Gandeng BMW, PLN Siapkan Fasilitas Home Charging Terintegrasi

Gandeng BMW, PLN Siapkan Fasilitas Home Charging Terintegrasi  Rakyat Merdeka – PT PLN (Persero) menandatangani perjanjian kerja sama dengan PT BMW Indonesia terkait program bundling layanan home charging services untuk pelanggan kendaraan listrik atau Electric Vehicle (EV).

Lewat kerja sama ini, para pembeli mobil listrik BMW akan mendapatkan layanan home charging terintegrasi satu pintu berikut kemudahan tambah daya dan diskon pengisian daya.

Direktur Utama PLN Darmawan Prasodjo menjelaskan, PLN siap menjadi katalisator transisi energi di sektor transportasi melalui pengembangan ekosistem EV.

Kerja sama dengan BMW menjadi salah satu langkah nyata perusahaan dalam memperkuat infrastruktur transportasi hijau di Indonesia.

“Kita semua sadar betapa pentingnya peran sektor transportasi dalam mengurangi emisi gas rumah kaca. Kerja sama ini menandai bahwa komitmen kita kian kuat untuk mendorong kendaraan hijau menuju Net Zero Emissions di tahun 2060 atau lebih cepat,” ujar Darmawan.

Executive Vice President Penjualan dan Pelayanan Pelanggan Retail PLN Tonny Bellamy menyampaikan, tujuan utama kerja sama ini adalah memberikan kemudahan untuk konsumen BMW dalam menggunakan kendaraan EV.

Dengan program bundling, setiap pembelian produk EV BMW akan sepaket dengan layanan satu pintu fasilitas home charging.

Layanan satu pintu tersebut, lanjut Tonny, termasuk kemudahan tambah daya atau pasang baru, pemberian peralatan dan pemasangan home charger, hingga layanan integrasi home charger ke sistem PLN.

Bukan itu saja, PLN juga memberikan diskon tarif sebesar 30 persen untuk pengisian daya melalui home charging pada pukul 22.00 hingga 05-00 WIB.

“Setiap pembelian mobil di ATPM (Agen Tunggal Pemegang Merek) yang bekerja sama dengan kami seperti BMW, maka sebelum mobil datang ke rumah, kami usahakan home charging sudah terpasang,” tutur Tonny.

Tonny berharap kerja sama ini dapat meyakinkan masyarakat yang ingin menggunakan kendaraan listrik. Karena, infrastruktur dan layanan penunjangnya sudah disiapkan dengan baik oleh PLN.

“Selain dengan BMW, kami juga akan melakukan kerja sama ini dengan ATPM lain. Bagaimana sama-sama menyongsong visi ekosistem EV yang kokoh di Indonesia,” tutur Tonny.

Tidak berhenti di sana, untuk pengisian daya EV di luar rumah, PLN juga terus meningkatkan sebaran Stasiun Pengisian Kendaraan Listrik Umum (SPKLU) dan Stasiun Penukaran Baterai Listrik Umum (SPBKLU).

Tercatat, hingga saat ini PLN telah menyuplai listrik untuk 1.124 SPKLU dan 1.839 SPBKLU yang tersebar di 776 lokasi di seluruh Indonesia.

“Semua informasi dan layanan terkait EV tersebut mudah sekali diakses pelanggan. Karena semuanya telah terintegrasi dalam aplikasi kami PLN Mobile,” lanjut Tonny.

Direktur Komunikasi BMW Group Indonesia, Jodie O’tania mengungkapkan, pihaknya menyambut baik dan merasa bangga dapat menjalin kerja sama dengan PLN.

Berkat kolaborasi ini dirinya yakin BMW mampu memberikan pelayanan terbaik untuk pengguna EV.

“Jadi, sudah tidak perlu khawatir bagaimana cara melakukan pengisian daya kendaraan listrik. Karena BMW sudah dijamin oleh PLN, di mana PLN itu merupakan ahlinya dalam hal pengisian kendaraan listrik tentunya, bahkan merupakan salah satu pelopor yang membangun ekosistem kendaraan listrik di Indonesia,” tegas Jodie.

South Africa’s ANC pitches for votes as majority threatened

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his speech at the African National Congress Election Manifesto launch in Durban
Image caption,President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa had made a lot of progress in the 30 years of democracy

By Damian Zane

BBC News, Johannesburg

South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has launched its manifesto for the May elections, in which some polls suggest its share of the vote could fall below 50% for the first time.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed thousands of supporters at a rally in KwaZulu-Natal province.

The area will be a key battleground.

Dissatisfaction with the state of the economy, public services and corruption has eaten away at ANC support.

The party of Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle against the racist apartheid system and oversaw the transition to democracy in 1994, has been the dominant force for the last 30 years.


But stubbornly high unemployment, which now stands at more than 32%, frequent power cuts and high crime levels, among other issues, have led some to turn away from the ANC.

