January 09: Lionel Messi was named the world’s best player for fourth time in a row at the age of 25.
11: The Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced former beauty queen turned
Democratic Party (PD) politician Angelina “Angie” Sondakh to 4.5 years
in jail for corruption. She was found guilty of accepting more than Rp
34.9 billion (US$3 million) in kickbacks from the Permai Group, a
holding company belonging to convict Muhammad Nazaruddin — formerly a PD
lawmaker — in exchange for projects run by the Youth and Sports
Ministry (the construction of an athletes’ village for the 2011 SEA
Games in Palembang, South Sumatra) and the Education and Culture
Ministry (projects in 16 state universities). She was also ordered to
pay a fine of Rp 250 million.
Angie’s hopes for a presidential pardon
or remission were dashed on Dec. 21, when the Supreme Court handed down
a heavier sentence to Angie of 12 years. The court’s panel, presided
over by justice Artidjo Alkostar, also ordered her to reimburse Rp 12
billion and $2.35 million to the state.
January 31: The KPK named
then Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) chairman, Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq, a
suspect in a bribery case centering on the government’s procurement of
February 05: Siti
Hartati Tjakra Murdaya, once one of Indonesia’s richest women, was
sentenced by the Jakarta Corruption Court to 32 months’ imprisonment for
bribing the regent of Buol, Central Sulawesi.
February 12: The
Jakarta Corruption Court sentenced Amran Batalipu, the former regent of
Buol in Central Sulawesi, to 7.5 years in jail for bribery, the heaviest
punishment given to an official for committing the crime in the last
February 12: The Grammy awards saw Australian singer
Gotye, New York indie-pop trio FUN and British folk band Mumford &
Sons take home top honors on the music’s industry’s biggest night.
13: Defending champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, who were
also 2012 London Olympics gold medalists and 2011 World Champions, won
21-13, 21-17 against fifth-seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China at
the All England tournament in Birmingham, England.
March 18: After
months of disputes, Indonesian soccer fans finally saw a glimmer of
hope in the development of the most popular sport in the country
following the unification of the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI)
and its breakaway group, the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI)
as a result of the association’s extraordinary congress.
prolonged dispute had been described by many as a battle between two
powerful men: Arifin Panigoro, who supported the newly elected PSSI, and
Nirwan Bakrie, whose supporters created the KPSI. The dispute however,
was resolved in the congress and it was also agreed to unite the
country’s two separate leagues.
Due to the dispute, the PSSI
currently runs the Indonesian Premier League (IPL), while the KPSI
operates the Indonesian Super League (ISL). Starting next season, there
will only be one soccer league, run by the PSSI, with 22 participating
April 06: Around 50 Ahmadis
in Bekasi municipality, West Java, sealed themselves in the Al-Misbah
Mosque, which the municipal administration closed the day before in a
crack down. The Ahmadis refused to leave the mosque, which was
surrounded by a corrugated fence put up by the administration.
09: Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” who dominated British politics
for two decades, died following a stroke. She was 87.
Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh was in the spotlight for the
failure to distribute materials as scheduled for the 2013 high school
national exam, prompting exam delays in 11 provinces.
April 25: The Jakarta Post’s 30th anniversary
16: The Papua Police began their investigation of Adj. First Insp.
Labora Sitorus, a low-ranking officer at Sorong police precinct in West
Papua, for holding a bank account of over Rp 1 trillion, which was
allegedly linked to illegal logging and fuel smuggling.
08: Taufiq Kiemas, then People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker
and husband of former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, died in
Singapore after battling heart problems.
June 20: Members of the
Sampang Shia community were evicted from a sports complex where they had
sought refuge for the past year, and were forced to relocate to
Sidoarjo, East Java, less than a month after President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono received an international award in recognition of his work to
promote pluralism and human rights.
June 21: Students’ protests
and the increase of food staple prices as well as transportation fees
marred the country following the government’s announcement of the rise
of the subsidized fuel price from Rp 4,500 to Rp 6,500 per liter for
subsidized Premium gasoline and Rp 5,500 per liter for diesel fuel.
increase, which was too close to the Idul Fitri holidays, triggered
skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and pushed inflation to hit
highs. The price hike also prompted workers to stage protests, demanding
Yudhoyono, who floated the idea of raising gas
prices in 2010, offered five schemes worth Rp 29.4 trillion ($2.96
billion) to reduce the financial burden on the poor, including direct
cash assistance, scholarships and rice.
11: Hundreds of inmates, including a number of terrorists, escaped from
Tanjung Gusta Penitentiary in Medan, North Sumatra, after setting the
prison ablaze. The number of escaped inmates ranged from 150 to 200.
22: The wife of the UK’s Prince William, Kate Middleton (the Duchess of
Cambridge), gave birth to a baby son who was named Prince George.
