JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia's slowing growth rate and developments in the police chief crisis lead our wrap of stories from Indonesia today.
1. Indonesia's growth rate slows to 5-year low
Two Australian drug traffickers facing imminent execution in Indonesia lost a legal bid to have their cases reviewed Wednesday, February 4, dashing their final hope of avoiding the firing squad. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug-smuggling gang, were arrested in 2005 and sentenced to death the following year for attempting to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday said he had done all he could to save the lives of the two, as their lawyers admitted the situation was "bleak".
5. Indonesian Trade Minister gets online flak for saying used clothing can transmit HIV
He later retracted it, but the damage was done. Trade Minister's statement during a legislative hearing on Tuesday that used clothing can transmit HIV will likely now live on in infamy. His statements were made in the context of justifying his ban on the importation of used clothes to protect consumers and domestic products, but health experts and netizens alike were unforgiving. It's not the first time that ministers in Indonesia have made embarassingly controversial statements about the disease. Former Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring tweeted in 2010 that AIDS stood for Akibat Itunya Dipakai Sembarangan, which translates to "due to reckless use of the penis". Read the full story in Bahasa Indonesia on Rappler. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com