Government to close Stamp Duty loophole

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Too unlimited?

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

PREMIUMUncertainty looms as nonpermanent state employees face 2023 deadline

first_imgTopics : Forty-nine-year-old Ahmad Saifudin has been a contract teacher half of his life. After a brief period in the private sector, he decided to become a teacher in 1996, starting at state junior high school SMP 1 Gladak Sari in Central Java’s Boyolali regency.“I chose to stay and work as a teacher for 24 years because that was my calling. I used to work for insurance and consultant companies, but I found my passion in teaching,” Ahmad Saifudin, or Pak Udin, told The Jakarta Post.Udin, who is also an activist with the Indonesian Nonpermanent State Employees Association (PHK2I), said life as a nonpermanent worker had never been easy, because he earned only Rp 1.6 million (US$117.57) per month in salary.“I used to receive Rp 10,000 per month in salary in 1996. Then I got a raise to Rp 100,000 per month and then another raise to Rp 600,000 per month a few years… Linkedin Log in with your social account Facebook CivilServants employee civil-servants Administrative-and-Bureaucratic-Reform-Ministry administration regional-administrations non-permanent-civil-servants contract-worker Forgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Googlelast_img read more

French skate coach faces probe into sexual abuse of minors claims

first_imgFrench prosecutors opened an investigation into claims of rape and sexual abuse of minors in figure skating on Tuesday as details emerged of allegations made 20 years ago against the coach at the heart of the case.The probe, hailed as a “strong signal” by French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu and in which “the words of the victims must be heard”, will focus on claims made by former world championship bronze medallist Sarah Abitbol.In her autobiography published last week, Abitbol accused coach Gilles Beyer of raping her several times from 1990 to 1992 when she was between the ages of 15 and 17. “He (Beyer) started to do horrible things leading to sexual abuse and I was raped at 15,” said Abitbol, now 44, in a video interview with L’Obs.The investigation will also “attempt to identify all the other victims who suffered… offences of the same nature”, Paris-based prosecutor Remy Heitz said.Abitbol’s claims coincided with sports daily L’Equipe publishing an investigation in which three other skaters accused Beyer and two other coaches, Jean-Roland Racle and Michel Lotz, of abuse and rape when they were minors.Further allegations of underage sexual abuse emerged from former swimmers and tennis players. On Friday, 62-year-old Beyer admitted to having had “intimate” and “inappropriate” relations with Abitbol, telling AFP he was “sincerely sorry”.”I acknowledge having had intimate relationships with her,” Beyer said in a statement.”If my memories of the exact circumstances differ from hers, I am aware that, given my duties and her age at the time, these relationships were inappropriate.”Racle has denied the accusations while Lotz has not commented. Sports Minister Maracineanu has called for the president of France’s ice skating federation, Didier Gailhaguet, to resign, saying he “cannot absolve himself of his moral and personal responsibility”. But after a meeting at the federation’s Paris headquarters on Tuesday, Gailhaguet said he would not make a decision on whether to step down until the investigation had concluded.”I, as federation president, will await the result of this investigation before making any decision on the resignation the sports minister asked for,” the 66-year-old said. Powerful figure Maracineanu, a former swimming world champion, does not have the power to sack Gailhaguet but has intimated that the federation would face state sanctions if he remains. Gailhaguet, who is due to hold a press conference on Wednesday, has been the most influential man in French ice skating since he first became president in 1998, some years after the alleged offences.He has headed the federation ever since apart from a three-year hiatus between 2004 and 2007 which followed a judging scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He was suspended by the International Skating Union for three years from 2002 and duly gave up, temporarily, the presidency of the French federation.Gailhaguet’s accession to the presidency opened the door for Beyer to take charge of the French national team. Two years later, another skater made a complaint against Beyer which was followed up at ministry level but not acted on by prosecutors.The report of that investigation, which has been seen by AFP, shows that Gailhaguet was aware of the nature of the allegations against Beyer. In a letter addressed to him and dated February 8, 2000, the parents of a young skater outline Beyer’s inappropriate behaviour towards their daughter, who was 17, during a training camp.According to the letter which relates to an incident in July 1999, Beyer was “under the effects of alcohol” when he sat on the girl’s bed. After talking he said he would leave but asked if he could kiss her. She declined.”It would be desirable, not to say essential … that this gentleman never again gets close to adolescent skaters who are minors,” the parents said in the letter.Beyer did not comment on those claims when contacted by AFP.The 2000 inquiry led the sports ministry to remove him from his technical role at the federation, but he remained a coach at club level and held an executive position at the federation until 2018.On Tuesday, former Olympic champion Gwendal Peizerat, who won the 2002 ice dance gold with Marina Anissina, said the revelations were “the tip of the iceberg”.”We’re talking about rape, harassment … Didier Gailhaguet is not the moral example we should be showing our children,” said Peizerat, who unsuccessfully challenged Gailhaguet as skating chief in a 2014 election.Topics :last_img read more

