Sat, 05 Apr 2003

Only 50% of HIV/AIDS patients detected

JAKARTA: The Indonesian Humanitarian Committee (KKI) says only 50 percent of people with HIV/AIDS in the country have been detected.

KKI foundation chairman Mar'ie Muhammad said on Friday that most people with HIV/AIDS were reluctant to come forward, making it the extent of the problem impossible for the government to gauge.

"According to government data, the number of people with HIV/AIDS stands at between 80,000 and 120,000 people. But I think the real number is double the figure as most people are ashamed to reveal their condition," said Mar'ie, who is also chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and a former finance minister.

Mar'ie said that the number of people with HIV/AIDS in big countries like China, India and Indonesia tended to increase steadily.

"Curbing the epidemic requires simultaneous, concerted efforts," Mar'ie said.

The KKI, along with the private sector and state enterprises, is active in conducting training to raise people's HIV/AIDS awareness.

The KKI is currently collaborating with the State Savings Bank (BTN). However previously, the KKI has also worked together with PT Gudang Garam, PT Sampoerna and PT Djarum.

"These companies have large numbers of employees, who through proper training could set an example and inform their friends and neighbors of the dangers of HIV/AIDS," Mar'ie said.--Antara

;JP;ANTARA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-security-navy Navy boosts security in Maluku, Papua JP/4/scene

Security boosted in Maluku, Papua

SORONG, Papua: The Navy plans to deploy dozens of warships to ensure security in Indonesian waters, especially off Maluku and Papua.

Sorong Navy Base commander Maj. Kris Sri Hod told Antara on Friday that his organization was optimistic of being able to ensure security in the waters off Maluku and Papua, despite the small number of naval vessels assigned to cover such a huge area.

He stressed, however, that the Navy had been successful in educating and informing the public and the business community about the need to report any violation of the law at sea, such as foreign ships illegally entering Indonesian waters.

"We will also increase the frequency of our patrols at sea," he said.

According to Kris, the number of foreign ships entering Indonesian waters had sharply decreased.

He explained that the Navy would allow all fishing companies to operate in Maluku and Papua waters provided they preserved the maritime environment and possessed the necessary permits.

He said that the Navy would not tolerate any use of bombs or chemical substances for fishing.--Antara

;JP;KHS; ANPA..r..


Lawmakers told to delay education bill

JAKARTA: Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) chairman Nathan Setiabudi repeated his demand on Friday that lawmakers delay the endorsement of the controversial national education bill.

During a discussion on the bill on Friday, Nathan urged religious leaders to sit down together and settle the problem.

Article 13 (1) of the bill obliges schools, including private schools, to provide religious instruction according to the faith of each student.

Nathan said the stipulation would affect the character of private schools run by religious foundations.

The House of Representatives' education commission chairman Taufiqurrahman said that the discussion of pros and cons in the current era of democracy was normal.

Taufiq, a politician from the National Awakening Party (PKB), added that all factions had expressed their agreement with the bill and that it was expected to be endorsed in May. -- JP

;JP;AAH ANPAa..r.. Scene-KPU-corruption KPU to screen members of supervision committee JP/4/SCENE

KPU to screen members of supervision committee

Ramlan Surbakti, the deputy chairman of the General Elections Commission (KPU), said on Friday that the commission would begin the screening process of supervisory committee candidates between April 12 and April 19.

"We have submitted letters to the National Police and the Attorney General's Office, requesting them to nominate their personnel as supervisory committee candidates," he said.

KPU is also selecting election commission members in the country's 30 provinces and over 400 regencies.

The members of the central supervisory committee is to comprise nine representatives taken from the National Police, prosecutors, academicians, members of the press and community members.

Ramlan said each member must be nonpartisan to ensure the independence of the committee, and that all should be given leave of absence from their jobs during their commitment with the committee.

The central supervisory committee will then select members of the supervisory committee at the provincial level, and the provincial level will elect members for regental committee, and so on until the district level.

Election supervisors are responsible for monitoring the election process at every voting booth, including counting the ballots.

The number of supervisory committee members at the provincial level will vary depending on the population of the province. Provinces that have over 10 million people are required to have a seven-member committee, while those with a population of less than 10 million are to have a five-member committee.

The KPU plans to screen and select members of the central supervisory committee on April 19; the provincial on May 13; the regental and municipal on June 5; and the district on June 20. -- JP