Indonesia is a tropical country located on the equator which causes Indonesia has good weather that can produce various natural resources and abundant biodiversity. Indonesia is the second-largest country after Brazil as a biodiversity country with approximately 28,000 plant species of which 1,845 are identified as medicinal plants (Salim & Munadi, 2017, #). Where Indonesian medicinal plants are Indonesia’s superior products that are maximized both in domestic and foreign production. Reporting from the Indonesia Stock Exchange, it was stated that the Indonesian Moringa leaf tea industry originating from West Nusa Tenggara is Indonesia’s leading product, which is capable of producing 200 tons per day and has succeeded in exporting to 13 countries in the United States and Europe. The Moringa leaf tea industry is managed by CV Tri Utami Jaya and the production of Moringa leaf tea is increasing every year that it makes The export destination countries are also increasing. One of the new export destinations for Indonesia in 2022 is Madrid. The increasing of Indonesia’s export destination countries, it shows that Indonesian local products through the production of Moringa leaf tea have succeeded in presenting enjoyment and benefits to the international community. This Moringa leaf has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is safe for consumption and has named the Moringa tree as a miracle tree because it has found various benefits from Moringa leaves.
Moringa leaves can not only be consumed by adults but babies and children in their infancy can also consume it. Because Moringa leaves have various ingredients that have benefits for maintaining human health, including Moringa leaves contain three times more potassium than bananas, four times more calcium than milk, seven times more Vitamin C than oranges, and four times more Vitamin A. than carrots, and has twice the protein content of milk (Buleleg Regency Government, 2018, #). It shows that through the production of Indonesian Moringa leaf tea, Indonesia can become a contributing country to producing herbal products through plants. medicinal plants produced to maximize the potential of medicinal plants that can be used by local Indonesian and international communities to improve the branding of the quality of Indonesian herbal products, contribute to meeting the international supply of wellness products and increase local potential as a strategy to improve the country’s economy. However, Indonesia’s potential for rich herbal plants has not been fully maximized and herbal product innovations are still being neglected. Especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for traditional medicines is always increasing, both national and international demand as selected alternative herbal medicines. Based data from the Indonesian Central Statistics Agency shows that export activities of medicinal plants from Indonesia to main destination countries continue to increase even in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the number of medicinal plant exports from Indonesia to partner destination countries in 2020 was 618,450.6 US$ compared to the previous year. in 2019 only 592,487.6US$ (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2021, #). Based the data from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance explained that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for traditional medicines has increased by 8.45%. Which data shows that if Indonesian medicinal plants are maximized to produce herbal products, this can make a positive contribution to the Indonesian economy (Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia, 2021, #). This shows that Indonesian herbal products can be products that can survive even in the midst of a pandemic. Moringa leaves not only contain ingredients that can only be consumed through tea, but Moringa leaves also contain ingredients that can be used as a beauty product. This is because Moringa leaves have the benefits of more than 30 antioxidant substances that are beneficial for skin health and Moringa leaves are also rich in minerals and amino acids that can produce collagen and keratin protein, which are important ingredients for the health of all skin in the body (Buleleg Regency, 2018, #).
However, in maximizing these benefits, there are no further innovations to be developed as a long-term strategy to produce products other than herbal tea products. If many innovations are found, this will produce more local products that can become a national identity to be promoted Nation Branding in the future. the success of Indonesian Moringa Leaf Tea which has succeeded in exporting tea products in large quantities, which through Moringa leaf tea can replace the nutrition of the international community to meet animal and vegetable protein needs (Anggraeni, 2022, #). This has shown that if Indonesia can produce other product innovations through Moringa leaf raw materials, this can be Indonesia’s potential as a strategy to improve the economy of a country and introduce Indonesia’s biodiversity through the production of Indonesian herbal products, which is in branding products. Indonesian herbal medicine requires the involvement of various actors including state and non-state actors. The government and the Indonesian people can contribute to introducing local products to create Nation Branding both through international events such as international expos, cross-border e-commerce, and maximizing the Indonesian diaspora network spread throughout the country. In addition to the need to provide education, especially to the Indonesian people regarding the importance of maximizing medicinal plants to be used as herbal products. Because Indonesia is a country that is rich in biodiversity, it has various species of medicinal plants. And 80% of the consumers of these herbal drinks are Indonesian people, but there is a lack of socialization about the benefits of the efficacy of the content of medicinal plants. Therefore, education is important to increase public awareness of the importance of consuming and producing herbal products by maximizing the natural wealth owned and not only maximizing export activities, however, it is necessary to make a balance between the needs of the local Indonesian market and the international market.
