Thursday, November 19, 2015


2) House to examine minister  over Freeport saga
3) Freeport hits legal hurdle  carrying out IPO
4) PDIP: Freeport Must be Evaluated


WEDNESDAY, 18 NOVEMBER, 2015 | 09:44 WIB

TEMPO/Machfoed Gembong

TEMPO.COJakarta - Eight journalists from the Asia Pacific and African countries met with representatives of the Indonesian Journalist Network Tuesday for talks on press freedom in Papua and West Papua Provinces.
In attendance were Timoci Tavaiviti Vula of the Fiji Sun, Royson Willie with Vanuatu Daily Post, Alfred Solomon Sasoko and Loji Mathias Avla of the Solomon Islands, Elias Aweke Tedesse from Focus Magazine in Ethiopia, Rasoamaromaka Rejo with Radio National of Madagascar, Anthony Mochama Ontita from The Standard in Kenya, and Mashaka Bonifas Mgeta with The Guardian in Tanzania.
As part of programs scheduled during their visit to Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, they participated in the Indonesian Foreign Ministry-sponsored Journalist Visit Program, meeting with Jorsul Sattuan of TV One, Alfian Rumagit from Antara news agency, Marcel Benhur Kellen with Media Indonesia Daily, Edi Siswanto of MNC Group, Richard Jackson Mayor of Suluh Papua, and Harlet dan Vian with Dhara Pos.
At the meeting, the visiting journalists asked about and clarified various issues related to Papua, including the practice of press freedom, the methods of conducting impartial news reporting on human rights issues, and methods of securing accurate information on events occurring in remote areas.
The dialogue was productive. Elias Aweke Tedesse, for instance, suggested to his Indonesian counterparts that it would be good for them to create synergy with international press organizations because, in doing so, they would gain greater opportunities for boosting their professional capacity and networking abilities.
"Even if journalists in Papua need financial support for in-depth news reporting, they can likely get that. Of course, a credible proposal for gaining this financial support is necessary," he stated.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the IJN-Papua and West Papua Chapters Jorsul Sattuan noted that local journalists enjoyed adequate freedom of the press in performing their jobs. "We are free enough when reporting on events in the community. Of course, we need to care for our professional values and journalistic standards," he stressed.
Compared to many other countries, there was no curfew in Papua and West Papua Provinces. "Thus, we and the general public can perform our routine activities freely, 24 hours a day," he said.
The foreign journalists were in Jayapura as part of the Journalist Visit Program, which took place from November 8 through 18, 2015. Besides visiting Jayapura, they also visited Jakarta, Bekasi, Sukabumi, and Bandung (West Java).
2) House to examine minister  over Freeport saga
Erika Anindita,, Jakarta | National | Thu, November 19 2015, 9:43 PM - 
The House of Representatives’ ethics council (MKD) plans to examine Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said over his controversial reporting of two top figures for misconduct. 
Minister Sudirman submitted a Freeport “scandal report” to the ethics council, including a transcript of a recorded conversation allegedly between House Speaker Setya Novanto, oil trader Muhammad Reza Chalid and Freeport Indonesia president director Maroef Sjamsoeddin, who is also a former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy chairman.
“We hope the examination will be held next week,” council deputy chairman Junimart Girsang said on Thursday.
According to the report, Setya and Reza repeatedly mentioned Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan, who is also considered the right-hand man of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, as having a role in making the deal successful. 
Junimart said the examination was aimed at verifying the three page-transcript and recorded material directly with the minister.
He added that the council would also submit the file on the transcript to the National Police's Criminal Investigation Corps (Bareskrim) for forensic analysis, after being listened to by him and his deputy chairmen Hardi Soesilo and Sufi Dasco Ahmad.
Junimart said the examination would be a test for the council to regain public trust, adding that he hope Bareskrim could make the audio recording clearer before the questioning took place. 
According to Junimart, the council will also summon the four figures reportedly recorded or mentioned in the recording, namely Setya, Reza, Maroef and Luhut, next week.
“We will scrutinize all of them,” Junimart asserted. (dan)

3) Freeport hits legal hurdle  carrying out IPO
PT Freeport Indonesia’s plan to carry out an initial public offering (IPO) to fulfill its mandatory divestment obligations has faced another hurdle after a senior mining official said that such a responsibility had no legal basis.

