Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away

BBC/KATHERINA TSE A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing
A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing

With the Chinese economy facing massive challenges, there have been concerns over its growth potential, at least in the immediate future.

Yet a key exception is emerging in the form of domestic tourism.

Last week’s five-day public holiday to mark labour day saw 295 million trips made within China, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This was 28% higher than pre-pandemic figures recorded in 2019.

The Transport Ministry’s figures are also staggering: 92 million rail trips; almost 10 million air trips and 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, this comes as international arrivals continue to lag, with foreigners currently entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels. Why the disparity?

The beautiful historical river town of Wuzhen, a short drive from Shanghai, is considered one of China’s top visitor sites for travellers of all types. When we arrive the little pathways and old bridges which cross narrow waterways are filled with visitors.

A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing – as if you have really been transported back hundreds of years.

Two women in their 20s, friends since high school, are visiting from Jilin Province in the north east. After arriving, they spend an hour getting their hair done in an elaborate imperial-era style – and they are full of praise for Wuzhen’s classical beauty.

We ask if, following the post-Covid opening up, many of their family and other friends have been travelling much? “Of course, after the pandemic, we’re all visiting other places.”

Nearby a local man who is selling ice-creams also says tourist numbers are “not that bad lately”.

As good as before Covid? “Almost the same,” he replies.

Shopkeeper Wang Ying, who sells traditional snacks, echoes this sentiment with a big smile on her face. “Business is going well, and it’ll only get better.”

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Wuzhen is considered one of China's top visitor sites
Wuzhen is considered one of China’s top visitor sites

All this will be seen as good news for the Chinese government. It’s been saying that a push on domestic consumption can counter the significant faltering portions of the economy.

Major players in the once-mighty property sector are struggling to stay afloat, local government debt continues to rise, and persistent youth unemployment has left highly qualified university graduates uncertain of their future.

Amid all these challenges, the Communist Party has set a target of “around 5%” GDP growth for this year. Apart from the fact that analysts have long questioned the veracity of the country’s official growth figures, economists are also asking how such a target can be reached, in any genuine sense, in 2024 without significant extra stimulus.

One lifeline could be a more buoyant travel scene which could bring broader business opportunities and greater service industry employment.

Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at travel agency, told the BBC: “We’ve seen very strong domestic travel demand with search volumes in hotels up 67% compared to last year, and flight volumes up 80%.”

Tourism industry consultant Peng Han from Travel Daily is following the investment trail to see how the business community really views the possibilities in the sector.

“With famous international hotel brands – like Intercontinental, Marriott and Hilton – you just have to look at their growth in China in 2023,” he says. “Then check the performance goals for these large hotel groups in 2024 which have also been set relatively high. This shows that they are very optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market.”

But, while the volume of local travellers might be up, Mr Peng does point to the problem of per capita consumption which remains persistently low.

He says general uncertainty about the Chinese economy is putting more emphasis on saving, so people are looking for good value options. They are going on holidays and paying for things but doing so much more frugally.

This is where an increase in big-spending foreigners could help. But they are simply not travelling to China in the numbers they used to.

In 2019, nearly 98 million international visitors came to the country. Last year it was only 35 million – including business trips, students and the like. Mr Lou describes the domestic versus international market as “uneven”.

For many in the tourism industry here specialising in services for foreign travellers, “uneven” would be an understatement. Three years of harsh Covid prevention measures drove down arrivals from other countries, but that alone can’t account for the current situation.

Huang Songshan, the head of the Centre for Tourism Research in the School of Business and Law at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, blames this weakness in part to “the shifting geopolitical landscape globally”.

Getty Images Chinese performer
China’s culture and heritage has traditionally been a big draw for tourists

In the peer-reviewed East Asia Forum, he pointed to a 2023 survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre, writing that, “Most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. The Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.”

Official travel advice from some governments echo this sentiment, at times quite harshly.

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws”.

The political environment has also taken a toll on flight availability and price. This is especially the case with connections to and from North America. Last month’s 332 scheduled round trips between China and the US contrasts with 1,506 in April 2019.

As a result, finding a seat on a direct flight can be extremely difficult and those that are available are very expensive.

President Xi Jinping made a speech at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco last November addressing this point. “Today, President Biden and I reached important consensus,” he told the crowd.

“Our two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.”

Washington has since increased the number of Chinese airline flights permitted to land – but only from 35 per week to 50. It is still well short of the 150 weekly trips pre-Covid.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from unions and US airlines to not increase this any further because, they argue, Chinese airlines have an unfair advantage over them as they have state support; don’t face the same onerous Chinese regulations; and, crucially, can fly over Russian airspace, making trips shorter and cheaper.

A letter to the US government from the Chair of the House Committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and the committee’s top Democrat representative, Raja Krishnamoorthi, reads: “Should the US-China passenger carrier market expand without the US government addressing these significant issues, US aviation workers, travellers and airlines will pay a hefty price tag.”

Mr Lou says the frequency of international flight connections is definitely having an impact.

“What we are seeing right now, based on civil aviation data, is that inbound flight capacity won’t get back to even 80% of 2019 [levels] by the end of 2024.”

Then there are other potential turnoffs for those considering travelling in China, like the country’s state-of-the-art phone app payment and booking systems which work very smoothly for Chinese citizens and residents, but which can be an enormous headache if you have just arrived.

There are certain sites, transport options, and purchases which can only be accessed via Chinese electronic apps which are, at times, only available in Chinese.

Professor Chen Yong at Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School is an authority on the economics of tourism in China. He thinks that hurdles relating to payment and booking apps can pose a real problem.

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China,” he says.

“On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits. We need to bridge this divide because it affects the tourist industry badly.”

Back in Wuzhen, the presence of international travellers is much smaller than in years gone by, but there are still a few foreign faces in the crowd.

An Italian couple says the process of linking up to and using China’s payment apps was a challenge but that it was not insurmountable, though they add, with a laugh, that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you.

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Woman and child pose for selfies
Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are trying to turn this around

Eliseo, from California, says he has had problems making payments to small vendors who don’t accept credit cards and really no longer deal with cash. Another hurdle for him has been his bank at home which has blocked some payments, flagging them as potentially fraudulent coming from China.

Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are now trying to turn this around.

One way they’re attempting to attract more foreign visitors is by increasing the number of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to enter. says this resulted in an almost immediate increase in passenger arrivals from Southeast Asia.

In 23 Chinese cities, transit passengers from more than 50 countries are also able to stay for a few days visa free if they have an onward ticket. In Shanghai, hotels above a three-star level have been told that they should prepare to deal with international credit cards and an initial batch of 50 taxis have also started accepting them.

However, Professor Chen says “it would be too optimistic to envision a long-term growth in China’s inbound tourism”.

“The key is to establish a culture that puts service providers in the shoes of foreign tourists. They should imagine themselves being a foreigner who can’t speak or read Chinese and who doesn’t have a Chinese mobile number, payments apps and so on.”

He says that the culture around this can’t be changed overnight.

Yet, in places like Wuzhen – where the local travellers have already returned – the tourism companies are hoping that incredible sites like theirs will eventually be too much for foreigners to resist as well.

UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals

Reuters Palestinian civil defence workers dig mounds of earth in the grounds of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip (21 April 2024)ReutersPalestinian workers are exhuming bodies at Nasser hospital with shovels because they have no heavy machinery

The UN’s human rights chief has said he is “horrified” by the destruction of Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals and the reports of “mass graves” being found at the sites after Israeli raids.