There are challenges coming from the right, in the form of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), and the more radical left with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

A supporter holds up a picture of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the African National Congress Election Manifesto launch in Durban, South Africa, February 24, 2024
Image caption,Nelson Mandela’s contribution to ending apartheid and serving as the first democratically elected president is still well remembered

KwaZulu-Natal is also the home of former President Jacob Zuma, disenchanted with the party and now suspended from the ANC. He has thrown his weight behind a new formation – uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) – which has already made some small inroads at byelections in the province.

Speaking at a stadium in the city of Durban, with the crowd decked out in the ANC’s black, green and gold, President Ramaphosa promised that “we will do better”.

It was an acknowledgement that there are problems, but he also emphasised the transformation that the country has made in the last three decades.

“South Africans are more educated, empowered and healthier than they were under apartheid,” he said, urging people not to threaten that progress.

Looking forward, his party promises to create 2.5 million “work opportunities”. It also pledges to boost investment and support the private sector as well as “eradicate corruption”.

In his introduction to the manifesto, the president also wrote that “there are forces that seek to use this election to undo the progress of democracy. It is crucial that together we defend our hard-won freedom.”

He did not name those “forces” but the ANC knows it faces its toughest electoral environment yet.

Since 1994, it has polled consistently above 50% in national elections, enabling it to run the country without challenge. But with some opinion polls showing that that support has dipped below an absolute majority, South Africa is facing the possibility of a coalition government after the 29 May general election.

John Steenhuisen leader of South Africa's biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, marches with supporters to the Union Buildings as part of the political party's manifesto launch in Pretoria, South Africa February 17, 2024.
Image caption,DA leader John Steenhuisen said last week that he had a blueprint to rescue South Africa

In its party manifesto launched last week, the DA, under the leadership of John Steenhuisen, had a simple message: “Our country is in crisis.”

It has promised to create two million new jobs, end the power cuts and halve violent crime. The DA wants a more liberal economic approach, including introducing privatisation, especially in the energy sector.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, the EFF’s diagnosis is that the ANC has failed to dismantle the economic system that existed under apartheid.

Instead, the governing party has “reproduced and worsened apartheid economic inequalities”, the EFF’s high-profile leader Julius Malema wrote in his introduction to its manifesto.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), centre, salutes the crowd during the Economic Freedom Fighters party manifesto launch in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024
Image caption,Julius Malema’s EFF has said it wants to transform the economy and put more wealth into the hands of ordinary South Africans

The EFF’s answer is to expropriate land without compensation and nationalise the “mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation”.

That wealth would then be used to benefit the majority of the population.

The MK has not yet released its manifesto, but at the party’s launch last December Mr Zuma said the ANC had moved away from its roots and it was now his mission to “rescue” the “once-great movement”.

There are more than 300 parties registered with the electoral commission, and though not all will necessarily take part in the May vote the stage is set for three months of hard campaigning.

Will your energy bills fall this year?

A gas hob
Image caption,The size of domestic gas and electricity bills have risen sharply over the past two years

By Theo Leggett

Business correspondent, BBC News

Energy prices really matter.

Developed societies need copious quantities of energy to power our factories, to grow and preserve food, to allow people and goods to move around, and to warm or cool our homes.

If prices get too high, the cost of living rises. This was something that became only too apparent two years ago, when the combined effects of economies regaining momentum following the coronavirus pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sent energy costs soaring.

That helped produce a wave of inflation around the world, which in turn led central banks to push up interest rates – leading to much higher borrowing costs for businesses and individuals. Only now are we feeling the effects of that inflationary shock subside.

In the UK, where consumer prices for electricity and gas are capped, household bills are now at their lowest level in two years – but still high by historical standards.


On the flipside, if energy is too cheap, it removes the incentive to invest in more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies – and can lead to higher emissions.

So where will prices go over the next 12 months?


Back in 2022, the price of Brent crude oil – one of the major global benchmarks – peaked at $139 a barrel, and averaged roughly $100. Last year was much calmer, with a peak of $98, and an average of $83.

That was despite factors such as the decision by the influential OPEC+ group of producer countries to extend, and in some cases expand, cuts in their output in an effort to support prices. In addition there were growing tensions in the Middle East as a result of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

A woman filling up her car in China
Image caption,The rise and fall of global oil prices affect the cost you pay for petrol or diesel

Over the next 12 months, demand for oil is expected to increase by around 1.1 million barrels per day, according to a report from analysts at the industry news service Energy Intelligence. However, they believe extra production from outside OPEC+ will be able to meet that demand.

That suggests prices should remain relatively stable. However, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that “rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which accounts for one third of the world’s seaborne oil trade, has markets on edge”.

“If nothing goes wrong, we’re looking at a balanced market, with prices hovering around $80 a barrel. But that’s a big if,” says Jorge Léon, senior vice president at research firm Rystad Energy.

“So let’s say there’s an escalation in the Middle East. The main question to me is – what does Saudi Arabia do?”

Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest oil exporter, and it has the capacity to produce an extra 3.2 million barrels per day, according to the IEA.