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Indonesian Constitution Message on Election Postponement
It is provocating to read the legal point of view written by some Indonesian scholars to create legal basis of the delaying of concurrent election in Indonesia . several scholars try to move the flashpoint of the chaotic idea of postponing elections from the narrative of postponing elections for the sake of economic stability and the issue of high levels of satisfaction with the current President to the pendulum of constitutional issues. Some constitutionalist gave advise from the constitutional law lens to stop this polemic by presenting an alternative exit law in the form of constitutional changes, both formal changes as provided in Article 37 of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia and through non-formal mechanisms, namely asking the interpretation of the Constitutional Court. in the judicial review of Article 167 paragraph (1) of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning to Elections against Article 22 E paragraph (1) in conjunction with Article 22 paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. Where Article a quo confirms that elections are held every five years in conflict with provisions regarding to compelling circumstances as they are currently being faced, namely the Health emergency due to COVID-19.
The alternative given seems to be able to unravel the tangled threads of the polemic of postponing the election constitutionally, but when examined, the ideas offered can collide with the value of constitutionalism in the 1945 Constitution. Therefore, this opinion examines this from the text of the formation and amendment of the 1945 Constitution.
A Republic looks like A monarchy
The 1945 Constitution does not explicitly regulate the mechanism for postponing elections. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it can be interpreted that the delay is allowed or prohibited. Both options have a chance of being considered constitutional. That is why it is pivotal to understand and explore the original intent of why postponing the election is prohibited or allowed.
One of the reasons why postponing the election is seen as inappropriate because the idea of the status quo today contradicts the form of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI). The spirit of the form of a unitary state and a republican form of government must be interpreted in one breath. That is the choice of the founding fathers and mothers to choose the form of a unitary state and a republican form of government.
In the form of a republican government, the process of changing state leaders is carried out openly through an election process and has a fixed term in office limit, not in a closed manner like elections based on descent in the form of a monarchy government. The consequence of the existence of an open power transfer process gave birth to an electoral system that was carried out regularly. So that, The elections are the only legal mechanism and the constitutional way in succession the leadership of a country in the form of a republic particularly Indonesia. So that elections must be held to ensure that the spirit of constitutionalism in the form of republican government is maintained.
Furthermore, Article 37 paragraph (5) of the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia mandates that in the mechanism of formal constitutional changes, specifically, the form of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia cannot be changed. In other words, pushing the postponement of elections actually leads to the constitutional disobedience to the provisions contained in the constitution itself and leads to changing the form of a monarchy where the ruling state leader does not have a specific time limit.
Betraying the fundamental Agreement on Amendment to the 1945 Constitution.
The history of constitutional changes in the 1999-2002 period has established five basic agreements in the change agenda. The five agreements served as guidelines (agenda setting) when the framer’s constitution changed. The basic agreements drawn up by the Ad Hoc Committee are: 1) not changing the preamble to the 1945 Constitution, 2) pertaining to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, 3) Reinforcing the presidential government system, 4) explanations for the 1945 Constitution containing normative matters will be included. Into articles 5) make changes by adding an addendum.
According to Cheryl Saunders, a constitutional law professor at Melbourne University, these five points are the agenda for changing the constitution (agenda setting), which is accommodated in the amendments to the constitution. Changes to the constitution always have a background, history and purpose. Changes to the Indonesian constitution depart from the historical aspects that occurred and were experienced in the past and the reaction to previous state administration practices. The agreement to amend the 1945 Constitution became the starting point for correcting weaknesses in past state practices.
One of the weak points of past state administration practices is the flexibility of interpretation during the presidential term of office. The former 1945 Constitution, the change in term of office, was multi-interpretative. This situation then opened the opportunity to MPRS Decree Number IX/MPRS/1966 regarding the appointment of President Soekarno as the great leader of the revolution and president for life, and this was repeated when President Suharto sanctified the interpretation of the absence of firm limitations in the presidential term of office so that he reigned for approximately 32 years.
