Top 3 News of the Week: Economist Sees Indonesia Has Fallen into China's Debt Trap, Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Train Officially Introduced as 'Whoosh'
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tempo English compiled the top 3 news on the platform this week, starting from Monday, September 17, 2023, until Sunday, September 23, 2023. Those include Economist Sees Indonesia Has Fallen into China's Debt Trap, Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Train Officially Introduced as 'Whoosh', and Indonesia-China Agree on KCJB's Operation and Maintenance Consortium.
The following is the list of the top three news on Tempo English this week:
1. Economist Sees Indonesia Has Fallen into China's Debt Trap
Yusuf Wibisono, an economist and Director of the Indonesia Development and Islamic Studies (IDEAS), assessed that Indonesia has fallen into China's debt trap following the issuance of the Finance Minister’s Regulation No. 89 of 2023 on the provision of government guarantees for the acceleration of the infrastructure and facilities of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train (KCJB).
“Through which the government is forced to comply with all the wishes of the Chinese party so that this project is completed and not stalled,” he told Tempo in a WhatsApp chat on Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
The bullet train project, he argued, has strayed far from the plan. Initially, it was expected to benefit Indonesia and operate under the business-to-business scheme, but now it has taken a 180-degree turn.
2. Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Train Officially Introduced as 'Whoosh'
The government has officially introduced the new name of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train as 'WHOOSH'. “It’s Whoosh,” said Triawan Munaf, Head of the fast train brand competition panel team as a representative of the SOE Ministry, in a press conference held virtually on Thursday, September 21, 2023.
Whoosh is also an acronym for Waktu Hemat, Operasi Optimal, Sistem Handal which literally translates to Save Time, Optimal Operation, Reliable System.
According to Triawan, President Joko Widodo or Jokowi and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi kept mentioning 'Whoosh' when trying out the bullet train which in English means a quick move.
3. Indonesia-China Agree on KCJB's Operation and Maintenance Consortium
General Manager Corporate Secretary of PT KCIC Eva Chairunisa explained that the governments of Indonesia and China have agreed upon the operation and maintenance consortium (OMC) of the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Train (KCJB). According to Eva, the operation of high-speed rail necessitated human resources with specific skills.
In relation to that, Indonesia and China agreed that the initial phase of KCJB's maintenance and operation will be conducted by the consortium from both countries' companies, namely China Railway Engineering Corporation and PT KAI. "Meanwhile, the budget for KCJB's OMC is agreed for no more than Rp1 trillion every year," Eva said in a brief text message on Friday, September 15, 2023.
However, PT KCIC is currently preparing for 1,100 local manpower by December 2023 with special qualifications and experience in the field of railways to conduct KCJB's operation and maintenance. The manpower will first go through several phases of training.
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