Big South Carolina win gives Joe Biden campaign new life; Super Tuesday looms

first_imgAn outpouring of black voter support propelled Joe Biden to a convincing victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday, resurrecting his faltering White House bid and giving the former vice president a chance to claim he is the moderate alternative to front-runner Bernie Sanders.The decisive win gives Biden a burst of momentum in the Democratic race to challenge Republican President Donald Trump, which broadens quickly with Super Tuesday primaries in 14 states in three days that will award one-third of the available national delegates.It was the first presidential primary win ever for Biden, who is making his third run at the White House. He immediately took aim at Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist whose surging campaign and calls for a political revolution have rattled a Democratic establishment worried he is too far left to beat Trump in November.”Democrats want a nominee who is a Democrat,” Biden told cheering supporters in Columbia, South Carolina, in a jab at Sanders. “Win big or lose, that’s the choice. Most Americans don’t want the promise of a revolution. They want more than promises they want results.”Biden beat Sanders among a wide range of demographic and ideological groups, including those who said they were “very liberal,” according to Edison Research exit polls. The polls showed Biden, vice president under former President Barack Obama, with 61% of African-American support to Sanders’ 17%.In the wake of his decisive victory, Biden was endorsed by Terry McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia and ex-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and U.S. Representative Bobby Scott, an influential African-American lawmaker from Virginia – a possible sign the Democratic establishment was starting to coalesce around his candidacy. Biden must now hope a flurry of media attention and his name recognition will help him in Super Tuesday states, where Sanders’ prolific fundraising has helped him build bigger organizations and broadcast far more advertisements. Sanders leads opinion polls in delegate-rich California, where 3 million early votes have already been cast.Biden and all of the other Democratic contenders also will face competition for the first time on Super Tuesday from billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has blanketed the country with half a billion dollars in advertising. Bloomberg skipped the first four state primaries.But at least five states – Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Virginia – have big blocs of African-American voters that could help Biden make a comeback.Supporters listen to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden at his South Carolina primary night rally in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., February 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)Biden’s dominance in South Carolina raised questions about the continued viability of most of the other contenders. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar all were well behind in the state and have dwindling chances to mount a comeback.With 99% of the precincts reporting, Biden had 49% of the vote and Sanders was a distant second with 20%, according to official state results. Billionaire activist Tom Steyer had 11% and all of the other contenders were well behind with single digits.Edison Research estimated 530,000 votes were cast in the Democratic primary, well ahead of the 371,000 cast in 2016 and about the same number as 2008.Democratic Presidential candidate entrepreneur Tom Steyer talks with supporters as he leaves following his announcement that he is suspending his campaign at his election night party on the day of the South Carolina Presidential Primary in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., February 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Mark Makela)STEYER DROPS OUTAs the vote count rolled in on Saturday night, Steyer, who had spent heavily in South Carolina to court African-American voters, ended his presidential bid as it emerged he was coming in a distant third.Biden desperately needed a win after poor showings in the first two nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire and a second-place finish in Nevada. He had viewed South Carolina, where his popularity among the state’s big bloc of black voters proved decisive, as his firewall against disaster.The resounding margin could slow the momentum of Sanders, who had grown stronger with each contest, finishing in a virtual tie for first in Iowa with Buttigieg, before notching wins in New Hampshire and Nevada.”You cannot win them all,” Sanders told supporters in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “This will not be the only defeat. There are a lot of states in this country and nobody wins them all.”Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders greets supporters at his South Carolina primary night rally in Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S., February 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)Biden, a mainstream Democrat with decades of experience on the U.S. political stage, was powered in South Carolina by support from a broad range of voters, including men and women, black and white, middle-aged and old, those with and without college degrees, independent, liberal and conservative, exit polls showed.The data showed Biden beating Sanders, who has touted his ability to bring out new voters, among those who were voting in a Democratic primary for the first time.Exit polls found about six of 10 of South Carolina voters said influential black congressman James Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden on Wednesday was a factor in their decision. Clyburn introduced Biden at his victory rally.”My buddy Jim Clyburn, you brought me back!” Biden told the No. 3 House Democrat before addressing supporters.Biden was projected to win at least 32 of the 54 pledged delegates in South Carolina and Sanders 11, with more to be allocated. No other candidate was projected to have won any delegates in the state. Heading into the primary, Sanders had 54 delegates, Buttigieg 26 and Biden 15.A candidate needs at least 1,991 delegates to win the nomination outright at the party’s convention in July.Exit polls showed about half of voters wanted a candidate who would return to Obama’s policies, a key argument of Biden. Nearly eight of 10 voters in South Carolina said they had a favorable view of Biden, compared with five of 10 who saw rival Sanders favorably.The polls also showed Buttigieg and Klobuchar, who had done relatively well in predominantly white Iowa and New Hampshire, had low single-digit support among black voters, raising questions about their path forward as the race moves into more diverse states in March.Warren, who finished fifth with 7%, congratulated Biden on his victory at a rally in Houston but made clear that she would go on fighting for delegates.”I’ll be the first to say that the first four contests haven’t gone exactly as I’d hoped,” she said, before urging supporters to donate to her campaign. “My campaign is built for the long haul and we are looking forward to these big contests.”Topics :last_img read more