The message can explain why the presidential term is limited to 5 years and can only be re-elected for one term. This provision is intended in the basic agreement to amend the 1945 Constitution, emphasizing the presidential government system. In a country that adheres to a presidential government system, the president has a fixed term in office. A democratic presidential election process is carried out through elections, thus changing the indirect presidential election system (through the MPR) into direct elections. In line with that, Chapter VIIB was created, which contains Article 22 E paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution to guarantee a 5-year cycle in filling the presidential office. Therefore, the postponement of the election betrays the basic agreement in the amendment of the 1945 Constitution and the values of constitutionalism contained therein.
So that the idea of asking the Constitutional Court’s interpretation regarding the constitutionality of postponing the election is irrational, especially if the Constitutional Court Judge considers legal background from the provisions on the limitation of presidential positions and the basic agreement on amendments to the existing 1945 Constitution. Including when the delay is collided with reasons of urgency forcing. So this must refer to the MK’s interpretation of the emergency situation, and it is necessary to examine by proportionality test whether the postponement of the election has legitimate reasons (legitimate aims) and whether the postponement will have a greater positive impact or even harm (maximum minimorum).
Neglecting the people’s sovereignty over the right to be elected .
The affirmation of Indonesia as a constitutional democracy is firmly enshrined in the provisions of Article 1 paragraph (2) juncto paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution. One of the manifestations of democracy is the distribution of the right to vote. The current idea of postponement reduces the right to be elected. Moreover, the election organizers have been chosen and set the time for the concurrent elections to be held on February 14, 2024.
The government and the political elite should support the work of the election organizers so that they can carry out the simultaneously national and local election processes in the future, instead of presenting new polemics. It is like saying that once the sails expand, the edge never recedes. If this nation is committed to the importance of limiting the term president in office t and has set an election day, then all obstacles and challenges must be faced, not postponing, especially if it delays for reasons that are not significantly essential.
Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Poland began on 19 September 1955 until now. This shows that Indonesia and Poland have established bilateral relations for 67 years. Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Poland consist of various aspects, such as economic, cultural, educational, and development cooperation, which the cooperation have been running smoothly and have clear goals and targets to achieve common interests between countries. One aspect that is no less important to increase cooperation between the two countries by involving the international community in interacting with each other is the social and cultural aspects. Because this social and cultural aspect is one aspect of cooperation that involves the international community (people-to-people interaction) which can build interactions such as shared experiences and can be a strategy for a country to introduce its country’s identity to the international community. One of the people-to-people activities that have been carried out by Indonesia in Poland is the presence of local Indonesian coffee. The existence of Indonesian coffee can be demonstrated by the presence of an Indonesian coffee distributor in Poland, namely Podkawa.
Reporting from the Indonesia in Warsaw Instagram page which is an Instagram account managed by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Poland on February 13, 2022, there is the Warsaw Coffee Festival where the festival promotes Indonesian coffee by inviting the international community to enjoy the festival. The festival not only introduces Indonesian coffee, but the festival also introduces tourism in Bali to the international community who visit the festival. In this festival, it gives a different sensation to the community in enjoying Indonesian coffee, where festival visitors can enjoy coffee while listening to traditional Indonesian music and traditional Indonesian dances, namely gamelan, Gambyong dance, and Rantak (Detik.com #). So that this festival shows that introduces Indonesian identity, through the Indonesian coffee festival, it can also promote other aspects such as tourism, culture, and Indonesia’s natural wealth to visitors who attend the festival. And indirectly through this event can strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and Poland. Due to it can create mutual understanding between the two countries, harmonization of the interaction of the people is important first. Due to the interaction, and harmonization of the international community, this can be a representation of a country that can be seen that the country has high tolerance, diverse culture, abundant natural wealth, beautiful tourism, and has a variety of uniqueness found in the country. It has been done by Indonesia through the festival to introduce Indonesia’s diversity from culture, natural wealth, and tourism. Through the presence of Indonesian Coffee in Poland, this can increase the cultural identity and natural wealth of Indonesia to the people of that country. Where Indonesian coffee is called by “the black gold” which was conveyed by the Deputy Mayor of Krakow, namely Anna Korfel-Jasinska (Liputan6.com, 2019, #) .
