Sri Mulyani did not confirm or deny the issue of resigning from President Jokowi’s cabinet.

The latest news that is widely read is about President Joko Widodo’s or Jokowi’s denial of the news that Finance Minister Sri Mulyani will resign. The news that Sri Mulyani will resign from the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet was raised by economist Faisal Basri.

Another widely read news is about Director of the Institute for Demographic and Poverty Studies Yusuf Wibisono responding to the free milk program promised by presidential candidate number 2 Prabowo Subianto. The program is considered not well-targeted. Why?

Then the news from the Co-Captain of the Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar National Team (Timnas AMIN) Thomas Lembong, who said that raising taxes on the entertainment sector was an irrational step.

Then the news of repeated fires in nickel smelter furnaces in Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi. The government is urged to take responsibility.

The fifth news is related to the vice presidential candidate debate which will be held tomorrow, Sunday, January 21, 2024. Regarding the debate, vice presidential candidate Mahfud Md has a special work program on sustainable environment as written in his vision and mission document. The partner of presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo has several work programs. The first is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by maintaining forests, cutting air pollution from vehicle and industrial emissions, limiting the use of plastics, and transitioning energy to net zero emission.

Jokowi Denies Issue of Finance Minister Sri Mulyani to Resign from the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has denied the issue that some ministers in the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet, including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani, are ready to resign from the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet. “Every day we have ratas, every day we have limited meetings, every day internal meetings, every day with all ministers or with some ministers,” President Jokowi said when met after attending the 78th Anniversary of the Muslimat NU at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, Jakarta, Saturday, January 20, 2024.

Previously, senior economist Faisal Basri at a discussion event in Jakarta recently said Sri Mulyani was the minister who was morally most ready to resign from the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet.

In addition to Sri Mulyani, Faisal also said Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono was ready to resign. According to Faisal, ministers from among technocrats are ready to resign because of the issue of the President’s support in the presidential election.

As if to dismiss the news, President Jokowi emphasized that every day he holds internal meetings with ministers from morning to night. He admitted that in every meeting with different ministers, he did not find any problems.

Economist Calls Prabowo’s Free Milk Program Misdirected, Here’s Why

Director of the Institute for Demographic and Poverty Studies Yusuf Wibisono responded to the free milk program promised by presidential candidate number 2 Prabowo Subianto. He said the program is one of the most popular populist promises in the 2024 presidential election.

The program is Prabowo’s promise to make Indonesia stunting-free. In addition to free milk, Prabowo also created a school and Islamic boarding school lunch program, as well as nutritional assistance for children and toddlers and pregnant women.

However, Yusuf believes that the program is misdirected. “To reduce the prevalence of stunting, the focus of the program should be children aged zero to five years who have chronic and proven malnutrition,” Yusuf told Tempo, Thursday, January 18, 2024.

He explained that the age of 0-2 years or the first thousand days of life is the golden age. At that time, children are preferred to consume breast milk or breast milk and complementary foods after 6 months.

Meanwhile, the provision of powdered or liquid milk processed with ultra-high temperature (UHT) technology is only intended for children over 2 years of age. Even then, said Yusuf, it is done by taking into account physical factors and the ability of children to digest milk.

Anies-Muhaimin camp disagrees on entertainment tax increase

Co-Captain of the Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar National Team (Timnas AMIN) Thomas Lembong said raising taxes on the entertainment sector was an irrational step.

The former Investment Minister explained that the entertainment sector is part of the creative economy because there are millions of actors and is currently a growing sector.

“So for me it is not rational, we are hitting a sector that provides many jobs, showing a lot of success today. And if we hit it with taxes, for me it’s not rational, right?” Thomas said in a discussion held by the National Entrepreneur Community Forum in Jakarta, Friday.

Thomas actually said that a rational tax policy or paradigm is things that want to be reduced, such as pollution and sugary foods and drinks.

Pollution should be taxed, we might recognize it as a fine. Or for example, the consumption of sugar in sugary foods and drinks, which triggers diabetes, triggers obesity, is a consumptive aspect that has a negative impact on the public. Now that’s what we have to tax,” he said.

Morowali Nickel Smelter Fires Again, Researcher Urges Government to Take Responsibility

Indonesia Institute for Sustainable Mining (IISM) researcher Jannus TH Siahaan responded to the recurring nickel smelter furnace fires in Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi. This time the fire occurred in the smelter furnace owned by PT Sulawesi Mining Investment (SMI) on Friday night, January 19, 2024.

“The state must take responsibility for all events that occur in our mineral processing industry, including the exploding smelter incident,” Jannus said through his statement on Saturday, January 20, 2024.

In the face of this incident, according to Jannus, it cannot continue to blame investors. This is because it is the government that allows them to operate in Indonesia. He also emphasized that the government should also be responsible for supervising these activities.

Therefore, he believes that the government must conduct a more in-depth and thorough investigation into the recurring accidents at the Chinese-invested smelter. This investigation, he said, needs to detail what has been done by the previous government because this incident occurred several times in a very close time.

He also encouraged the government to form an integrated team across ministries, institutions and local governments. The goal is for the investigation process to be thorough and comprehensive.

Vice Presidential Debate on Environmental Issues, Mahfud Md Has a Forest Harmony Program

The fourth presidential election debate (Pilpres 2024) will be held tomorrow, Sunday, January 21, 2024 at 19.00 WIB. The debate will be attended by Vice Presidential Candidates (Cawapres), namely serial number 1 Muhaimin Iskandar, serial number 2 Gibran Rakabuming Raka, and serial number 3 Mahfud Md.

The themes carried in the debate are Sustainable development, Natural Resources, Environment, Energy, Food, Agrarian, Indigenous Peoples and Villages. Of all these issues, Mahfud Md has a special work program on sustainable environment as written in his vision and mission document.

The running mate of presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo has several work programs. The first is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by maintaining forests, cutting air pollution from vehicle and industrial emissions, limiting the use of plastics, and transitioning energy to net zero emission.

Second, forest harmony for balance. The document states that Ganjar-Mahfud will implement a moratorium on deforestation and accelerate reforestation, reforestation, restoration, and rehabilitation. “Increase the conservation of forest areas as a source of local food, herbal medicines, water, oxygen, climatological functions, and natural services for the lives of people around the forest,” the document was quoted as saying Saturday, January 20, 2024.