President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto finally met and had a meal together on Saturday, ending their rivalry over the presidential election. The 30-minute lunch started at around 11:00 a.m. at Sate Khas Senayan at FX Sudirman shopping mall in South Jakarta after they had ridden the new MRT together. National Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief Budi Gunawan, Gerindra secretary-general Ahmad Muzani and Jokowi’s former presidential campaign chairman, Erick Thohir, also had lunch with them. Sate Khas Senayan serves traditional Indonesian food. Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said Jokowi and Prabowo had chosen the restaurant because Prabowo likes sate kambing (goat satay) while Jokowi likes pecel (traditional vegetable dish on peanut sauce) and fried tempeh and tofu. "So, there was good chemistry today [Saturday] and the meeting went well," he said. Pramono said the two had agreed to meet at Lebak Bulus MRT Station … [Read more...] about ‘Pecel’, ‘sate kambing’ spice up Jokowi-Prabowo meeting
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday, July 9, that the controversial extradition bill which sparked mass protests in the city was 'dead' as the demonstrations have been taking a different shape as pro-democracy protests now. "The bill is dead," she said at a press conference in Hong Kong. "The recent crisis over the extradition bill is a complete failure." She also said that the clarification was needed to erase "lingering doubts about the government's sincerity of worries (about) whether the government will restart the process with the Legislative Council," reported AFP. Since Lam did not use the term "withdrawal" in her statement, experts and protesters have expressed their concerns about the revival of the contentious bill. Millions have protested in the historic demonstration for the past few months to demand the withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, that would allow the communist regime to pursue their political targets in Hong Kong. Protesters have claimed that the … [Read more...] about Hong Kong update: Bill is ‘dead’, Long live Lam?
Though Thailand's road to democracy over the past five decades has hit a series of diversions and dead ends, political scientists believe there is some light at the end of the tunnel. However, they say, any further progress depends on the new generation, who must play a vital role if the dream of full democracy is to come true. In the 48 years of this newspaper’s existence, Thailand has never been a “fully democratic” state in which a government is truly accountable to its people via elections and a robust system of independent checks and balances. For most of that time, it has been under military control, backed by a small conservative elite who believe democracy is unnecessary, said Titipol Phakdeewanich, political science dean at Ubon Ratchathani University. Even after the latest general election, he added, the coup-makers’ National Council for Peace and Order has managed to extend its control over a nominally democratic Parliament. Thailand's Prime … [Read more...] about The long, arduous journey towards democracy
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's meeting in the Korean Demilitarized Zone produced a barrage of headlines and images, but left analysts questioning whether it was a small step for publicity or a giant leap for peace. The impromptu encounter saw Trump briefly crossing over the demarcation line -- becoming the first sitting US president to step into Pyongyang's territory. It came months after their second summit in Hanoi broke down over what the nuclear-armed North would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief. After around an hour of talks in Panmunjom -- the "truce village" in the DMZ that has divided the peninsula since the two sides and their allies fought each other to a stalemate in 1953 -- Trump emerged to say the two would begin working-level talks in the next few weeks. He also invited the North's leader to Washington "at the right time", he added. It was a more substantive outcome than many had expected after Trump issued his Twitter invitation to Kim and said the … [Read more...] about Trump-Kim III: publicity stunt or leap for peace?
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and running mate Ma'ruf Amin once again reiterated their call for national unity after they were declared president- and vice president-elect by the General Elections Commission (KPU). "Pak Ma'ruf Amin and I thank the Indonesian people for putting their trust in us for this historic duty to do the people's work and take all the people to an advanced and dignified Indonesia that is equal to other countries," Jokowi said in his speech at the KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta on Sunday. He urged Indonesians to put aside the last 10 months of political conflict and come together to continue building the country. "Neighbors should not stop greeting each other, friends should not stop talking to each other because we are all brothers and sisters of the same nation," he said. Jokowi also once again gestured to reconciliation with his opponents, calling Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno patriots who shared his vision of a more advanced and prosperous Indonesia. … [Read more...] about President Jokowi, VP-elect Ma’ruf call for unity once more