Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away

BBC/KATHERINA TSE A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing
A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing

With the Chinese economy facing massive challenges, there have been concerns over its growth potential, at least in the immediate future.

Yet a key exception is emerging in the form of domestic tourism.

Last week’s five-day public holiday to mark labour day saw 295 million trips made within China, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This was 28% higher than pre-pandemic figures recorded in 2019.

The Transport Ministry’s figures are also staggering: 92 million rail trips; almost 10 million air trips and 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, this comes as international arrivals continue to lag, with foreigners currently entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels. Why the disparity?

The beautiful historical river town of Wuzhen, a short drive from Shanghai, is considered one of China’s top visitor sites for travellers of all types. When we arrive the little pathways and old bridges which cross narrow waterways are filled with visitors.

A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing – as if you have really been transported back hundreds of years.

Two women in their 20s, friends since high school, are visiting from Jilin Province in the north east. After arriving, they spend an hour getting their hair done in an elaborate imperial-era style – and they are full of praise for Wuzhen’s classical beauty.

We ask if, following the post-Covid opening up, many of their family and other friends have been travelling much? “Of course, after the pandemic, we’re all visiting other places.”

Nearby a local man who is selling ice-creams also says tourist numbers are “not that bad lately”.

As good as before Covid? “Almost the same,” he replies.

Shopkeeper Wang Ying, who sells traditional snacks, echoes this sentiment with a big smile on her face. “Business is going well, and it’ll only get better.”

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Wuzhen is considered one of China's top visitor sites
Wuzhen is considered one of China’s top visitor sites

All this will be seen as good news for the Chinese government. It’s been saying that a push on domestic consumption can counter the significant faltering portions of the economy.

Major players in the once-mighty property sector are struggling to stay afloat, local government debt continues to rise, and persistent youth unemployment has left highly qualified university graduates uncertain of their future.

Amid all these challenges, the Communist Party has set a target of “around 5%” GDP growth for this year. Apart from the fact that analysts have long questioned the veracity of the country’s official growth figures, economists are also asking how such a target can be reached, in any genuine sense, in 2024 without significant extra stimulus.

One lifeline could be a more buoyant travel scene which could bring broader business opportunities and greater service industry employment.

Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at travel agency, told the BBC: “We’ve seen very strong domestic travel demand with search volumes in hotels up 67% compared to last year, and flight volumes up 80%.”

Tourism industry consultant Peng Han from Travel Daily is following the investment trail to see how the business community really views the possibilities in the sector.

“With famous international hotel brands – like Intercontinental, Marriott and Hilton – you just have to look at their growth in China in 2023,” he says. “Then check the performance goals for these large hotel groups in 2024 which have also been set relatively high. This shows that they are very optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market.”

But, while the volume of local travellers might be up, Mr Peng does point to the problem of per capita consumption which remains persistently low.

He says general uncertainty about the Chinese economy is putting more emphasis on saving, so people are looking for good value options. They are going on holidays and paying for things but doing so much more frugally.

This is where an increase in big-spending foreigners could help. But they are simply not travelling to China in the numbers they used to.

In 2019, nearly 98 million international visitors came to the country. Last year it was only 35 million – including business trips, students and the like. Mr Lou describes the domestic versus international market as “uneven”.

For many in the tourism industry here specialising in services for foreign travellers, “uneven” would be an understatement. Three years of harsh Covid prevention measures drove down arrivals from other countries, but that alone can’t account for the current situation.

Huang Songshan, the head of the Centre for Tourism Research in the School of Business and Law at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, blames this weakness in part to “the shifting geopolitical landscape globally”.

Getty Images Chinese performer
China’s culture and heritage has traditionally been a big draw for tourists

In the peer-reviewed East Asia Forum, he pointed to a 2023 survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre, writing that, “Most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. The Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.”

Official travel advice from some governments echo this sentiment, at times quite harshly.

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws”.

The political environment has also taken a toll on flight availability and price. This is especially the case with connections to and from North America. Last month’s 332 scheduled round trips between China and the US contrasts with 1,506 in April 2019.

As a result, finding a seat on a direct flight can be extremely difficult and those that are available are very expensive.

President Xi Jinping made a speech at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco last November addressing this point. “Today, President Biden and I reached important consensus,” he told the crowd.

“Our two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.”

Washington has since increased the number of Chinese airline flights permitted to land – but only from 35 per week to 50. It is still well short of the 150 weekly trips pre-Covid.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from unions and US airlines to not increase this any further because, they argue, Chinese airlines have an unfair advantage over them as they have state support; don’t face the same onerous Chinese regulations; and, crucially, can fly over Russian airspace, making trips shorter and cheaper.

A letter to the US government from the Chair of the House Committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and the committee’s top Democrat representative, Raja Krishnamoorthi, reads: “Should the US-China passenger carrier market expand without the US government addressing these significant issues, US aviation workers, travellers and airlines will pay a hefty price tag.”

Mr Lou says the frequency of international flight connections is definitely having an impact.

“What we are seeing right now, based on civil aviation data, is that inbound flight capacity won’t get back to even 80% of 2019 [levels] by the end of 2024.”

Then there are other potential turnoffs for those considering travelling in China, like the country’s state-of-the-art phone app payment and booking systems which work very smoothly for Chinese citizens and residents, but which can be an enormous headache if you have just arrived.

There are certain sites, transport options, and purchases which can only be accessed via Chinese electronic apps which are, at times, only available in Chinese.

Professor Chen Yong at Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School is an authority on the economics of tourism in China. He thinks that hurdles relating to payment and booking apps can pose a real problem.

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China,” he says.

“On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits. We need to bridge this divide because it affects the tourist industry badly.”

Back in Wuzhen, the presence of international travellers is much smaller than in years gone by, but there are still a few foreign faces in the crowd.

An Italian couple says the process of linking up to and using China’s payment apps was a challenge but that it was not insurmountable, though they add, with a laugh, that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you.

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Woman and child pose for selfies
Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are trying to turn this around

Eliseo, from California, says he has had problems making payments to small vendors who don’t accept credit cards and really no longer deal with cash. Another hurdle for him has been his bank at home which has blocked some payments, flagging them as potentially fraudulent coming from China.

Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are now trying to turn this around.

One way they’re attempting to attract more foreign visitors is by increasing the number of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to enter. says this resulted in an almost immediate increase in passenger arrivals from Southeast Asia.

In 23 Chinese cities, transit passengers from more than 50 countries are also able to stay for a few days visa free if they have an onward ticket. In Shanghai, hotels above a three-star level have been told that they should prepare to deal with international credit cards and an initial batch of 50 taxis have also started accepting them.

However, Professor Chen says “it would be too optimistic to envision a long-term growth in China’s inbound tourism”.

“The key is to establish a culture that puts service providers in the shoes of foreign tourists. They should imagine themselves being a foreigner who can’t speak or read Chinese and who doesn’t have a Chinese mobile number, payments apps and so on.”

He says that the culture around this can’t be changed overnight.

Yet, in places like Wuzhen – where the local travellers have already returned – the tourism companies are hoping that incredible sites like theirs will eventually be too much for foreigners to resist as well.

UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals

Reuters Palestinian civil defence workers dig mounds of earth in the grounds of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip (21 April 2024)ReutersPalestinian workers are exhuming bodies at Nasser hospital with shovels because they have no heavy machinery

The UN’s human rights chief has said he is “horrified” by the destruction of Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals and the reports of “mass graves” being found at the sites after Israeli raids.

Volker Türk called for independent investigations into the deaths.

Palestinian officials said they had exhumed the bodies of almost 300 people at Nasser. It is not clear how they died or when they were buried.

Israel’s military said claims that it buried bodies there were “baseless”.

But it did say that during a two-week operation at the hospital in the city of Khan Younis in February, troops “examined” bodies buried by Palestinians “in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages”.

Ten hostages who have now been released have said that they were held at Nasser hospital for long periods during their captivity.

Prior to the Israeli operation at Nasser, staff there had said they were being forced to bury bodies in the hospital’s courtyard because nearby fighting prevented access to cemeteries. There were similar reports from al-Shifa before the first Israeli raid on the hospital took place in November.

