In the World Update #2
Indonesia denies political motive behind Indonesian AID establishment
On Friday, Oct. 18, Indonesia’s then Vice President Jusuf Kalla launched the Lembaga Dana Kerja Sama Pembangunan Internasional (LDKPI) or the Indonesia Agency for International Development (Indonesian AID). The agency will be jointly coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Development Planning, and Ministry of State Secretary. Indonesian AID includes three elements of assistance: technical assistance, physical development assistance, and humanitarian assistance. The current budget, derived from Indonesia’s State Budget, has reached IDR 3 Trillion as per 2019. Recipients of Indonesian AID include Fiji, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, dan Kiribati. International media states that Indonesia AID is a tool for Indonesia to pour money to Pacific countries that are vocally speaking out about Papua. Indonesia denies such claim.
Indonesia names new deputy foreign minister along with new cabinet
Mahendra Siregar named as Deputy Foreign Minister (DFM) on Friday, Oct. 25, along with the naming of 11 other deputy ministers. This came only two days (Oct. 23) after President Joko Widodo, who started his second term in office on Sunday, Oct. 20., announced his cabinet ministers. DFM Siregar replaces A.M. Fachir, a diplomat who speaks Arabic, has a broad interest in the Arab world, and was educated in an Islamic University in Jakarta. On the other hand, DFM Siregar was educated at the University of Indonesia and Monash University, Australia. Speaking perfect English, DFM Siregar who joined Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Department in 1986, was posted to the United Kingdom (1992–1995) and to the United States (1998–2001) — show that his performance is valued at his workplace. He represented Indonesia at the UNFCCC (2007–2009) and is Indonesia’s sherpa to G20 (2010). He was named Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Trade (2010–2011), Deputy Minister of Finance (2011–2013), Head of Investment Coordinating Board (2013–2014), and Ambassador to the United States (2019). The appointment of DFM Siregar signals Joko Widodo’s vision to sharpen Indonesia’s economic diplomacy for the next five years.
Joko Widodo taps top political rival as defense minister
President Joko Widodo named Prabowo Subianto, who run against him during this year’s presidential election, as defense minister — raising question as to how the country will approach its foreign relations, which in many respects, are highly entangled with its defense. A defense minister will represent country’s interest in so many ways, and will in many occasions, represented the country in meeting foreign counterparts. Prabowo, known for his human rights record, was denied a US visa when he intended to visit the US for his son’s graduation ceremony several years ago.
Netanyahu to let Gantz try form coalition
It had been 26 days on Oct. 21 since Netanyahu was given the chance to form a coalition to govern Israel. No deal was reached. According to Israeli law, now is the turn for Netanyahu’s political rival Gantz to try to form a coalition. Gantz will be given 28 days, just like Netanyahu to deliver the same task. Should Gantz fail to form the coalition, any member of parliament is entitled to form a government within 21 days window period. If that still does not work, the country will one again head to poll — a third time since the parliament was dissolved in November 2018.
HK: Extradition bill formally withdrawn, China mulls over Lam’s removal
Hong Kong Parliament formally withdrew the extradition bill, which has created unrest in the country for the past few months. However, with the developments in the past few months, protesters’ demands grew from only the withdrawal of the bill to five demands — one of them is universal suffrage in the territory. On the other hand, the Central Government is now mulling over the idea to remove Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive that governs the territory, before her term ends supposedly on 2022 because Beijing perceives that Lam has been unable to deal with the recent protest.