Israeli tanks reach central Rafah as strikes continue

Rushdi Abu Alouf,David GrittenShare

Reuters A man and a young boy walk among ruins in Rafah

Israeli forces have reportedly reached the centre of the southern Gaza city of Rafah and seized a strategically important hill overlooking the nearby border with Egypt.

Witnesses and local journalists said tanks were stationed at al-Awda roundabout, which is considered a key landmark.

They also said tanks were on Zoroub Hill, effectively giving Israel control of the Philadelphi Corridor – a narrow strip of land running along the border to the sea.

The Israeli military said its troops were continuing activities against “terror targets” in Rafah, three weeks after it launched the ground operation there.

Western areas of the city also came under intense bombardment overnight, residents said, despite international condemnation of an Israeli air strike and a resulting fire on Sunday that killed dozens of Palestinians at a tented camp for displaced people.

The Israeli military said it was investigating the possibility that the fire was caused by the explosion of weapons stored by Hamas in the vicinity.

It also denied reports from local health and emergency services officials on Tuesday afternoon that tank shells had hit another camp in al-Mawasi, on the coast west of Rafah, killing at least 21 people.

Reuters news agency cited local health officials as saying the blast occurred after Israeli tank shells hit a cluster of tents in al-Mawasi on Tuesday. An official in the Hamas-run civil defence force also told AFP there had been a deadly Israeli strike on tents.

Videos posted to social media and analysed by BBC Verify showed multiple people with serious injuries, some lying motionless on the ground, near tents and other temporary structures.

There was no clear sign of a blast zone or crater, making it impossible to ascertain the cause of the incident. The location – verified through reference to surrounding buildings – is between Rafah and al-Mawasi, and lies south of the IDF’s designated humanitarian zone.

The IDF said in a statement: “Contrary to the reports from the last few hours, the IDF did not strike in the humanitarian area in al-Mawasi.”

Israel has insisted that victory in its seven-month war with Hamas in Gaza is impossible without taking Rafah and rejected warnings that it could have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

The UN says around a million people have now fled the fighting in Rafah, but several hundred thousand more could still be sheltering there.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began what they called “targeted” ground operations against Hamas fighters and infrastructure in the east of Rafah on 6 May.

Since then, tanks and troops have gradually pushed into built-up eastern and central areas while also moving northwards along the 13km (8-mile) border with Egypt.

On Tuesday, they reportedly reached the city centre for the first time.

The al-Awda roundabout, which is only 800m (2,600 ft) from the border, is the location of major banks, government institutions, businesses, and shops.

One witness said they saw soldiers position themselves at the top of a building overlooking the roundabout and then begin to shoot at anyone who was moving.

Video posted online meanwhile showed tank track marks on a road about 3km west of al-Awda roundabout and 300m from the Indonesian field hospital, which was damaged overnight.

Reuters A Palestinian girl sits on top of possessions being transported by a cart in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip (28 May 2024)
The UN says around a million people have fled Rafah since the start of the Israeli ground operation in the city

Earlier, residents told the BBC that tanks seized Zoroub Hill, about 2.5km north-west of al-Awda roundabout, after gun battles with Hamas-led fighters.

The hill is highest point along the Egyptian border and its seizure means the entire Gazan side of the border is now effectively under Israeli control.

Zoroub Hill also overlooks western Rafah, where residents said there had been the heaviest air and artillery strikes overnight since the start of the Israeli operation.

A local journalist said the bombardment forced hundreds of families to seek temporary shelter in the courtyard of a hospital, while ambulances struggled to reach casualties in the affected areas.

At dawn, thousands of people were seen heading north, crammed into cars and lorries and onto carts pulled by donkeys and horses.

“The explosions are rattling our tent, my children are frightened, and my sick father makes it impossible for us to escape the darkness,” resident Khaled Mahmoud told the BBC.

“We are supposed to be in a safe zone according to the Israeli army, yet we have not received evacuation orders like those in the eastern [Rafah] region,” he added. “We fear for our lives if no-one steps in to protect us.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not comment on the various reports but put out a statement saying that “overnight troops operated on the Philadelphi Corridor while conducting precise operational activity based on intelligence indicating the presence of terror targets in the area”.

“The activity is being conducted as efforts are continuing to be made in order to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians in the area,” it added.

“The troops are engaging with terrorists in close-quarters combat and locating terror tunnel shafts, weapons, and additional terrorist infrastructure in the area.”

The IDF has told civilians in eastern Rafah to evacuate for their own safety to an “expanded humanitarian area” stretching from al-Mawasi, a coastal area just north of Rafah, to the central town of Deir al-Balah.

EPA A Palestinian woman reacts next to tents destroyed by a fire triggered by an Israeli air strike in western Rafah on Sunday, in the southern Gaza Strip (28 May 2024)
Israel’s prime minister said the killing of civilians in an air strike and resulting fire in Rafah on Sunday was a “tragedy”

On Sunday night, at least 45 people – more than half of them children, women and the elderly – were killed when an Israeli air strike triggered a huge fire in a camp for displaced people near a UN logistics base in the Tal al-Sultan area, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Hundreds more were treated for severe burns, fractures and shrapnel wounds.

The IDF said it was targeting two senior Hamas officials in the attack, which happened hours after Hamas fighters in south-eastern Rafah launched rockets towards the Israeli city of Tel Aviv for the first time in months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a “tragic incident” had occurred “despite our immense efforts to avoid harming non-combatants” and promised a thorough investigation.

IDF chief spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on Tuesday that the strike had targeted a structure used by the Hamas commanders which was away from any tents, using “two munitions with small warheads”.

“Following this strike, a large fire ignited for reasons that are still being investigated. Our munitions alone could not have ignited a fire of this size,” he said.

Rear Adm Hagari added that investigators were looking into the possibility that the fire was caused by the explosion of weapons or ammunition stored in a nearby structure, and played what he said was an intercepted telephone conversation between two Gazans suggesting that. The audio recording could not immediately be verified.

Sam Rose of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, told the BBC from western Rafah that the killing of so many civilians could not be dismissed as an accident.

“Gaza was already one of the most overcrowded places on the planet. It is absolutely impossible to prosecute a military campaign involving large-scale munitions, strikes from the sky, the sea, the tanks, without exacting large-scale civilian casualties,” he said.

“It seems like we are plumbing new depths of horror, bloodshed and brutality with every single day. And if this isn’t a wake-up call, then it’s hard to see what will be.”

Last week, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”.

Israel launched a military campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in response to the group’s cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, during which about 1,200 people were killed and 252 others were taken hostage.

At least 36,090 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

China bubble tea chain plunges in Hong Kong debut

Getty Images Woman drinking bubble tea.Getty ImagesChabaidao means 100 varieties of tea

Shares in Chinese bubble tea chain Sichuan Baicha Baidao, which is also known as Chabaidao, have fallen by more than 26% in their first day of trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Chabaidao’s market debut was the Asian financial hub’s largest initial public offering (IPO) so far this year.

The poor performance underscores the difficulties the city is facing in attracting investment.

Chabaidao, which means 100 varieties of tea, is China’s third-biggest fresh tea drinks chain by retail sales.