Volker Türk called for independent investigations into the deaths.

Palestinian officials said they had exhumed the bodies of almost 300 people at Nasser. It is not clear how they died or when they were buried.

Israel’s military said claims that it buried bodies there were “baseless”.

But it did say that during a two-week operation at the hospital in the city of Khan Younis in February, troops “examined” bodies buried by Palestinians “in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages”.

Ten hostages who have now been released have said that they were held at Nasser hospital for long periods during their captivity.

Prior to the Israeli operation at Nasser, staff there had said they were being forced to bury bodies in the hospital’s courtyard because nearby fighting prevented access to cemeteries. There were similar reports from al-Shifa before the first Israeli raid on the hospital took place in November.

The Israeli military has said it has raided a number of hospitals in Gaza during the war because Hamas fighters have been operating inside them – a claim Hamas and medical officials have denied.

The war began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and taking 253 others back to Gaza as hostages.

More than 34,180 people – most of them children and women – have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said it was currently working on corroborating reports from Palestinian officials that 283 bodies had been found in Nasser hospital’s grounds, including 42 which had been identified.

“Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded, while others… were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

Mr Türk called for independent, effective and transparent investigations into the deaths, adding: “Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [not participating in hostilities] is a war crime.”

On Monday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Civil Defense force told BBC Arabic’s Gaza Today programme that it had received reports from local Palestinians that the bodies of a “large number” of people who had been killed during the war and buried in a makeshift cemetery in the hospital’s courtyard were moved to another location during the Israeli raid.

“After research and investigation, we learned that the occupation [Israeli] army had established a mass grave, pulled out the bodies that were in Nasser hospital, and buried them in this mass grave,” Mahmoud Basal said.

Gaza Today also spoke to a man who said he was searching there for the bodies of two male relatives which he alleged had been taken by Israeli troops during Israel’s recently concluded offensive in Khan Younis.

“After I had buried them in an apartment, the [Israelis] came and moved their bodies,” he said. “Every day we search for their bodies, but we fail to find them.”

Hamas has alleged that the bodies include people “executed in cold blood” by Israeli forces, without providing evidence.

Contains some violence and disturbing scenes.BBC Verify authenticates video from key moments in the story of Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded.”

“During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser hospital were examined.

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages. The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

The IDF said that its forces had detained “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital” during the raid, and that they found ammunition as well as unused medicines intended for Israeli hostages.

It also insisted that the raid was carried out “in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff”.

However, three medical staff told the BBC last month that they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel for hours after being detained during the raid.

Medics who remained at Nasser after the Israeli takeover said they were unable to care for patients and that 13 died because of conditions there, including a lack of water, electricity and other supplies.

Reuters Palestinian officials tape off the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as workers search for human remains (8 April 2024)ReutersThe UN Human Rights Office said it had received reports that 30 bodies were buried in the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital

On 1 April, Israeli troops withdrew from al-Shifa hospital, which is in Gaza City, following what the IDF said was another “precise” operation carried out in response to intelligence that Hamas had regrouped there.

The IDF said at the time that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital during the two-week raid. More than 500 others were detained, and weapons and intelligence were found “throughout the hospital”, it added.

After a mission gained access to the facility five days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) said al-Shifa was “now an empty shell”, with most of the buildings extensively damaged or destroyed, and the majority of equipment unusable or reduced to ashes.

It also said that “numerous shallow graves” had been dug just outside the emergency department, and the administrative and surgical buildings, and that “many dead bodies were partially buried with their limbs visible”.

The IDF also said it had avoided harm to patients at al-Shifa. But the WHO cited the acting hospital director as saying patients were held in abysmal conditions during the siege, and that at least 20 patients reportedly died due to a lack of access to care and limited movement authorised for medics.

Spokeswoman Ms Shamdasani said reports seen by the UN human rights office suggested that a total of 30 bodies were buried in the two graves and that 12 of them had been identified so far.

Gaza’s civil defence spokesman told CNN on 9 April that 381 bodies had been recovered from the vicinity of al-Shifa, but that the figure did not include people buried in the hospital’s grounds.

The UN human rights chief also deplored as “beyond warfare” a series of Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah in the past few days, which he said had killed mostly women and children.

The strikes included one on Saturday night, after which a premature baby was delivered from the womb of her pregnant mother, who was killed along with her husband and other daughter.

Mr Türk also again warned against a full-scale Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced civilians are sheltering, saying it would lead to further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Proyek pesawat tempur Korsel-Indonesia ‘mandek’ di tengah pembangunan IKN, bagaimana kelanjutannya?

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae merupakan proyek kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan.
Keterangan gambar,Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae merupakan proyek kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan.

Walau pemerintah Korea Selatan telah meminta pemerintah Indonesia untuk menuntaskan proyek pengembangan pesawat tempur, keberlanjutan proyek tersebut masih menjadi tanda tanya, karena fokus pemerintahan Jokowi saat ini adalah pembangunan Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN). Proses kerja sama juga bertambah rumit lantaran dua warga negara Indonesia dituding mencuri teknologi pesawat tempur.

Wakil Menteri Kementerian Pertahanan, Muhammad Herindra, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya tetap berkomitmen untuk melanjutkan kerja sama pengembangan jet tersebut.

“Kita tetap akan meneruskan program pengembangan jet tempur tersebut sesuai dengan kondisi keuangan yang tersedia,” ujar Herindra kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Meski begitu, pengamat militer menilai Indonesia masih “dilematis” dalam mewujudkan komitmennya dengan Korea Selatan dalam proyek pesawat jet tempur KF-21.

Khairul Fahmi dari Institute for Security and Strategic Studies (ISESS) mengatakan masih ada beberapa hambatan fiskal yang dihadapi Indonesia dalm kerja sama dengan Korea Selatan di bidang pertahanan.

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“Dalam kondisi hari ini, posisi Indonesia memang masih dilematis. Di satu sisi kita punya kesenjangan antara kebutuhan aktual dan kebutuhan pertahanan yang bisa dibilang mendesak untuk diatasi,” ujar Khairul kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Minggu (17/03).

Ia mengatakan bahwa dengan pembangunan IKN yang berjalan dan membutuhkan anggaran besar, seharusnya Indonesia jangan mengorbankan komitmennya untuk mewujudkan kerja sama pertahanan dengan Korea Selatan yang tak kalah penting.

Sebelumnya pada Oktober 2023, Direktur Teknologi dan Pertahanan Kementerian Pertahanan, Marsekal Pertama Dedy Laksmono, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya telah meminta agar biaya untuk proyek tersebut ditambah dari APBN.

Namun, dengan berlangsungnya pembangunan Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN), hal itu masih belum jelas.

Tuduhan pencurian data oleh dua insinyur WNI

Kabar tentang kerja sama Indonesia dengan Korea Selatan dalam mengembangkan jet tempur KF-21 kembali dibahas setelah dua warga negara Indonesia (WNI) diduga mencuri rahasia teknologi jet Korea Selatan tersebut.

Menurut Yonhap News Agency, kedua WNI itu merupakan insinyur yang dikirim ke Indonesia untuk bekerja di Korea Aerospace Industries. Mereka diduga menyimpan data tentang pengembangan KF-21 (atau KFX) di sebuah USB drive.

