Singapore’s ambassador to the US rebutted a New York Times opinion piece by freelance journalist Kirsten Han, saying she portrayed Singapore as an “authoritarian paradise, where critics of the government are squelched and drug traffickers are hanged”. Mr Ashok Kumar Mirpuri said that he could not recognise the country Ms Han described in her March 29 article, titled “What Trump is Learning from Singapore – and Vice Versa”. Ms Han wrote that US President Donald Trump and the Singapore Government are seemingly drawing lessons from each other on two issues. The first was Mr Trump’s reported interest in learning more about Singapore’s approach to drug trafficking, which includes the death penalty. The second was a Singapore parliamentary committee set up to mull over ways to tackle deliberate online falsehoods, or “fake news”, which she said hint at “new restrictions on the media”.
Individual taxpayers, particularly employees, could enjoy the convenience of having their annual tax returns (SPT) filled out by the tax office in the near future, as the tax authority continues to improve its services as part of sweeping tax reform. Under the new system, taxpayers can approve and sign SPTs filled out by the tax authority or revise them accordingly. Tax collection from employees’ income tax (PPh21) stood at Rp30.39tr in the 1Q18, a 15.73% yoy growth. The figure reversed a 0.12 yoy contraction in 2017.
According to data from the Gaikindo, domestic car sales last year reached 1.079 million units, up just 1.6% from 2016. For this year, automakers predicted a more positive outlook. During the first quarter of the year, Mitsubishi sold 55,316 units, a significant increase from the 25,919 units it sold during the same period last year, according to data from ASII. PT Mercedez-Benz Distribution Indonesia (MDI), which also enjoyed a significant growth in sales in the first quarter, is also upbeat about this year’s outlook. Event organizer Dyandra Promosindo is hoping to book Rp3.3tr in transactions from this year’s exhibition, up from last year’s target of Rp3.1tr.
The purpose of the regulation is to add more sources of short-term financing in the financial market, increase the effectiveness of BI’s transmission of monetary policies and aid financial market deepening. As the regulation stipulates, eligible non-bank corporations who wish to issue commercial papers must have an unqualified opinion in their audit and must not have defaulted in the past three years. The minimum purchase for commercial papers was set at Rp500m (US$36,356), if the papers are rupiah denominated, or US$50,000 if the papers are forex-denominated, as stated in Central Bank Regulation (PBI) 19/9/PBI/2017. The commercial papers must have a minimum price of Rp10bn in rupiah-denomination or an equivalent of US$1m in forex-denomination
In its latest quarterly report, the World Bank said that the average economic growth of Indonesia in the period of 2018 – 2020 is projected to reach 5.3%, higher than the 5.1% achieved in 2017. This growth is still likely to increase with a number of improvements, because Indonesia’s economic growth potential is reach 5.6%. The 2018 economic growth will be supported by the continuing rally in commodity prices, as it seen in January – February, driven by rising energy prices, metals, minerals, precious metal.
Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek is set to announce its first expansion to another country in SE Asia in the “next few weeks”. Go-Jek also plans to expand to three other SE Asian countries by the middle of this year, the email quoting Go-Jek chief executive Nadiem Makarim said. The industry’s first big consolidation in SE Asia, home to about 640m people, could put pressure on Go-Jek, which is backed by Alphabet’s Google and China’s Tencent Holdings. Nadiem described that Uber deal as a “great opportunity” because “fewer players means a smoother path to continued and deepened market leadership” for Go-Jek in Indonesia.
The government plans to draft an omnibus bill — a single bill aimed at amending several laws — as part of an effort to speed up the business licensing process. Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said on Wednesday the omnibus bill was needed to amend at least 11 laws related to the issuing of licenses. Currently, the existing laws require license applicants to finish one license before moving to the next, while the government wants to process several licenses simultaneously. “To get a building permit (IMB), investors need to make an environmental impact analysis (Amdal) and to make Amdal they need to make a detailed spatial plan (RDTL),” he said in Jakarta during a meeting between representatives of the central government and regional heads — regents and mayors from across the country. “Now, we want investors to start construction only with RDTL as long as they pledge to arrange Amdal and IMB documents within one year.” Through the conventional way, it needed to amend at least 11 laws so that the government could significantly speed up the licensing process, but the process could be simplified by drafting one omnibus bill, Darmin added. He said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would talk to House of Representatives leaders to discuss the omnibus bill. Darmin added that to prepare the bill, the central government needed to issue a government regulation to freeze a number of ministerial regulations related to licensing issuance and bylaws that were derived from the related laws.