It shows that Indonesian coffee has succeeded in providing a different sensation and taste to the international community. According to a 2019 Business Intelligence report, 80% of adults in Poland consume coffee regularly, at least one cup a day. In addition, Poland is the 6th largest country in Europe which is the country with the most coffee consumption. This shows that coffee has become a leading Polish product that is often consumed by its people (Top West Sumatra, 2022, #). With the large consumption of coffee in Poland, this can be an opportunity for Indonesia to maximize coffee variants to be promoted in Poland, besides that Indonesia should be able to find various innovations to continue to improve the reputation of Indonesian coffee not only in Poland, but in various countries in the world. With this potential, Indonesia should be able to find various innovations to continue to improve the reputation of Indonesian coffee not only in Poland, but in various countries in the world. Because Indonesia is a country that has a variety of biodiversity that has abundant natural wealth. And Indonesia must maximize this potential to be introduced to the Indonesian people. through the strategy, it can achieve the mutual interests of the two countries, and bilateral cooperation between the two countries can run optimally if both countries already know the identity of each partner country, and vice versa, not only state actors, but if other actors the country has felt the good image of a country, this will be useful for a country to be seen as a good country, and the international community will also accept our existence when we are in that country. Therefore, social and cultural aspects are very important aspects to be maximized which can assist the role of the state in achieving the common interests of both countries by involving the international community. The success of the existence of Indonesian Coffee in Poland can be a reflection that in fact, Indonesia can also maximize other owned wealth, not only coffee but other natural resources which Indonesia is a tropical country rich in natural products.
To maximize Indonesia’s natural wealth, it is necessary to create new innovations to introduce these products. Both in terms of promotion, packaging, taste, and how to enjoy the product. In Warsaw Coffee Festival can be an example to create this innovation by drinking coffee while enjoying traditional Indonesian music or while enjoying Indonesian dance. Therefore, Indonesia can be seen as a country that is unique, creative, and friendly to the international community due to innovation and different efforts in serving Indonesian dishes. However, in doing so, it requires the involvement of various actors. Both state actors and non-state actors. Indonesian diaspora institutions abroad can collaborate with Indonesian communities abroad in promoting the advantages of social and cultural aspects of Indonesia. With the contributions from various parties, an activity can run optimally. Thus, mutual understanding among the international communities can be achieved which can have a positive impact on bilateral relations between the two countries.
With the postponement of US-ASEAN summit, the likely agenda for the said meeting does not change much. The meeting which was expected to be held by the end of March 2022 was postponed because many of the member states of the ASEAN organisation were not available on those dates. President Joe Biden had offered to host the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) on March 28th and 29th at Washington DC.
The Russia-Ukraine war, problems in Southeast Asia, developments in South China Sea and issues related to post pandemic economic growth were are seen as important aspects which would be discussed in the forthcoming US ASEAN summit meeting. Under the meeting, the US was very insistent on the fact that issues such as the military rule in Myanmar which has completed more than one year need to be addressed by the ASEAN member states. Further with the release of the Indo-Pacific strategy document by the US administration on February 8th, it was expected that US would be trying to highlight its major agenda items and possible future blueprint for the Southeast Asia nations to consider and cooperate in this regard. Biden administration is trying to clearly project to the Southeast Asia nations that US is equally committed to the security of this region and would undertake measures show that the confidence in US administration is restored.
The ASEAN summit meeting banned the military junta in its October 2021 meeting but following the visit of the Cambodian premier Hun Sen(current ASEAN Chair country), to Myanmar it was expected that there would be some rapprochement between the military junta and the concerns of the ASEAN member states. President Joe Biden is insistent on the fact that only nine ASEAN member states and their representatives would be called for the Washington DC summit meeting. During the last two years there have been apprehensions with regard to US approach to the region Under President Joe Biden guidance US administration has made extra efforts so that the vice president of US Kamala Harris, US Défense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken visited this region in various months during the last year. The US administration has also proposed to look into the Indo-Pacific security architecture while at the same time putting its commitment to the Indo Pacific larger framework involving political dialogue and economic integration. In terms of economic interactions between the two sides it has been proposed that Indo-Pacific economic framework need to be worked among the participating nations which could focus on technology, resilient supply chains, digital economy, clean energy, and addressing common security challenges under a specified protocol and arrangement.