Kantor berita Korea JoongAng Daily, melaporkan bahwa Kepolisian Korea Selatan menggeledah kantor produsen pesawat Korea Aerospace Industries pada Jumat (15/3) pagi pukul 09.00 waktu setempat.

Penggeledahan itu dilakukan demi mengamankan data-data terkait dari komputer kerja milik dua insinyur asal Indonesia yang terlibat dalam proyek KF-21.

Menteri Pertahanan RI Prabowo Subianto (kiri) bersama dengan Menteri Luar Negeri Korea Selatan Chung Eui-yong (kanan) dalam upacara peluncuran prototipe pertama jet tempur buatan negara tersebut.
Keterangan gambar,Menteri Pertahanan RI Prabowo Subianto (kiri) bersama dengan Menteri Luar Negeri Korea Selatan Chung Eui-yong (kanan) dalam upacara peluncuran prototipe pertama jet tempur buatan negara tersebut pada 2021.

Bahkan, sehari sebelumnya, rumah salah satu insinyur WNI juga sempat digeledah oleh aparat kepolisian Korea Selatan.

Namun, juru bicara Kementerian Luar Negeri, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, membantah bahwa kasus itu terkonfirmasi sebagai kasus pencurian data. Sebab, kasus tersebut masih dalam tahap verifikasi.

“Belum ada hasil akhir atau kesimpulan dari verifikasi tersebut. Karena itu terlalu jauh untuk menyebut ini kasus pencurian data,” ungkap Iqbal dalam pesan tertulis pada Jumat (15/03).

Ia mengatakan bahwa KBRI Seoul masih memonitor dan mendampingi dua WNI sejak munculnya kasus ini. Namun, untuk melindungi privasi kedua insinyur yang bersangkutan, Kemenlu menolak untuk memberikan nama mereka.

Sejarah perkembangan proyek KF-21 antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan

Kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan dalam pengembangan pesawat jet tempur KF-21 Boramae sudah berlangsung sejak 2014 silam dan ditargetkan rampung dalam kurun waktu 12 tahun, yakni pada 2026.

Berdasarkan kesepakatan itu, Korea Selatan dan Indonesia akan mengembangkan jet tersebut dalam proyek bernilai 8,1 triliun won atau setara Rp100 triliun, dengan Indonesia membayar 20% dari total pembiayaan.

Untuk melunasi 20% itu, Indonesia berkomitmen membayar sekitar Rp2 triliun per tahun kepada Korea Selatan. Namun, proyek dan pembayaran tertunda karena dinamika politik di Korsel.

Kemudian pada 2018, Indonesia berupaya untuk merundingkan kembali kesepakatan tersebut, untuk mengurangi tekanan pada cadangan devisanya.

Sehingga, pemerintah Indonesia menawarkan barter proyek sebagai alternatif membayar 20% dari pembiayaan, di antaranya pembangunan smart city di Ibu Kota Negara (IKN) hingga proyek terkait mobil listrik.

Namun, pemerintah Korea Selatan tetap meminta agar Indonesia melunasi tunggakan utang terlebih dahulu.

Sebab, selain pembelian jet tempur, program kerja sama itu juga mencakup investasi alutista dalam negeri serta kerja sama produksi komponen untuk pemesanan KFX/IFX dari sejumlah negara serta insentif ekonomi.

Pada 2019, Indonesia menghentikan pembiayaan sementara pada proyek tersebut sebelum melanjutkannya kembali pada akhir 2022.

Menurut pemberitaan Reuters, kedua negara sepakat pada November 2023 bahwa Indonesia akan menepati janjinya untuk menanggung 20% biaya pembangunan, termasuk pembayaran natura untuk sepertiga bagiannya, meskipun kontrak tersebut belum resmi direvisi.

Menurut kantor berita The Korea Times, hingga Oktober 2023, keterlambatan bayar pihak pemerintah Indonesia diestimasikan mencapai 1 triliun won atau setara Rp11,7 triliun.

Apa keistimewaan jet tempur KF-21?

Menurut situs resmi Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), KF-21 merupakan proyek pengembangan jet tempur generasi baru buatan Korea Selatan yang akan menggantikan pesawat-pesawat tempur model lama F-4 dan F-5 buatan AS yang menjadi andalan Angkatan Udara Korsel.

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae memiliki beberapa keunggulan, seperti radar AESA yang dikembangkan Hanhwa Systems, persenjataan presisisi canggih, 10 hard point senjata, kemampuan manuver tinggi, dan fitur pendukung yang lebih maju

KF-21 memiliki kecepatan maksimum sejauh 1.400 mil per jam dan daya dorong maksimum 19,95 ton. Bentang sayapnya sepanjang 11,2 meter dengan tinggi pesawat 4,7 meter. Pesawat tersebut memiliki daya jelajah sejauh 2.870 kilometer.

Sebenarnya sejak 2001, Presiden Kim Dae-Jung sudah mengumumkan proyek pengembangan pesawat tempur buatan Korea Selatan. Namun strategi proyek pesawat itu baru disetujui pada 2010.

Model jet tempur KF-21, yang dikembangkan oleh Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), pada Pameran Dirgantara & Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) di Pangkalan Udara Seoul di Seongnam.
Keterangan gambar,Model jet tempur KF-21, yang dikembangkan oleh Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), pada Pameran Dirgantara & Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) di Pangkalan Udara Seoul di Seongnam.

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae menjadi salah satu tonggak pencapaian teknologi militer Korea Selatan, menandai apa yang disebut oleh Presiden Korea Selatan Moon Jae-in sebagai era baru dari kemandirian pertahanan nasional Korsel.

Pengamat keamanan dan militer dari ISESS, Khairul Fahmi, mengatakan bahwa peran Indonesia dalam penuntasan proyek ini menguntungkan, baik bagi Korea Selatan maupun Indonesia.

Ia mengatakan program kerja sama ini bukan hanya sekadar pembangunan model jet tempur baru, melainkan juga proyek itu menjadi penting bagi penambahan alutista dalam negeri dan sekaligus masa depan industri pertahanan Indonesia.

“Kaitannya juga dengan bagaimana Indonesia bertransformasi ke penggunaan alutista udaranya dari generasi 4 ke 4.5, bukan hanya sebagai konsumen tetapi juga sebagai negara yang mampu memproduksi,“ jelas Khairul kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Oleh karena itu, ia menilai penting bagi Indonesia untuk tetap mempertahankan komitmennya dengan Korea Selatan agar dapat menutupi “kesenjangan kekuatan.“

Apakah Indonesia mampu berkomitmen membangun jet tempur KF-21 bersama Korea Selatan?

Pengamat keamanan dan militer, Khairul Fahmi, mengatakan bahwa Indonesia berada dalam posisi yang “dilematis” karena kesenjangan antara kebutuhan aktual dan kebutuhan pertahanan yang “mendesak untuk diatasi”.

Tak hanya itu, Indonesia juga memiliki permasalahan fiscal karena adanya kebutuhan-kebutuhan lain yang membutuhkan anggaran lebih besar.

“Dengan prioritas anggaran di Kementerian Keuangan. Itu yang menurut saya menjadi hambatan dalam realisasi,” ujar Khairul.

Ia mengatakan Indonesia masih perlu mencari solusi agar dapat memenuhi kesepakatannya dengan Korea Selatan sambil menjalani proyek-proyek besar lainnya seperti Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN) di Kalimantan Selatan.

