.Images of overcrowded trains and buses to and from the city center have raised alarms, with many people blaming public transport for the new cases.Topics :last_img read more