While the Indo-Pacific economic framework is still the work in progress but the ASEAN member nations have been working overtime to implement the larger framework of 4th industrial revolution and incorporate the requirements and futuristic technologies to adapt to the artificial intelligence, machine learning, and develop efficient manufacturing units. During the 2020 summit the US has proposed that it will be working with ASEAN nations in developing their health emergencies, new kinds of vaccines, integrating scientific research labs with US institutions, and providing fellowship to the young scientists working in the South East Asian nations. The US vision was primarily shaped by the need for undertaking manufacturing and research in low-cost vaccines and commission different phases of testing of new kinds of medicines and vaccines on the targeted population living in Southeast Asia. The joint venture in the development of medicines was envisaged and also allocation of funds was made by the US health department.
The coordinating country for US-ASEAN relations is Indonesia and it has been working very hard to work on mutually able dates. However, there have been problems with regard to firming up on one date given the fact that the US National Security Council, the Department of State, and the White House need to converge to agreeable dates so as to fix up the dates for the US ASEAN summit meeting. In fact, the holy month of Ramadan starts from April 1st as a result of which many of the ASEAN member nations and their representatives might be fasting during the month of April.
Under Obama administration the first special US ASEAN summit meeting took place in February 2016 while under the Trump administration the proposed meeting which was to be held in March 2020 in Las Vegas was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The US has been facing challenges with regard to naming of its ambassador for the ASEAN secretariat while it was one of the first countries to set up a diplomatic mission for ASEAN. Many dialogue partners of the organization have already appointed ASEAN ambassadors to look into better coordination between the ASEAN nations and the respective Foreign Offices. The Biden administration is especially concerned with regard to developments in Ukraine and the post withdrawal Afghanistan situation, and it is going to highlight the challenges which are being faced by the international community given the assertive China and Russia in the wake of developments in Ukraine and South China Sea. The US administration is also very keen on selling this idea that any camaraderie between Russia and China would not be beneficial for the security of the ASEAN nations. The increasing collaboration between Russia and China would again bring to the fore the challenges which were witnessed by the Southeast Asian nations during the Cold War.
Strategic analysts and foreign policy experts from different quarters speculate about the possible agenda for the summit. It is also seen with apprehension given the fact that US need to buttress its commitment to this region as the 45th anniversary of the US ASEAN relations around the corner. The interim document related to Indo-Pacific which was released after president Biden came into power is seen as a rehash of the Trump era document about the US strategy related to Indo-Pacific. However, it has more specificities given in the text. US is trying to cajole few of the important ASEAN member countries into its fold so as to subscribe to the Indo-Pacific strategy which includes Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.
ASEAN nations view stability and peace in the region as critical for their growth but at the same time want to subscribe to the US Indo-Pacific strategy on their own terms. The Biden administration is celebrating the year 2022 as the ‘Indo Pacific Year’ and is trying very hard to market its new detailed Indo-Pacific strategy document The US National Security Council coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell has been holding monthly meetings with ambassador from ASEAN countries in the US and is meant to showcase US partnership with countries in China’s periphery. The dialogue between Kurt Campbell and the ASEAN ambassadors is also designed to bring about more US participation in the affairs of the Southeast Asian nations and exhort the Southeast Asian nations to keep China at an arm’s length. With the withdrawal of the US from the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), it was expected that US interest in the larger free trade agreement of the Asia Pacific was lost but US wants to bring about its own version of supply chain resilience and look for joint ventures and better investment opportunities for the US companies in this region. One of the major areas where U.S. companies have been equally interested is automation, developing energy industry, military sales and oil and gas exploration projects in South China Sea and nearby regions. China has been trying to cajole the South East Asia nations to subscribe to its concept of peace and stability under the good neighbourliness treaty concept which it envisaged about 5 years back. The US-ASEAN Summit therefore has become all the more important and critical for US interests in the region.
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