“Karena bagaimanapun, pertahanan IKN juga membutuhkan teknologi maju dan yang lebih modern dan tentunya juga membutuhkan prioritas anggaran,” katanya.

Jet tempur KF-21 Korea Selatan mendarat setelah demonstrasi udara selama Pameran Dirgantara dan Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) 2023.
Keterangan gambar,Jet tempur KF-21 Korea Selatan mendarat setelah demonstrasi udara selama Pameran Dirgantara dan Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) 2023.

Meski begitu, ia mengatakan proyek jet tempur tidak bisa dikesampingkan dengan alasan pembangunan IKN yang membutuhkan anggaran besar. Sebab, Indonesia juga membutuhkan pertahanan yang kuat.

“Misalnya tidak berlanjut pun itu saya kira tidak berkaitan dengan soal IKN karena dari sisi pertahanan IKN juga membutuhkan kehadiran kekuatan udara yang benar-benar memadai,” sebut Khairul.

Alternatif yang mungkin ditempuh oleh Indonesia, jikalau perjanjian dengan Korea Selatan batal, adalah dengan memenuhi kebutuhan pertahanan udara itu lewat perjanjian lain.

Khairul mengambil contoh ketika perjanjian pengembangan kapal selam dengan Korea Selatan yang akhirnya kandas.

“Prabowo mengalihkan opsi pengadaan kapal selam ini ke Eropa misalnya. Apakah proyek Borahmae ini tidak akan mengalami nasib yang sama? Itu yang kemudian saya kira itu akan jadi PR pemerintahan berikutnya,” ujar Khairul.

Bagaimana tanggapan dari Kementerian Pertahanan?

Wakil Menteri Kementerian Pertahanan, Muhammad Herindra, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya tetap akan melanjutkan program kerja sama KF-21 dengan Korea Selatan.

“Kita tetap akan meneruskan program pengembangan jet tempur tersebut sesuai dengan kondisi keuangan yang tersedia,” ujar Herindra kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Dalam lokakarya ”Advancing Indonesia and South Korea’s Defense Industry Collaboration” pada Oktober 2023, Direktur Teknologi dan Pertahanan Kemhan, Marsekal Pertama Dedy Laksmono, mengatakan bahwa skema pembayaran sempat berubah dengan pergantian pemerintahan sehingga berdampak pada alokasi APBN.

“Kami sudah mengajukan porsi penambahan di APBN, tapi keputusannya ada di Kemenkeu. Karena salah satu fokus pemerintah saat ini IKN (Ibu Kota Nusantara). Pada 2024 kami disiapkan Rp 1,25 triliun,” kata Dedy, seperti dikutip oleh Kompas.

Ketika ditanya soal pengajuan penambahan APBN oleh Kementerian Pertahanan, Staf Khusus Kementerian Keuangan, Yustinus Prastowo mengatakan bahwa Kemenkeu dan Kemhan saat ini masih berproses bersama.

“Karena sedang berproses bersama, disarankan satu pintu di Kemhan,” kata Yustinus dalam pesan singkat kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Binance: Nigeria orders cryptocurrency firm to pay $10bn

An anonymous man using his smartphone.
Image caption,Binance is understood to be one of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria

The Nigerian government says it has demanded almost $10bn (£8bn) in compensation from the cryptocurrency firm, Binance.

It says Binance manipulated foreign exchange rates through currency speculation and rate-fixing, which have seen the naira lose nearly 70% of its value in recent months.

Two Binance executives were arrested in Nigeria earlier in the week.

Binance has not responded to the BBC’s requests for comment.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and also one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency markets.

On Tuesday, Nigeria’s central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso said Binance Nigeria had moved $26bn worth of untraceable funds.

“These allegations are weighty,” Tilewa Adebajo CFG Advisory tells the BBC. “That’s a huge sum – even more than the annual Nigeria diaspora remittances of $24bn”.

“The government must have done their homework, hence the allegations.”

Cryptocurrency transactions equivalent to about 12% of Nigeria’s total income, or GDP, took place in the year to June 2023, according to Reuters news agency.

Cryptocurrencies are not illegal in Nigeria but firms must register in order to operate there, the government says. A special adviser to Nigeria’s president told the BBC that Binance had failed to do this.

After he came into office last year, President Bola Tinubu scrapped the policy of pegging the naira to the dollar, allowing traders to buy and sell the currency at rates determined by the market. But special advisor Bayo Onanuga said the recent collapse was not the result of normal activity.

“All of a sudden the exchange rate went through the roof… and it was being caused by the people on Binance platform,” he told the BBC Newsday programme.

“The government could not just fold its hands and allow this thing to continue.”

Binance is understood to be one of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms in the country.

To the frustration of Nigerian users, Binance and several other cryptocurrency firms have been suspended in the country in recent weeks including Coinbase, Kraken, Forextime, OctaFX, Crypto and FXTM in an attempt to halt the slide of the naira.

As well as the collapse of the naira, the government also says cryptocurrency is used for money-laundering and funding terror.

The “anonymity and privacy inherent in the cryptocurrency system are what draw individuals, particularly those with illicit intentions, towards its use,” said a recent report by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

Central bank governor Mr Cardoso said on Tuesday that “illicit flows” had been spotted on some cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria. No specific firms were named as culprits.

In another measure intended to curb foreign-currency trading, Nigeria has closed thousands of bureaux de change.

Nigeria’s central bank has been under pressure to stabilise the national currency, the naira, which currently exchanges at 1,595 naira to US$1, compared to about 460 a year ago.

The collapse of the naira has worsened the cost-of-living crisis. High food and commodity prices – including fuel and transport – have led to protests in recent weeks.

Celeste Manno: Luay Sako jailed for murdering co-worker

23-year old Celeste Manno worked with Luay Sako at a call centre before he was fired in 2019
Image caption,23-year old Celeste Manno worked with Luay Sako at a call centre before he was fired in 2019

A man in Australia who stalked and killed his former co-worker has been sentenced to 36 years in jail.

Luay Sako broke into Celeste Manno’s home in Melbourne in 2020, and stabbed her to death after months of stalking.

Prosecutors said he broke into her home hours after she posted a photo online with her new boyfriend, and stabbed her 23 times in two-and-a-half minutes.

Ms Manno’s family believe Sako should have been jailed for life. Her mother condemned the sentence as “outrageous”.

It is “absolutely unbelievable, that the court decided to grant him mercy even though he showed Celeste none,” Aggie Di Mauro said outside the court shortly after the sentence was handed down.

Ms Di Mauro said she hoped the court of appeal would recognise that “true justice in this case demands a life sentence”.

Thursday’s sentencing in the Supreme Court in Melbourne saw dozens of Ms Manno’s family and friends fill the gallery.

Australian media reported that a blue glowing urn containing her ashes was placed in front of her family as they watched the proceedings, which lasted about 45 minutes.

“Celeste deserved life, but you decided otherwise,” Justice Jane Dixon said, as reported by Australian public broadcaster ABC.

“You carried out the attack with chilling efficiency.”

But there were tears when the judge revealed she would not be handing down a life sentence, the harshest penalty under the state of Victoria’s law.

Celeste Manno, 23, was a team leader at a call centre where Sako, now 39, also worked.

The stalking began in 2019 when he was fired, and he started sending her messages. Despite Ms Manno begging him to stop, Sako’s messages became increasingly desperate and obsessive.

She reported him to police and was able to get an interim restraining order but he was not deterred, and was later charged with breaching the order.

