KOMPAS.com – Despite a top aide of Indonesian President Joko Widodo was named chairman of the Democratic Party, the government remains to recognize Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) as the legitimate leader of the opposition party.
The appointment of Moeldoko, who is also the president’s chief of staff, was challenged by Agus who said that the extraordinary congress was illegal and unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, in Papua, a passenger boat carrying more than 100 people, including children caught fire in a Sorong port after arriving from Waisai Raja Ampat Port.
Below are the editors’ picks stories published on Kompas.com:
Agus Yudhoyono Remains Legitimate Chairman of Democratic Party: Indonesian Minister
Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said the government remains to recognize Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) as the legitimate leader of the Democratic Party, one of the opposition parties in the country.
Mahfud's remark came after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's chief of staff Moeldoko was appointed chairman of the opposition party in an extraordinary congress which was described as illegal and unconstitutional according to some critics.
"The official executive committee that has been recognized by the government until now is the one [led by] AHY, the son of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono [Jokowi's predecessor]," said Mahfud on Saturday, March 6.
Mahfud said, however, the government could not prevent the extraordinary congress from happening. The meeting, which was claimed to replace AHY, was held by the anti-AHY camp in North Sumatera's Deli Serdang on Friday at around 3 pm.
He added that in the government's view, the extraordinary congress held by the anti-AHY camp was merely a get-together event attended by the Democratic Party cadres.
Therefore, the government could not interfere with the event based on Law No. 9/1998 on freedom of expression.
"The law mentions that it is allowed to organize a general meeting as long as it meets certain requirements such as the event will not be held at the State Palace," said Mahfud.
He went on to say that the government could not certify the legitimacy of the extraordinary congress against AHY because the government has yet received any report.
Passenger Boat Catches Fire in Papua’s Sorong Port
Passenger boat KM Fajar Baru 8 carrying 126 people, including children caught fire in a Sorong port, Papua on Sunday, March 7. No injuries were reported.
The incident took place around 7:30 pm local time after the unloading and loading processes.
“When the incident happened, I was already disembarking from the boat. Suddenly, I heard a sound of an explosion and black smoke was seen,” an eyewitness known as Ismail told reporters on Sunday.
Raja Ampat Police chief, Adjunct Senior Commissioner of Police (AKBP) Andre JW Manuputty, said that KM Fajar Baru 8 departed from Waisai Raja Ampat Port to Sorong Port at around 2:30 am.
“The passenger boat carried 110 passengers and 16 crew members. The ship was in good condition when it was previously docked in Waisai Port," said Andre.
Most of the passengers are residents. The incident is currently under investigation.
Indonesian Flag Carrier Garuda Operates Cargo-Only Flight to Hong Kong
Indonesia’s national flag carrier Garuda on Saturday started to operate their cargo-only flight from Surabaya to Hong Kong in a bid to boost the competitiveness of national leading export commodities, especially from East Java province.
The special Surabaya-Hong Kong cargo flight is served once a week with an Airbus A330-300 that carries 30-40 tons. The flight departs from Juanda International Airport in Surabaya at 6 am local time and arrives in Hong Kong at noon local time.
Garuda Indonesia’s president director Irfan Setiaputra said that special cargo flight is one of the potential business opportunities that will be continued in line with the growing trend of cargo transportation.
“With the development of the cargo flight network, we hope that the direct export activities of prime commodities from Surabaya and its vicinity can be more competitive to accelerate the national economic recovery, especially in East Java,” Irfan said in a statement on March 6.
Irfan added that the cargo flight could further increase the level of competitiveness of the products from East Java as they will be delivered faster without having to transit in some flight hubs. Besides, the product quality is better maintained at a competitive price.
Sharing a similar sentiment, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa welcomed the company’s decision to operate the special cargo flight to Hong Kong.
“I really appreciate and fully support the special cargo flight service from Surabaya to Hong Kong starting from March 6,” Khofifah said.
“This will certainly contribute positively to our exports to Hong Kong and increase the competitiveness of our products at the same time,” said Khofifah.
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