Months in, two of KPK’s key graft suspects remain at large

first_imgNurhadi was named a suspect in December for allegedly accepting bribes amounting to Rp 46 billion (US$3.2 million) in connection to three cases handled by the country’s highest court between 2011 and 2016.Harun Masiku, meanwhile, was named a suspect in January in a bribery case implicating the ruling party PDI-P, allegedly related to his efforts to secure a seat as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives. The KPK has also named General Elections Commissioner (KPU) Wahyu Setiawan a suspect in the same case.Nurul said that after being named suspects, the two had taken themselves off the grid by not using communication methods such as mobile phones, which further complicated the search process.Nurul also said the KPK had not found any indications they were being hidden, but declined to provide further details about the KPK’s search methods and the locations that had been scoped out. He asserted that the antigraft body would continue its search for the suspects.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who is also a senior PDI-P politician, came under fire, as the public and experts lambasted him over an alleged cover up after the Immigration Directorate General, which his ministry oversees, released information that Harun had fled to Singapore and that he was still out of the country when he was named a suspect.It was later discovered that Harun had departed for Singapore on Jan. 6 and returned to Indonesia on Jan. 7 before the KPK named him a suspect the following day. The revelation triggered the dismissal of Ronnie Sompie, the immigration director general, and the formation of a special fact-finding team that ended up blaming an error in the immigration database for the false information that was provided regarding Harun’s whereabouts. (mfp) The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has not yet been able to arrest two key graft suspects who are still on the loose, former Supreme Court secretary Nurhadi and politician from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Harun Masiku, months after the antigraft agency named them suspects in two separate cases.KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron said efforts to discover the whereabouts of the two suspects had been unsuccessful.“We have searched in 13 locations indicated to be their location, but we have had no results yet,” Nurul said on Friday. Topics :last_img read more

Overseas Indonesian students break record by hosting 100-hour webinar

first_imgThe Overseas Indonesian Students Association Alliance (PPI-Dunia) has made a new Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) record by hosting a web seminar (webinar) in January for 100 hours straight on its YouTube platform.The new achievement broke the previous record of a 36-hour webinar held by another organization.The webinar, which was held from Jan. 6 to 10, was divided into 50 sessions that were delivered by Indonesian students studying for bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees in various campuses across the globe.In a statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Thursday, PPI-Dunia said the online seminar – which mostly discussed overseas scholarships – was aimed at providing a more solid database about educational information overseas for Indonesian students, viewing the difficulties often faced by prospective students to get adequate information about study opportunities.“Throughout the year, there are many activities that PPI-Dunia conducts to give information about schools or scholarships from countries around the world,” said Fadlan Muzakki, the coordinator of PPI-Dunia in the statement. “Such activities have yet to be properly organized and documented.”Read also: Indonesian students in China launch GenWi community to promote Indonesian tourismTraditionally, Fadlan gets help from his colleagues in the PPI branches in each country in setting up agendas and establishing collaborations with Indonesian students around the globe.Dyhan Ramadhan, a PPI-Dunia member and the webinar’s project leader, said one of the challenges during preparation for the record-breaking webinar was to invite Indonesian students in more than 40 countries to be the speakers.In order to make each session effective, Dyhan and his team had to find the most suitable time that fit the respective time zones of the speakers, moderators and participants.“It needs good teamwork. So, when those in the eastern part of the world are asleep, the western part could take over the duties,” he said in the statement.With more than 1,000 participants accessing the whole session, the webinar involved and connected Indonesians studying at home and abroad simultaneously.Topics :last_img read more