The court heard that Sako cross referenced her social media posts with Google Maps to work out where Ms Manno’s family home was.

On 16 November 2020, a few hours after she posted a photo with her new boyfriend online, he drove to the address and used a hammer to smash her bedroom window.

He fled about two and a half minutes later, having viciously stabbed Ms Manno to death as she was sleeping.

Her body was found by her mother shortly afterwards.

Sako then drove to a police station and blamed law enforcement officers for her murder. He asked them to shoot him.

“You know what happened, it’s your fault,” he said, adding: “She’s dead, she’s dead. Go have a look.”

Judge Dixon said Sako had committed an “appalling crime”.

But she told the court that it did not warrant life imprisonment because he had been diagnosed with an extreme personality disorder. This “caused a significant impairment” of his mental functioning at the time of the offence, the judge said.

Luay Sako will be eligible for parole when he is 65
Image caption,Luay Sako will be eligible for parole when he is 65

Addressing the defendant directly, Ms Dixon said: “Your psychiatric condition at the time of the offending reduces your moral culpability,” adding that she’d been well aware of the “devastating impact” of the crime on Ms Manno’s family and friends.

Judge Dixon said Sako’s prospects for rehabilitation were limited, but could be improved with adequate psychiatric treatment over the lengthy sentence.

Outside the court, Ms Manno’s mother tore up a speech she had prepared to read in front of dozens of journalists, had the judge handed down the life sentence she was hoping for.

“Today’s outcome proves just how flawed the justice system is,” Ms Di Mauro said.

“We were forced to trust the system that we lost faith in three years ago. It failed Celeste then and it failed her again now.”

Luay Sako will be eligible for parole in 2050.

Woolworths: Australian grocery boss quits amid price-gouging claims

Brad Banducci
Image caption,Brad Banducci has been CEO for eight years

Woolworths boss Brad Banducci has announced his resignation, amid scrutiny over alleged price-gouging tactics used by the Australian supermarket giant.

The pressure on the chief intensified this week after what has widely been described as a disastrous interview.

Mr Banducci walked out on a reporter after bristling over the line of questioning.

Australia has one of the world’s most concentrated grocery markets.

Woolworths – the nation’s largest retailer – and its rival Coles control 65% of the market, and both have been facing intense criticism over their business models as the country battles a cost-of-living crisis.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) on Wednesday, Woolworths Group announced Mr Banducci would retire in September.

The 59-year-old has spent 13 years at the company, eight of them at the helm.

“History will judge Brad to have been one of [the firm’s] finest leaders,” board chair Scott Perkins said.

He will be succeeded by the company’s head of e-commerce Amanda Bardwell.

Woolworths Group owns an array of business across Australia and New Zealand, including discount department store Big W, liquor chain BWS, and the New Zealand grocery chain Countdown.

In the ASX statement, the company also announced a massive half year profit of A$929m (£482m; $608m), in part thanks to growing margins on its food businesses.

However, overall the firm recorded a loss of A$781m due to write-downs in the value of two of its businesses.

It comes as the supermarket chain faces multiple parliamentary inquiries and another investigation from the nation’s competition watchdog over pricing practices.

On Monday night, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation aired an investigation which accused both Coles and Woolworths of price-gouging and unfair dealings with suppliers and farmers.

Four Corners reporter Angus Grigg spoke to insiders, experts, and the bosses of both supermarkets, and said Mr Banducci’s reaction was “startling”.

“That was a pretty basic line of questioning… and the fact that he bristled so badly when pushed on whether or not there was adequate competition in Australia tells you they’re not really used to having much scrutiny.”

Post Office scandal victims set to be cleared by new law

People walking past a Post Office branch

Hundreds of people wrongly convicted in the Post Office scandal are set to have their names cleared under new legislation planned by the government.

The law is expected to come into effect by the end of July and will apply to convictions in England and Wales.

It will apply to convictions meeting specific criteria and is expected to clear the majority of victims.

The government said the possible exoneration of some genuinely guilty of crimes was “a price worth paying”.

Between 1999 and 2015, more than 900 sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted due to faulty software.

Incorrect information provided by a computer system called Horizon, developed by Japanese firm Fujitsu, meant that sub-postmasters and postmistresses were prosecuted for stealing money.

Many of those convicted went to prison for false accounting and theft. Many were financially ruined.

Some sub-postmasters caught up in the scandal have died or taken their own lives in the intervening years. So far, 102 convictions have been overturned.

Keith Bell
Image caption,Keith Bell, who is now 75, wants his name cleared

Keith Bell had been a sub-postmaster in Stockton-on-Tees since 1985, but like hundreds of others, he started noticing discrepancies in his accounts after Horizon was installed in his branch.

He called Post Office helplines, but was given little support. He spent more than £12,000 of his own money to make up the shortfalls, and eventually delayed some transactions to try to balance the books.

He was convicted of false accounting in 2002 and had to do 200 hours of community service.

He didn’t challenge his conviction at the time, as he didn’t have the means to take on the Post Office, and he believed he had been at fault.

But now the 75-year-old wants his name cleared and expects his conviction to be quashed.

“I’m relieved they are going to quash all the convictions, which is long overdue,” he said in response to the announcement on Thursday. “It’s a relief to be able to talk to friends. It’s a relief to be able to look people in the eye now.”

The issue was thrust back into the spotlight by an ITV drama, Mr Bates vs the Post Office, earlier this year.

Criticism had said that the process for overturning convictions and getting compensation was far too slow.

There are three main schemes aimed at groups of victims who had different experiences of the scandal – but the schemes have been accused of being long-winded and complicated.

Announcing the plans, Post Office Minister Kevin Hollinrake said the legislation was likely to “exonerate a number of people who were, in fact, guilty of a crime”.

But he said: “The government accepts that this is a price worth paying in order to ensure that many innocent people are exonerated.”

Some 700 people were prosecuted by the Post Office. Another 283 cases were brought by other agencies including the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Prosecutions by the DWP will not be quashed under the new law.

A letter released by the Post Office after Mr Hollinrake’s statement showed that its chief executive, Nick Read, had written to Justice Secretary Alex Chalk last month saying that the company “would be bound to oppose an appeal” in more than half the cases it had prosecuted.

It said that these cases “involve convictions obtained by reliance on evidence unrelated to the Horizon computer system,” and numbered 369, with a further 11 still under review.

The letter was sent on 9 January, shortly before the government first announced plans to use emergency legislation to exonerate all sub-postmasters.

However, the Post Office said the letter was “in no way seeking to persuade government against mass exoneration”.

It said the purpose of the letter was “primarily to offer the government any support that might assist them as they consider relevant issues in advance of passing legislation, without any value judgement on what the correct course of action might be”.

‘Key questions’

Mr Hollinrake said the new legislation would overturn all convictions that met certain criteria. It will only cover:

  • convictions from the Post Office and CPS
  • “relevant offences”, such as theft and false accounting
  • sub-postmasters and their employees or family members
  • cases where the offence took place during the time that the Horizon system (and its pilots) was in operation
  • cases where the convicted person was working in a Post Office that was using the Horizon system software (including relevant pilot schemes)
  • cases in England and Wales

However, the government said it would work with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to ensure their schemes to quash convictions were “compatible with the UK compensation scheme”.

Labour MP Kevan Jones said he welcomed news of the legislation but added it was vital that the government set aside enough time for the new law to be passed “as quickly as possible”.

