Thu, 29 May 2003

DPD to have less power than DPR

JAKARTA: The Regional Representatives Council (DPD) will be prevented from disrupting the decision making process in the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), a legislator says.

Yahya Zaini said his Golkar faction would suggest that the bill on the composition of legislative bodies now being deliberated should not give the DPD power that matched that of the House of Representatives regarding the decision making process in the MPR.

Article 13 (3) of the bill states that the Assembly session is valid if it is attended by at least three-quarters of MPR members in deliberating key issues like impeachment of the president.

The article does not specifically mention whether the quorum requires the presence of both DPR and DPD members.

DPR has 550 members and DPD 150 members. The two legislative bodies form the MPR, which will convene at least once a year.

The article means an MPR session can proceed if it is sponsored solely by the House, regardless of the absence of DPD members. -- JP

;JP;KHS; ANPAa..r.. Scene-ASEAN-summit Govt seeks cars for ASEAN Summit JP/4/SCENE

Govt seeks cars for ASEAN Summit

JAKARTA: State Secretary Bambang Kesowo disclosed on Wednesday his concern about Indonesia's preparations for the ASEAN summit which is slated to take place in October in Bali.

Bambang said that among his main concerns was how to procure world-class cars for heads of states attending the summit.

He made the statement during a hearing with House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I for political, security and foreign affairs.

Apart from heads of 10 ASEAN countries, the summit will be attended by four ASEAN partners and possibly delegations from Australia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.

The state secretary said he hoped he could find companies that can provide cars for rental. "It will only create controversy if we buy new cars," Bambang said.

He said he hoped his office could provide state guests with the Volvo S30, the latest in the series. -- JP ;JP;IWA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-teacher-recruitment Govt to recruit 190,000 teachers JP/4/SCENE

Govt to recruit 190,000 teachers

JAKARTA: The government said on Wednesday it would recruit 190,000 contract teachers next year and 47,000 in the following year to overcome the shortage of teachers.

Secretary-general of the Ministry of Education Makmuri Muchlas said the contract teachers would be hired on a three-year basis although their contract could be extended if they performed well.

"We will take candidates from their own regions," he told a press conference.

He also said the government would not promise to take on the teachers as civil servants.

For this year, the government has said that it would recruit some 190,714 contract teachers to teach students from kindergarten to high school.

Of the total, 13,367 teachers would be assigned to kindergartens, 96,866 to elementary schools, 78,408 to junior and senior high schools and 2,133 to special schools.

All contract teachers would receive Rp 460,000 (US$57.5) as a monthly salary . -JP

;JP;SPS; ANPAa..r.. Scene-Australia-aid Australia provides A$4.5 in aid 4/JP/scene

Australia provides A$4.5 in aid

DENPASAR, Bali: Indonesia and Australia signed an agreement on financial aid worth at A$4.5 million (US$2.97 million), most of which will be used to build a new Intensive Care Center at the Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar.

The two-story center will cost A$3.6 million, and the project is expected to begin in June and be completed early in 2004. Australia and the Bali provincial health office are discussing the most effective form of the remaining A$900,000 assistance.

The new Intensive Care Center will have an Intensive Care Unit, an Intensive Cardiac Care Unit, and a Burns Unit. The fund will also be used to refurbish the hospital morgue.

Sanglah Hospital played a major role in treating survivors and keeping the bodies of the victims in the Oct. 12, 2002 bombings on the resort island.

Signing the agreement were managing director of the Sanglah Hospital, I Gusti Lanang M. Rudiartha, the head of Bali provincial health office, Made Molin Yudiasa, and Sam Zappia, the Australian Embassy Counselor for Development Cooperation.

The agreement was part of a A$10.5 million package of assistance to Bali committed by Australian Prime Minister John Howard during his visit here on Feb. 15.

Australia lost 88 of its citizens in the blasts, which killed 202 people, mostly foreigners. --JP