The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Indonesia’s aviation industry hard as domestic and international flight numbers have dropped significantly amid social restrictions and a slump in foreign tourist arrivals.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said only 70 flights are still operating of a total of around 79,000 before the virus outbreak.“All the airlines are currently under immense pressure,” Sri Mulyani told House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs in a virtual meeting on Monday. “The airline industry lost income of Rp 207 billion [US$13.65 million] between January and February alone.” She said 240,000 flights were canceled globally between Jan. 23 and Feb. 18, adding that 12,703 domestic and international flights in the country were canceled in the January-February period.The global airline industry is expected to lose up to $314 billion because of the pandemic, according to estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as people choose to stay at home.Read also: Explainer: What’s allowed and what’s not in Indonesia’s ‘mudik’ banStatistics Indonesia (BPS) data showed on Monday that domestic passenger traffic dropped 24 percent in March from the corresponding period last year.This was the fewest foreign tourist arrivals since February 2009 as the coronavirus pandemic led to a slump in travel demand in March.There were 470,900 foreign visitors in March, down 64.11 percent from the same month last year, with tourist numbers from both China and Hong Kong falling more than 96 percent.Foreign arrivals have continued to decline since January, with 1.27 million arrivals in that month, and only 864,000 tourist arrivals in February.Topics :
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams is once again facing the heat over yet another verbal attack against the judiciary.Williams, speaking in the capacity as Chairman of the People’s National Congress (PNC) to the party’s General Council over the weekend, conveyed the impression that the judiciary is plotting against the Government.“For the first time in 23 years, orders have been made by Judges in our courts against the President, Prime Minister and Attorney General, without giving them a hearing,” he is quoted as saying.Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil WilliamsBut his contention is deemed as another unwarranted assault on the integrity of the judiciary and has already been described as another in a series of attempts to sap the judiciary of its independence and autonomy.Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall explained that to his knowledge, no order has been granted against President David Granger without a hearing and he called upon the Attorney General to produce evidence to support his wild assertions.Nonetheless, Nandlall pointed out that in any event, it is trite and settled law that though the President is personally immune from suit, his actions are not.Former Attorney GeneralAnil Nandlall“They are lawfully challengeable by proceedings filed against the Attorney General. A number of legal challenges have been filed against presidential actions, decisions and conduct through the Attorney General, over the past 23 years,” he stated.Nandlall further explained that presidential actions and decisions are not exempted and if the justice of the case demands it, then conservatory orders can be issued and have known to be granted, ex-parte, against such actions/decisions.With regards to the Prime Minister and the Attorney General on the other hand, Nandlall posited that in the eyes of the law, they do not enjoy any special authority.“They stand before the law on the same footing as every other public officer. In fit and proper cases, ex-parte orders can be made against them,” he explained.The legal luminary added, “There is only one exception. In private law matters, prohibitory or coercive orders cannot be made against the State, as per the State Liabilities and Proceedings Act. However, this Act has no applicability in constitutional or public law proceedings. Therefore, it is perfectly proper and lawful for ex-parte orders to be made against the Prime Minister and the Attorney General in appropriate cases in constitutional or public law litigation.”Nandlall surmised that Williams’ intention was to mislead a substantial political block of persons in this country and to pit them against the judiciary by dishonestly conveying the impression that the judiciary is against them.He contended that this “ominous and dangerous development” drags the judiciary baselessly into the political realm which can result in an erosion of public confidence in the legal system.“It is equally clear that the Attorney-General is laying the foundation to cast further blame on and to ascribe more improper motives to the judiciary whenever they do not rule in accordance with his expectations, irrespective of how weak the cases are or, however infantile and misconceived the legal submissions may be,” Nandlall stated.He posited that no democratic society governed by the rule of law can afford to stay silent in the face of these atrocities.“The judiciary must function fearlessly and operate in an atmosphere free from fear. This constant barrage of attacks and intimidation must end now,” the former Attorney General emphasised. These attacks against the judiciary came after the Chancellor, Justice Carl Singh dismissed a State-sponsored appeal which ultimately quashed the racial incitement charge brought against former President Bharrat Jagdeo by a private citizen.