Edition 22 March 2021

  • MUI Edict an Obstacle
    Cover Story

    MUI Edict an Obstacle

    The government’s efforts to persuade the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to release a halal (permissible by Islamic law) fatwa (edict) for the AstraZeneca vaccine have been unsuccessful. Amid lobbying, MUI officials asked to be made commissioners at state-owned enterprises. The government then enlisted religious organizations in the regions so that a halal edict can be issued for the vaccine. With the vaccine’s expiration date approaching, the government is currently mapping regions more amenable to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • Vaccines are Made Using Trypsin and Gelatin
    Cover Story

    Vaccines are Made Using Trypsin and Gelatin

    Trypsin is not a content of vaccine, but a substance used as a catalyst to help vaccine production. After being cleansed, what remains is antigen.

  • The AstraZeneca Controversy
    Cover Story

    The AstraZeneca Controversy

    The AstraZeneca vaccine came under the spotlight after several European countries postponed its use. In Indonesia, the vaccine’s halal status has become something of a controversy.

  • Back to Zero for Terawan
    Cover Story

    Back to Zero for Terawan

    The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency discovered various irregularities in Nusantara vaccine’s research. Clinical trials would have to start over.

  • The High Price of Vaccine Cooperation
    Cover Story

    The High Price of Vaccine Cooperation

    The Chamber of Commerce is suggesting costing for independent vaccination for companies should hold at Rp1 million. Several businesses and associations consider the price too burdensome.

  • Hasty Vaccination
    Cover Story

    Hasty Vaccination

    The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency shortened the Sinovac vaccine shelf life to six months. Health facilities in the provinces made haste to use up all their stock.

  • Catch Me If You Can

    Catch Me If You Can

    The police named Sadikin Aksa, former Bosowa Corporindo CEO, as a suspect in a banking fraud case. It is regarded as a backlash against Bosowa's victory in court.

  • Fueled by Pipe Purchase

    Fueled by Pipe Purchase

    The government overhauled the directors of a Pertamina subsidiary. The decision came after a procurement of refinery project's goods, which was considered not meeting the domestic component requirements.

  • The Three Brigadiers and the Two Car Conundrum

    The Three Brigadiers and the Two Car Conundrum

    The National Police' Criminal Investigation Department investigated three officers with the rank of brigadier in the case of extrajudicial killings of members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). The reconstruction did not explain the fact that all of the victims died with gunshot wounds straight to the heart.  

  • Billions in Fisheries Extortion

    Billions in Fisheries Extortion

    The KPK seized Rp52.3 billion in cash in relation with the lobster larvae export corruption case at the marine affairs and fisheries ministry. It is suspected that the money is fees extorted from the exporters.

  • Interview


    AstraZeneca Vaccine Does not Contain Porcine Material

    The fatwa (edict) commission of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) declared the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine haram (forbidden by Islamic law) because it used trypsin enzyme from pigs in its viral multiplication process. The fatwa runs counter to the drug monitoring agency (BPOM)’s ruling that the enzyme is already broken up thus no longer present in the vaccine making process. Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, Chair of BPOM, considers the end product to be free of porcine material. Given the limited supply of halal (permissible by Islamic law)-certified vaccine Sinovac, the government has no choice but to turn to other vaccines including AstraZeneca.


  • International

    Conditional Victory for Indonesian Palm Oil

    Conditional Victory for Indonesian Palm Oil

    Switzerland approved free trade agreement with Indonesia. With the condition, however, that Indonesia produce palm oil in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

  • Market Pulse

    Bond’s Danger Signal

    Bond’s Danger Signal

    Inflation in the US, which might trigger an interest rate hike by the Fed and reduced liquidity injection, is becoming the biggest fear of emerging markets, including Indonesia. Investor’s money which has been anchored here might just return home, in great numbers and fast.

  • Letters

    Health Ministry’s Clarification 

    Health Ministry’s Clarification 

    The ministry of health clarifies a sentence on the article Vaccine Opportunist in Tempo English, 22-28 March, 2021 issue.

  • Environment

    Power Plant Ash Controversy

    The government takes fly ash resulting from coal combustion off the list of hazardous and toxic waste. There is concern that this will endanger the environment and ignore any impact on those living around coal power plants.



    Smoke on the Water

    The destruction of Malaysian-flag vessels in the Samudera Lampulo Harbor waters, Banda Aceh, Aceh, Thursday, March 18. The Banda Aceh District Prosecutor’s Office destroyed two foreign fishing vessels and their fishing gear after the Banda Aceh District Court found them guilty of conducting illegal fishing. ANTARA/Irwansyah Putra



    Save the River

    Several environmental activists from Mupalas, the Reject Plastics Community, and Ecoton conduct a river water quality test during a plastic-free campaign in Tambak Wedi River, Surabaya, East Java, Thursday, March 18. Apart from carrying out the campaign, they also test the quality of the water known to have been contaminated with waste. ANTARA/Didik Suhartono


  • Dirty Work

    Dirty Work

    Cartoon: Yuyun Nurrachman

  • We Need Science, not Fatwas

    We Need Science, not Fatwas

    The ruling, or fatwa, from the Indonesian Ulemas Council  (MUI) that concludes the AstraZeneca vaccine haram—forbidden—should not be a consideration in the Covid-19 vaccination program. Matters of health need medical and scientific considerations, not fatwas.

  • Whitewashing Coal Waste

    Whitewashing Coal Waste

    The government removed the ash resulting from burning coal in power plants from the category of hazardous and toxic waste. The industry sector is not yet ready to exploit it.

  • Munir, Novel and the Four FPI Members

    Munir, Novel and the Four FPI Members

    The investigation into the shooting of six FPI members must not stop at the perpetrators on the ground. This nation still has a deficit in the upholding of human rights.

  • The Roots of the Chaos

    The Roots of the Chaos

    The chaos over the change of control of Bank Bukopin continues. It all started with the supervisor that fails to take action over violations of banking procedures.

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