The Chengdu-based company raised about $330m (£267m) in the IPO even as the offering was met with tepid interest from investors.

The firm said it plans to use about half the money to upgrade its operations and strengthen its supply chain.

Rival bubble tea firms Mixue, Guming and Auntea Jenny have also said they are planning to sell shares in Hong Kong.

However, Chabaidao’s weak debut highlights the challenges faced by authorities as they attempt to revive confidence in the city’s stock market.

Investors are concerned about Hong Kong’s recovery from the pandemic and its national security legislation as well as slowing economic growth in China.

Last year, the amount of money raised by IPOs in Hong Kong slumped to the lowest level in two decades.

The city’s benchmark Hang Seng share index has lost over 16% of its value in the last year.

Last week, China’s securities regulator said it will support share offerings in Hong Kong.

The watchdog also plans to relax regulations rules on stock trading links between the city and the mainland as it tries to boost Hong Kong’s position as an international financial hub.

Proyek pesawat tempur Korsel-Indonesia ‘mandek’ di tengah pembangunan IKN, bagaimana kelanjutannya?

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae merupakan proyek kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan.
Keterangan gambar,Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae merupakan proyek kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan.

Walau pemerintah Korea Selatan telah meminta pemerintah Indonesia untuk menuntaskan proyek pengembangan pesawat tempur, keberlanjutan proyek tersebut masih menjadi tanda tanya, karena fokus pemerintahan Jokowi saat ini adalah pembangunan Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN). Proses kerja sama juga bertambah rumit lantaran dua warga negara Indonesia dituding mencuri teknologi pesawat tempur.

Wakil Menteri Kementerian Pertahanan, Muhammad Herindra, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya tetap berkomitmen untuk melanjutkan kerja sama pengembangan jet tersebut.

“Kita tetap akan meneruskan program pengembangan jet tempur tersebut sesuai dengan kondisi keuangan yang tersedia,” ujar Herindra kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Meski begitu, pengamat militer menilai Indonesia masih “dilematis” dalam mewujudkan komitmennya dengan Korea Selatan dalam proyek pesawat jet tempur KF-21.

Khairul Fahmi dari Institute for Security and Strategic Studies (ISESS) mengatakan masih ada beberapa hambatan fiskal yang dihadapi Indonesia dalm kerja sama dengan Korea Selatan di bidang pertahanan.

“Dalam kondisi hari ini, posisi Indonesia memang masih dilematis. Di satu sisi kita punya kesenjangan antara kebutuhan aktual dan kebutuhan pertahanan yang bisa dibilang mendesak untuk diatasi,” ujar Khairul kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Minggu (17/03).

Ia mengatakan bahwa dengan pembangunan IKN yang berjalan dan membutuhkan anggaran besar, seharusnya Indonesia jangan mengorbankan komitmennya untuk mewujudkan kerja sama pertahanan dengan Korea Selatan yang tak kalah penting.

Sebelumnya pada Oktober 2023, Direktur Teknologi dan Pertahanan Kementerian Pertahanan, Marsekal Pertama Dedy Laksmono, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya telah meminta agar biaya untuk proyek tersebut ditambah dari APBN.

Namun, dengan berlangsungnya pembangunan Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN), hal itu masih belum jelas.

Tuduhan pencurian data oleh dua insinyur WNI

Kabar tentang kerja sama Indonesia dengan Korea Selatan dalam mengembangkan jet tempur KF-21 kembali dibahas setelah dua warga negara Indonesia (WNI) diduga mencuri rahasia teknologi jet Korea Selatan tersebut.

Menurut Yonhap News Agency, kedua WNI itu merupakan insinyur yang dikirim ke Indonesia untuk bekerja di Korea Aerospace Industries. Mereka diduga menyimpan data tentang pengembangan KF-21 (atau KFX) di sebuah USB drive.

Kantor berita Korea JoongAng Daily, melaporkan bahwa Kepolisian Korea Selatan menggeledah kantor produsen pesawat Korea Aerospace Industries pada Jumat (15/3) pagi pukul 09.00 waktu setempat.

Penggeledahan itu dilakukan demi mengamankan data-data terkait dari komputer kerja milik dua insinyur asal Indonesia yang terlibat dalam proyek KF-21.

Menteri Pertahanan RI Prabowo Subianto (kiri) bersama dengan Menteri Luar Negeri Korea Selatan Chung Eui-yong (kanan) dalam upacara peluncuran prototipe pertama jet tempur buatan negara tersebut.
Keterangan gambar,Menteri Pertahanan RI Prabowo Subianto (kiri) bersama dengan Menteri Luar Negeri Korea Selatan Chung Eui-yong (kanan) dalam upacara peluncuran prototipe pertama jet tempur buatan negara tersebut pada 2021.

Bahkan, sehari sebelumnya, rumah salah satu insinyur WNI juga sempat digeledah oleh aparat kepolisian Korea Selatan.

Namun, juru bicara Kementerian Luar Negeri, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, membantah bahwa kasus itu terkonfirmasi sebagai kasus pencurian data. Sebab, kasus tersebut masih dalam tahap verifikasi.

“Belum ada hasil akhir atau kesimpulan dari verifikasi tersebut. Karena itu terlalu jauh untuk menyebut ini kasus pencurian data,” ungkap Iqbal dalam pesan tertulis pada Jumat (15/03).

Ia mengatakan bahwa KBRI Seoul masih memonitor dan mendampingi dua WNI sejak munculnya kasus ini. Namun, untuk melindungi privasi kedua insinyur yang bersangkutan, Kemenlu menolak untuk memberikan nama mereka.

Sejarah perkembangan proyek KF-21 antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan

Kerja sama antara Indonesia dan Korea Selatan dalam pengembangan pesawat jet tempur KF-21 Boramae sudah berlangsung sejak 2014 silam dan ditargetkan rampung dalam kurun waktu 12 tahun, yakni pada 2026.

Berdasarkan kesepakatan itu, Korea Selatan dan Indonesia akan mengembangkan jet tersebut dalam proyek bernilai 8,1 triliun won atau setara Rp100 triliun, dengan Indonesia membayar 20% dari total pembiayaan.

Untuk melunasi 20% itu, Indonesia berkomitmen membayar sekitar Rp2 triliun per tahun kepada Korea Selatan. Namun, proyek dan pembayaran tertunda karena dinamika politik di Korsel.

Kemudian pada 2018, Indonesia berupaya untuk merundingkan kembali kesepakatan tersebut, untuk mengurangi tekanan pada cadangan devisanya.

Sehingga, pemerintah Indonesia menawarkan barter proyek sebagai alternatif membayar 20% dari pembiayaan, di antaranya pembangunan smart city di Ibu Kota Negara (IKN) hingga proyek terkait mobil listrik.

Namun, pemerintah Korea Selatan tetap meminta agar Indonesia melunasi tunggakan utang terlebih dahulu.

Sebab, selain pembelian jet tempur, program kerja sama itu juga mencakup investasi alutista dalam negeri serta kerja sama produksi komponen untuk pemesanan KFX/IFX dari sejumlah negara serta insentif ekonomi.

