KOMPAS.com – The most wonderful time of year is here, but with everything that has happened in 2020, it feels anything but that.
Jakarta Vice-Governor, Ahmad Riza Patria extended a warm Christmas greeting to the followers of the Christian religion in a video posted on his social media account.
In his video, he asked for Indonesians to pray this Christmas and New Year’s holidays for Jakarta to be free of the Covid-19 virus. Riza is no stranger to the novel virus as he was infected by Covid-19 earlier this year.
Year-end holiday travelers spared no time to travel and return home as the operator of Indonesia’s main airport of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport reported a surge in the number of passengers.
According to the operator, Angkasa Pura II, passenger numbers soared 22 percent compared to the previous month. The number of year-end holiday flights also increased by 27 percent compared to November 2020.
In non-holiday related news, a University of Indonesia Headmaster, Hikmahanto Juwana stated that the Indonesian government will never start diplomatic relations with Israel even with a Rp 28T offer hanging over them from the US government.
Forging diplomatic relations with Israel is the equivalent of a suicide mission for the Indonesian government.
More details on today’s Indonesia news are highlighted below:
1. Jakarta Vice-Governor Makes a Covid-19-Related Christmas Wish
The coronavirus pandemic had a key role in Indonesia’s Christmas celebrations this year as the nationwide Covid-19 caseload exceeds 700,000.
Today alone, Indonesia recorded over 7,500 new Covid-19 cases. Jakarta Vice-Governor, Ahmad Riza Patria asked for followers of the Christian faith to pray that the city be free of the novel virus.
“Let us celebrate Christmas and New Year’s and extend a prayer to the Almighty God to have Jakarta and our beloved country be free of the Covid-19 virus.”
Riza also reminded the public to adhere to health protocols this year-end holiday throughout any activities that they decide to undertake.
Abiding by the rules seeks to prevent any virus transmission amid an epidemic that has continuously been on the up.
2. Passengers Flock Indonesia’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Indonesia’s main airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport was busy as passenger and flight traffic skyrocketed with holiday-goers who sought to travel.
Senior Manager of Branch Communication and Legal of Angkasa Pura II, Haerul Anwar stated that the company recorded nearly 900 domestic flights for travelers heading back to their hometowns between Dec. 23-24.
The rise in the number of passengers taking to the skies and traveling around this year-end holiday indicates how the government’s advice has fallen on deaf ears.
The Indonesian government cautioned the public to avoid any travel as historically, Covid-19 cases surged after a long-holiday though such warnings have clearly been ignored.
3. Indonesia Would Be on “Suicide Mission” If Diplomatic Relations with Israel Begins
Earlier this week, the US government offered Indonesia Rp 28T to open diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Indonesian government has since staunchly asserted that it is not interested in the offer.
University of Indonesia Headmaster, Hikmahanto Juwana is confident that Indonesia will never forge diplomatic relations with Israel as the move would be a suicide mission.
Hikmahanto explained that there are several ways the Indonesian government would be affected if it extends its arm to Israel.
One of the reasons which he stated was the strong feeling of sympathy and solidarity towards Palestine among Indonesia’s predominantly Muslim society.
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