“There are some initial key questions that need answering, including whether the Post Office’s Capture system counts as a ‘pilot’ of the Horizon system for the purposes of this bill.”

Mr Hollinrake added he recognised the “constitutional sensitivity” of the planned legislation, but added it did not set a precedent for the future relationship between the government, Parliament and the judiciary.

“The scale and circumstances of this prosecutorial misconduct demands an exceptional response,” he said.

“We are keen to ensure that the legislation achieves its goal of bringing prompt justice to all of those who were wrongfully convicted as a result of the scandal, followed by rapid financial redress.”

A spokesperson for DWP confirmed the new law would not apply to prosecutions brought by the department.

Between 2001 and 2006 “a small number” of Post Office staff were convicted for welfare-related fraud offences, mostly involving cashing in stolen benefit order books, they said.

“These criminal cases were not Horizon-related and followed lengthy, complex investigations, relying on multiple sources of evidence, including filmed surveillance, examination of stolen cashed orders and witness statements.

“While reference may have been made to Horizon in court, DWP did not rely on Horizon evidence to prove these cases, and this has been accepted by the Court of Appeal.”

Prabowo-Gibran ‘menang’, mungkinkah Indonesia bernasib sama seperti Filipina?

Hasil hitung cepat Pilpres 2024 menunjukkan keunggulan pasangan Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka.
Keterangan gambar,Setelah hasil hitung cepat Pilpres 2024 menunjukkan keunggulan pasangan Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka, sejumlah pengamat mulai menyoroti kekuatan aliansi ini ke depannya.

Perkawinan dua “dinasti” yang diwakili Prabowo Subianto dan Gibran Rakabuming Raka, mirip dengan penyatuan dua dinasti di Filipina. Di sana, Presiden Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr berkongsi politik dengan Sara Duterte, anak eks presiden Rodrigo Duterte. Sara kemudian menjadi wakilnya. Bagaimana pola seperti ini bisa lentur dan bertahan ketika situasi dan kepentingan politik mulai berubah?

Jawabannya: Tidak menutup kemungkinan koalisi Prabowo-Gibran akan “pecah kongsi”, kata pengamat.

Kerentanan kerja sama politik Prabowo-Jokowi itu, demikian pengamat, mengingatkan “perkawinan dua dinasti” di Filipina, antara Presiden “Bongbong” Marcos dan wakilnya, Sara Duterte, yang kini retak dan di ambang perpecahan.

Situasi politik yang berubah, yakni ketika Jokowi tak lagi berkuasa, akan menjadi batu sandungan koalisi dua dinasti ini nantinya, tambah pengamat.

“Meski praktik selama ini Prabowo menunjukkan loyalitas yang besar dan konsisten pada Jokowi, tapi itu ketika Jokowi berkuasa. Saat Jokowi tidak berkuasa, bisa saja situasinya berubah,” kata dosen pemilu Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia, Titi Anggraini.

Bagaimana kemiripan keduanya?

Sejak lama, sosok Prabowo dan Bongbong memang selalu memicu kontroversi karena rekam jejak keluarga mereka yang terkait dengan kediktatoran.

Mereka mewarisi banyak hal dari kediktatoran itu, mulai dari privilese, jabatan, kekayaan, hingga sifat-sifat otoriter.

Beberapa pengamat menganggap sifat itu tak mudah diubah, sehingga publik harus berhati-hati.

Prabowo merupakan menantu diktator yang memimpin Indonesia selama 32 tahun, Soeharto.

Prabowo Subianto
Keterangan gambar,Prabowo Subianto (kiri) adalah mantan menantu Soeharto, pemimpin rezim Orde Baru.

Sepanjang masa kepemimpinan Soeharto, karier militer Prabowo melejit, tapi kontroversi terus membayanginya.

Di akhir Orde Baru, ia dituduh terlibat dalam penculikan aktivis, yang beberapa di antaranya belum diketahui keberadaannya hingga saat ini.

Sementara itu, Bongbong adalah putra dari diktator yang berkuasa di Filipina selama hampir 21 tahun hingga 1986, Ferdinand Marcos.

Di bawah kepemimpinan Marcos, Bongbong sempat menempati berbagai posisi strategis, termasuk gubernur kawasan Ilocos Norte.

Selama Bongbong berkuasa, terjadi setidaknya dua pembunuhan di luar hukum di daerah Ilocos Norte, sebagaimana dilaporkan.

Bongbong Marcos
Keterangan gambar,Di bawah kepemimpinan Marcos, Bongbong sempat menempati berbagai posisi strategis, termasuk gubernur kawasan Ilocos Norte.

Setelah kejatuhan Soeharto dan Marcos, Prabowo dan Bongbong juga sempat “mengasingkan diri” keluar negeri.

Prabowo “berlindung” di Yordania sekitar 3 tahun, sementara Bongbong berdiam di Amerika Serikat selama 5 tahun.

Sepulangnya ke tanah air masing-masing, mereka kembali terjun ke dunia politik. Selama menduduki jabatan-jabatan dalam pemerintahan, mereka tak pernah sepi kontroversi.

Bongbong beberapa kali dikaitkan dengan kasus korupsi, sementara sikap temperamental dan meledak-ledak Prabowo kerap menjadi sorotan.

Di tengah berbagai kontroversi, mereka sama-sama memendam ambisi duduk di istana kepresidenan. Keduanya sudah kenyang menelan kekalahan.

Prabowo pertama kali membidik kursi istana pada Pemilu 2009 lalu, dengan menjadi cawapres untuk Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Pada Pilpres 2014 dan 2019, Prabowo maju menjadi capres, tapi lagi-lagi kalah dari Jokowi.

Sementara itu, Bongbong pertama kali mencalonkan diri sebagai wakil presiden dalam pemilu 2016. Di Filipina, pemilihan presiden dan wakil presiden dilakukan terpisah.

Kala itu, Bongbong kalah tipis dari cawapres Leni Robredo. Politikus perempuan itulah yang akhirnya menjadi wapres di masa kepresidenan Rodrigo Duterte.

Karena pemilihan presiden dan wakilnya terpisah, wapres di Filipina bisa menjadi oposisi dari presidennya, seperti Robredo terhadap Duterte.

Namun ada kalanya, capres dan cawapres berkampanye bersama sebagai pasangan, walau pemilihannya tetap dilakukan secara terpisah.

Dalam pemilu berikutnya pada 2022, Bongbong memilih untuk menyatukan kekuatan dengan putri Duterte, Sara Duterte, sebagai cawapres.

Layaknya Jokowi di Indonesia, Duterte juga disebut-sebut ingin melanggengkan kekuasaannya dengan mencalonkan Sara sebagai cawapres.

Berkat popularitas Duterte yang juga masih menjulang, Sara pun keluar sebagai pemenang dengan perolehan suara gemilang di angka 61,53 persen.

Suara Bongbong juga disebut-sebut terdongkrak karena popularitas Duterte, walau pada akhirnya raihan suaranya lebih kecil dari Sara, yaitu 58,77 persen.

Bongbong Marcos dan Sara Duterte.
Keterangan gambar,Dalam pemilu berikutnya pada 2022, Bongbong memilih untuk menyatukan kekuatan dengan putri Duterte, Sara Duterte, sebagai cawapres.

Kampanye Bongbong dan Sara yang sangat ramah anak muda, dengan berbagai gimik di media sosial, juga dianggap sebagai salah satu faktor kunci kemenangan mereka.

