Fri, 25 Jul 2003

PIB undergoes screening

JAKARTA: The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights began screening the New Indonesia Alliance Party (PIB) on Wednesday.

A team from the Ministry for Justice and Human Rights visited PIB's headquarters on Wednesday to determine whether the party had already met the requirements stipulated in Law No. 31/2002 on political parties.

The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has to examine all political parties to ensure that they meet the criteria to participate in the 2004 general election.

PIB was the ninth political party screened by the ministry in the second batch of screening.

The ministry has already completed the first screening, also involving nine parties. The second batch started on July 14 and will be completed on August 15.

If PIB passes the screening, it will undergo another screening by the General Elections Commission (KPU) to determine whether or not they are eligible for the 2004 general election.

PIB chairman Sjahrir was optimistic that his party would pass both screenings, saying that the party has representatives in 22 provinces, far above the stipulated number of provinces (15) in the law on political parties. -- JP

President is fine, doctor says

JAKARTA: A respiratory tract infection has affected the daily activities of President Megawati Soekarnoputri in the past few weeks, Megawati's personal physician Amendi said on Wednesday.

"Despite the problem, she is fine, and her voice may return to normal in the next few days," said Amendi.

Megawati lost her voice recently, prompting her to ask Cabinet ministers to read out her speeches during state functions.

Megawati had to ask State Minister for Women's Empowerment Affairs Sri Redjeki Soemaryoto to read her speech during the celebration of National Children Day in Ancol, North Jakarta on Wednesday.

Amendi said Megawati would not undergo any special medical treatment as the infection was not serious. --Antara

;JP;AP; ANPAa..r.. Indonesia-Australia Australian killed in robbery JP/4/scene

Australian killed in robbery

JAKARTA: An Australian businessman was shot to death by a gang of masked men who robbed him of more than US$10,000, police said Wednesday.

Bernard Keith Moore was gunned down on Monday in his office in Tembeling village on Bintan island in Indonesia's western Riau province, said Riau Police Capt. Heri Heriawan.

Bintan, about 20 kilometers south of Singapore, is the site of numerous foreign-invested factories.

Moore, 58, was the manager of PT Anugrah Buana Bahari Abadi, a sand exporting company. He arrived in Bintan two years ago.

The six robbers also took cellular phones, watches and a bracelet from two workers who were with Moore, Heriawan said.

"The robbers fired at Moore when he refused to hand over his car keys," said Heriawan. The robbers apparently intended to use the car to take them to their speedboat at the company's pier, he added.

Police were still searching for the robbers and were questioning several security guards who witnessed the attack, Heriawan said. --AP

Party demands antipornography bill

JAKARTA: The Justice Party of Prosperity (PKS) called on the House of Representatives (DPR) and the government on Wednesday to draft and enact an antipornography law as soon as possible.

Sri Utami, head of PKS' women affairs division, said the absence of such a law was ironic as Indonesia was a religious society.

"Even liberal countries such as the United States have an antipornography law," said Sri Utami on the sidelines of a seminar on pornography here on Wednesday.

According to Sri Utami, the presence of such a law of high importance, considering that pornography was on the rise in society today. --Antara

;Antara;IWA; ANPAa..r.. Scene-regional-election JP/4/scene

Local direct election rule prepared

JAKARTA: Minister for Home Affairs Hari Sabarno said on Wednesday that his ministry was preparing a regulation as a legal basis to hold a direct election for regional leaders.

"A law is not necessary for a direct regional election, but it could be incorporated into a government regulation," he said.

The government could hold a direct election for regional leaders like governor, regent and mayor by revising the existing regulation, he said.

Hari also said the requirements for regional candidates should also be prepared.

Indonesia will hold its first direct presidential election in 2004, but the date for the election of regional leaders has not yet been decided. -Antara