JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia is bracing to take a great leap forward in the field of energy, as the government is laying the groundwork to use nuclear energy.
Myanmar’s opposition government have urged Indonesia and other ASEAN member countries to give them a say, as the regional organization is set to meet in Jakarta next weekend to discuss the ongoing crisis in the country.
And the Indonesian National Police has requested aid from Interpol to nab an Indonesian citizen for blasphemy, after he created a stir by claiming to be the 26th prophet and insulting the Muslim ritual of fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This and more on Indonesia Highlights.
Indonesia Plans to Develop Nuclear Power to Generate Electricity
Minister of Research and Technology Bambang PS Brodjonegoro said the government is still preparing the development of nuclear power to generate electricity in the future.
Speaking in his capacity as the head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Bambang stressed the importance of nuclear power development to ensure a steady supply of electricity for Indonesia.
"We are still preparing for the development of nuclear technology. We have to ensure that as the economy grows in the future, there must be adequate electricity to support it," Bambang told a press conference after the National Energy Council Meeting in the State Palace on Tuesday, April 20.
Therefore, preparations in terms of technology and safety of nuclear energy development need to be carried out. He pointed out that this is part of the five programs of the national research on new and renewable energy.
Other research programs include the development of biofuels from palm oil, biogas, geothermal power plants, and electric batteries.
"The Ministry of Research and Technology/BRIN has launched several new and renewable energy research programs in the 2020-2024 roadmap," said Bambang.
"This (roadmap) is done to ensure the availability of energy as well as to change the composition of our energy towards new and renewable ones. We need to prepare for technological innovation because it’s very important," he added.
Myanmar Opposition Request Representation at ASEAN Meeting in Jakarta
Myanmar’s opposition figures have called on ASEAN to give them a say in the Association’s summit in Jakarta on Saturday April 24, following news that General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the country’s military junta will attend the meeting.
The deputy foreign minister of the opposition National Unity Government [NUG], Moe Zaw Oo, criticized ASEAN for inviting General Min to the summit.
“If ASEAN wishes to aid in resolving the crisis in Myanmar, they will not get far if they do not consult with NUG. [The NUG] is [Myanmar’s] legitimate government, because we have the support of the people,” Moe said to Burma Voice of America last Sunday.
“It is imperative that ASEAN member countries not recognize the military junta.”
The AFP news agency reported that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged ASEAN member countries to take more actions to end the crisis in Myanmar.
"ASEAN's role is more crucial than ever as the region faces an urgent crisis in Myanmar,” Guterres said. "I urge regional actors [such as ASEAN] to leverage their influence to prevent further deterioration and, ultimately, find a peaceful way out of this catastrophe."
The ASEAN summit will be General Min’s first official overseas trip since he masterminded the overthrow and arrest of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader that holds the NUG’s loyalty.
Human rights groups in Myanmar noted that the army has killed at least 730 civilians in their violent crackdown against opposition to the coup.
ASEAN member countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are also hampered by its policy of non-intervention in the member countries’ internal affairs, as stated in its charter.
Indonesian Police Name Jozeph Paul Zhang A Suspect in Blasphemy
The Indonesian National Police has named an Indonesian citizen overseas named Jozeph Paul Zhang alias Shindy Paul Soerjomoeljono as a suspect in a blasphemy case, after he declared himself as the 26th prophet.
“[The police] have put Jozeph’s name on our wanted list, after he declared himself a prophet. He also insulted the Islamic ritual of fasting during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan,” said police spokesman Brigadier General Rusdi Hartono on Tuesday.
“We will forward Jozeph’s name to Interpol so that they can put him on their red notice. He was proven to commit hate speech under [Indonesia’s] Electronic Information and Transaction Law, as well as blasphemy laws.”
Rusdi added that the police traced Jozeph’s whereabouts to Germany, and have requested the Indonesian embassy in Berlin to help with his case. However, he remained defiant.
“I have let go of my Indonesian citizenship , and am now under the jurisdiction of European laws. My actions cannot be prosecuted under Indonesian laws,” he said in a video on his YouTube channel Hagios Europe. But the police dismissed his assertion.
"Jozeph did not renounce his Indonesian citizenship when he left Indonesia for Hong Kong in January 2018, as there are no records of Indonesian citizens renouncing their citizenship between 2017 to April 2021,” said police spokesman Grand Police Commissioner Ahmad Ramadhan.
Investigators noted that he is fair game for Indonesian law, as he never gave up his Indonesian citizenship. If found guilty, Jozeph faces six years in jail and a Rp. 1 billion [$68,760.42] fine.
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