The Israeli military has said it has raided a number of hospitals in Gaza during the war because Hamas fighters have been operating inside them – a claim Hamas and medical officials have denied.

The war began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and taking 253 others back to Gaza as hostages.

More than 34,180 people – most of them children and women – have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said it was currently working on corroborating reports from Palestinian officials that 283 bodies had been found in Nasser hospital’s grounds, including 42 which had been identified.

“Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded, while others… were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

Mr Türk called for independent, effective and transparent investigations into the deaths, adding: “Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [not participating in hostilities] is a war crime.”

On Monday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Civil Defense force told BBC Arabic’s Gaza Today programme that it had received reports from local Palestinians that the bodies of a “large number” of people who had been killed during the war and buried in a makeshift cemetery in the hospital’s courtyard were moved to another location during the Israeli raid.

“After research and investigation, we learned that the occupation [Israeli] army had established a mass grave, pulled out the bodies that were in Nasser hospital, and buried them in this mass grave,” Mahmoud Basal said.

Gaza Today also spoke to a man who said he was searching there for the bodies of two male relatives which he alleged had been taken by Israeli troops during Israel’s recently concluded offensive in Khan Younis.

“After I had buried them in an apartment, the [Israelis] came and moved their bodies,” he said. “Every day we search for their bodies, but we fail to find them.”

Hamas has alleged that the bodies include people “executed in cold blood” by Israeli forces, without providing evidence.

Contains some violence and disturbing scenes.BBC Verify authenticates video from key moments in the story of Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded.”

“During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser hospital were examined.

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages. The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

The IDF said that its forces had detained “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital” during the raid, and that they found ammunition as well as unused medicines intended for Israeli hostages.

It also insisted that the raid was carried out “in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff”.

However, three medical staff told the BBC last month that they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel for hours after being detained during the raid.

Medics who remained at Nasser after the Israeli takeover said they were unable to care for patients and that 13 died because of conditions there, including a lack of water, electricity and other supplies.

Reuters Palestinian officials tape off the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as workers search for human remains (8 April 2024)ReutersThe UN Human Rights Office said it had received reports that 30 bodies were buried in the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital

On 1 April, Israeli troops withdrew from al-Shifa hospital, which is in Gaza City, following what the IDF said was another “precise” operation carried out in response to intelligence that Hamas had regrouped there.

The IDF said at the time that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital during the two-week raid. More than 500 others were detained, and weapons and intelligence were found “throughout the hospital”, it added.

After a mission gained access to the facility five days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) said al-Shifa was “now an empty shell”, with most of the buildings extensively damaged or destroyed, and the majority of equipment unusable or reduced to ashes.

It also said that “numerous shallow graves” had been dug just outside the emergency department, and the administrative and surgical buildings, and that “many dead bodies were partially buried with their limbs visible”.

The IDF also said it had avoided harm to patients at al-Shifa. But the WHO cited the acting hospital director as saying patients were held in abysmal conditions during the siege, and that at least 20 patients reportedly died due to a lack of access to care and limited movement authorised for medics.

Spokeswoman Ms Shamdasani said reports seen by the UN human rights office suggested that a total of 30 bodies were buried in the two graves and that 12 of them had been identified so far.

Gaza’s civil defence spokesman told CNN on 9 April that 381 bodies had been recovered from the vicinity of al-Shifa, but that the figure did not include people buried in the hospital’s grounds.

The UN human rights chief also deplored as “beyond warfare” a series of Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah in the past few days, which he said had killed mostly women and children.

The strikes included one on Saturday night, after which a premature baby was delivered from the womb of her pregnant mother, who was killed along with her husband and other daughter.

Mr Türk also again warned against a full-scale Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced civilians are sheltering, saying it would lead to further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Kasus ‘bunuh diri’ satu keluarga di Jakarta Utara – Dari bisnis kapal yang bangkrut, tali pengikat tangan, hingga dugaan keterlibatan orang lain

Suasana Tempat Kejadian Perkara (TKP) setelah polisi menemukan empat orang anggota keluarga meninggal di depan sebuah apartemen di Jakarta Utara.
Keterangan gambar,Suasana Tempat Kejadian Perkara (TKP) setelah polisi menemukan empat orang anggota keluarga meninggal di depan sebuah apartemen di Jakarta Utara.

Satu keluarga yang terdiri ayah, ibu dan dua anak meninggal dunia diduga bunuh diri dengan meloncat dari sebuah apartemen di Jakarta Utara. Dalam perkembangan terbaru, polisi akan melakukan pemeriksaan DNA untuk memastikan apakah ada orang lain yang terlibat. Mereka juga masih menyelidiki apakah kasus ini terkait dengan bangkrutnya bisnis keluarga itu akibat Covid-19.

Peringatan: Artikel ini mengandung konten bunuh diri

Kriminolog Universitas Indonesia, Adrianus Meliala, menilai keluarga korban yang diduga bunuh diri dengan melompat dari sebuah apartemen di Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara, kurang mendapatkan bantuan dari masyarakat dan keluarga besar sehingga bunuh diri menjadi “pilihan terakhir”.

“Keluarga-keluarga ini terpaksa harus berdiri sendiri, tidak bisa lagi mengakses bantuan sosial. Kalau misalnya [minta tolong] tetangga tidak mungkin, negara juga tidak bisa,” katanya.

Kasus ini, menurut Adrianus, membuktikan bahwa masyarakat urban memerlukan intervensi dari warga sekitar ataupun keluarga besar.

Berdasarkan penelitian bertajuk “Profil statistik bunuh diri pertama di Indonesia”, ditemukan bahwa Indonesia memiliki tingkat bunuh diri tidak tercatat tertinggi di dunia, yakni 859,10% untuk bunuh diri.

Dr. Sandersan Onie, salah satu peneliti dari riset tersebut, mengatakan masyarakat Indonesia – sebagai masyarakat komunal – seharusnya dapat memperhatikan tanda-tanda bunuh diri dalam diri seseorang atau sekelompok orang.

Namun, sifat masyarakat yang komunal itu justru membuat stigma negatif terhadap orang yang melakukan percobaan bunuh diri semakin kental dan membuat mereka semakin terisolasi.

Berikut fakta-fakta yang diketahui dalam kasus ini:

Apakah bunuh diri atau dibunuh? ‘Polisi akan lakukan tes DNA’

Polisi berencana melakukan tes DNA dalam kasus kematian satu keluarga yang diduga bunuh diri dengan meloncat dari Gedung apartemen di Jakarta Utara.

Ini dilakukan untuk memastikan apakah kasus ini merupakan bunuh diri atau pembunuhan yang melibatkan orang lain.

“Pertanyaan besarnya ‘kan apakah bunuh diri atau ada pihak lain [yang terlibat],” kata Kapolres Metro Jakarta Utara Kombes Gidion Arif Setyawan kepada wartawan, Senin (18/3).

Tim penyelidik berencana melakukan tes DNA pada tali yang diikatkan pada para korban. Lalu temuan itu akan dicocokkan dengan DNA empat orang korban serta orang lain.

“DNA yang di mana? DNA yang ada di tali ya yang ditemukan di TKP satu melekat pada korban dan satu masih satunya terlepas dari korban,” jelasnya.

Sampai sejauh ini, polisi juga sedang mendalami alasan penggunaan tali untuk “saling mengikat satu sama lain” dalam aksi bunuh diri tersebut.

Misteri ‘tali untuk mengikat tangan’

Penyelidikan ini juga akan berupaya menguak apakah ada anggota keluarga yang menolak melakukan aksi bunuh diri. Sehingga diputuskan untuk mengikat tali satu sama lainnya, kata Gidion.

“Nah ini pertanyaan penyelidikan ya, siapa yang menentukan si ibu berpasangan dengan anak laki-laki, kemudian si bapak berpasangan dengan anak perempuan,” katanya.

“Pasti ada aktor ‘kan tapi apakah aktor ini [melibatkan] orang lain atau dari empat orang yang kemudian meninggal,” tambah Gidion.

“Ada enggak campur tangan orang lain dalam melakukan persiapan terakhir itu,” lanjutnya.