“We don’t think Saudi Arabia would want or allow prices to go up to the region of $150 a barrel. It could limit upward pressure by opening the taps. If it does that we could see a price of $90-95”, explains Mr Leon.

Prices could also go down, for example if growth in major economies were to be lower than expected, and demand for oil weaker. Under those circumstances, members of OPEC+ could cut production again. However Mr Leon thinks decisive action is unlikely.

“I don’t think there’s enough muscle or cohesion in Opec+ to counterbalance those downward pressures,” he says.

This, he suggests, would mean prices could fall as low as $70 per barrel in those circumstances.

Natural gas

When it comes to gas prices, analysts say a great deal will depend on what happens in Europe. The market there has experienced profound change over the past two years.

An LPG tanker ship off the coast of Spain
Image caption,Europe now gets much of its natural gas from Qatar and the US, delivered in liquid form

Russia used to supply roughly 40% of the region’s imported gas, much of it through pipelines. But following the invasion of Ukraine, those flows were heavily curtailed, and prices shot up. That had knock on effects on the cost of gas around the world, as governments scrambled to find new supplies.

Now, things are very different. Shipments of liquified natural gas (LNG), much of it from the US and Qatar, have made up for the lost Russian exports. There has been a concerted effort to maximise storage, and consumption has fallen.

“We went cold turkey really, but we managed it. We’ve just got used to living without Russian pipeline gas,” explains Dr Jack Sharples, senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. “Europe has expanded its capacity to import LNG and reduced demand. The market has adapted.”

But that does not mean prices will necessarily remain stable. “The market is balanced, but finely balanced”, says Dr Sharples. “We’re not in a crisis situation, but nor are we oversupplied.”

This means there is a risk that disruptions to supply, or sudden increases in demand, could still cause sharp price rises. For example, a severe cold snap before the end of the European winter would deplete the region’s reserves and mean more gas had to be brought in over the summer.

Tensions in the Red Sea region have already had an impact on LNG shipments this year.

Cargoes that would normally travel between Qatar and Europe, and between the US and Asia, using the Suez Canal have been diverted around the southern tip of Africa, rather than going through the Egyptian waterway – increasing costs and delivery times.

So far, this appears to have had little impact on global prices, because there is still plenty of LNG available. But if demand were to rise, and competition for shipments increase, it could become a factor.


Forecasting electricity prices is difficult, and depends on numerous factors, including how it is generated, what types of fuels are used, how much demand there is, and how the weather affects generation.

Electricity pylons in Greece
Image caption,Electricity prices have soared in Europe as a result of gas becoming more expensive

The generation mix, depending on where you are, can include natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, onshore and offshore wind, tidal power, solar and geothermal heat. Countries can also trade electricity with one another through high-capacity cables.

The price on the wholesale market – where suppliers and traders buy electricity at short notice – is dictated by the amount of demand, and the cost of the last units of power needed to meet that demand.

In practice, this means when demand is high gas is often used to “top up” the generation already provided by other power sources such as nuclear and renewables. This creates a link between electricity prices and gas prices – if gas becomes more expensive, so will electricity.

This is one reason why energy-intensive businesses in the EU faced far higher electricity costs than those in the US and China following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gas prices soared, and electricity prices followed suit.

According to the IEA, wholesale electricity prices fell in most parts of the world last year, after hitting new records in 2022. The falls were biggest in Europe and Asia – but in both regions prices remained well above pre-pandemic levels.

For businesses and households, however, bills do not depend only on what happens on the wholesale market. Distribution costs, taxes, environmental levies and the supplier’s profit margin all play a role, as does the type of contract. All of these factors will vary from country to country.

Ukraine war: Welsh miners in country to repay 1984 help

Miners in Kyiv, Ukraine
Image caption,A group of miners from south Wales loaded cars up with medical supplies and drove from Pontypridd to Kyiv

By Tony Brown & Jordan Davies

BBC News

When Ukrainian miner Vasyl Yavorsky donated his own wages to striking Welsh miners in 1984, he never thought that help would one day be returned.

However, a group of Welsh miners have now loaded up on medicine and supplies and driven from south Wales to Kyiv to repay the old favour.

The convoy is supplying much needed aid to miners fighting on the front line, two years after Russian forces invaded.

“They did not forget about us, just like we didn’t in 1984,” said Vasyl.

Communities in Wales affected by the miners’ strike in the 1980s received much-needed support from the former Soviet Union, and from around the world.


“We are mining brothers – I remember the donation box we had, everyone donated as much as they could, and sent it to those miners”, said Vasyl.

“Now 40 years later we are in need, seeking help, and our English and Welsh friends responded, and are helping our soldiers on the frontlines.”

Vasyl Yavorsky of PRUP Coal miners union
Image caption,Vasyl Yavorsky welcomed the Welsh miners as they arrived in Kyiv with medicine and supplies

It is a four-decades-old bond that bridges a strike and now a war, forged in shared experiences underground.

In Ukraine, there are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of miners fighting on the front lines in the war against Russia.