Kendati demikian, sejumlah pengamat sebenarnya sudah mewanti-wanti bahwa Bongbong masih punya naluri otoriter.

Benar saja, Bongbong mulai menunjukkan jati dirinya. “Bulan madu” perkawinan kedua dinasti itu pun tak bertahan lama.

Di akhir 2023, cekcok Duterte-Bongbong mengemuka dan kian parah hingga koalisi tersebut di ambang perpecahan.

Presiden Ferdinand Marcos Jr dan wakilnya, Sara Duterte, putri eks presiden Rodrigo Duterte.
Keterangan gambar,Presiden Ferdinand ‘Bongbong”‘ Marcos Jr dan wakilnya, Sara Duterte, putri eks presiden Rodrigo Duterte.

Akar masalahnya, Bongbong ingin mengubah konstitusi Filipina yang membuka jalan untuk perpanjangan masa jabatan presiden. Ia berdalih perubahan itu diperlukan agar dapat menarik investor asing demi menggenjot perekonomian.

“[Konstitusi perlu diubah] demi dunia yang terglobalisasi,” kata Bongbong pada Desember 2023, seperti dikutip Reuters.

Sejak saat itu, Duterte dan keluarganya terus melontarkan kritik secara terang-terangan. Mereka menganggap Bongbong berkhianat.

Bongbong dianggap hanya menunggangi popularitas Duterte agar dapat menjadi presiden. Habis manis, sepah dibuang.

Duterte pun mengancam bakal menggulingkan Bongbong.

Apakah perpecahan serupa dapat terjadi pada Prabowo-Gibran?

Sejumlah pihak khawatir kejadian serupa dapat menimpa Jokowi dan Gibran, salah satunya terlihat dalam tulisan.

Pasalnya, beberapa pakar memperingatkan bahwa Prabowo juga tidak pernah berubah walau dalam masa kampanye terakhir, ia mengemas diri dengan citra “gemoy”.

“Dorongannya, nalurinya, adalah menjadi xenofobia, menjadi pemimpin otoriter. Saya khawatir dia tidak berubah. Karakternya tidak berubah,” ucap peneliti Human Rights Watch, Andreas Harsono.

Sejumlah pengamat pun curiga Prabowo hanya memanfaatkan popularitas Jokowi untuk dapat memenuhi ambisinya menjadi presiden, yang sudah tertunda bertahun-tahun.

Ketika sudah berkuasa, Prabowo mungkin saja menganggap Jokowi tak lagi penting, kemudian malah menjalankan agendanya sendiri.

“Dalam masa pemerintahan yang berjalan lima tahun, kemungkinan atau peluang itu bisa saja terjadi, apalagi kalau ada realisasi komitmen yang tidak sesuai kesepakatan mereka,” ujar dosen pemilu Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia, Titi Anggraini, kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Prabowo Subianto dan Gibran Rakabuming Raka.
Keterangan gambar,Ketika sudah berkuasa, Prabowo mungkin saja menganggap Jokowi tak lagi penting, kemudian malah menjalankan agendanya sendiri.

Titi menggarisbawahi bahwa Prabowo juga merupakan ketua umum Partai Gerindra, entitas yang tentu punya kepentingan sendiri.

“Sangat mungkin kepentingan Prabowo atau Gerindra tidak sejalan dengan kepentingan politik Gibran atau Jokowi sebagai pihak yang punya saham bagi kemenangan Prabowo,” tutur Titi.

“Meski praktik selama ini Prabowo menunjukkan loyalitas yang besar dan konsisten pada Jokowi, tapi itu ketika Jokowi berkuasa. Saat Jokowi tidak berkuasa, bisa saja situasinya berubah.”

Senada, Direktur Eksekutif Parameter Politik Indonesia, Adi Prayitno, juga menganggap potensi keretakan tetap ada walau aliansi Prabowo-Jokowi sampai saat ini masih kuat.

“Tinggal tunggu berapa lama bulan madu dua kubu ini bertahan,” ucap Adi kepada BBC News Indonesia.

“Meski harus diakui sampai hari ini keduanya sangat terlihat akur dan harmonis, tapi dalam politik, apa pun bisa terjadi. Jokowi dan PDIP saja bisa pisah jalan setelah 23 tahun bersama.”

Keterangan gambar,Titi Anggraini menggarisbawahi bahwa Prabowo juga merupakan ketua umum Partai Gerindra, entitas yang tentu punya kepentingan sendiri.

Di sisi lain, Peneliti Ahli Utama Pusat Riset Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (BRIN), Firman Noor, menganggap iklim politik Indonesia dan Filipina berbeda.

“Di sana kan Duterte itu walau bagaimana pun nuansanya masih sosialis. Bongbong Marcos kapitalis, jadi mungkin masih ada sense ideologi kiri dan kanan,” kata Firman kepada BBC News Indonesia.

“Nah, kalau di Indonesia kan tidak ada ideologi seperti itu. Tidak kuat. Bisa bersatu karena kekuasaan, jadi saya kira akan langgeng-langgeng saja ini kelihatannya.”

Firman berkaca pada rekam jejak pemerintahan-pemerintahan sebelumnya yang tetap solid walau ada beberapa sandungan.

“Malah akan bertukar nantinya, akan seperti memberikan tongkat estafet. Sekarang Prabowo dapat tongkat estafet. Nanti dikasih ke Gibran untuk lima tahun berikutnya,” ucapnya.

PKB sebut dapat tambahan 23 kursi DPR RI

PKB sebut dapat tambahan 23 kursi DPR RI
Direktur Pileg DPP PKB Cucun Ahmad Syamsurijal (tengah) berikan keterangan kepada wartawan di Kantor DPP PKB, Jakarta Pusat, Minggu (18/2/2024). ANTARA/Fianda Sjofjan Rassat

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Direktur Pileg DPP Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) Cucun Ahmad Syamsurijal mengatakan tabulasi suara internal partainya menunjukkan PKB akan mendapatkan kenaikan jumlah suara sehingga bakal terjadi penambahan 23 kursi DPR RI.

“Alhamdulillah dari existing 58 kursi yang sekarang di Senayan ini aman semuanya dan akan ada penambahan dari kenaikan jumlah suara ini menjadi 81 kursi,” kata Cucun di Kantor DPP PKB, Jakarta Pusat, Minggu.

Cucun mengungkapkan berdasarkan tabulasi data nasional internal PKB, perolehan suara PKB untuk DPR RI pada Pileg 2024 naik signifikan dari perolehan suara pada Pileg 2019. Hal itulah yang diterjemahkan menjadi jumlah kursi PKB di Senayan.

“Secara suara, suara PKB naik 6.007.425 atau 2,41 persen, dari 13.570.097 atau 9,69 persen di Pileg 2019 menjadi 19.577.522 suara atau 12,1 persen di Pileg 2024,” ujarnya.

Dijelaskannya, kenaikan 23 kursi PKB terjadi di Jawa Timur dengan 3 kursi (Jatim II, Jatim VIII dan Jatim X), Jawa Barat dengan 5 kursi (Jabar I, Jabar II, Jabar IV, Jabar VI dan Jabar XI), Banten dengan 2 kursi (Banten I dan Banten II).