Sejauh ini polisi telah memeriksa 12 orang saksi dalam kasus ini. Mereka adalah keluarga korban dan orang-orang yang disebut berada di tempat kejadian.

Bisnis kapal ikan tapi bangkrut karena Covid-19

Walaupun belum tentu terkait langsung dengan motivasi di balik dugaan bunuh diri, polisi mengaku menemukan informasi bahwa keluarga tersebut sempat memiliki bisnis kapal ikan. Namun kemudian bangkrut akibat pandemi Covid-19.

Hal itu diungkap Kasat Reskrim Polres Jakarta Utara AKBP Hady Siagian kepada wartawan di Jakarta, Senin (18/03).

“Dulu yang bersangkutan punya kapal ikan,” kata Hady, menambahkan, pihaknya belum mengetahui secara persis detil kepemilikannya.

Akibat Covid-19, usaha kapal ikan itu bangkrut. Dan sejak saat itulah, kondisi ekonomi mereka berantakan.

Tentang dugaan keluarga itu terlilit hutang dari pinjaman online, polisi belum bisa menjawabnya. Alasannya, telepon genggam milik salah-satu korban rusak, sehingga polisi kesulitan mencari data

Yang tersisa, demikian Hadi, hanya kartu SIM telepon seluler korban.

Demi kepentingan penyelidikan, polisi tidak mengungkap informasi yang ditemukan dalam kartu SIM korban.

” Kalau saya buka di sini nanti para pelaku ini jadi tahu,” ujar Hady.

Tidak komunikasi dengan keluarga besar

Dari keterangan sejumlah saksi dari keluarga besarnya, polisi menyimpulkan keluarga tersebut “cenderung tertutup dengan keluarga besarnya”.

Mereka disebutkan “sudah lama tak berkomunikasi dengan keluarga besar”.

“Sudah ada dua tahun enggak komunikasi dengan keluarganya,” tutur Gidion.

Polisi masih menelusuri motif dari kasus bunuh diri sekeluarga

Menurut keterangan polisi, keempat korban ditemukan tewas di depan lobby apartemen, pada pukul 16.15 WIB sore, Sabtu (9/03).

Seorang petugas keamanan sempat mendengar dentuman, seperti benda jatuh. Ia bergegas memeriksa, sebelum akhirnya menemukan jasad empat orang di depan pelataran parkiran sebuah apartemen di Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara.

“Ketika saksi sedang berjaga di depan lobby mendengar suara benturan yang keras, ketika menoleh ternyata terdapat empat mayat,” kata Kapolres Metro Jakarta Utara Kombes Gidion Arif Setiawan, seperti dilaporkan detikcom.

Sekuriti setempat langsung melaporkan kejadian itu ke Polsubsektor Teluk Intan.

“[Korban] sudah tergeletak di pelataran parkir dalam posisi terlentang, selanjutnya anggota sekuriti melaporkan kejadian tersebut ke Polsubsektor Teluk Intan,” ujar Gidion.

Gidion membenarkan kepada media bahwa penyebab kematian empat orang tersebut adalah bunuh diri. Namun, pihak kepolisian masih belum mengetahui penyebab bunuh diri tersebut.

Foto ilustrasi: Bunuh diri loncat dari gedung
Keterangan gambar,Foto ilustrasi.

Kepala Polsek Penjaringan Komisaris, Agus Ady Wijaya, menyatakan, berdasarkan penuturan sejumlah saksi dan barang bukti, termasuk pantauan kamera pemantau (CCTV), ada indikasi kuat keempat korban melakukan bunuh diri di lantai 21 apartemen.

“Kami belum menentukan motif yang membuat satu keluarga ini melakukan aksi bunuh diri,” kata Agus, seperti dikutip dari Antara, Sabtu (9/03).

Petugas dikatakan memeriksa para saksi seperti petugas keamanan dan keluarga korban yang lain. Selain itu pemeriksaan juga meliputi identifikasi kendaraan dan membuka ponsel milik korban.

Berdasarkan keterangan saksi-saksi, para korban bunuh diri merupakan anggota-anggota keluarga yang terdiri dari suami EA (50), istri AIL (52) dan dua anaknya, yaitu JWA (13) serta JL (15).

Menurut Agus, keempat korban mengalami luka berat di bagian kepala, tangan dan kaki. Saat ditemukan, keempat korban sudah tak bernyawa,

“Keempat jasad sudah dibawa ke Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo untuk dilakukan ‘visum et repertum’ dan saksi diamankan untuk dimintakan keterangan lebih lanjut,” kata Agus.

Keluarga sudah dua tahun tidak tinggal di apartemen tersebut

Kepala Polsek Penjaringan Komisaris Agus Ady Wijaya menyebut empat orang anggota keluarga yang bunuh diri sudah tidak tinggal di Apartemen Teluk Intan, Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara.

“Para korban sudah lama tidak menempati apartemen ini,” ucap Kapolsek Penjaringan Kompol Agus Ady Wijaya, kepada, Minggu (10/03)

Menurut keterangan saksi, keluarga itu sudah dua tahun tidak menempati apartemen tersebut.

”Ketika datang lagi ke apartemen, mereka langsung melakukan tindakan [bunuh diri] ini,” kata Agus.

Berdasarkan hasil identifikasi dari Indonesia Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (Inafis), korban terluka parah di sejumlah bagian tubuh.

Keempat korban ditemukan dengan tali terikat pada tangan

Foto ilustrasi
Keterangan gambar,Foto ilustrasi

Polisi menemukan ikatan tali yang putus pada tangan keempat jasad tersebut. Diduga bahwa tali tersebut terikat pada tangan sebelum mereka melakukan aksi bunuh diri.

“Kondisi EA terikat dalam tali yang sama dengan JL, namun kondisinya di bawah ikatan tali tersebut lepas,” ungkap Agus, seperti dikutip

“Kemudian AIL terikat tali yang sama dengan JWA, pada saat di bawah ikatan tali tersebut masih mengikat pada kedua tangan mereka,” tambahnya.

Polisi mengatakan saat ini masih mencari petunjuk dari ponsel korban. Tim Laboratorium Forensik (Labfor) tengah mendalami ponsel korban.

“Ponsel [milik korban] rusak, sedang dalam proses di labfor,” ujarnya.

Ayah cium istri dan dua anaknya

Dari rekaman kamera CCTV, polisi mengatakan pihaknya mengetahui sebagian aktivitas keluarga tersebut sebelum melompat dari apartemen itu.

Disebutkan, mereka terlihat naik ke lantai 22 apartemen.

Dalam rekaman video, sang ayah sempat mencium istri dan dua anaknya ketika hendak masuk lift.

“CCTV menunjukkan para korban ini datang bersama, naik lift bersama. Di lift, EA menciumi para korban lain,” ungkap Kapolsek Penjaringan Kompol Agus Ady Wijaya, Minggu (10/03), seperti dilaporkan

Setelah itu, sang ibu mengumpulkan ponsel para korban dan diletakkan dalam tasnya hingga keluar lift, kata polisi.

“AIL mengumpulkan HP para korban di tasnya, sampai keluar lift bersama,” papar Agus.

Sesampainya mereka di lantai atas, tidak ada saksi lain yang melihat aktivitas mereka.

Tetapi, kamera CCTV kedua menayangkan saat empat orang itu jatuh bersamaan usai melompat dari lantai atas apartemen, tambah Agus.

Tetangga sebut keluarga diduga terlilit masalah finansial

Salah seorang tetangga korban, Arif, mengaku sudah kenal dengan keluarga korban sejak 2017. Saat itu, Arif tinggal di lantai 16, bersebelahan dengan bilik keluarga korban.

Ia mengaku sempat mendengar keluarga empat orang itu berencana pindah ke Solo, Jawa Tengah.

“Saat itu suaminya sudah pulang. Tinggal anak dan istrinya,” kata Arif, 48, kepada kantor berita Antara.

Pria yang bekerja sebagai pengusaha sarang burung walet itu menyatakan dirinya sempat memberikan uang sejumlah Rp3 juta kepada keluarga itu.