11: Indonesian mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir and
men’s doubles duo Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan won titles at the
Badminton World Championship (BWF) in Guangzhou, China.
August 22: The rupiah passed 11,000 per US dollar.
03: Despite a sentence of 10 years and a Rp 500 million ($4,800) fine
handed down to former National Police Traffic Corps (Korlantas) chief
Insp. Gen. Djoko Susilo for corruption and money-laundering, the Jakarta
Corruption Court was still the subject of a public outcry, which deemed
the sentence much too lenient for the two-star general. Djoko was found
guilty of accepting Rp 32 billion in bribes, abusing his authority as a
public official and laundering more than Rp 100 billion in assets and
September 04: The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) handed a key
audit report on the graft-tainted Hambalang project to the KPK, allowing
the latter to expedite its investigation on the graft scandal that
rocked the ruling Democratic Party (PD).
The report outlined state
losses due to alleged illegal dealings surrounding the project’s
approval. BPK chief Hadi Purnomo said the agency estimated that the
project, which was transformed from a modest Rp 125 billion ($11.25
million) single-year project into a multi-year project worth Rp 1.2
trillion, had caused state losses of Rp 463.66 billion.
05: The main perpetrator in the killing of four thugs at Cebongan
Penitentiary in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, Second Sgt. Ucok Tigor
Simbolon, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and was discharged
from military service for his role in the premeditated murder. Ucok was a
member of the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) Group 2 Kandang
Menjangan in Surakarta, Central Java.
September 06: Yudhoyono
signed a presidential decree for the establishment of the long-awaited
national agency on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation
(REDD+), which looked set to implement a two-year forest moratorium
extension. The establishment of the ministerial-level agency was part of
the government’s commitment to reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2020
or by 41 percent with the help of international entities, as promised by
Yudhoyono in 2009.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-largest
economy, met with Yudhoyono. It was Xi’s first visit to Southeast Asia
since taking office, arriving in Indonesia to boost ties and economic
partnerships with the region’s biggest country.
October 02: KPK
named then Constitutional Court chief justice Akil Mochtar a suspect for
allegedly accepting bribes in relation to his alleged role in
adjudicating disputes in local elections. Akil was arrested in an
intelligence-led operation at his official residence as he accepted cash
from Hambit Bintih, the regent of Gunung Mas, Central Kalimantan, and a
Palangkaraya-based businessman identified as Cornelius Nalau.
A month after Akil’s arrest, the remaining court justices elected Hamdan Zoelva as their new leader.
07: The Supreme Court cut the prison sentence handed down to
Pollycarpus Budihari Prijanto, the convicted murderer of human rights
campaigner Munir Said Thalib, from 20 years to 14 years.
10: Better late than never. After 24 years of delay, the construction
for the rail-based mass rapid transit (MRT) system in Jakarta finally
began. As traffic in the capital is forecast to reach a standstill next
year, the megaproject is expected to help Jakarta deal with its chronic
congestion and catch up with neighboring countries in modern urban
Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo launched
the project in a ceremony at Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta, only a few
days before he marked his first anniversary of taking office. He faced
critics who said the construction would create gridlock in certain
areas, especially in the city’s major thoroughfares of Jl. Sudirman and
The construction of the first phase of the MRT track
will be funded by a ¥125 billion ($1.29 billion) soft loan from the
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
government agreed to repay 49 percent of the loan, while the city
administration will pay the rest over a period of 40 years, with a grace
period of 10 years at an interest rate of below 1 percent.
track will have six underground stations, seven elevated stations and
the capacity to carry up to 173,000 passengers per day. The first phase
of work requires Rp 3.6 trillion ($293 million) in funding. The
construction of the first MRT track is expected to be completed by the
end of 2017 and is set to operate in the first quarter of the following
November 01: All Inalum
assets were returned to the Indonesian government. The company is a new
entity under the management of the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry.
04: The General Elections Commission (KPU) released the final voter
list for the 2014 general election, despite a glitch that affected the
data of millions of voters. The total number of voters in the final list
is 186,612,255 — comprising of 93,493,610 and 93,172,645 male and
female voters, respectively, from 545,778 polling stations in 497
regencies and municipalities.
November 07: The central Philippine
city of Tacloban was left in ruins after being ravaged by one of the
strongest typhoons on record, Haiyan, as horrified residents spoke of
storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a
“very high number of fatalities”. The Philippines faced an enormous
rebuilding task from the storm that killed more than 3,900 people and
left 1,186 missing.
November 15: Inter Milan said Indonesian
business tycoon Erick Thohir had been appointed as new chairman of the
Italian Serie A club, bringing an end to the reign of former owner
Massimo Moratti. The club said its shareholders had named a new, slimmer
eightmember board of directors headed by Thohir. In October, Moratti
signed a deal to sell a 70 percent stake in the club to the
International Sports Capital consortium owned by Thohir and his two
Indonesian partners Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo.
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