Pada 2019, Indonesia menghentikan pembiayaan sementara pada proyek tersebut sebelum melanjutkannya kembali pada akhir 2022.

Menurut pemberitaan Reuters, kedua negara sepakat pada November 2023 bahwa Indonesia akan menepati janjinya untuk menanggung 20% biaya pembangunan, termasuk pembayaran natura untuk sepertiga bagiannya, meskipun kontrak tersebut belum resmi direvisi.

Menurut kantor berita The Korea Times, hingga Oktober 2023, keterlambatan bayar pihak pemerintah Indonesia diestimasikan mencapai 1 triliun won atau setara Rp11,7 triliun.

Apa keistimewaan jet tempur KF-21?

Menurut situs resmi Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), KF-21 merupakan proyek pengembangan jet tempur generasi baru buatan Korea Selatan yang akan menggantikan pesawat-pesawat tempur model lama F-4 dan F-5 buatan AS yang menjadi andalan Angkatan Udara Korsel.

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae memiliki beberapa keunggulan, seperti radar AESA yang dikembangkan Hanhwa Systems, persenjataan presisisi canggih, 10 hard point senjata, kemampuan manuver tinggi, dan fitur pendukung yang lebih maju

KF-21 memiliki kecepatan maksimum sejauh 1.400 mil per jam dan daya dorong maksimum 19,95 ton. Bentang sayapnya sepanjang 11,2 meter dengan tinggi pesawat 4,7 meter. Pesawat tersebut memiliki daya jelajah sejauh 2.870 kilometer.

Sebenarnya sejak 2001, Presiden Kim Dae-Jung sudah mengumumkan proyek pengembangan pesawat tempur buatan Korea Selatan. Namun strategi proyek pesawat itu baru disetujui pada 2010.

Model jet tempur KF-21, yang dikembangkan oleh Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), pada Pameran Dirgantara & Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) di Pangkalan Udara Seoul di Seongnam.
Keterangan gambar,Model jet tempur KF-21, yang dikembangkan oleh Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), pada Pameran Dirgantara & Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) di Pangkalan Udara Seoul di Seongnam.

Jet tempur KF-21 Boramae menjadi salah satu tonggak pencapaian teknologi militer Korea Selatan, menandai apa yang disebut oleh Presiden Korea Selatan Moon Jae-in sebagai era baru dari kemandirian pertahanan nasional Korsel.

Pengamat keamanan dan militer dari ISESS, Khairul Fahmi, mengatakan bahwa peran Indonesia dalam penuntasan proyek ini menguntungkan, baik bagi Korea Selatan maupun Indonesia.

Ia mengatakan program kerja sama ini bukan hanya sekadar pembangunan model jet tempur baru, melainkan juga proyek itu menjadi penting bagi penambahan alutista dalam negeri dan sekaligus masa depan industri pertahanan Indonesia.

“Kaitannya juga dengan bagaimana Indonesia bertransformasi ke penggunaan alutista udaranya dari generasi 4 ke 4.5, bukan hanya sebagai konsumen tetapi juga sebagai negara yang mampu memproduksi,“ jelas Khairul kepada BBC News Indonesia.

Oleh karena itu, ia menilai penting bagi Indonesia untuk tetap mempertahankan komitmennya dengan Korea Selatan agar dapat menutupi “kesenjangan kekuatan.“

Apakah Indonesia mampu berkomitmen membangun jet tempur KF-21 bersama Korea Selatan?

Pengamat keamanan dan militer, Khairul Fahmi, mengatakan bahwa Indonesia berada dalam posisi yang “dilematis” karena kesenjangan antara kebutuhan aktual dan kebutuhan pertahanan yang “mendesak untuk diatasi”.

Tak hanya itu, Indonesia juga memiliki permasalahan fiscal karena adanya kebutuhan-kebutuhan lain yang membutuhkan anggaran lebih besar.

“Dengan prioritas anggaran di Kementerian Keuangan. Itu yang menurut saya menjadi hambatan dalam realisasi,” ujar Khairul.

Ia mengatakan Indonesia masih perlu mencari solusi agar dapat memenuhi kesepakatannya dengan Korea Selatan sambil menjalani proyek-proyek besar lainnya seperti Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN) di Kalimantan Selatan.

“Karena bagaimanapun, pertahanan IKN juga membutuhkan teknologi maju dan yang lebih modern dan tentunya juga membutuhkan prioritas anggaran,” katanya.

Jet tempur KF-21 Korea Selatan mendarat setelah demonstrasi udara selama Pameran Dirgantara dan Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) 2023.
Keterangan gambar,Jet tempur KF-21 Korea Selatan mendarat setelah demonstrasi udara selama Pameran Dirgantara dan Pertahanan Internasional Seoul (ADEX) 2023.

Meski begitu, ia mengatakan proyek jet tempur tidak bisa dikesampingkan dengan alasan pembangunan IKN yang membutuhkan anggaran besar. Sebab, Indonesia juga membutuhkan pertahanan yang kuat.

“Misalnya tidak berlanjut pun itu saya kira tidak berkaitan dengan soal IKN karena dari sisi pertahanan IKN juga membutuhkan kehadiran kekuatan udara yang benar-benar memadai,” sebut Khairul.

Alternatif yang mungkin ditempuh oleh Indonesia, jikalau perjanjian dengan Korea Selatan batal, adalah dengan memenuhi kebutuhan pertahanan udara itu lewat perjanjian lain.

Khairul mengambil contoh ketika perjanjian pengembangan kapal selam dengan Korea Selatan yang akhirnya kandas.

“Prabowo mengalihkan opsi pengadaan kapal selam ini ke Eropa misalnya. Apakah proyek Borahmae ini tidak akan mengalami nasib yang sama? Itu yang kemudian saya kira itu akan jadi PR pemerintahan berikutnya,” ujar Khairul.

Bagaimana tanggapan dari Kementerian Pertahanan?

Wakil Menteri Kementerian Pertahanan, Muhammad Herindra, mengatakan bahwa pihaknya tetap akan melanjutkan program kerja sama KF-21 dengan Korea Selatan.

“Kita tetap akan meneruskan program pengembangan jet tempur tersebut sesuai dengan kondisi keuangan yang tersedia,” ujar Herindra kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Dalam lokakarya ”Advancing Indonesia and South Korea’s Defense Industry Collaboration” pada Oktober 2023, Direktur Teknologi dan Pertahanan Kemhan, Marsekal Pertama Dedy Laksmono, mengatakan bahwa skema pembayaran sempat berubah dengan pergantian pemerintahan sehingga berdampak pada alokasi APBN

Ketika ditanya soal pengajuan penambahan APBN oleh Kementerian Pertahanan, Staf Khusus Kementerian Keuangan, Yustinus Prastowo mengatakan bahwa Kemenkeu dan Kemhan saat ini masih berproses bersama.

“Kami sudah mengajukan porsi penambahan di APBN, tapi keputusannya ada di Kemenkeu. Karena salah satu fokus pemerintah saat ini IKN (Ibu Kota Nusantara). Pada 2024 kami disiapkan Rp 1,25 triliun,” kata Dedy, seperti dikutip oleh Kompas

“Karena sedang berproses bersama, disarankan satu pintu di Kemhan,” kata Yustinus dalam pesan singkat kepada BBC News Indonesia pada Selasa (19/03).

Berkonsep Futuristik dan Ramah Lingkungan, BNI Hadirkan Gedung Baru di IKN

Presiden Jokowi (ketiga kiri) didampingi Menteri BUMN Erick Thohir (ketiga kanan) dan Dirut BNI Royke Tumilaar (kedua kananl saat Groundbreaking pembangunan gedung BNI di Mini Financial Center yang ada di IKN, Kamis (29/2/2024). (Foto: Dok. BNI)  Rakyat Merdeka – PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk atau BNI berkomitmen untuk terus mendukung pembangunan Ibu Kota Nusantara (IKN) di Provinsi Kalimantan Timur.

BNI akan menghadirkan gedung BNI di IKN yang ditujukan untuk menjawab berbagai kebutuhan layanan perbankan di Ibu Kota masa depan Indonesia tersebut.

Perseroan secara resmi melakukan groundbreaking pembangunan gedung BNI di Mini Financial Center yang ada di IKN, Kamis (29/2/2024).

Proses groundbreaking dihadiri langsung Presiden Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Menteri Badan Usaha Milik Negara (BUMN) Erick Thohir, Ketua Dewan Komisioner OJK Mahendra Siregar, Kepala Otorita Ibu Kota Negara (IKN) Nusantara Bambang Susantono, didampingi Direktur Utama BNI Royke Tumilaar.

Hadir juga jajaran Direksi BNI dalam groundbreaking tersebut, Direktur Wholesale & International Banking BNI Silvano Winston Rumantir, Direktur Institutional Banking BNI Muhammad Iqbal, dan Direktur Technology & Operations BNI Toto Prasetio.

Royke mengatakan, pembangunan gedung BNI di IKN ini menjadi bentuk proaktif perseroan dalam mendukung pemerintah dalam pengembangan IKN.

“Pembangunan gedung BNI ini merupakan langkah nyata kami untuk mewujudkan cita-cita pembangunan IKN. Kami optimis gedung BNI ini akan menjadi awal terbentuknya ekosistem perbankan di sini,” ungkap Royke.

Berlokasi di area Mini Financial Center dengan luas lahan sekitar 9.000 meter persegi, gedung BNI di IKN akan memfasilitasi layanan perbankan smart-digital dengan desain bangunan yang futuristik namun tetap ramah lingkungan.

Hal ini sejalan dengan komitmen BNI untuk menjadi pionir dalam menyediakan layanan perbankan yang efisien dan ramah lingkungan.

Menurut Royke, konsep Smart City IKN yang juga dipegang oleh BNI menekankan pentingnya adopsi teknologi cerdas dalam setiap aspek kehidupan di wilayah tersebut.

Dengan pendekatan smart peoplesmart governancesmart infrastructuresmart environmentsmart economy, dan smart society, BNI bertujuan membangun sebuah ekosistem yang berkelanjutan dan berdaya saing tinggi di IKN.

Rencananya, gedung BNI di IKN tersebut akan mengusung konsep blended with nature yang diwujudkan dalam desain yang mengikuti kontur tanah, merespons sungai yang mengalir di tapak, dan memaksimalkan vegetasi alami pada lahan untuk menghadirkan bangunan yang modern dengan tetap menyatu pada konteks alam sekitarnya.

“Kehadiran gedung BNI di IKN ini juga menjadi bukti nyata hadirnya ekosistem layanan digital di Kawasan IKN,” pungkas Royke.

Inacraft 2024 Resmi Dibuka, UMKM Binaan Pertamina Incar Omzet Rp 3 M

Memboyong 29 UMKM, PT Pertamina (Persero) menargetkan omzet mitra binaan tersebut dapat mencapai Rp 3 miliar dari Inacraft 2024 selama 28 Februari - 3 Maret 2024 di Jakarta Convention Center. (Dok. Pertamina)  Rakyat Merdeka – Pameran kerajinan International Handicraft Trade Fair (Inacraft) 2024 resmi dibuka hari ini, Rabu (28/2).

Memboyong 29 Usaha Mikro, Kecil dan Menengah (UMKM), PT Pertamina (Persero) menargetkan omzet mitra binaan tersebut dapat mencapai Rp 3 miliar dari Inacraft 2024 selama 28 Februari – 3 Maret 2024 di Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta.

Peresmian Inacraft 2024 dilakukan oleh Presiden Joko Widodo beserta Menteri Perdagangan Zulkifli Hasan dan Menteri Koperasi dan Usaha Kecil dan Menengah Teten Masduki, yang meninjau langsung beberapa booth UMKM peserta Inacraft.

Pada pembukaannya, Teten mengapresiasi partisipasi para pelaku UMKM pada pameran kerajinan terbesar di Asia Tenggara ini. Menurutnya, produk Indonesia memiliki 1,25 persen pangsa pasar di industri kerajinan di dunia.

Kerajinan Indonesia juga diproyeksikan akan tumbuh dan meningkat seiring dengan kekayaan sumber daya alam dan kreatifitas perajinnya.

“Ini peluang bagi perajin kriya untuk menguasai pasar dalam negeri. Saya atas nama pemerintah mengucapkan selamat atas pelaksanaan Inacraft 2024 yang telah beradaptasi dengan era digital melalui konsep ‘SmartSimpleMobileAccessibleRealtime dan Trustworthy’ melalui cashless paymentsocial media oriented dan digital insight program. Saya berharap dengan branding Inacraft yang kuat di kawasan Asean pada 2024, Indonesia dapat memimpin sebagai negara eksportir produk handycraft terbesar di dunia,” ujarnya.

Mendukung program Pemerintah, sekaligus sebagai motivasi bagi UMKM untuk naik kelas, Vice President Corporate Communication Pertamina Fadjar Djoko Santoso mengungkapkan Pertamina konsisten hadir pada pameran Inacraft dari tahun ke tahun.

Pada Inacraft periode ini, Pertamina menghadirkan 29 mitra binaan terbaik untuk memperluas pasarnya dan menargetkan omzet penjualannya mencapai Rp 3 miliar, atau naik 25 persen dari omzet UMKM Pertamina pada Inacraft bulan Maret 2023.

“Kami berharap produk UMKM binaan Pertamina diminati oleh pengunjung. Untuk meningkatkan omzet ini, Pertamina juga akan memfasilitasi beberapa kegiatan seperti temu bisnis yang mempertemukan UMKM dengan pembeli asing potensial, sehingga dapat membuka pasar ekspor,” jelas Fadjar.

Salah satu mitra binaan unggulan pada Inacraft yakni Merajut Asa Kita, yang produknya berasal dari perajin disabilitas.

Ketua Merajut Asa Kita Elis Juarsih mengungkap rasa senangnya dapat bergabung di pameran Inacraft 2024.

Berbagai produk yang ia tampilkan saat ini diantaranya baju luaran (outer), baju hangat, celana kulot, topi kupluk, syal, tas selempang, tas laptop hingga tas kekinian.

“Saya sudah 2 tahun bersama Pertamina. Kebetulan perajin produk produk Merajut Asa ada 10 orang disabilitas. Program pemberdayaan disabilitas ini membantu menambah perekonomian mereka, karena disabilitas memiliki hambatan dengan mobilitasnya sehingga mereka membuat produk di rumah, setelah jadi kita bawa dan kita pasarkan seperti ini. Ngajarin perajin yang disabilitas sih gak susah, hanya butuh ketelitian dan fokus. Pertamina sudah banyak ajak kita ke pameran,” ujarnya.

Elis berharap, pameran Inacraft yang berlangsung selama lima hari ini bukan hanya menambah omzet, namun untuk mengenalkan produknya hingga ke konsumen internasional.

“Produk kami sudah dipasarkan hingga ke Malaysia. Setelah ini kami ingin go internasional dan lebih banyak dikenal, bukan hanya di Indonesia tapi konsumen dunia juga harus tahu produk kita. Kita harus bangga dengan produk kita sendiri,” tutupnya.

Pertamina sebagai perusahaan pemimpin di bidang transisi energi, berkomitmen dalam mendukung target Net Zero Emission 2060 dengan terus mendorong program-program yang berdampak langsung pada capaian Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Seluruh upaya tersebut sejalan dengan penerapan EnvironmentalSocial & Governance (ESG) di seluruh lini bisnis dan operasi Pertamina.

Gaet 15 Mitra LBH, Kemenkop UKM Beri Bantuan Hukum Bagi UMKM

Gaet 15 Mitra LBH, Kemenkop UKM Beri Bantuan Hukum Bagi UMKM  Rakyat Merdeka – Kementerian Koperasi dan UKM (Kemenkop UKM) memastikan bakal memberikan layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum kepada pelaku UMKM, khususnya para pelaku usaha mikro dan kecil, dengan menggandeng di 15 mitra lembaga hukum di daerah melalui penandatanganan Perjanjian Kerja Sama (PKS).

Sesuai Undang-Undang Cipta Kerja dan Pasal 48 Peraturan Pemerintah No. 7 Tahun 2021 tentang Kemudahan, Pelindungan dan Pemberdayaan Koperasi dan Usaha Mikro, Kecil dan menengah, mengamanatkan agar Pemerintah Pusat dan Pemerintah Daerah memberikan layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum kepada pelaku usaha mikro dan kecil.

“Perlu kita sadari bahwa pelaku usaha mikro dan kecil masih memiliki berbagai keterbatasan dalam pengelolaan usaha mereka, sehingga kerap menimbulkan permasalahan hukum,” ucap Deputi Bidang Usaha Mikro Kemenkop UKM Yulius dalam acara pelaksanaan penandatanganan PKS antara Deputi Bidang Usaha Mikro KemenkopUKM dengan Mitra Layanan Bantuan dan Pendampingan Hukum Tahun 2024, di Jakarta, Selasa (27/2/2024).

Yulius menekankan, sebagaimana kita ketahui bersama bahwa usaha mikro dan kecil secara nasional, merupakan bagian terbesar dalam struktur badan usaha di Indonesia.

Maka, keberadaannya menjadi sangat penting dalam menopang pertumbuhan perekonomian nasional.

Selain itu, kontribusi usaha mikro dan kecil terhadap pendapatan negara, penyerapan tenaga kerja dan pengentasan kimiskinan juga diharapkan dapat meningkat dari sebelumnya.

Namun dalam perjalanannya, berbebagai keterbatasan dimiliki usaha mikro dan kecil. Di antaranya berkaitan dengan perizinan usaha, pembiayaan, ketenagakerjaan, pemasaran, Sumber Daya Manusia (SDM) dan sebagainya yang tentunya memerlukan bantuan dan pendampingan.

“Sejalan dengan kebijakan Pemerintah tersebut, Kemenkop UKM telah menyusun program layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum, untuk mewujudkan amanat peraturan perundangan dan mengambil langkah-langkah yang strategis, agar program dapat mencapai hasil yang optimal,” jelas Yulius.

Untuk itu, Deputi Bidang Usaha Mikro telah melakukan kerja sama dengan berbagai pihak sebagai mitra antara lain dengan Mahkamah Agung RI, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum dan Firma Hukum dalam upaya mewujudkan layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum kepada usaha mikro dan kecil secara optimal.

Selanjutnya melalui kerja sama ini, selain untuk pemberian layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum kepada usaha mikro dan kecil, pihaknya berharap kepada para mitra, dapat memberikan melalui bimbingan, literasi dan motivasi yang positif untuk perkembangan usaha mikro dan kecil di wilayah kerja masing-masing, terutama berkaitan dengan kegiatan yang dijalankan.

“Sehingga pelanggaran hukum oleh pelaku usaha mikro dapat diminimalisir, serta kepastian dan perlindungan hukum dapat terjamin,” harapnya.

Guna memastikan kerja sama ini dapat berjalan dengan baik, Yulius menekankan perlunya dukungan perencanaan program yang baik, SDM yang memiliki komitmen keberpihakan pada pemberdayaan usaha mikro dan kecil, serta semangat dan etos kerja yang tinggi.

Selain itu, dalam rangka pelaksanaan layanan bantuan dan pendampingan hukum, Kemenkop UKM juga telah membangun Aplikasi untuk memberikan kemudahan bagi usaha mikro dan kecil dalam penyampaian permohonan atau pengaduan, sekaligus memudahkan bagi para pihak untuk memantau perkembangan layanan.

“Berkaitan dengan aplikasi dimaksud, kami harapkan kepada semua pihak yang diberikan kewenangan operasinal antara lain Dinas Koperasi dapat mempelajari dengan baik, sehingga aplikasi tersebut dapat benar-benar dirasakan manfaatnya,” ujar Yulius.

Di kesempatan yang sama, Direktur Lembaga Penyuluhan Konsultasi dan Bantuan Hukum Islam (LPKBHI) Fakultasi Syariah dan Hukum Universitas Islam Negeri Walisongo Semarang Maksun menyambut baik kerja sama tersebut.

“Saya kira ini sangat penting tadi sudah disampaikan oleh Pak Deputi para pelaku UMKM ini memang kebanyakan dari sisi SDM itu masih kurang melek hukum, SDM nya juga masih terbatas. Kebanyakan ibu-ibu yang masih termotivasi hanya untuk menambahkan income untuk keluarganya,” terang Maksun.

Berdasarkan pengalaman di Jawa Tengah, menurut Maksun, program ini sebenarnya sudah berjalan sejak 15 Januari 2024. Dan pelaku usaha mikro kecil cukup antusias.

“Dalam waktu setengah bulan kami sudah menerima ada 34 kasus datang ke kami. Rata-rata konsultasi soal hukum, soal branding, juga wan prestasi dan sebagainya,” ungkapnya.

Karena rata rata pelaku UMK itu dari kelas ekonomi menengah, sementara saat mereka bermasalah hukum, kerap kali terkendala dari sisi biaya.

“Saya kira Pemerintah punya komitmen yang tinggi ketika mereka menghadapi persoalan-persoalan hukum. Sehingga kami berpikir kerja sama ini sangat penting,” katanya.

ICICI: Indian woman alleges ‘bank manager stole $1.9m from account’

Shveta Sharma
Image caption,Shveta Sharma accuses her bank manager of pulling an elaborate con on her

By Geeta Pandey

BBC News, Delhi

An Indian woman has accused a manager at one of the country’s largest banks of defrauding her by siphoning off 160m rupees ($1.9m; £1.5m) from her account.

Shveta Sharma says she had transferred money to the ICICI Bank from her US account, expecting it to be invested in fixed deposits.

But she alleges that a bank official created “fake accounts, forged her signature, took out debit cards and cheque books in her name” to withdraw money from her accounts.

“He gave me fake statements, created a fake email ID in my name and manipulated my mobile number in the bank records so I won’t get any withdrawal notifications,” she told the BBC.

A spokesman for the bank admitted to the BBC that “indeed the fraud had happened” but said that the ICICI “is a bank of repute which holds trillions of rupees in deposits from millions of customers”.

“Whoever is involved will be punished,” he added.

Ms Sharma and her husband, who returned to India in 2016 after living for decades in the US and Hong Kong, met a banker through a friend.

As the interest rate on bank deposits in the US was negligible, he advised Ms Sharma to move her money to India where fixed deposits were offering an interest of 5.5% to 6%.

She opened an NRE account meant for non-resident Indians on his advice after visiting the ICICI’s branch in old Gurugram near the capital, Delhi, and in 2019, began transferring money into it from her US account.

“Over a period of four years from September 2019 to December 2023, we deposited our entire life savings of around 135m rupees in the bank,” she said, adding that “with interest, the sum would have grown to more than 160m rupees”.

She said she never suspected anything was amiss because the branch manager “would give me proper receipts for all the deposits on bank’s stationery, regularly send me email statements from his ICICI account and sometimes even come over with folders of documents”.

The fraud came to light in early January when a new employee at the bank offered to get Ms Sharma better returns on her money.

It was then that she discovered that all her fixed deposits had vanished. There was also an overdraft of 25m rupees taken on one of the deposits.

ICICI bank
Image caption,ICICI is India’s second largest bank

“My husband and I were shocked. I suffer from an autoimmune disorder and I was so traumatised that I couldn’t get up from bed for an entire week,” she told me. “Your life is being ruined right in front of your eyes and you can’t do anything about it.”

Ms Sharma says she has shared all the information with the bank and held several meetings with top officials.

“At our first meeting on 16 January, we met the bank’s regional and zonal heads and the head of the bank’s internal vigilance who had flown in from Mumbai. They told us they accepted that it had been their fault, that this branch manager had cheated us.

“They assured us that we will get all our money back. But first, they said, they needed my help in identifying fraudulent transactions.”

Ms Sharma and her team of accountants spent days going through the statements for the past four years. Her accountants then sat with the vigilance team to mark the transactions which they were “100% sure” were fraudulent.

“It was shocking to actually discover how the money had been siphoned from my account and where it had been spent.”

Ms Sharma says despite the bank’s assurances that the issue would be resolved within two weeks, more than six weeks later, she’s still waiting to see any of her money back.

In the meantime, she has sent letters to the CEO and deputy CEO of ICICI and lodged complaints with the Reserve Bank of India – the country’s central bank – and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi police, which deals with financial crimes.

In a statement sent to the BBC, the bank said they have offered to deposit 92.7m rupees into her account with a lien, pending the outcome of the investigation.

But Ms Sharma has rejected the offer: “It’s a lot less than the 160m rupees they owe me and the lien would effectively mean the account would be frozen until the case is closed by the police, which could take years.”

“Why am I being punished for no fault of mine? My life has turned upside-down. I can’t sleep. I have daily nightmares,” she added.

Indian rupees
Image caption,Shveta Sharma says she has lost 160 million rupees

Srikanth L, who runs a fintech watchdog called Cashless Consumer, says such cases are not very common and banks use audits and checks to ensure such things don’t happen.

But if your bank manager decides to defraud you, he says, there’s little you can do.

“Since he was the bank manager, she had some implicit trust in him. But customers must be more vigilant. They must monitor the outflow of money from their account at all times.

“The lack of double checks on a customer’s part can lead to this kind of fraud,” he adds.

This is the second time just this month that ICICI bank has been in the news for the wrong reason.

Earlier this month, police in Rajasthan state said a branch manager and his aides had duped depositors of billions of rupees for years to meet targets set up by the bank.

Police said they withdrew money from customer accounts and used it to open new current and savings accounts and set up fixed deposits.

The ICICI spokesperson said in that case, the bank acted swiftly and took action against the manager involved. He added that none of the customers had lost any money.

In Ms Sharma’s case, he said it was “bewildering” that she remained “unaware of these transactions and balances in her account over the past three years, and only recently noticed a discrepancy in her account balance”.

The bank “has consistently sent transaction details to her registered mobile number and email”, he said, adding that their “records indicate notifications regarding changes to contact details were sent to her mobile number and email address registered with the bank”.

The accused branch manager “has been suspended, pending investigation”, he said, adding “we have also been defrauded”.

“We have also lodged a complaint with the EOW and we have to wait until the police investigation is complete. She will get all her money back, along with the interest, once her allegation is proven to be true. But unfortunately, she has to wait.”

The BBC was unable to contact the manager for comment.

Cuaca Besok Di Jakarta Hujan Atau Panas? Ini Kata BMKG Selasa, 27 Februari 2024

Ilustrasi prakiraan cuaca besok di Jakarta, Selasa (27/2). Foto: Ng Putu Wahyu Rama/RM  Rakyat Merdeka – Perbaharui informasi cuaca besok, Selasa (27/2) sebelum berkegiatan di Jakarta. Terutama untuk memastikan cuaca apakah hujan atau panas? 

Simak berikut ini adalah prakiraan cuaca besok terbaru dari Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG).

Menurut BMKG, langit di Jakarta besok didominasi awan tebal dari pagi hingga malam hari. Namun, waspadai hujan sedang hingga hujan petir yang diprediksi mengguyur saat dini hari.

Suhu udara besok bervariasi di beberapa wilayah. Antara 28-31 derajat Celsius. Wilayah yang akan menerima sengatan matahari lebih panas besok adalah Jakarta Barat.

Berikut ini prakiraan cuaca besok di Jakarta selengkapnya: 

1. Jakarta Barat

   – Pagi: Berawan Tebal

   – Siang: Berawan Tebal

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Petir

   – Suhu: 24 – 31 °C

   – Kelembapan: 75 – 95 persen

2. Jakarta Pusat

   – Pagi: Berawan Tebal

   – Siang: Berawan Tebal

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Sedang

   – Suhu: 25 – 29 °C

   – Kelembapan: 80 – 90 persen

3. Jakarta Selatan

   – Pagi: Berawan

   – Siang: Hujan Ringan

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Petir

   – Suhu: 24 – 30 °C

   – Kelembapan: 75 – 90 persen

4. Jakarta Timur

   – Pagi: Berawan Tebal

   – Siang: Berawan Tebal

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Petir

   – Suhu: 24 – 30 °C

   – Kelembapan: 75 – 90 persen

5. Jakarta Utara

   – Pagi: Berawan Tebal

   – Siang: Berawan Tebal

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Sedang

   – Suhu: 25 – 29 °C

   – Kelembapan: 80 – 90 persen

6. Kepulauan Seribu

   – Pagi: Hujan Ringan

   – Siang: Berawan Tebal

   – Malam: Berawan Tebal

   – Dini Hari: Hujan Petir

   – Suhu: 27 – 28 °C

   – Kelembapan: 85 – 90 persen.

Alabama IVF ruling divides devout Christians: ‘Fewer children will be born’

Margaret Boyce wearing a white top and blazer
Image caption,Margaret Boyce was days away from her first appointment for IVF when Alabama made its ruling

By Nomia Iqbal

BBC News in Birmingham, Alabama

When Alabama’s Supreme Court defined frozen embryos as children, the shock and confusion was immediate. Major hospitals pulled fertility services and would-be parents scrambled for clarity on what would happen next.

The debate over reproductive rights in America has long been driven, in part, by opposition to abortion from Christian groups – but this ruling has divided that movement and ignited debate about the role of theology in US lawmaking.

Short presentational grey line

Margaret Boyce is soft-spoken, a private person, and certainly not – in her words – a “crier”.

She had been taking fertility drugs for 10 months and was days away from her first appointment for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) when the justices of Alabama’s top court upended her life.

Their ruling, which prompted many fertility clinics to pause their work, has left her turning to the Bible daily for comfort.


The 32-year-old and her husband have a young boy but, second time round, she is experiencing unexplained infertility. Building a family has always been the dream.

“I’m one of three. I feel like it’s the greatest gift to give your child a sibling,” she said.

“The journey to becoming parents is different for every single couple – mentally, emotionally and financially,” she added, welling up.

“This ruling has added more unnecessary anxiety to something that is already so hard.”

For a devout Christian like Margaret, the ruling – given its consequences for what she sees clearly as a process to create life – is even more difficult to comprehend.

“God,” she said, “tells you to go forth and be fruitful and multiply.”

IVF is a difficult and lengthy treatment, involving the fertilisation of a woman’s eggs with sperm in a lab to create a microscopic embryo. The fertilised embryo is then transferred into a woman’s uterus, where it may create a pregnancy – but a successful outcome is not guaranteed.

Embryos are often frozen or eventually destroyed as part of IVF, which accounts for around 2% of US pregnancies.

The Alabama court ruled that an existing law – wrongful death of a minor – covers not just foetuses in the womb, but embryos held in a lab or storage facility too.

It did not explicitly restrict or ban IVF, but it has still created deep uncertainty for clinics and medical workers who handle embryos and fear prosecution. In recent days the office of the state’s attorney general said he had “no intention” of pursuing criminal charges against IVF clinics – but one clinic told the BBC this statement lacked detail and did not quell their fears.

Short presentational grey line

While the majority of the justices rooted their ruling in law, Chief Justice Tom Parker also had a higher authority in mind, repeatedly invoking scripture in explaining his decision.

The people of Alabama, he wrote in a concurring opinion, had adopted a “theologically-based view of the sanctity of life” in their state constitution.

Tom parker wearing a black robe and glasses, sitting in front of a black backdrop
Image caption,Chief Justice Tom Parker, of the Alabama Supreme Court

Delving into religious sources from classic Christian theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas and also a modern conservative Christian manifesto, he concluded that “even before birth, all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory”.

Some anti-abortion groups celebrated the explicit use of scripture in Justice Parker’s opinion to justify what for them was a momentous decision.

Tony Perkins, president of evangelical activist group the Family Research Council, described it as “a beautiful defence of life”.

But the chief justice’s theocratic justification has left Margaret puzzled. She doesn’t believe in abortion but she also struggles to see a frozen embryo as a living person. For her, life begins with a heartbeat.

“Nobody understands more that an embryo is not a child,” she said, before taking a pause, “than the person yearning for that embryo to be a child.”

US courts do sometimes make decisions that seem to be based on religious premises, said Meredith Render, a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law.

But, she added, “rarely do you see it as explicitly stated” as in the chief justice’s opinion.

The ruling was however “not an outlier” for a conservative court in a red state, said Kelly Baden, the vice president for public policy at the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion legislation across the US.

“We do see that many elected officials and judges alike are often coming at this debate from a highly religious lens,” she said.

While the Alabama state Supreme Court is not appointed by the US president, more than 200 judges were appointed by Donald Trump to federal courts during his four-year term, winning him lasting support from American evangelicals.

During his presidency he was able to nominate three new justices to the nine-member Supreme Court – all of whom sided with the majority in striking down the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that had guaranteed a federal right to abortion.

Since that decision in 2022 re-opened a national battle over reproductive rights, courts in Missouri have quoted Biblical teachings to justify restricting abortion rights and a Trump-appointed judge in Texas who previously worked for a Christian legal organisation tried to impose a nationwide ban on Mifepristone, a commonly used abortion pill.

While many Republican politicians comfortably agree with such rulings, restrictions on abortion imposed by conservative courts have proved a potent campaign issue for Democrats in recent elections, including the 2022 midterms.

Donald Trump gestures and stands in front of a US flag against a blue backdrop
Image caption,Donald Trump has said he supports the availability of IVF treatment, calling on Alabama to find “an immediate solution”

The Alabama decision, made by Republican judges and affecting fertility treatments widely supported by the US public, went one step further, prompting immediate fear of a political backlash in a presidential election year.

Any sign of IVF being endangered could worsen the anger that’s already cost Republicans since the fall of Roe v Wade, especially among suburban women and those who are uncomfortable with abortion bans.

Donald Trump himself, the clear frontrunner in the Republican nomination race, came out strongly in support of IVF, calling on Alabama lawmakers to preserve access to the treatment. His last remaining rival Nikki Haley at first appeared to support the ruling, but then backtracked.

“It’s a win philosophically for the pro-life movement because it carries on the pro-life recognition of unborn life,” said Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition.

“But you get into a very difficult situation, where you have this medical procedure that’s accepted by most people, and then how do you deal with it? That’s the dilemma.

“I agree with the opinion overall – I think it’s well written opinion from the legal side and from the medical side,” he added.

“But I think the pro-life community in general supports IVF, and I’ve known and worked with many people who have had children via IVF. And at the same time, they think abortion is wrong. This issue is so different from abortion, but it has to do with life.”

What next for fertility patients in Alabama and beyond?

For patients in the deep-south state, the last week has been one of panicked phone calls to clinics, emails to local lawmakers and a rush by some to try and transfer frozen embryos out of the state.

Rodney Miller, 46, and his wife Mary Leah, 41, spent a decade trying to have children, before IVF allowed them to give birth to a set of twins 18 months ago, who were adopted as frozen embryos.

He said he “thanks the Lord for the advances in science and medicine” that made that possible.

Rodney Miller wearing a white shirt and orange pullover
Image caption,Rodney Miller warned the ruling could mean fewer children are born

The couple are now going through the process again, and waiting to see if two embryos transplanted this week will develop into a pregnancy.

“This is not a win [for the Christian right],” says Rodney, who works for Carrywell, an organisation that supports families through infertility.

“It’s the classic case of you won the battle but lost the war. Fewer children will be born because of this unless things change.

“How did we become a state where if you want to terminate a pregnancy, you have to leave the state and if you want to initiate a pregnancy, via IVF you [also] have to leave the state?”

Whether the ruling in Alabama influences decisions elsewhere is an open question.

Foetal personhood bills, which enshrine the idea that life begins at conception, have been introduced in more than a dozen states. But these bills, while pushing the idea that a foetus or embryo is a person, don’t explicitly relate that to the context of IVF, said Kelly Baden of the Guttmacher Institute.

The Alabama ruling – with its implications that go far beyond abortion access – does not therefore constitute a trend, she said.

Alabama family lawyer Ashleigh Meyer Dunham, who has used IVF herself, has been working with a large number of cases affected by the ruling. She said she was “terrified” that fertility patients in other states could eventually be affected.

Ashleigh Meyer Dunham wearing a black blazer and pink headband
Image caption,Ashleigh Meyer Dunham is worried that more states might make similar rulings

“I think the biggest concerns are that people elsewhere forget about us and they think, ‘Oh they’re just the conservative state, and they’re all country bumpkins. Don’t worry it will never happen here.’

“And the next thing you know, it is happening in other states that are ultra-conservative.”

Because the Alabama ruling involves an interpretation of state, not federal law, it is unlikely to reach the US Supreme Court. Currently a bill is going through the state house in Alabama, introduced by Democrats, which would aim to effectively pause the ruling and allow treatments to resume as before.

Republicans are expected to propose their own bill. If they do, they have to find a way to balance a divided religious constituency, with some celebrating the court’s ruling and others disturbed by its potential implications for IVF.

Margaret is praying that lawmakers find a solution.

“I’m not very outspoken, I keep myself to myself. But if any of my friends or family heard that I was sending emails to every single representative and senator, I think they would be shocked.”

Seleris Luncurkan Platform Masa Depan Untuk Asuransi Jiwa dan Kesehatan

Peluncuran Seleris di Bandung, Jawa Barat/Ist  Rakyat Merdeka – PT Seleris Mediktekno Internasional, perusahaan teknologi Kecerdasan Buatan (AI) terdepan, mengumumkan peluncuran Seleris, suatu platform underwriting asuransi jiwa dan kesehatan yang revolusioner. 

Platform yang diluncurkan di Bandung, Jumat (23/2/2024) ini dirancang untuk membantu perusahaan asuransi di Indonesia dan dunia untuk meningkatkan efisiensi, akurasi dan kecepatan dalam proses underwriting.

Platform Seleris menggunakan teknologi Multimodal AI dan pembelajaran mesin (ML) untuk mengotomatisasi banyak tugas underwriting yang memakan waktu dan berulang. Hal ini memungkinkan perusahaan asuransi untuk:

•    Mempercepat waktu penerbitan polis: Platform Seleris dapat memproses aplikasi asuransi dalam hitungan menit, dibandingkan dengan berhari-hari atau bahkan berminggu-minggu dengan metode tradisional.

•    Meningkatkan akurasi underwriting: AI dan ML membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk membuat keputusan underwriting yang lebih akurat dengan menganalisis data dari kesehatan calon nasabah.

•    Mengurangi biaya: Otomatisasi underwriting dapat membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk menghemat biaya dan meningkatkan efisiensi operasional.

“Seleris adalah perangkat underwriting masa depan yang akan merevolusi industri asuransi jiwa dan kesehatan,” kata Rinaldi Anwar, Founder dan CEO Seleris. 

Menurutnya, Seleris akan memberikan pengalaman yang lebih cepat, lebih mudah, dan lebih transparan bagi nasabah dan agen asuransi, dan akan membantu lebih banyak orang mendapatkan perlindungan asuransi yang mereka butuhkan

Peluncuran platform Seleris menandai tonggak penting dalam industri asuransi. 

“Platform ini akan membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk memberikan layanan yang lebih baik kepada nasabah mereka dan meningkatkan efisiensi bisnis mereka,” ujarnya.

Keuntungan Seleris

•    Lebih cepat: Seleris dapat memproses aplikasi asuransi dalam hitungan menit, dibandingkan dengan proses tradisional yang bisa memakan waktu berhari-hari atau bahkan berminggu-minggu.

•    Lebih mudah: Seleris mudah digunakan oleh nasabah dan agen asuransi, tanpa memerlukan pengetahuan teknis.

•    Lebih akurat: Seleris menggunakan AI dan ML untuk membuat keputusan underwriting yang lebih akurat dan konsisten.

•    Lebih transparan: Seleris memberikan informasi yang jelas dan mudah dipahami kepada nasabah tentang proses underwriting dan keputusan yang diambil.

Fitur Utama Seleris

Platform Seleris menawarkan berbagai fitur canggih, di antaranya:

•    Penilaian risiko AI: Platform Seleris menggunakan AI untuk menganalisis data kesehatan dan gaya hidup nasabah untuk menilai risiko asuransi mereka.

•    Otomatisasi underwriting: Platform Seleris dapat secara otomatis memproses aplikasi asuransi, termasuk verifikasi data dan penilaian risiko.

•    Chatbot: Platform Seleris menyediakan chatbot untuk nasabah yang ingin bertanya tentang layanan Seleris.

Manfaat Platform Seleris untuk Perusahaan Asuransi. 

Platform Seleris menawarkan berbagai manfaat bagi perusahaan asuransi, di antaranya:

•    Peningkatan efisiensi: Platform Seleris dapat membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk memproses aplikasi asuransi lebih cepat dan dengan biaya yang lebih rendah.

•    Peningkatan akurasi: Platform Seleris dapat membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk membuat keputusan underwriting yang lebih akurat.

•    Peningkatan kepuasan nasabah: Platform Seleris dapat membantu perusahaan asuransi untuk memberikan layanan yang lebih cepat dan lebih baik kepada nasabah mereka.

Tentang Seleris

PT Seleris Mediktekno Internasional (SMI) adalah perusahaan layanan teknologi kecerdasan buatan (AI) terdepan yang menyediakan solusi teknologi inovatif untuk industry asuransi. 

Layanan Seleris merupakan solusi underwriting asuransi jiwa dan kesehatan masa depan yang memanfaatkan teknologi biometric video wajah dan multimodal AI untuk proses underwriting yang lebih efektif, efisien, akurat dan nyaman. 

Tidak hanya untuk pasar asuransi di Indonesia, Seleris telah mengembangkan sayapnya ke pasar global dengan mendirikan Seleris Asia Pacific Technology (SAPT) dan Seleris Global IP (SGIP) yang didirikan di Singapura untuk menyebarkan inovasinya ke dunia asuransi internasional. 

Saat ini, Seleris sudah meluncurkan tiga produknya, yaitu Seleris Lifins, Seleris Medins dan Seleris Checkup. Bagi pembaca yang ingin mengetahui lebih lanjut dapat melihat Website: atau menghubungi Dhita di Email: [email protected].