Ia mengeklaim uang itu ia berikan tanpa keluarga tersebut meminta. “Saya tahu mereka lagi susah. Perempuannya mau nangis.”

Arif mengaku selama tinggal bertetangga dengan keluarga itu, tak pernah ia mendengar keributan dari bilik tersebut.

“Cuma saya pernah lihat barang-barang di dalam rumah berantakan,” ujarnya.

Kejadian bunuh diri sekeluarga sempat viral di media sosial

Semula sebuah video yang menampilkan keempat korban terlentang di jalan viral di media sosial, Sabtu (9/3).

Dalam video itu, dijelaskan bahwa empat orang tewas diduga bunuh diri di apartemen daerah Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara. Keempat jasad terlihat ditutupi kardus sambil menunggu polisi dan petugas kesehatan tiba di lokasi.

Kapolres Metro Jakarta Utara Kombes Gidion Arif Setiawan menambahkan empat jenazah itu dibawa ke RS Cipto Mangunkusumo sekitar pukul 19.05 WIB untuk dilakukan Visum Et Refertum (VER).

Diketahui, tempat kejadian perkara (TKP) kini dibatasi dengan garis kuning polisi.

Kriminolog: Hilangnya safety net bagi keluarga-keluarga rentan

Kriminolog Universitas Indonesia, Adrianus Meliala, mengatakan keluarga seharusnya dapat menjadi jaring pengaman atau safety net dalam pencegahan bunuh diri.

Sebab dahulu kala, sambungnya, masyarakat tidak segan untuk meminta tolong kepada keluarga besar saat menghadapi kesulitan hidup, baik secara finansial ataupun sosial. Namun, tren itu semakin berkurang dengan semakin berjaraknya anggota-anggota keluarga.

“Kalau dulu keluarga besar bisa membantu, tapi mungkin seiring berjalannya waktu, dan anaknya semakin dewasa dan mulai memiliki pemikiran lain. Kalaupun mau minta bantuan ke keluarga besar, sudah tidak ada gunanya lagi,” ujar Adrianus kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Ia mengatakan seringkali dalam kasus bunuh diri sekeluarga, tak hanya orang tua yang menanggung beban, tetapi anak-anak juga. Karena tidak ada pilihan lain, mereka akhirnya memilih tewas sekeluarga.

Contohnya, kasus bunuh diri ibu dan anak, Grace Arijani Harapan (68) dan David Aryanto Wibowo (38), di kawasan Cinere, Kota Depok, pada September 2023 lalu.

Mereka menderita mati lemas (asfiksia) karena mengurung diri di ruang sempit. Rasa frustrasi dan depresi akibat masalah ekonomi setelah ditinggal sang kepala keluarga menjadi alasannya.

Kemudian, ada pula keluarga guru SD di Desa Saptorenggo, Kecamatan Pakis, Kabupaten Malang yang melakukan bunuh diri dengan meminum obat nyamuk karen terlilit utang pada Desember 2023.

“Semuanya sampai pada suatu keputusan untuk kemudian bunuh diri. Itu yang pertama. Yang kedua, selalu mungkin bahwa ada situasi relasi kuasa. Di mana orang tua mempengaruhi anaknya, memaksa anaknya secara halus,” ujar Adrianus.

Oleh karena itu, ia menyarankan agar pemerintah – serta masyarakat – memfokuskan upaya pencegahan bunuh diri lewat pendekatan religius atau komunitas agar masyarakat yang merasa putus asa atau kehilangan harapan tidak memandang bunuh diri sebagai opsi.

Pendekatan masyarakat Indonesia terhadap bunuh diri perlu diubah

Peneliti dari Black Dog Institute Australia dan Presiden Asosiasi Indonesia untuk Pencegahan Bunuh Diri, Dr. Sandersan Onie, mengatakan bahwa masyarakat Indonesia masih enggan untuk bercerita kepada orang-orang terdekat ketika timbul keinginan bunuh diri.

“Kita tidak bisa menyelesaikan masalah yang tidak ingin kita hadapi. Kita sudah melihat ada penyebaran geografis [provinsi dengan angka bunuh diri tertinggi],” ujar peneliti yang akrab disapa Sandy.

Ia mengatakan bahwa bunuh diri bersama yang dilakukan keluarga di Penjaringan, Jakarta Utara menunjukkan bahwa mereka sudah membuat perencanaan untuk mengakhiri hidup bersama. Namun, rencana itu sama sekali tidak diterka oleh orang-orang terdekat.

”Karena ini adalah empat orang. Empat orang yang memilih untuk mengakhiri hidup mereka. Dan kami harus menjadi lebih baik sebagai masyarakat yang diklaim komunal, untuk memperhatikan orang-orang yang menunjukkan tanda-tanda,” ujarnya.

Dr. Sandersan Onie sebagai pembicara
Keterangan gambar,Dr. Sandersan Onie mengatakan bahwa persepsi masyarakat terhadap bunuh diri membuat kasus-kasus tidak terlapor.

Penelitiannya menghimpun data dari lima sumber dari tahun 2016 hingga 2021, yakni data kepolisian, data pencatatan kematian, data survei provinsi, sistem pencatatan sampel, dan data Observatorium Kesehatan Global WHO (WHO GHO).

Dengan data tersebut, Sandy dan timnya mampu memperkirakan angka bunuh diri yang tidak dilaporkan, mengidentifikasi provinsi dengan tingkat bunuh diri dan sarana percobaan bunuh diri tertinggi.

Provinsi dengan angka bunuh diri tertinggi adalah Bali, Kepulauan Riau, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Jawa Tengah, dan Kalimantan Tengah.

Penelitian tersebut juga menunjukkan bahwa angka percobaan bunuh diri lebih dari 30 kali lebih besar dibandingkan angka bunuh diri yang berakhir kematian.

Sandy mengatakan bahwa pencegahan bunuh diri tidak hanya dapat dilakukan dari segi kesehatan mental, melainkan juga dari segi kesejahteraan sosial, layanan masyarakat dan penerimaan sosial.

Salah satu langkah pencegahan dapat berupa keberanian masyarakat untuk membahasnya serta pembaruan sistem data yang lebih akurat.

“Bunuh diri tidak mencerminkan kesehatan mental seseorang, namun mencerminkan kehidupan seseorang. Ini bukan hanya tentang apa yang ada di dalamnya, tapi juga tentang lingkungan dan segala sesuatu di sekitarnya,” ungkap Sandy.

Husband went into ‘dad mode’ after his wife’s killing in Australia


Lee Lovell
Image caption,Lee Lovell says he and his family have been “robbed of our future”

The husband of a British woman killed in Australia on Boxing Day said he had spent the past year putting his grief aside to be “the best parent I can be”.

Emma Lovell, 41, died after being stabbed when intruders broke into her family home in North Lakes, Brisbane, on 26 December 2022.

She had emigrated from Ipswich in 2011 with her husband Lee and two daughters.

Mr Lovell, who is spending time in the UK with his children, said he had been in “dad mode” ever since the attack.

The BBC understands the two teenagers charged with murder, who were 17 at the time, remain remanded in custody.

Emma and Lee Lovell
Image caption,Emma and Lee Lovell were stabbed during a break-in at their Brisbane home but Mrs Lovell did not survive

Reflecting on what happened, Mr Lovell recalled being woken by their dogs barking and finding intruders in their home.

“I looked over at Emma and she was like ‘the front door is open’,” he said. “I just bolted to our bedroom door and opened it and saw people standing there.”

Mr Lovell said he tried to force one of the intruders out of the house and was injured.

Emma Lovell in a black top and shorts standing at the base of a waterfall.
Image caption,Emma Lovell’s husband, Lee says he misses everything about her

He had not realised how badly hurt his wife was until he heard his daughter say “mummy’s bleeding”.

Mrs Lovell was resuscitated at the scene and had a pulse before her husband was taken to hospital.

He said: “I didn’t know how bad it was at the time. I knew she was bleeding but didn’t know where from.

“I remember thinking at the time, ‘I can’t die, I can’t leave the kids orphans’.”

He recalled the “shock” at being told his wife had died.

