JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police is set to receive a new chief, after Parliament approved the selection by acclamation of Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, President Joko Widodo’s former aide, to the post.
State Owned Enterprises [ BUMN ] Minister Erick Thohir continues to refute hoaxes on Covid-19 vaccines, more than a week after Indonesia started a mass vaccination drive against the pandemic.
And the government has decided to extend its Enforced Restriction of Community Activities [ PPKM ] policy in Java and Bali, after the number of daily Covid-19 cases doubled in the beginning of 2021. Read on for more of these stories, as curated by our editors:
Parliament Approves Jokowi’s Former Adjutant as Next Police Chief
The House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs has approved the nomination of Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo as the new Indonesian National Police chief on Wednesday, January 20.
The former aide to President Joko Widodo will replacing his outgoing predecessor General Idham Azis, who is due to retire this month.
“The House of Representatives’ Commission III have agreed to the honorable discharge of General Idham Azis as chief of the Indonesian National Police, and the appointment of Commissioner General Listyo Sigit Prabowo in his place,” said Commission III chairman Herman Hery.
Herman added that Commission III will immediately send a letter to the House Speaker to schedule a plenary session for the formal confirmation.
The current Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) head promised to “resolve cases in Indonesia that caught the public attention in his first 100 days.”
While he pledged breakthroughs, such as limiting traffic police to regulate roads instead of issuing tickets and emphasizing on ‘restorative justice’, he did not shrink from potentially controversial steps.
These include reviving the Pam Swakarsa police cauxiliaries who were implicated in human rights abuses, particularly after the overthrowing of late President Soeharto’s New Order regime in 1998.
Indonesian Minister Tackles Covid-19 Vaccine Disinformation
Indonesian State Owned Enterprises Minister [ BUMN ] Erick Thohir continues to dispel lingering disinformation on the Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking at a hearing with Parliament's Commission VI on Trade, Industry, Investment, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and State Owned Businesses, he refuted a hoax based on the vaccines' barcodes.
“The vaccines do not contain a chip that will be implanted on our bodies when we are vaccinated. The barcodes are put on the vaccines to ease their distribution,” said the former owner of Italian Serie A soccer powerhouse Inter Milan.
“The barcodes are used to monitor [the vaccines’] distribution through GPS in real time, and ensure they get to their destination on time as well as with the correct temperature. We take these precautions to prevent irregularities in the vaccines’ distribution.”
Erick admitted that the government will continue to distribute private vaccines, though free vaccines for Indonesia’s population will still be priority. Indonesia aims to vaccinate at least 181 million people to gain herd immunity against Covid-19.
Government Extends Large-Scale Social Restrictions in Java and Bali
The government plans to extend large-scale social restrictions, now rephrased as Enforced Restriction of Community Activities [ PPKM ] in Java and Bali to February 8, after the policy came in force on January 11.
The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that they decided on the step, after the number of daily Covid-19 cases doubled to over 10 thousand after the Christmas and New Year holidays, reaching a new high of more than 14 thousand on January 16.
“The PPKM extension will start January 25 or two weeks after the policy was started on January 11, after we have not seen any meaningful reduction in Covid-19 transmission rates [in Java and Bali],” said Ministry of Home Affairs Director General for Area Administration Syafrizal.
"PPKM will be enforced more rigorously until the number of Covid-19 cases can be reduced significantly. This includes reducing the BOR [bed occupancy ratio].”
PPKM is marked by a bare minimum in the opening of businesses, such as 25 percent capacity in offices or 25 percent of diners in restaurants.
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