Kemudian Sumatera dengan 5 kursi (Sumbar I, Sumut I, Sumut III, Riau I, Sumsel I), Kalimantan dengan 2 kursi (Kaltim dan Kalteng), Sulawesi dengan 3 kursi (Sulteng, Sulbar, Sultra), NTB 1 kursi (NTB I), Maluku 1 kursi (Maluku Utara) dan Papua 1 kursi (Papua Selatan).

Cucun juga menyebut kenaikan jumlah suara tersebut berkat cocktail effect majunya Ketua Umum PKB Muhaimin Iskandar sebagai calon wakil presiden mendampingi calon presiden nomor urut 1 Anies Baswedan.

“Dengan majunya beliau juga dampak positif kenaikan suara PKB sangat signifikan. Sahabat-sahabat semua, sebagaimana kita ketahui cocktail effect yang beririsan dengan pilpres kemarin, kami mendapatkan kenaikan suara partai yang signifikan,” tuturnya.

Pemilu 2024 meliputi pemilihan presiden dan wakil presiden, anggota DPR RI, anggota DPD RI, anggota DPRD provinsi, serta anggota DPRD kabupaten/kota dengan daftar pemilih tetap (DPT) tingkat nasional sebanyak 204.807.222 pemilih.

Pemilu 2024 diikuti 18 partai politik nasional yakni (sesuai dengan nomor urut) Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB), Partai Gerindra, PDI Perjuangan, Partai Golkar, Partai Nasdem, Partai Buruh, dan Partai Gelora Indonesia.

Berikutnya, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS), Partai Kebangkitan Nusantara (PKN), Partai Hanura, Partai Garuda, Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN), Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB), Partai Demokrat, Partai Solidaritas Indonesia (PSI), Partai Perindo, Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP), dan Partai Ummat.

Selain itu, terdapat enam partai politik lokal sebagai peserta yakni Partai Nanggroe Aceh, Partai Generasi Atjeh Beusaboh Tha’at dan Taqwa, Partai Darul Aceh, Partai Aceh, Partai Adil Sejahtera Aceh, dan Partai Soliditas Independen Rakyat Aceh.

Sedangkan untuk pemilihan presiden dan wakil presiden diikuti tiga pasangan yakni Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar selaku nomor urut 1, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka nomor urut 2, dan Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md. nomor urut 3.

Seturut Peraturan KPU Nomor 3 Tahun 2022, rekapitulasi suara nasional Pemilu 2024 dijadwalkan berlangsung mulai 15 Februari s.d. 20 Maret 2024.

Guru di Jatim terbitkan buku ulas kiprah ketua DPD RI

Guru di Jatim terbitkan buku ulas kiprah ketua DPD RI
Ketua DPD RI AA LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti (kanan) saat menerima buku dari seorang guru Pegawai Pemerintah dengan Perjanjian Kerja (PPPK) di Jawa Timur Yuni Soekarno. ANTARA/HO-Biro Pers LaNyalla

Surabaya (ANTARA) – Seorang guru Pegawai Pemerintah dengan Perjanjian Kerja (PPPK) di Jawa Timur Yuni Soekarno menerbitkan buku berjudul “Merajut Asa Sang Pendidik Bangsa” yang mengulas kiprah Ketua DPD RI, AA LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti.  
Penulis buku itu, Yuni di Surabaya, Rabu menceritakan latar belakang untuk mengulas kiprah panjang Ketua DPD RI dalam memperjuangkan nasib ribuan guru di Jawa Timur yang telah lulus passing grade hingga diangkat menjadi PPPK.

Dalam buku setebal 80 halaman tersebut, salah satunya bercerita tentang bagaimana perjuangan GLPG P1 Jawa Timur memperjuangkan nasib mereka. Termasuk di dalamnya juga mengulas peran penting Ketua DPD RI yang sejak tahun 2021 membantu perjuangan mereka hingga segera mendapatkan SK PPPK.

“Kami di GLPG P1 Jawa Timur tahu betul bagaimana kiprah Pak LaNyalla dalam memperjuangkan nasib kami. Ketua DPD RI lah yang pada akhirnya memperjuangkan nasib kami dengan sungguh-sungguh hingga akhirnya kami diangkat menjadi PPPK,” kata Yuni.  

Yuni mengatakan, ingat betul, perjuangannya dimulai ketika tahun 2021 terdapat guru lulus passing grade, namun belum mendapatkan kuota formasi PPPK.

“Kami kemudian mengadu kepada Pak LaNyalla sebagai Ketua DPD RI yang secara khusus menerima audiensi kami di Jakarta. Beliau berkomitmen memperjuangkan aspirasi kami dan meminta datanya,” tutur Yuni.

Yuni menilai Ketua DPD RI langsung gerak cepat menemui Gubernur Jawa Timur, Khofifah Indar Parawansa untuk memperjuangkan aspirasi GLPG P1 Jawa Timur.

“Kami tahu persis bagaimana Pak LaNyalla merespons dengan cepat dan segera bertemu Ibu Gubernur Jatim untuk memperjuangkan nasib kami. Berkat perjuangan beliau, kami telah diangkat menjadi ASN sebagai PPPK,” tutur Yuni.

Ketua GLPG P1 Jawa Timur, Naphan Fathoni Aziz menjelaskan, saat ini ribuan guru di Jatim tinggal menunggu SK PPPK dan NIK.

“Tanggal 1 Maret 2024 ini, SK dan NIK kita keluar. Tentu kami ucapkan terima kasih yang sebesar-besarnya kepada Pak LaNyalla atas perjuangannya selama ini,” tutur Fathoni.

Dia menambahkan, ada 5.464 guru yang sudah mendapat formasi dan pengajuan berkas di BKN. Fathoni menjelaskan awal mula perjuangannya mendapatkan status PPPK.

“Awalnya adalah forum guru yang sudah lulus passing grade tahun 2021. Rupanya, mengawal regulasi itu tidak mudah. Hingga akhirnya kami meminta bantuan kepada Pak LaNyalla untuk memperjuangkan nasib kami,” tutur dia.

“Pak LaNyalla ini kami panggil Abah. Beliau ini adalah tokoh yang mengawal sampai tuntas perjuangan GLPG P1 Jawa Timur. Beliau adalah tokoh inspirator dan mentor kami, hingga akhirnya kami disahkan menjadi PPPK,” tambah Fathoni.

Ketua DPD RI mengaku bersyukur langkahnya dalam memperjuangkan aspirasi guru yang tergabung dalam GLPG P1 Jawa Timur membuahkan hasil. Dikatakannya, sejak awal terpilih sebagai Ketua DPD RI, ia telah berkomitmen berjuang merealisasikan aspirasi rakyat, khususnya masyarakat di Jawa Timur.

“Mari kita syukuri pencapaian ini dan jaga amanah ini. Mari kita bekerja secara sungguh-sungguh untuk mencerdaskan kehidupan berbangsa dan bernegara. Tanggung jawab kita bersama untuk membangun generasi bangsa yang hebat,” tutur LaNyalla.

Senator asal Jawa Timur itu terus berkomitmen dalam memperjuangkan seluruh aspirasi masyarakat yang masuk ke meja kerjanya. Menurutnya, amanah yang diberikan masyarakat kepadanya merupakan kewajiban kerja yang harus dituntaskan.

“Saya terikat sumpah dan jabatan bahwa saya akan bekerja sungguh-sungguh untuk kepentingan bangsa dan negara. Jadi, saya terus berikhtiar agar segala hal yang saya lakukan memiliki nilai positif kepada masyarakat,” kata LaNyalla.