Emma Lovell
Image caption,Mr Lovell said the progress of the court proceedings had been “frustrating”

“[Emma] not surviving didn’t really cross my mind,” he said.

From that point on, Mr Lovell described how he “entered dad mode” with his full focus on his daughters.

“Grief, there’s no book to it,” he said.

“I have found it quite hard grieving. I like to think of myself as a typical guy who can’t do two things at once. It’s either looking after the house and being a parent or grieving.

“I drive a small truck for work, it’s an hour’s drive and half the time I just put some music on, because I find music gets me to where I want to be and end up half the time just crying in my truck.

“The kids, the house, I’ve been trying to be the best parent I can be. It’s all on me.

“They were 13 and 15 at the time. Emma lost her dad at 13 and I know how much that affected her.”

Lee Lovell says he has focussed on helping his children since his wife Emma was killed

Mr Lovell said he missed “everything” about his wife, who was from Hasketon, near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

“We just loved spending time together with our family, going getting coffees, making cocktails,” he said.

“Sometimes in life you go through things and you’re not so confident about something and you lean on that other person to help get you through and I just don’t have that.

“It’s also hard seeing couples together, you feel really angry and jealous about that.

“I suppose you feel you’ve had your future robbed.”

Christina Lofthouse and Emma Lovell
Image caption,Being without her best friend, even when they lived thousands of miles apart, has felt like “losing a limb”, said Ms Lofthouse

The family spent last Christmas relaxing together on a nearby beach, cooking bacon and eggs.

“Emma said ‘we really need to do this more often’,” said Mr Lovell.

“It’s something that stuck with me.”

Paying tribute to his wife, he added: “She was just such a hardworking person and just such a wonderful mum, she was funny as well but shy with it and she was just really great to be around.”

Mr Lovell decided to book a trip back to the UK to spend time with friends and family, arriving just before Christmas.

“I don’t want one event to take away from the happy times that are in that house but I didn’t want to be there for that first anniversary, so back in March I bought us tickets for the three of us to come back and catch up with friends and family,” he said.

Christina Lofthouse with Emma and Lee Lovell
Image caption,Christina Lofthouse (left) and Lee Lovell (right) say they have found it hard to grieve as they’ve reflected on a year since Emma (middle) died

The Lovell family has been spending time with Christina Lofthouse, a close friend of the couple and Mrs Lovell’s best friend.

Ms Lofthouse said the death had felt like “losing a limb”.

“She was so beautiful, so amazing and it sounds clichéd, when somebody loses someone that we say those things, but she genuinely was,” she said.

“Like Lee, I’ve got children, I haven’t been able to just let grief take over.”

Christina Lofthouse
Image caption,Christina Lofthouse says she still messages her friend, finding it hard knowing there won’t be a reply

Mr Lovell said he and the family were now awaiting updates on the court case.

The two teenagers were charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder and entering a dwelling with intent in company in December 2022.

One year on, the case has been “frustratingly slow” and Mr Lovell said prosecutors have warned him it may not go to trial until 2025.

He said: “I sometimes feel quite guilty for saying it, but I want the trial to be done.

“It’s hanging over us and I want to move on but then by saying that it almost feels like I’m leaving Emma behind.”

Israel-Gaza war: More than 100 killed as crowd waits for aid, Hamas-run health ministry says

Screengrab of video posted online reportedly showing casualties on a lorry ear Nabulsi roundabout on Rashid Street, south-west of Gaza City (29 February 2024)
Image caption,Videos posted on social media showed casualties loaded onto emptied aid lorries and a donkey cart

More than 100 Palestinians are reported to have been killed while waiting for aid to be delivered in northern Gaza.

The Hamas-run health ministry blamed Israeli forces, and Palestinian media cited medical sources saying Israeli troops fired at the crowd.

An Israeli military source said troops opened fire as they believed soldiers were “endangered”.

An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement also said dozens were killed being trampled and run over by trucks.

A journalist in Gaza City told the BBC that Israeli tanks fired on a crowd who had come to get supplies. The Israeli military says it has no knowledge of shelling in the area and that the incident is under review.

Graphic videos posted on social media show the dead in Gaza City loaded onto emptied aid lorries and a donkey cart.

It happened hours before Gaza’s health ministry announced that more than 30,000 people, including 21,000 children and women, had been confirmed killed since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Some 7,000 others have been reported as missing and 70,450 have been treated for injuries over the past four months, according to the ministry.

The UN is also warning of a looming famine in the north of the territory, where an estimated 300,000 people are living with little food or clean water.

The Israeli military launched a large-scale air and ground campaign to destroy Hamas – which is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the UK and others – after its gunmen killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel on 7 October and took 253 other people hostage.

Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said 104 people were killed and 760 others wounded at the Nabulsi roundabout on Rashid Street early on Thursday morning, and blamed Israeli forces for what he described as a “massacre”.

He warned that dozens of casualties in a critical or severe condition had been brought to the nearby al-Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, and that medics there were unable to cope with the volume and severity of cases.

The director of the Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern town of Beit Lahia, Hussam Abu Safieyah, told Reuters that it had received the bodies of 10 people and dozens of wounded from western Gaza City. “We don’t know how many there are in other hospitals,” he added.

Paramedic Fares Afana also told the Associated Press that ambulance crews had found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground at the scene. He said some of the dead and wounded were being transported to hospitals on donkey carts because there were not enough ambulances.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, cited medical sources as saying that Israeli forces fired towards thousands of people from Gaza City and other northern areas as they waited at Nabulsi roundabout for the arrival of lorries loaded with humanitarian aid.

The north of Gaza suffered widespread devastation after being the focus of the first phase of the Israeli ground offensive.

It has been largely cut off from humanitarian assistance for several months despite some relief efforts by UN aid agencies.

Last week, the World Food Programme said it had been forced to suspend aid deliveries to northern Gaza after its first convoy in three weeks was surrounded by crowds of hungry people close to the Israeli military’s Wadi Gaza checkpoint, and then faced gunfire in Gaza City.

Another convoy faced what it called “complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order”. Several lorries looted in central Gaza and a driver was beaten, while the remaining flour was “spontaneously distributed” upon entering Gaza City.

On Tuesday, a senior UN aid official warned that at least 576,000 people across the Gaza Strip – one quarter of the population – faced catastrophic levels of food insecurity and were at risk of famine.

He also warned that one in six children under the age of two in the north were suffering from acute malnutrition and wasting.

On Wednesday, Gaza’s health ministry said six children had died from dehydration and malnutrition at hospitals in northern Gaza. Two of the death were at al-Shifa and four at the Kamal Adwan, it added.

Jesse Baird: Human remains found in search for missing Sydney couple

Luke Davies and Jesse Baird
Image caption,Police say they are “very confident” that they have found the bodies of Luke Davies (left) and Jesse Baird (right)

Australian police say two bodies have been found during the search for missing Sydney couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

“We are very confident that we have located Luke and Jesse,” New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Karen Webb said.

Beaumont Lamarre-Condon, a police officer who once dated TV presenter Mr Baird, was earlier charged with murder.

The bodies were discovered on a rural property in the town of Bungonia.

Police said that after initially refusing to cooperate with the investigation, Mr Lamarre-Condon finally disclosed where the two bodies were located on Tuesday morning.

Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty said the remains were found “near the entrance to the property” and that attempts had been made “to cover the bodies with rock and debris”.

He added that police believe two “surf bags” were used to transport the deceased couple in a white van from Mr Baird’s inner city Paddington home, where it is believed they were killed.

Investigators found a bullet matching Mr Lamarre-Condon’s work-issued gun there last week, along with a “significant” amount of blood and upturned furniture.

Mr Lamarre-Condon, who appeared in court on Friday and was refused bail, has not commented on the charges against him. He first joined the police force in 2019 and was previously a celebrity blogger.

Police began focusing their efforts on the Bungonia property – some two hours south of Sydney – after learning Mr Lamarre-Condon had visited it in the white van believed to be carrying the pair’s bodies with an acquaintance last Wednesday.

After severing a lock on a gate, Mr Lamarre-Condon then left the female acquaintance there before driving the van on to the property and returning 30 minutes later, police say.