“What we have now is a regulation stating that the company has to make an offer to the government. An IPO cannot be carried out because it has no legal basis. Therefore, the divestment process has to be performed based on the existing regulations,” said Bambang Gatot Ariyono, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for mineral and coal.

The statement was made amid allegations that a prominent legislator was caught on tape asking for a share allocation from the subsidiary of the US mining giant Freeport McMoRan Inc.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said reported House Speaker Setya Novanto to the House ethics council this week, accusing him of using the names of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Jusuf Kalla without their knowledge to demand 20 percent of the Freeport shares as part of the aforementioned divestment program.

Under the regulations, the subsidiary company is required to divest up to 30 percent of its shares to Indonesian shareholders. The share-purchase priority is given to the central government, provincial government and regency or municipal administrations.

As the government already owns 9.36 percent of the company’s shares, Freeport is only required to offer the remaining 20.64 percent under the mandatory divestment.

Funding has been an issue for the central government and regional administrations in absorbing the shares, prompting the government to consider proposing that state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including PT Aneka Tambang and PT Inalum absorb the share.

The question now is whether the divestment will be performed based on a government regulation released last year or through an IPO. The first option is already on the table, but financially complex, while the second is expected to have more transparency but lack a legal basis.
A special staff member at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Nizar Suhendra, said an IPO remained an option.

“The Energy and Mineral Resources Minister considers that an IPO will offer more established supervisory infrastructure. However, it surely needs a legal framework and the government has to discuss the matter with all stakeholders. The government will make a decision in the very near future,” he said.

According to Bambang, a warning letter has been sent to Freeport Indonesia instructing it to make its offer to the government in accordance with the implementation of the 2014 law. “They seem to still be calculating the various possibilities. They will deliver the offer very shortly and we will assess the fair value before sending it to the Finance Ministry to determine the purchaser[s] of the shares,” he said.

However, Freeport Indonesia has said that it is unlikely to submit an offer anytime soon.

“We are waiting for a legal framework and a clear mechanism from the government,” company spokesperson Riza Pratama said.

Freeport Indonesia, which is currently 90.64 percent owned by Freeport McMoRan, has said earlier that it preferred divestment through an IPO for transparency and accountability.

A similar divestment has been previously carried out by Freeport Indonesia. Under its 1991 contract of work, the US company was required to release 51 percent of its shares. In accordance with the 1991 contract, the company released 9.36 percent to the government and another 9.36 percent to a local firm, PT Indocopper Investama, which was controlled by the politically connected Bakrie family. The company never took any action regarding the remaining 32.28 percent of shares. However, Freeport bought a 51 percent share of Indocopper a year later and the remaining 49 percent in 1997. Under a new regulation, Freeport is required only to divest 30 percent.

Last year’s memorandum of understanding between the mineral and coal directorate general and Freeport Indonesia regarding the amendment of the contract of work also stipulated that if the government was not interested in the divestment, then within three years the company could offer the shares to other Indonesian nationals, including listing them on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).

Despite the contract of work and the MoU, Bambang said that an IPO mechanism would still need a legal framework.


WEDNESDAY, 18 NOVEMBER, 2015 | 21:44 WIB
4) PDIP: Freeport Must be Evaluated

TEMPO.COJakarta - After urging Setya Novanto to resign from his post as the House of Representatives (House) Speaker, Masinton Pasaribu, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) asked the government to evaluate PT Freeport Indonesia. Masinton viewed the exposure of talks between the House speaker and the US mining company as a scandal.
"The scandal must be used a momentum to evaluate PT Freeport’s existence in Indonesia," Masinton said at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) building in South Jakarta on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.
Masinton added that Freeport failed to provide significant contribution for Indonesia over the last few decades. As PT Freeport Indonesia's contract will expire in 2021, the government must decide whether it will be extended in 2019.
The Indonesian government had indicated that it will extend the contract as long as Freeport is committed to build smelters, divest its shares and provide benefits for people in Papua. In terms of the divestment, Setya had reportedly asked Freeport's shares by profiteering names of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Vice President Jusuf "JK" Kalla.
The plot was later exposed by Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said. Sudirman reported the case to the House's Honorary Council (MKD), resulting in demands for Setya to resign from his position. Another PDIP politician Adian Napitulu expressed his concern that Setya could intervene with MKD's decision.
Masinton added that Freeport had violated a number of regulations, including causing damages to the environment.
"In addition to investigating SN [Setya Novanto], who was reported to the MKD, PT Freeport must be evaluated," Masinton said. 

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