Bank Indonesia to relax credit card regulations to fuel virus-battered economy

first_img“This is aimed at expanding the use of cashless transactions to mitigate the COVID-19 impacts,” Perry told reporters after BI’s board of governors meeting on Tuesday. “We are working to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability, as well as [ensure] economic recovery.”The central bank decided to lower the credit card interest rate to 2 percent per month from the current 2.25 percent and slashed the minimum credit card payment from 10 percent to 5 percent of total outstanding credit.Read also: Explainer: BI to throw lifeline to Indonesia’s economy to fight COVID-19Furthermore, it will also lower the late payment penalty from the current 3 percent of the outstanding amount or a maximum Rp 150,000 (US$9.51) to 1 percent or a maximum of Rp 100,000. Households spending, which accounts for more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), is expected to decline as the pandemic forces citizens to stay at home and lowers demand, as some people have lost jobs and income. According to the government’s worst-case scenario, 3.78 million people could fall into poverty and 5.2 million could lose their jobs amid the pandemic, while the economy could contract by 0.4 percent this year.The central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate twice this year by 50 basis points in total to help boost Indonesia’s economy. The lower policy rate is expected to be transmitted into lower interest rates on various bank loans, ranging from consumer to corporate credit.According to BI data, some 27 million credit card transactions amounted to Rp 25.86 billion in February, marking a slight increase from February 2019, when 26.4 million transactions added up to a total of Rp 25.81 billion.Indonesian Credit Card Association chairman Steve Martha said the regulation would directly benefit consumers that might face financial problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it would also benefit the industry in the long run.Read also: COVID-19 batters Indonesia’s loan growth to record low“As businesses close and lay off employees while people are forced to stay at home, they may have problems with paying their credit card bills,” Steve told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “We see some risks to the industry, and this regulation comes to ease consumers’ burden.”“We are hoping that this regulation can help credit card holders with paying their bills, so the industry could reduce the risk of rising nonperforming loans,” Steve said.Steve said the industry’s NPL was around 2 percent, adding the coronavirus pandemic “no doubt” would cause a higher bad debt ratio if not for intervention by government authorities.He admitted that the rising NPL had yet to be seen in March, but credit card transactions had started to slow compared to the previous month.The virus has infected more than 2 million people around the globe – including more than 5,500 in Indonesia, according to official data – forcing factories, shops and schools to close in various countries amid government-imposed lockdowns and social restrictions. The situation has upended supply chains, forcing companies to lay off employees and crushed demand for goods as consumers stay at home.Contacted separately, Center of Reform on Economics (Core) Indonesia research director Piter Abdullah told the Post that the relaxed regulation would have a positive impact for businesses and the banking industry, adding that it would boost consumer spending and reduce NPL risks.“Although the government has rolled out appropriate fiscal stimulus, they must not allow a protracted health crisis, because it may cause another banking crisis like in 1998,” Piter said, expressing confidence that economic policies had been aggressive enough to prevent economic meltdown.Read also: Remember these tips before using your credit cardHowever, if the government is unable to curb the virus spread, while factories and businesses remain closed and people stay indoors, such a situation could trigger a financial crisis similar to that in 1998, when borrowers defaulted on their payments and banks declared bankruptcy, Piter warned.“The 1998 NPL level of around 60 percent was caused by deep corruption, nepotism and careless debt handling, both in businesses and in the government,” Piter went on to say.“It may not be repeated this year, since the banking industry and businesses were in a healthy condition before the virus struck,” Piter said. “Thus, the government and central bank must do everything to prevent spill-over from the health crisis into a financial crisis.”Topics : Bank Indonesia (BI) will relax rules on credit cards, including lowering the maximum interest rate and late payment penalty, to boost cashless transactions and fuel economic activities during the coronavirus pandemic.BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said the regulation would serve as a stimulus for credit card holders and businesses to boost the virus-hit economy. The relaxation will take effect starting on May 1 and remain in place until the end of the year.last_img read more