Wayne Thomas, who organised the trip, said he had “never forgotten” the support from Ukrainian miners during the strikes.

“I was one of the men on strike 40 years ago. I was a young man then, with a wife and child,” said Mr Thomas, head of the Nation Union of Mineworkers in south Wales.

“I am now very proud to have the opportunity to show how grateful I am for the support we received then from Ukrainian miners,” he added.

Wayne Thomas in Kiev
Image caption,Wayne Thomas was one of the tens of thousands of miners who went on strike in 1984

He was joined on the journey by fellow former miner Carwyn Donovan and Welsh-Ukrainian Member of the Senedd Mick Antoniw, who has had relatives killed in the war.

Mr Antoniw said the gesture was important to commemorate the donations of food and money received from Ukraine during the strikes.

“The people we are delivering these supplies to are not only fighting on the front line, but some of the older ones were the ones collecting money and food for Welsh miners,” he said.

“This is about repaying them and reminding people that Ukraine is the frontline of democracy in the fight against Russian aggression.”

Mick in car
Image caption,A former lawyer, politician Mick Antoniw represented many Welsh miners who were caught up in the battle of Orgreave, one of the most violent clashes in British industrial history

In 1984 miners from all over the world, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, arrived in Britain to support the strike.

Some were hosted by the former Swansea East MP Sian James, who took a group to her local shop in Ystradgynlais, Powys.

She said: “They were from behind the iron curtain, so we took them over to the Golden Save – they were absolutely entranced by it.

“We were saying it’s a shop, it’s a corner shop, it’s a local supermarket. They couldn’t get over how many goods were on the shelves, or the variety of things.”

One of those impacted by their visit to the UK was Mykhailo Volynets, the now-president of KVPU, the independent Union of Ukrainian miners, who welcomed the Welsh convoy in Kyiv.

He said speaking to British miners about their struggles during a visit in the mid-1980s made him realise he “lived in a country without truth”.

“Their brave fight influenced my outlook on life… after seeing how the UK miners behaved, I tried to copy their fight when I came back here.”

Mykhailo Volynets
Image caption,Mykhailo Volynets is president of the independent Union of Ukrainian miners

Although Mr Volynets said his attempts to set up independent trade union in Ukraine led to an “order to kill me and my family, and my son was kidnapped, but he managed to survive”.

He would eventually find success in 1989, leading over a million miners on strike in the USSR, which preceded the break-up of the Soviet Union.

“We are grateful you are standing with us, we are grateful because you are miners, brave people not afraid to come to a country where you could lose your lives”, he added.

Bamsoet Dukung Gelaran Pecah Seribu VW: Indonesia Bersatu, Mobil Rakyat di Rumah Rakyat

Ketua Umum IMI Bambang Soesatyo (tengah). (Foto: Istimewa)  Rakyat Merdeka – Ketua Umum Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI) Bambang Soesatyo (Bamsoet) menegaskan, keluarga besar IMI bersama para komunitas otomotif akan terus menjadi cooling system yang selalu menyejukkan kehidupan kebangsaan. Walaupun memiliki beragam perbedaan profesi hingga pandangan politik, tidak pernah menyebabkan perpecahan. Termasuk pada saat Pemilu 2024, baik pada saat kampanye, pemilihan, hingga pasca pemilihan.

“IMI sebagai induk olahraga dan komunitas otomotif merupakan satu-satunya organisasi yang secara eksplisit merujuk Empat Pilar MPR di dalam anggaran Dasar dan Anggaran Rumah Tangga. Karenanya, filosofi IMI dan komunitas otomotif sejalan dengan nilai-nilai kebangsaan yang mengedepankan prinsip-prinsip kebersamaan, solidaritas, kekeluargaan, persaudaraan/brotherhood, serta menjunjung tinggi jiwa dan semangat nasionalisme,” ujar Bamsoet, dalam Gathering and Road Safety, Rakernas Volkswagen Indonesia Association (VIA) 2024, di Jakarta, Minggu (25/2).

Turut hadir antara lain, Kakorlantas Polri Irjen Pol Aan Suhanan, Wakapolda Metro Jaya Brigjen Pol Suyudi Ario Seto, Ketua Volkswagen Van Club Irjen (Purn) Pudji Hartanto, Ketua Volkswagen Indonesia Association Komjen (Purn) Nanan Soekarna, dan Ketua House of Volkswagen Sentul Adi Yunadi.

Ketua MPR ini menjelaskan, setelah sukses menyelenggarakan “Road to Pecah Seribu VW: Indonesia Bersatu, Mobil Rakyat di Rumah Rakyat” pada November 2023 di MPR, komunitas VW bersama MPR juga berencana menyelenggarakan “Pecah Seribu VW: Indonesia Bersatu, Mobil Rakyat di Rumah Rakyat” pada akhir tahun 2024 di MPR.

“Tidak hanya melibatkan komunitas VW dari berbagai daerah di Indonesia, melainkan juga melibatkan komunitas VW dari berbagai negara dunia. Termasuk melibatkan liputan dari berbagai media internasional, sehingga sekaligus bisa mempromosikan sektor pariwisata Indonesia. Selain untuk memecahkan Rekor MURI, event Pecah Seribu VW nantinya juga untuk memperoleh big data mengenai berapa banyak VW dan jenis variannya yang ada di Indonesia,” jelas Bamsoet.

Wakil Ketua Umum Partai Golkar ini menerangkan, keberadaan VW di Indonesia memiliki sejarah panjang. Dari berbagai literatur mencatat, VW mulai masuk ke pasar otomotif Indonesia sekitar tahun 1952, di bawah naungan PT Piola sebagai agen tunggal dan importir VW, yang eksis hingga 1971. Sekitar tahun 1974, Indonesia sudah mampu memproduksi VW pertama yang diberi nama VW MITRA, berbasis T2 dengan mesin 1.600 CC.

“Kehadiran VW Safari pada tahun 1977, membuat VW menjadi sangat populer di Indonesia. Terlebih pada saat itu, VW Safari menjadi mobil operasional para Camat di Indonesia. Sehingga VW Safari kemudian juga dikenal dengan VW Camat. Membuktikan bahwa melalui otomotif, kita bisa mengetahui dan belajar banyak tentang perjalanan sejarah bangsa,” pungkas Bamsoet.

King Charles enjoys jokes in cards of support

King get well cards
Image caption,The King was amused by a card featuring a dog having to wear a protective cone

By Sean Coughlan

Royal correspondent

King Charles has been cheered up by some of the 7,000 cards of support sent to him during his cancer treatment, including those taking a humorous view.

They included a card with a picture of a dog wearing a protective cone saying: “At least you don’t have to wear a cone!”

Other messages shared people’s own experiences of cancer and wished the King a “speedy recovery”.

The King has described being “reduced to tears” by the cards sent to him.

But the latest photos and video on social media show him smiling at cards that were determined to look on the bright side.


According to palace aides, despite the health concerns there has been “frequent laughter”, with the dog particularly amusing the King.

The senders are not being named, but the firm that made the card, Pigment, told the BBC it was one of their best-sellers which had been customised with the King’s name – and they had “hoped it made the King smile”.

King Charles holding a get-well cards
Image caption,Some of the get-well cards were handmade

A selection of the messages of support are being put into the red boxes which hold the King’s daily paperwork.

“I wanted to tell you I am thinking of you as you face your own diagnosis and treatment and send prayers and every good wish for a speedy recovery,” wrote one well-wisher.

“Chin up, chest out, remain positive and don’t let it get you down. Trust me, it works, but the main thing is family,” said another.

A number of the messages are from people who are facing up to their own worries about cancer.

Rebecca Stead from Macmillan Cancer Support told BBC News: “Hearing the news that you have cancer is a huge moment in anyone’s life and there is no right or wrong way to respond.

“Going through waves of different emotions is completely normal. We do know, however, that many people will experience uncertainty or worry.”

This could be about practical matters such as paying the mortgage or being confused by the treatment being given, she says, urging people to get advice.

The King’s openness about having cancer has also been praised as helping remove taboos around the disease.

According to Macmillan’s, the King’s public acknowledgement of his cancer prompted a surge in people seeking information.

Macmillan’s online information pages had 50,000 hits on the day of the King’s diagnosis being announced, up 40% on usual.

But figures from the BBC have shown that for NHS patients in England in 2023 cancer waiting times were the worst on record.

The King has stepped back from public events but has continued with the work of head of state, including the regular meetings with the prime minister.

King and Sunak
Image caption,The King told the PM he had been very moved by the messages of support

The latest pictures released by Buckingham Palace were taken on Wednesday ahead of meeting Rishi Sunak.

When the prime minister said how well the King looked, he deflected it with a joke, saying: “It’s all done by mirrors.”

Humour has often been deployed by the King, who was a longstanding fan of The Goons and and took part in comedy shows at university. A student contemporary had said: “I think actually he’s very shy and it’s a lot easier when you get people laughing.”

But in his current circumstances, the King was said to have been moved by handmade cards from children, including the message: “Never give up. Be brave. Don’t push your limits. Get well soon.”

Germany legalises cannabis, but makes it hard to buy

A costumed cannabis supporter holds a banner against prohibition during the annual Hemp Parade on August 12, 2023 in Berlin, Germany
Image caption,Police in some areas of Germany, including Berlin, already turn a blind eye to smoking of cannabis in public

By Damien McGuinness

BBC News, Berlín

The German parliament has backed a new law to allow the recreational use of cannabis.

Under the law, over-18s in Germany will be allowed to possess substantial amounts of cannabis, but strict rules will make it difficult to buy the drug.

Smoking cannabis in many public spaces will become legal from 1 April.

Possession of up to 25g, equivalent to dozens of strong joints, is to be allowed in public spaces. In private homes the legal limit will be 50g.

Already police in some parts of Germany, such as Berlin, often turn a blind eye to smoking in public, although possession of the drug for recreational use is illegal and can be prosecuted. 

Use of the drug among young people has been soaring for years despite the existing law, says Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who is instigating the reforms.


He wants to undermine the black market, protect smokers from contaminated cannabis and cut revenue streams for organised crime gangs.

But legal cannabis cafes will not suddenly spring up all over the country.

A ferocious debate about decriminalising cannabis has been raging for years in Germany, with doctors’ groups expressing concerns for young people and conservatives saying that liberalisation will fuel drug use.

After a stormy session on Friday in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, the vote was eventually passed by 407 votes to 226.

Simone Borchardt of the opposition conservative CDU told MPs that the government had gone ahead with its “completely unnecessary, confused law” regardless of warnings from doctors, police and psychotherapists.

But Mr Lauterbach said the current situation was no longer tenable: “The number of consumers aged between 18 and 25 has doubled in the past 10 years.”

After the vote he said the law would “dry out the black market” and fix “a failed drug policy”.

As so often in Germany, the law approved by MPs is complicated.

Smoking cannabis in some areas, such as near schools and sports grounds, will still be illegal. Crucially, the market will be strictly regulated so buying the drug will not be easy.

Original plans to allow licensed shops and pharmacies to sell cannabis have been scrapped over EU concerns that this could lead to a surge in drug exports.

Instead, non-commercial members’ clubs, dubbed “cannabis social clubs”, will grow and distribute a limited amount of the drug.

Each club will have an upper limit of 500 members, consuming cannabis onsite will not be allowed, and membership will only be available to German residents.

Growing your own cannabis will also be permitted, with up to three marijuana plants allowed per household.

This means that Germany could be in the paradoxical position of allowing possession of rather large amounts of the drug, while at the same time making it difficult to purchase.

Regular smokers would benefit, but occasional users would struggle to buy it legally and tourists would be excluded. Critics say this will simply fuel the black market.

Over the next few years, the government wants to assess the impact of the new law, and eventually introduce the licensed sale of cannabis.

But given how tortuous the debate has been so far, nothing is certain.

Meanwhile, opposition conservatives say that if they get into government next year, they will scrap the law entirely. Germany is unlikely to become Europe’s new Amsterdam anytime soon.

Temui Wapres, AHY Lapor Dan Mohon Wejangan Soal Pertanahan

Menteri ATR/Kepala BPN Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono menemui Wapres KH Maruf Amin di kediamannya Jalan Diponegoro, Jakarta, Sabtu (24/2/2024). (Foto: BPMI Setwapres)  Rakyat Merdeka – Menteri Agraria dan Tata Ruang/Kepala Badan Pertanahan Nasional Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono (AHY) menyambangi kediaman resmi Wapres KH Maruf Amin di Jalan Diponegoro, Jakarta Pusat, Sabtu (24/02/2024) sore. Dalam kunjungan tersebut, AHY mengaku memohon arahan dari Wapres soal pertanahan.  

AHY tiba di lokasi sekitar pukul 3 sore, dengan menumpang mobil warna hitam. AHY menurunkan kaca mobil lalu melambaikan tangan kepada awak media. Ketum Partai Demokrat itu tampil rapi dengan batik lengan panjang warna coklat bawahan hitam. Turun dari mobil, AHY langsung masuk ke dalam rumah. 

Usai pertemuan, AHY menyampaikan kunjungan tersebut untuk melaporkan diri selaku Menteri ATR/Kepala BPN baru sekaligus mohon nasihat dan arahan mengenai pertanahan dan tata ruang. AHY mengaku mendapat sejumlah pesan dan arahan terkait dengan tugasnya.

“Beliau mengingatkan bahwa masih banyak permasalahan yang dihadapi masyarakat kita di berbagai daerah,” kata AHY.

Putra sulung Presiden Ke-6 RI Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) ini mengatakan, Wapres menyampaikan langsung beberapa kasus sengketa tanah yang dialami masyarakat kecil.  Misalnya ada warga yang mengadu ke Wapres karena tanahnya diserobot oleh pengembang, dan akhirnya nasibnya tidak menentu.  Menanggapi hal tersebut, AHY pun bertekad akan melihat secara utuh dan menyelesaikan berbagai permasalahan sengketa tanah khususnya yang melibatkan para mafia tanah yang merugikan masyarakat. 

“Yang jelas sejak awal saya menyampaikan sama seperti yang telah dicanangkan oleh menteri sebelumnya, kita ingin tegas jangan sampai ada siapapun yang melawan hukum di negeri kita termasuk di urusan pertanahan,” ujarnya. 

Menurut AHY, apabila masyarakat berhadapan dengan mafia tanah, dirinya bersama jajaran Kementerian ATR akan berada di barisan terdepan membela kepentingan masyarakat. 

“Kementerian ATR akan berpihak pada rakyat, akan membela rakyat kecil, jangan sampai hak mereka diinjak, apalagi masyarakat rentan, banyak juga misalnya yang sudah pensiun ya, itu yang dipermainkan. Rakyat kecil dipermainkan dan kita tidak akan membiarkan itu terjadi,” tegasnya. 

Lebih lanjut, saat ditanya awak media apakah dalam pertemuan dengan Wapres kali ini sempat membahas masalah politik, AHY mengungkapkan bahwa pertemuan ini tidak secara langsung membahas masalah politik. Menurutnya, secara umum Wapres hanya mengharapkan pemerintahan ke depan berjalan dengan baik, melanjutkan program-program yang sudah baik dan mengevaluasi hal-hal yang perlu ditingkatkan. Secara khusus, kata dia, Wapres berpesan mengenai fokus pemerintah dalam upaya pengentasan kemiskinan dengan menjadikan rakyat mandiri dengan usahanya. Sehingga anggaran pemerintah tidak terlalu besar yang habis untuk jaring pengaman sosial, dan bisa dilakukan pembangunan-pembangunan lainnya yang juga pada akhirnya akan men-generate pertumbuhan ekonomi.

Selain bertemu dengan Wapres, AHY mengatakan akan menemui secara langsung para menteri yang terkait dengan bidang ATR, khususnya Menko Perekonomian selaku koordinator. 

“Kemarin juga saya berkomunikasi dengan sejumlah Kementerian lain, ada bidang PUPR, Perhubungan misalnya, termasuk juga dengan Kementerian Pertanian, sehingga Kementerian ATR ini bisa menjadi elemen yang penting, yang juga bisa membantu proyek-proyek pembangunan pemerintahan lainnya dan kita ingin bersinergi dan berkolaborasi,” pungkasnya.

CPAC: Republican hopefuls audition to be Trump’s VP pick

Donald Trump

By Anthony Zurcher

North America correspondent

With the Republican primary nomination drained of much of its drama, political conversation on the right is shifting to who the clear frontrunner, Donald Trump, might pick as his vice-presidential running mate.

The former president himself has encouraged such speculation. He’s sent out fundraising emails teasing his choice. At a town hall forum on Fox News, Mr Trump responded to a list of six names – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida congressman Byron Donalds, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and former Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – as all on his short list.

“Honestly all of those people are good,” he said.

Four of those mentioned are speaking at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in the Washington suburbs. The annual gathering of right-wing activists, lobbyists and businesses – dominated in recent years by the Trump faithful – has become a de facto auditioning session for the number-two nod, as well as for other former and aspiring Trump administration officials.

The former president himself will address the convention on Saturday afternoon. A few hours later, CPAC will announce the results of a straw poll asking attendees to pick among a list of 17 possible Trump running-mate picks.


Mr Scott, considered to be one of the leading contenders, has been campaigning for Mr Trump in his home state of South Carolina, which holds its Republican primary on Saturday, and didn’t make the trip to the convention.

Here’s a look at how some of the other vice-presidential aspirants are making their pitch at CPAC, and how they’re being received by the right-wing faithful.

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) urges supporters to cheer for Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump
Image caption,Senator Tim Scott

Tulsi Gabbard

Former Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been on an eight-year political journey that took her from the Bernie Sanders left to Donald Trump’s doorstep.

After backing the democratic socialist Vermont senator against Hillary Clinton in 2016, she ran for president in 2020, championing liberal issues like government-run healthcare, free college tuition and gun control.

Now she’s singing Mr Trump’s praises.

“This is a man who is a fighter,” she said at her CPAC speech on Thursday evening. “His strength and resilience can only come from one place… his sincere love and concern for the future of our country.”

She also sounded a bit like her old Democratic self, warning of a growing threat to American democracy – but the danger, she argued, came from the left’s prosecution of Mr Trump. caption,

Watch: And who should be Trump’s running mate?

Ms Gabbard is being talked up by Trump confidant Roger Stone and others on the right, who view her National Guard deployment to Iraq and her American Samoan ancestry, as well as her charismatic stage presence, all as ways to expand the former president’s appeal in a general election.

Ms Gabbard’s criticisms of an interventionist US foreign policy also fits well with Mr Trump’s “America first” outlook.

The challenge for Ms Gabbard is her long record of support for liberal issues – and concerns that, as Mr Trump’s VP pick, she could be an unreliable heir to his political movement.

That didn’t matter much to Cpac attendee Joshua Mixon, a university student in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

“She’s not necessarily a full-on Republican, but she’s just very smart,” he said. “She’s very strong in her beliefs.”

She appears intent on dispelling any doubts about her conservative bona fides, however, and will be headlining a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser in March.

From left - Tulsi Gabbard, Elise Stefanik, Kristi Noem
Image caption,From left – Tulsi Gabbard, Elise Stefanik, Kristi Noem

Byron Donalds

The little-known Florida congressman burst on to the political stage in January 2023. He was the candidate for Speaker of the House of Representatives who conservatives briefly backed to show their disapproval of the eventual winner, Kevin McCarthy of California.

Since then, Mr Donalds has built on that moment in the spotlight by stepping up his criticism of President Joe Biden, and defending Mr Trump on conservative cable television.

