ndonesians will head to the polls on April 17 to vote for their president and members of Parliament. But all eyes will be on incumbent Joko Widodo as he squares off once more against former army general Prabowo Subianto in what is expected to be a tight rematch of the last presidential race in 2014.
For Mr Joko, the upcoming election will be a referendum on his presidency while Mr Prabowo is hoping that he will be third time lucky, having also contested as a vice-presidential candidate in 2009.
More than 192 million people are eligible to vote, and about 70 million of them are first-time voters between the ages of 16 and 20.
On October 23, 1417, the "king of the eastern country," Paduka Batara was buried in Dezhou, Shandong Province, China. Paduka Batara, along with two other kings, Maharajah Kolamating of the "west country" and Paduka Prabhu, the "Cave King", registered in Ming China as a tribute mission from Sulu in 1417.
This year (2017) will be the 600th year since the mission of Paduka Batara to China. To commemorate, three balangay boats were built and launched from Sulu to go to China, tracing the same route once taken by Paduka Batara. While it can be seen as friendly reminder of Filipino-Chinese relations, one may wonder why a Philippine "king" like him would bother going to a tribute mission to China? It is known that the Chinese tributary system involved China being the "Middle Kingdom" or the center of the world, with the rest of the states as subordinates. While the Chinese did not regard them as colonies, and did not administer them directly, they have become planets which gravitated and began revolving around the Chinese sun. In a way, however, is it perhaps symbolic of the Filipino kowtow (bowing down) to Chinese supremacy?
Human rights campaigners voice concern that the Constitutional Court's ruling to limit the government's authority in revoking regional bylaws will prompt regional administrations to issue discriminatory bylaws.
The Constitutional Court’s recent ruling curtailing the central government’s authority to revoke regional bylaws may embolden local politicians to issue more religiously-inspired regulations that are often discriminatory against women and minority groups, human rights activists have said.
As inequality widens, the government is pushing for tax reforms to reduce the gap through coordination with other countries.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Thursday that one of the solutions to fight inequality was improving the government’s ability to maximize tax collection from taxpayers.
The country’s tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio now stands at below 11 percent, the lowest among its regional peers, despite it being the largest economy in Southeast Asia.
The Communications and Information Ministry has urged Facebook to open a proper local office to enable it to adequately tackle complaints about fake news and negative content that spreads through the social media platform.
Minister Rudiantara conveyed the request during a meeting with the Asia Pacific-based delegation led by Facebook’s head of global policy management, Monika Bickert, on Tuesday, saying that the existence of an official office in Indonesia would enable the firm to better respond to content complaints and improve communication with the government.
Facebook, which has up to 96 million users in Indonesia, runs a small local representative office, while its regional office is located in Singapore.