The case – which has gripped Australia – is believed to be the first suspected murder carried out by a New South Wales police officer in decades, and it has prompted a review into the out-of-hours access officers have to their firearms.

Beaumont Lamarre-Condon
Image caption,Police officer Beaumont Lamarre-Condon is accused of murdering Jesse Baird and Luke Davies

It has also led organisers of Sydney’s iconic Mardi Gras parade to uninvite NSW police from this year’s march, a decision which has sparked fierce debate online and disappointment from police, who allege the murders were a crime of “passion” not “gay-hate related”.

Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade has a complex history of both LGBTQ+ activism and police brutality, after the first march in 1978 resulted in dozens of people being beaten and arrested by local officers.

In the decades since though it has been a unifying event, with uniformed police taking part every year since 1998.

Tributes have flooded in for Mr Baird, a former presenter and red carpet reporter, and Mr Davies, who worked as a flight attendant for Qantas.

“Obviously Jesse and Luke were very much an active part of the community and I look at their photos online and know they had a great life,” Commissioner Webb said.

US targets Russia with more than 500 new sanctions

Joe Biden speaking at the White House

The United States has announced more than 500 new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and the death in custody of the opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

The sanctions target people connected to Navalny’s imprisonment and Russia’s war machine, President Joe Biden said.

Export restrictions will be imposed on nearly 100 firms or individuals.

The EU also announced sanctions, which Moscow responded to by banning EU officials from entering Russia.

It is unclear what impact the sanctions will have on Russia’s economy.

In a statement, President Biden said the sanctions “will ensure” Russian President Vladimir Putin “pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home”.

The sanctions mark a week since Navalny suddenly died in an Arctic Circle jail. Mr Biden has said there can be “no doubt” the Russian president was to blame.

The sanctions also come on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Two years ago, he tried to wipe Ukraine off the map. If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going,” Mr Biden said in the statement.

On Friday, the EU also announced its own raft of sanctions on nearly 200 companies and people accused of helping Russia procure weapons, or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children, something Moscow denies.

They included 10 Russian companies and individuals involved in the shipping of North Korean armaments to Russia, including North Korea’s defence minister.

The EU has now listed more than 2,000 individuals since the war started.

In response, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had significantly expanded a list of EU officials and politicians banned from entering Russia.

“The European Union is continuing its fruitless attempts to put pressure on Russia through unilateral restrictive measures,” it said in a statement.

Korban jiwa petugas Pemilu 2024 mencapai 71 orang dalam empat hari

KPPS, Pemilu 2024
Keterangan gambar,Warga menggotong jenazah Joko Budiono.

Angka kematian 71 orang , sementara lebih dari 4.500 lainnya tercatat sakit, berdasarkan data yang dikumpulkan KPU.

Pekan lalu, yang merupakan pekan pelaksanaan pemilu, tak hanya disesaki kisah kemenangan dan kekalahan para kandidat yang terlibat, tapi juga cerita pilu soal mereka yang menyumbangkan nyawa demi mengawali pemilihan dan penghitungan suara.

Ada petugas yang meninggal di Jakarta Pusat karena kecelakaan saat mengantarkan logistik pemilu. Diduga karena kelelahan, ada yang keguguran di Pati, terkena stroke di Solo dan Bali, pun meninggal karena gagal jantung di Malang.

“Berdasarkan monitoring kami, terhadap status atau situasi teman-teman kami, sahabat-sahabat kami para penyelenggara pemilu badan ad hoc terutama pada peak season yang bebannya berat pada tanggal 14 Februari sampai 18 Februari 2024 pukul 23.58. Dalam catatan kami yang meninggal ada 71 orang,” ujar Ketua Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) Pusat, Hasyim Asy’ari, saat konferensi pers di Kementerian Kesehatan, Jakarta, Senin (19/02).

Dia merinci dari 71 orang yang meninggal itu, ada satu orang yang merupakan anggota panitia pemilihan kecamatan (PPK).

  • Pilpres 2024
  • Foto udara kondisi jalur pantura Demak-Kudus yang terendam banjir di Kecamatan Karanganyar, Kabupaten Demak, Jawa Tengah, Jumat (9/2/2024).santri

Kemudian, anggota panitia pemungutan suara (PPS) di tingkat desa/kelurahan sekitar empat orang.

Anggota Kelompok Penyelenggara Pemungutan Suara (KPPS) di tingkat TPS sebanyak 42 orang. Lalu, anggota Satuan Perlindungan Masyarakat (Linmas) yang meninggal sekitar 24 orang saat menjaga keamanan kegiatan pemungutan dan penghitungan suara.

Sementara itu, yang sakit mencapai 4.567 orang dengan rincian pada tingkat kecamatan atau anggota PPK 136 orang, di tingkat PPS 696 orang, dan KPPS ada 3.371 orang. “Untuk Linmas yang sakit ada 364 orang,” ucapnya.

Data Kementerian Kesehatan hingga 17 Februari, pukul 18.00 WIB, mencatat ada 57 petugas pemilu yang telah wafat di sejumlah provinsi berbeda.

Ini mencakup anggota Kelompok Penyelenggara Pemungutan Suara (KPPS), Panitia Pemungutan Suara (PPS), petugas perlindungan masyarakat (Linmas), saksi dan pengawas tempat pemungutan suara (TPS).

BBC menggabungkan data itu dengan angka dari Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) pusat dan daerah, dinas kesehatan berbagai wilayah, serta laporan dari sejumlah media lokal dan nasional per 19 Februari, dan menemukan bahwa angka kematian petugas pemilu telah menyentuh setidaknya 100 orang. Sementara itu, ada 7.163 petugas yang tercatat sakit.

Angka ini muncul hanya empat hari setelah pemungutan suara pada 14 Februari.

Sebagai perbandingan, sebulan setelah pemilu serentak pada April 2019, Kementerian Kesehatan merilis data yang menunjukkan ada 527 petugas pemilu yang meninggal dan 11.239 yang jatuh sakit.

Ini berbeda dengan data versi KPU per Oktober 2019, yang mencatat 894 petugas meninggal dan 5.175 lainnya sakit.

“Ini kan jadinya berulang ya,” kata Neni Nur Hayati, direktur eksekutif Democracy and Electoral Empowerment Partnership (DEEP) Indonesia.

“Ketika ada solusi juga ternyata tidak secara signifikan itu bisa menyelesaikan masalah.”

Mengapa tragedi terulang kembali?

KPPS, Pemilu 2024
Keterangan gambar,Kepala Puskesmas Telaga Youke Lumataw (kanan) memeriksa kondisi seorang Petugas Kelompok Penyelenggara Pemungutan Suara (KPPS) yang menjalani perawatan di ruang rawat inap Puskesmas Telaga, Kabupaten Gorontalo, Gorontalo, Kamis (15/02).

Sebelumnya, KPU telah mengambil sejumlah langkah untuk menekan risiko kecelakaan kerja saat pemilu serentak 2024.

Ini termasuk menetapkan batas usia baru yang berkisar 17-55 tahun bagi petugas KPPS dan mewajibkan calon petugas menyerahkan surat keterangan sehat, yang menunjukkan mereka tidak memiliki penyakit bawaan.

Akhirnya, banyak anak muda yang didorong maju untuk menjadi petugas pemilu 2024. Karena belum banyak pengalaman, ditambah dengan bimbingan teknis dari KPU yang tak memadai, para petugas muda ini kerap kebingungan dan kesulitan menjalankan tugas dengan baik di hari pemungutan suara, kata Neni Nur Hayati dari DEEP Indonesia.

Karena itu, tambahnya, waktu kerja para petugas KPPS jadi molor, bahkan banyak yang baru selesai menghitung suara pada dini hari.

“Teknisnya rumit di lapangan,” kata Neni. “KPPS juga tidak dibekali pengetahuan kepemiluan yang mumpuni.”

Untuk menghadapi pemilu 2024, tujuh anggota KPPS wajib mengikuti bimbingan teknis atau bimtek. Menurut Neni, ini sudah lebih baik dibanding 2019, saat hanya ketua dan satu anggota KPPS yang mesti menjalani pembekalan.

Namun, saat diminta mengisi sejumlah sesi bimtek, Neni terkejut saat menemukan ada 1.000-2.000 anggota KPPS menjejali satu ruangan untuk mengikuti pembekalan.

“Jadi, bagaimana mau efektif?” katanya. “Banyak banget yang pingsan waktu bimtek itu.”

Ia mengusulkan agar ke depannya masa kerja para petugas KPPS diperpanjang, dengan sesi pembekalan dan simulasi pemilu yang lebih banyak dan efektif.

Untuk pemilu 2024, para petugas KPPS dikontrak satu bulan, dari 25 Januari hingga 25 Februari.

Total ada 5.741.127 anggota KPPS yang bertugas di 820.161 TPS yang tersebar di seluruh wilayah Indonesia dan luar negeri.

Masalah lainnya, skrining kesehatan terhadap calon petugas KPPS pun tidak seketat itu.

Irwansyah di Jurangmangu Barat, Tangerang Selatan, misalnya, tetap lolos menjadi ketua KPPS untuk salah satu TPS setempat meski hasil tes kesehatannya menunjukkan ia mengidap diabetes.

Eti Rohaeti, petugas KPPS di Garut yang meninggal pada 17 Februari, juga tercatat memiliki hipertensi.

Anggota KPU Idham Holik mengatakan, ke depannya, pemeriksaan kesehatan calon petugas pemilu – khususnya KPPS – mesti lebih menyeluruh.

“Anggota KPPS diharapkan memiliki daya tahan tubuh yang kuat sehingga dapat menyelesaikan pekerjaan dengan baik tanpa terdampak akibat buruk dari kelelahan fisik yang ditimbulkan oleh proses penyelesaian pemungutan dan penghitungan suara yang begitu lama, sejak pagi sampai dini hari dan bahkan sampai keesokan harinya,” katanya.

Siti Nadia Tarmizi, kepala biro komunikasi Kementerian Kesehatan, mengakui memang masih banyak petugas pemilu berusia lebih dari 55 tahun dengan penyakit bawaan yang “tidak terkontrol” dengan baik.

“Petugasnya yang [harus] tahu sinyal-sinyal kesehatan tubuhnya dan memastikan dirinya sehat,” kata Siti pada BBC News Indonesia, sembari menambahkan para petugas mesti rutin berobat atau tidak menunda memeriksakan diri ke dokter.

“[Jangan] kita mengabaikan batas kemampuan kesehatan tubuh kita.”

Di sisi lain, Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati, direktur eksekutif Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi (Perludem), mengatakan seharusnya ada tenaga kesehatan di lapangan yang senantiasa berjaga dan siap membantu bila ada petugas pemilu yang sakit, apalagi mempertimbangkan beban kerja tinggi yang dihadapi para petugas.

“Memang beban kerjanya besar sekali,” kata Khoirunnisa.

Hasil riset Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) di Yogyakarta menunjukkan, di hari pemilu 2019, secara median para petugas di lapangan bekerja selama 20-22 jam. Ini belum menghitung 7,5-11 jam yang mereka habiskan untuk mempersiapkan TPS, serta 8-48 jam untuk mempersiapkan dan mendistribusikan undangan.

Untuk pemilu 2024, para petugas di lapangan juga menghadapi jam kerja panjang karena sejumlah hambatan teknis, termasuk kurangnya surat suara, hasil penghitungan suara yang tidak sesuai dengan jumlah surat, serta Sistem Informasi Rekapitulasi (Sirekap) KPU yang kerap tidak bisa diakses, kata Khoirunnisa.

“Karena ujung tombak penyelenggaraan pemilu itu KPPS, kalau misalnya ada hambatan, pasti KPPS-nya duluan yang bakal kena,” ujarnya.

Santunan bagi keluarga korban

KPPS, Pemilu 2024
Keterangan gambar,Anggota KPPS menunjukkan surat suara pemilihan DPD di TPS 02 Desa Kanekes, Lebak, Banten, Rabu (14/02). Dilarangnya penggunaan listrik di wilayah adat Suku Badui tersebut membuat perhitungan surat suara Pemilu 2024 pada malam hari hanya menggunakan senter.

Sebagai anggota KPPS Desa Barieh di Pidie, Aceh, Abdurrahman kerap bekerja keras hingga larut malam mempersiapkan pemilu.

Pada 10 Februari, hanya empat hari sebelum pemungutan suara, Abdurrahman mendadak sakit sepulangnya dari sawah.

Tak lama, ia wafat, meninggalkan istri dan tiga anak laki-laki.

“Tiba-tiba pulang dari sawah dia sakit,” kata Habibah, istri Abdurrahman, pada Rudi Hermawan yang melaporkan untuk BBC News Indonesia.

Habibah berharap ada santunan dari pemerintah, apalagi melihat kerja keras suaminya dalam persiapan pemilu.

Sebelumnya, pemerintah telah menetapkan jumlah santunan untuk para petugas ad hoc pemilu, termasuk anggota KPPS, yang meninggal dunia sebesar Rp36 juta. Ini belum termasuk biaya pemakaman senilai Rp10 juta.

Sementara itu, bila mengalami cacat permanen saat bekerja, petugas pemilu akan mendapat Rp 30,8 juta. Santunan untuk mereka yang mengalami luka sedang dan berat masing-masing sebesar Rp8,25 juta dan Rp16,5 juta.

Ketua KPU Hasyim Asy’ari mengatakan, pencairan santunan bisa dilakukan setelah ada proses verifikasi dokumen.

“Misalnya, surat kematian atau surat keterangan dokter atau surat rawat inap,” kata Hasyim.

Seruan evaluasi pemilu serentak

KPPS, Pemilu 2024
Keterangan gambar,Anggota KPPS membawa kembali logistik Pemilu 2024 usai penghitungan di TPS melintas di depan Uma (rumah tradisional Mentawai) di pedalaman Desa Madobag, Siberut Selatan, Kabupaten Kepulauan Mentawai, Sumatera Barat, Kamis (15/02).

Bila ingin ada perubahan untuk pemilu ke depan, perlu ada evaluasi menyeluruh dan perubahan model pemilu di Indonesia, kata Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati dari Perludem.

“Kalau mau ada perubahan, harus direformasi total,” kata Khoirunnisa.

“Nggak bisa lagi pemilu dengan model lima kotak suara seperti ini. Nggak sehat.”

Undang-Undang No. 7/2017 mengatur pelaksanaan pemilu setiap lima tahun sekali secara serentak, yang meliputi pemilihan presiden dan wakil presiden, serta anggota DPR, DPD, DPRD provinsi, dan DPRD kabupaten/kota.

Pada 2021, empat petugas pemilu dari Yogyakarta dan Jawa Barat mengajukan permohonan uji materi UU tersebut ke Mahkamah Konstitusi.

Mereka meminta ketentuan soal pemilu serentak dengan lima kotak suara sekaligus dibatalkan, apalagi mempertimbangkan banyaknya korban jiwa pada pemilu 2019.

Salah satu solusi yang ditawarkan adalah memisahkan pemilu legislatif daerah untuk memilih anggota DPRD provinsi dan DPRD kabupaten/kota dengan pemilu nasional untuk memilih presiden dan wakil presiden serta anggota DPR dan DPD.

Namun, Mahkamah Konstitusi menolak seluruh permohonan tersebut.

Argumen soal beban kerja tinggi para petugas pemilu di lapangan disebut terkait dengan manajemen pemilu yang menjadi tanggung jawab penyelenggara.

Karena itulah, pemilu presiden dan legislatif tetap berlangsung serentak pada 2024.

“Karena sistem pemilihan kita yang kompleks dan rumit, menurut saya harusnya dipisahkan, pemilu yang nasional ya nasional, yang lokal ya lokal. Itu akan lebih memudahkan,” kata Neni Nur Hayati dari DEEP Indonesia.

Risiko berjalannya pemilu serentak seperti di 2024 adalah para pemilih kerap hanya fokus pada kandidat presiden dan wakil presiden, sehingga para calon anggota legislatif atau caleg pun jadi terlupakan, tambah Neni.

Akhirnya, saat masuk ke bilik TPS, pemilih bingung menghadapi banyaknya pilihan caleg dan cenderung memilih selebriti yang wajahnya dirasa familier.

“Padahal, sebetulnya secara kapasitas, secara politik gagasan, mereka [caleg artis] sama sekali kurang. Ini yang sebenarnya sangat disayangkan,” kata Neni.

“Karena masyarakat bingung, ya sudah akhirnya masyarakat coblos saja yang mereka tahu, yang mereka kenal.”

Maka, Khoirunnisa dan Neni sama-sama mendorong revisi UU No. 7/2017 tentang pemilu. Menurut mereka, ini harus dilakukan segera, mumpung masih ada lima tahun sebelum pemilu selanjutnya pada 2029.

Apalagi, pembahasan revisi UU bisa berlangsung tahunan, kata Khoirunnisa.

Sementara itu, untuk pemilu selanjutnya, anggota KPU Idham Holik berharap setidaknya proses penghitungan suara di TPS dapat dibagi ke dua panel berbeda sehingga prosesnya bisa lebih cepat.

Dengan begitu, bakal ada anggota KPPS di satu panel yang menghitung perolehan suara calon presiden dan wakil presiden serta anggota DPD, serta anggota di panel lain yang menjumlah suara calon anggota DPR, DPRD provinsi, dan DPRD kabupaten/kota.

Namun, Khoirunnisa menilai ide ini sulit diterapkan. Apalagi, hanya ada satu pengawas dan saksi partai politik yang bertugas di tiap TPS, sehingga sulit untuk mengawasi proses penghitungan di dua panel berbeda.

“Jadi ya memang desain keserantakannya yang menurut saya perlu diubah untuk bisa meminimalisir petugas kelelahan itu,” tegasnya.

Pemkab Sidoarjo tetapkan empat desa tanggap darurat banjir

Pemkab Sidoarjo tetapkan empat desa tanggap darurat banjir
Bupati Sidoarjo Jawa Timur Ahmad Muhdlor saat memimpin rapat penanganan banjir di Kecamatan Tanggulangin, Sidoarjo. ANTARA/HO-Pemkab Sidoarjo

Saat ini penanganan warga terdampak menjadi perhatian utama seperti kebutuhan air bersih sampai bantuan makanan

Sidoarjo (ANTARA) – Pemerintah Kabupaten Sidoarjo, Jawa Timur menetapkan empat desa di Kecamatan Tanggulangin, Sidoarjo tanggap darurat bencana banjir di desa tersebut.

Bupati Sidoarjo, Ahmad Muhdlor dalam keterangannya di Sidoarjo, Minggu, mengatakan terdapat empat desa di Kecamatan Tanggulangin yang seakan menjadi langganan banjir di musim hujan seperti ini.

“Empat desa itu masing-masing Desa Kedungbanteng, Desa Banjarpanji, Desa Banjarasri dan Desa Kalidawir yang ditetapkan Pemkab Sidoarjo sebagai wilayah tanggap darurat bencana banjir,” ujarnya.

Pria yang akrab disapa Gus Muhdlor ini menjelaskan ketinggian banjir di empat desa tersebut rata-rata setinggi 30 centimeter dan sebagian sudah masuk ke rumah warga.

“Kondisi ini membuat sebagian warga Desa Kedubanteng mengungsi di Balai Desa Kedungbanteng dan Balai RT 08. Terdapat 25 warga yang mengungsi di balai Desa Kedungbanteng. Sedangkan 38 warga lainnya mengungsi di balai RT 08,” katanya.

Ia mengatakan, banjir di empat desa tersebut bukan hanya karena faktor cuaca tetapi juga karena faktor alam penurunan tanah di wilayah itu. Berbagai upaya meminimalisir genangan air sudah dilakukan mulai dari peninggian tanah sampai pembangunan rumah pompa air.

“Masalahnya itu subsidence (penurunan muka tanah) tahun ini berapa, ini yang mengkhawatirkan,” ucapnya.

Ia mengatakan, saat ini penanganan warga terdampak menjadi perhatian utama seperti kebutuhan air bersih sampai bantuan makanan.

“Kami mengerahkan seluruh kemampuan mulai dari BPBD Sidoarjo, Dinas Sosial Sidoarjo, Dinas Kesehatan serta Dinas PU Bina Marga dan SDA Sidoarjo akan terjun bersama menangani bencana tersebut. Baznas Sidoarjo juga dipastikan hadir untuk meringankan beban penderitaan warga. Kami gunakan anggaran belanja tidak terduga untuk menangani bencana ini,” ucapnya.

Gus Muhdlor mengatakan penanganan genangan air di empat desa itu akan dilakukan dengan mengoptimalkan pompa air yang ada serta meminta pompa-pompa air yang ada dapat dijalankan dengan maksimal.

“Saat ini volume genangan air lebih tinggi dari kejadian sebelum-sebelumnya,” ucapnya.

Langkah lain yang dilakukan oleh Pemkab Sidoarjo yakni penanggulan avoer Kedungbanteng sepanjang 800 meter setiap sisi. Sementara itu bantuan kepada pengungsi berupa makanan siap saji, biskuit, terpal, bantal, matras, kasur lipat sudah diserahkan.

“Bantuan kepada warga Desa Kedungbanteng yang mengungsi di balai desa sebanyak 20 pcs bantal, 20 pcs selimut serta 3 pcs terpal. Sedangkan bantuan kepada pengungsi di balai RT 08 berupa bed 4 pcs, makanan siap saji 10 dus, selimut 20 pcs serta matras 15 pcs dan bantal 15 pcs. Tim Tanggap Darurat Bencana Banjir akan terus berkoordinasi dengan berbagai pihak terutama dengan perangkat desa terdampak,” ujarnya.

Anies Baswedan tiba di Senayan untuk hadiri Saresehan DPD RI

Anies Baswedan tiba di Senayan untuk hadiri Saresehan DPD RI
Calon Presiden (Capres) Anies Baswedan tiba di Kompleks Parlemen, Senayan, Jakarta, Jumat (2/2/2024). ANTARA/Bagus Ahmad Rizaldi/aa.

Jakarta (ANTARA) –

Calon Presiden (Capres) nomor urut 1 Anies Baswedan tiba di Kompleks Parlemen, Senayan, Jakarta, untuk menghadiri acara Serasehan Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD) RI bersama Calon Presiden 2024, Jumat.

Anies tiba sekitar pukul 15.39 WIB dengan pengawalan personel keamanan dan disambut oleh sejumlah Anggota DPD. Mantan Gubernur DKI Jakarta itu hadir mengenakan batik warna coklat dan biru.

Calon presiden dari Koalisi Perubahan itu menjadi kandidat yang pertama menghadiri kegiatan DPD tersebut pada sesi pertama. Adapun Saresehan DPD RI itu mengundang seluruh kandidat, baik calon presiden maupun calon wakil presiden.

Setelah Anies, Ganjar Pranowo selanjutnya diundang untuk mengisi sesi kedua sarasehan tersebut. Calon presiden nomor urut 3 tersebut dijadwalkan mengisi kegiatan pada pukul 19.00 WIB.

Dan yang terakhir, Capres nomor urut 2 Prabowo Subianto dijadwalkan bakal mengisi kegiatan pada pukul 20.40 WIB.

Para kandidat yang diundang oleh DPD RI untuk mengisi acara dengan tema “Menatap Kemajuan Daerah dan Sistem Ketatanegaraan” itu bakal menyampaikan visi dan misinya, serta janji politik.

Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU) RI pada hari Senin, 13 November 2023, menetapkan tiga bakal pasangan calon presiden dan wakil presiden menjadi peserta Pemilu Presiden dan Wakil Presiden (Pilpres) 2024.

Hasil pengundian dan penetapan nomor urut peserta Pilpres 2024 pada hari Selasa, 14 November 2023, pasangan Anies Baswedan-Muhaimin Iskandar nomor urut 1, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka nomor urut 2, dan Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud Md. nomor urut 3.

KPU juga telah menetapkan masa kampanye mulai 28 November 2023 hingga 10 Februari 2024, kemudian jadwal pemungutan suara pada tanggal 14 Februari 2024.