Indonesian parties bicker as anti-fuel price hike rallies spread

  • Search for MH370 likely to take years, says US official
    Search for MH370 likely to take years, says US official

    The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is likely to drag on for years, a senior US defence official told Reuters today, as an underwater search for any trace of the plane's wreckage off west Australia appeared to have failed. The official, speaking under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment on the... …

  • Widow sues after insurance declines cancer cover after husband gets cancer
    Widow sues after insurance declines cancer cover after husband gets cancer

    GEORGE TOWN, April 25 ― A widow is suing an insurance firm here for RM2 million after it declined to pay out on her husband’s policy against cancer when he was diagnosed with the disease six months... …

  • In Malaysia visit, Obama revisits the ‘Asia pivot’
    In Malaysia visit, Obama revisits the ‘Asia pivot’

    As the excitement swells ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Malaysia this weekend – if not on the closed-off streets of Kuala Lumpur then at least in the media – there’s also a burgeoning anxiety here inside the Washington beltway that the hope’n’change promised by the so-called “Asia pivot” may need some tempering during this... …

  • Slippery slope, lawyers say of Pahang ban on holy books in hotels
    Slippery slope, lawyers say of Pahang ban on holy books in hotels

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 ― A Pahang Islamic body's recent decision to ban hotels from carrying books on non-Islamic religions signals another step on the path towards further erosion of Malaysia... …

  • Families take their doubts on MH370 investigation to Boeing shareholders
    Families take their doubts on MH370 investigation to Boeing shareholders

    Families of passengers on board flight MH370 are now turning to shareholders of aircraft manufacturer Boeing after failing to get any direct answers from Putrajaya and Malaysia Airlines to lingering questions over the investigation into the missing flight. Spearheading the effort is Sarah Bajc, partner of Philip Wood, who was on board the... …

  • PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP
    PR would have suffered serious losses in 2013 polls if hudud was major issue, says DAP

    Pakatan Rakyat would have suffered devastating setbacks in Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Melacca if it had made hudud a major issue in last year’s general election, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang said. The Gelang Patah MP (pic), who had earlier said hudud was never a vote-winner for PAS in previous elections, gave an illustration of how PR... …

Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - With protesters violently clashing with riot police at rallies in several parts of the country yesterday, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) has been accused of fomenting unrest over the planned fuel-price hike by Democratic Party members.

"Rallies against the fuel-price hike are acceptable as long as the initiatives come from the protesters themselves. What I don't understand is why the PDI-P lawmakers don't use their voices to oppose the plan at the House instead of encouraging the rallies," the Democratic Party's House faction leader, Djafar Hafsah, said on Tuesday.

His comments came as the rally in Jakarta turned ugly when protesting students tried to force their way into the State Palace, before clashing with police.

Riot police responded by firing tear gas and spraying the crowd with water canons after intercepting protesters in Gambir, Central Jakarta.

Scores of protesters were also injured during a rally in Palu, Central Sulawesi, after a group of students started hurling rocks at police, triggering a clash.

Democratic Party deputy chairman Max Sopacua accused PDI-P politicians of acting childishly in encouraging its members to join the street protests.

He said that PDI-P politicians feared losing the vote on the proposed fuel-price hike.

"Voting is one of the features in a democracy. There must be a winner and loser during the process. Lawmakers work in the House, not on the streets. It's obvious that PDI-P lawmakers are not ready [for the vote]," Max said.

The PDI-P rejected the accusations and defended the rights of its members to speak freely on issues.

"We don't encourage our members to take to the streets, but we can't prohibit our members from joining the rallies to express their personal views on the plan," the leader of the PDI-P's faction at the House, Puan Maharani, said.

The PDI-P is the only party in the House that has stated it would openly oppose the hike. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) had expressed reservations over the plan.

On Tuesday, the PKS said it would stick to its decision to reject the plan.

"If the government's decision does not meet the people's expectation, [then] we will not abandon the people," PKS chairman Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq said as quoted by Antara news agency.

The House is scheduled to hold a plenary session on Thursday in which lawmakers are expected to decide on two options regarding the government's plan to increase subsidised fuel prices: Putting a ceiling on the amount the government can spend on fuel subsidies but allowing it to increase the price of gasoline, or increasing the amount of the subsidies without any price increase.

The central board of the PDI-P had issued a circular, dated March 26, to all party members to express their rejection of the planned hike.

Responding to the circular, a number of local officials, including Surakarta Deputy Mayor FX Hadi Rudyatmo and Surabaya Deputy Mayor Bambang DH, both members of the PDI-P, joined street protests.

Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi said that his ministry had issued an order banning elected officials from joining the rallies.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Police said that the turnout of protesters in the capital on Tuesday was not as high as expected.

City police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that only around 3,500 protesters joined the demonstration - far lower than the 8,000 registered by the police to join the rally.

"This was way below our expectations," Rikwanto said.

The Jakarta Police had dispatched 22,000 personnel to handle the protest. In other parts of the city, the rallies were much more peaceful, with many protesters leaving once rain began to fall.

The protesters, comprised mainly of students, workers and supporters of the PDI-P, gathered at the entrance of the House building in Senayan, Central Jakarta, at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and at Merdeka Square.

Rikwanto said the situation remained under control, although the protest turned violent in Gambir.

One of the protest leaders, PDI-P member Jeppri F. Silalahi, said a larger rally was expected to take place on Thursday.

During a rally in Gorontalo, protesters seized control of a gas station for around 20 minutes, allowing motorcyclists and three-wheeled motorised taxi-drivers to fill their tanks for free.

Protesters also vandalised the gas station and left after being told that it was privately owned.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said that police had launched an investigation into possible criminal acts that took place during the rally.

"We call on all sides to exercise restraint. We will deal with all criminal acts according to the existing laws," he told The Jakarta Post.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …