Friday, February 10, 2017

1) Freeport Boss Denies Assaulting Lawmaker

2) Hanura Urges Gov’t to Suspend Freeport’s Operation  
3) Freeport says Indonesia export restrictions remain, no new permit
4) Indonesia, Australia ties intact despite military kerfuffle
1) Freeport Boss Denies Assaulting Lawmaker
By : Eko Prasetyo | on 7:04 PM February 10, 2017
Jakarta. Freeport Indonesia director Chappy Hakim has denied assaulting a lawmaker after a hearing with the House of Representatives' Commission VII.
According to reports, the former Air Force chief of staff had assaulted Commission VII member Mukhtar Tompo after a hearing with several representatives of mining companies, including Freeport, to discuss the government's mining policies.
"There was no beating, unlike what has been reported in the media. Mukhtar also said I never assaulted him," Chappy said in a written statement released on Thursday evening (09/02).
Chappy claimed after the hearing Mukhtar had approached him to ask why Freeport has recently been inconsistent in its policies. Chappy then demanded that Mukhtar prove his accusation.
The Freeport director has already apologized to the Commission VII for the kerfuffle between him and Mukhtar.
Mukhtar's tweets triggered Chappy's anger
Mukhtar meanwhile claimed that Chappy had yelled at him and poked him on the chest with his finger during an altercation after the hearing.
Chappy's anger was reportedly triggered by a tweet from Mukhtar criticizing the lack of progress on Freeport's smelter construction.
"Freeport has violated Law No. 4/2009 articles 103 and 170. Their promise to build a smelter was only a play. This whole thing is a soap opera," Mukhtar tweeted on Dec. 7 last year.
In another tweet on the same day, he said "Freeport Indonesia director's statement to Commission VII today confirms they will not build a smelter if their contract is not extended. Funny."
Freeport is supposed to build a smelter in Gresik, East Java. According to the deal they made with the government, they will not be allowed to export anymore concentrates after Jan. 12 if they do not go ahead with the smelter construction.

FRIDAY, 10 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 21:26 WIB
2) Hanura Urges Gov’t to Suspend Freeport’s Operation  

TEMPO.COJakarta - The People's Conscience Party called on the House of Representatives' Commission VII overseeing energy affairs to urge the government to temporarily halt Freeport Indonesia's business operation.
The call was made as a result of an incident when Freeport Indonesia president director Chappy Hakim snapped at Hanura's lawmaker Mukhtar Tompo during a House work meeting on Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Hanura Faction chairman Nurdin Tampubolon said that Chappy had insulted the House as a legislative institution. Nurdin called on the government to temporarily suspend Freeport's operation until the mining company provides an explanation in relation to the incident.
"This is important since it concerns corporate leader’s attitude toward the House of Representatives as a partner," Nurdin said at the Senayan Parliamentary Complex in Jakarta on Friday, February 2017.
Another reason for the temporary suspension is that the mining company has not built smelters as mandated by Law No. 4/2009. Nurdin did not deny that Indonesia needs Freeport. However, Nurdin pointed out that Freeport is not necessarily above the law.
Earlier, during a meeting between the House's Commission VII and mining companies, Chappy reportedly yelled at Mukhtar. Mukhtar revealed Chappy snapped at him when he was going to shake Chappy's hands.
Mukhtar explained that the incident was triggered by his statement asking Freeport to be consistent in performing its obligation to build smelters in accordance with Law No. 4/2009. Mukhtar said that House's Commission VII declared that Freeport had violated its commitment in relation to the smelter development.
Mukhtar claimed that Chappy has extended his apology through media, but not personally to him.

COMMODITIES | Fri Feb 10, 2017 | 11:32am EST
3) Freeport says Indonesia export restrictions remain, no new permit

Trucks operate in the open-pit mine of PT Freeport's Grasberg copper and gold mine complex near Timika, in the eastern region of Papua, Indonesia on September 19, 2015 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Muhammad Adimaja/Antara Foto/File Photo
Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world's biggest publicly-listed copper miner, said on Friday that it has not reached an agreement with Indonesia on a new permit for its Grasberg mine and copper concentrate exports remain restricted.
Indonesia, which earlier on Friday said it had issued a new mining permit to Freeport, halted shipments of copper concentrate exports on Jan. 12, a suspension that Freeport said would reduce output from its Grasberg mine by around 70 million pounds of copper per month.

(Reporting by Susan Taylor)
4) Indonesia, Australia ties intact despite military kerfuffle
Liza Yosephine The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Fri, February 10, 2017 | 08:36 am
Relations between Australia and Indonesia remain intact despite the latest military stumble that has resulted in an ongoing suspension of defense cooperation, observers have said.
Institute for Defense, Security and Peace Studies executive director Mufti Makarim underlined that major calls on international military cooperation could only be made by executive decision.
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo only suspended a small part of a cooperative partnership on education and training with the TNI’s Australian counterpart, he said, questioning Gatot’s capacity to make the decision.
“There will not be any macro impact on the relations between the two countries based on this case,” Mufti told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Thursday.
Gatot said in a statement late on Wednesday that the TNI had accepted an apology conveyed by Australian Army chief Lt. Gen. Angus Campbell during a meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday. The apology came about following an investigation into offensive training material found at a military training facility in Perth in October.
The statement noted that Australia claimed the material was “not a reflection of the institution but rather that of individual personnel”, adding that the Australian Defense Force had taken steps by evaluating the facility, curriculum and imposing sanctions on those involved.
Gatot has not yet decided to resume full cooperation, saying that he would first need to report to the defense minister and the foreign minister before eventually meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to discuss the future direction of the cooperation.
The kerfuffle started when a visiting language trainer from the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) found that the curriculum at the Perth training facility discredited the TNI for its alleged human rights abuses in East Timor and encouraged the restive Papua region to separate from Indonesia. Also found was a laminated paper depicting a tweaked version of the state ideology of Pancasila, changing it to become “Pancagila,” or “five crazy principles.”
Gatot then suspended interactions with Australia in January while Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said bilateral relations continued to be healthy.
Meanwhile, defense analyst Connie Bakrie said Indonesia would continue to foster good relations despite the incident. She noted there should be a focus on analyzing the root cause behind the distortion of Pancasila.
“What needs to be stressed is to actually see how “Pancagila” could come about, including how long it’s been used and how many batches of it have gone through in the training facility,” Connie told the Post, adding that the risk that it had existed for an extended period of time could point to flaws in the curriculum.
She also noted that Indonesia would be careful to maintain good relations with Australia. As a prominent ally of the United States, and with an expected reduction in America’s military presence in the Asia Pacific under US President Donald Trump, Australia could shift into a growing power, Connie said.
Meanwhile, Iis Gindarsah, a defense expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said dynamic relations between Indonesia and Australia were inevitable, noting that both countries were democratic nations with vibrant civil societies.
“The biggest challenge for a stable bilateral partnership remains how to prevent sensitive issues relating to law enforcement and homeland security disturbing ongoing defense and military cooperation,” he said.
The neighboring countries have experienced ups and downs, with the last major suspension of military cooperation occuring in 2013 following the revelation that Australian intelligence had attempted to spy on Indonesia by tapping the phones of then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and his inner circle.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto recently said President Jokowi was expected to visit Australia on Feb. 26.

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