Viral content: Tokyo governor’s distancing call is online hit

first_imgTopics : Governor Yuriko Koike has spearheaded calls for Tokyo to take a rising number of infections more seriously, pushing for the state of emergency the government has now declared nationwide.In near-daily messages to the capital’s residents, she has warned people to avoid areas where they may come into close contact with others.Since then, the word “mitsu”, which indicates confined, crowded and close in Japanese, has been trending online.The video of the game, posted by its creator, was retweeted more than 88,000 times and liked 204,000 times within just a few hours. Koike’s social distancing messages have also been remixed by another Twitter user, with “it’s mitsu” in Japanese looped against a club beat as the governor’s image floats in the background.The governor has also become the star of manga art, with one cartoon depicting a mask-wearing Koike as having the magic power of being able to create two meters of distance between people, simply by whispering “mitsu”.Japan’s outbreak remains less severe than in hard-hit European countries, but its caseload is one of Asia’s highest after China and India, and is roughly on par with South Korea.There have been 171 deaths recorded so far and more than 10,700 cases.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged residents to reduce contact with other people by 70 to 80 percent, and the number of people on Tokyo’s normally packed transport system has dropped significantly.But the measures do not prevent people from going out, and many shops and even restaurants remain open.center_img Manga, music and even video games: Calls from Tokyo’s governor for residents to practice social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus have inspired a slew of viral online tributes.On Twitter, a clip from a game in which players roam around town finding and breaking up gatherings was shared tens of thousands of times after being posted on Monday.A suit-clad female politician can be seen running — or flying — towards groups of people and bouncing them apart with a wave of her hand.last_img read more

Companies still hiring now looking ahead to post-epidemic recovery: Mekari survey

first_img“Technology will play an integral role in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’. There is an increasing demand for technologies that can help companies implement working from home, [systems],” he said.The hiring freeze and reduction have made it difficult for fresh university graduates to find jobs. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) shows that around 737,000 of the country’s 13 million university graduates were unemployed in August, 2019, or 5.67 percent. This is still higher than the country’s overall unemployment rate of 5.28 percent during the same period.The Manpower Ministry’s data revealed that around 1.7 million formal and informal workers had lost their jobs by May 1. In the formal sector, 375,165 workers were categorized as Pemutusan Hubungan Kerja (PHK), or termination of employment, while more than 1 million workers were “pekerja dirumahkan” (on unpaid leave).The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) presents a stark contrast, estimating that at least 6 million workers had lost their jobs due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.Some start-ups have also reduced hiring and placed employees on unpaid leave to stay afloat during the outbreak. Others, like Airy Rooms, have permanently shuttered their businesses.Country director Steve Sutanto of Glints Indonesia, a career development platform and graduate recruitment network, said earlier that businesses had become more prudent in hiring new talent. He also noted that the retail, travel, aviation and food and beverage industries were among the most affected.A separate survey by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum found that 58 percent of Indonesian businesses had cut their recruitment budgets. The figure is slightly lower than the average 61 percent of businesses in India, Singapore and Vietnam that had imposed recruitment budget cuts.The survey also showed that businesses in Singapore had taken the most aggressive approach to cutting recruitment budgets, followed by Indian and Indonesian businesses.“Over time, there has been more pessimism as people worried about the security of their jobs, incomes and finances, which has resulted in consumers reducing their spending as well,” said SurveySensum CEO Rajiv Lamba.Lamba also noted that 89 percent of transportation companies and 76 percent of financial services companies surveyed in the four countries said they had cut their hiring budgets.Meanwhile, the e-commerce and the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors had the lowest percentage of businesses reporting recruitment budget cuts, he said. The two sectors were only moderately affected and both have optimism that they can bounce back rapidly post-COVID-19.Reuters reported that FMCG manufacturer Unilever, whose products include personal care items like soap and shampoo, confirmed in April that it was hiring to fill 300 global jobs, but without elaborating further.The International Labor Organization has warned that 1.6 billion workers, or nearly half of the global workforce, could lose their livelihoods, especially in the informal economy.Topics : It also found that 64 percent of the surveyed companies had reduced their recruitment target from seven new hires per month to just two on average.At the same time, the data showed that 25 percent of the surveyed companies continued to hire until the work from home (WFH) policy was issued, while 11 percent of the companies maintained the same recruitment rate before and after the WFH was implemented.“There are still companies that are hiring employees, even though the numbers are not large,” Mekari vice president marketing Standie Nagadi said on Thursday. “This is one of the strategic steps the companies have taken so that when the pandemic ends, they can bounce back faster,” he said.Standie said that the survey data was aggregated and anonymous, and that Mekari was not given access to clients’ internal data to identify the business sectors that were still hiring during the epidemic. While most businesses have been forced to downsize and have halted recruiting new staff, a recent survey has found that some companies are continuing to hire new employees as part of their strategy for faster recovery after the health crisis ends.A recently published month-long survey by Mekari, a human resource and financial solutions start-up, shows that most Indonesian companies have either frozen or reduced hiring during the COVID-19 epidemic.Talenta, Mekari’s human resource information system (HRIS), collected data on 558 companies that were still recruiting before social distancing was implemented in early March. Of these, only 410 were still hiring between March 13 and April 13.last_img read more