On Thursday morning, the 45-year-old took his turn before the CPAC crowd, delivering a speech that was mostly right-wing boilerplate.

“He is a solid conservative with common sense,” said Dixie Ferguson, who travelled to CPAC from Walla Walla, Washington. “For a younger man, I think he has tremendous leadership qualities.”

If Mr Trump is looking for diversity in his VP pick – but doesn’t feel comfortable with Mr Scott – Mr Donalds, who is black, might be another option.

A stumbling block is a constitutional provision prohibiting a presidential ticket with two candidates from the same state, however.

Either Mr Trump or Mr Donalds would have to find a new legal home, at least temporarily.

Rep. Byron Donalds
Image caption,Byron Donalds is an outspoken critic of President Biden

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Kristi Noem

It’s hard to develop a national profile as governor of a state with “Dakota” in its name. South Dakota’s Kristi Noem managed a breakthrough, of sorts, back in 2020, when she pushed back against recommended Covid restrictions in her sparsely populated state.

The coronavirus pandemic may no longer be a salient political issue, but the connection she made with Mr Trump – hosting him for a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore in her state in 2020 – has kept her in the vice-presidential conversation.

At CPAC, Ms Noem highlighted her Covid record, boasting that she was the only governor “who never once closed a single business”.

“We trusted each other,” she said, “and we got through our challenges together.”

She also noted that she was one of the first public officials to endorse Mr Trump’s 2024 campaign, taking a swipe at some of those who ran against him – and who could be her vice-presidential rivals.

“Why did all these other candidates get into the race?” she asked. “For themselves? For personal benefit? To get into the spotlight for a limited time?”

Ms Noem wants to make sure that Mr Trump’s supporters at CPAC – and, by extension, the man himself – know she’s been with him from the start.

Elise Stefanik

Since being elected to Congress in 2014, Elise Stefanik of New York has moved steadily up the ranks of the House of Representatives. She’s also moved steadily closer to Mr Trump’s orbit.

Her star turn came last year, when her aggressive questioning of three college presidents during a hearing about antisemitism on college campuses generated national headlines. Two of those presidents resigned after intense criticism of their response to her queries.

“I have a backbone of steel,” Ms Stefanik said in her CPAC speech. “Just ask the presidents of Harvard and Penn… the former presidents of Harvard and Penn.”

This new prominence, along with a full-throated support of Mr Trump during his two presidential impeachments, has pushed her to the top of vice-presidential speculation.

A slick video played before she took the stage at CPAC heavily featuring clips of Mr Trump praising her efforts. The unstated message: the former president talks about her regularly – and likes what he sees.

During her speech, she noted she was the first member of Congress to endorse Mr Trump’s 2024 re-election bid and boasted that her upstate New York congressional district, which she flipped from Democratic control, is now “Trump and Elise country”.

It almost sounded like she was pitching a 2024 campaign slogan.

JD Vance

JD Vance was a Trump critic back in 2016, calling him a “total fraud”. Like several top vice-presidential contenders, Mr Vance has warmed to the former president, however.

The transition occurred right around the time that the author of Hillbilly Elegy, the bestselling memoir about the struggles of American rural life, turned to politics in 2022, winning a US Senate seat in Ohio as a Republican.

At CPAC on Friday, Mr Vance sat down for an interview with Newsmax host Rob Schmitt, rather than delivering a formal speech.

Much of the conversation focused on Ukraine – a topic where Mr Vance and Mr Trump’s views about quickly reaching a negotiated settlement overlap.

“We don’t like that Russia invaded Ukraine, but the question is, what can we do about it?” he said. “A lot of people have convinced themselves that diplomacy is a bad word… We want the killing to stop.”

Mr Vance is the only white man regularly listed on Mr Trump’s vice-presidential shortlist, which is notable given the Republican Party – and Mr Trump’s – insistence that personnel decisions should be colour-blind.

It is a reflection of the consensus view that the former president needs to find a way to broaden his appeal beyond his political base, and the vice-presidential selection is one way to do it.

If Mr Trump seeks to improve his standing in the Midwest, perhaps the most important electoral battleground in November, then choosing a running mate from Ohio – one intimately familiar with the plight of working-class white voters – could help.

Ganjar: Usul Hak Angket Pemilu 2024 Bukan Gertakan  Rakyat Merdeka – Capres 03 Ganjar Pranowo menegaskan, usulan hak angket DPR terkait Pemilu 2024 bukan gertakan, seperti yang dikatakan mantan Ketua Mahkamah Konstitusi (MK) Prof. Jimly Asshiddiqie pada Rabu (21/2/2024). 

“Kalau saya sebenarnya simpel saja. Angket adalah cara terbaik dengan kondisi Pemilu seperti ini,” kata Ganjar, usai pertemuan dengan Tim Koordinator Relawan Pemenangan Presiden (TKRPP) di Jakarta, Jumat (23/2/2024).

Ganjar menjelaskan, usulan hak angket DPR terkait Pemilu 2024 didasarkan pada dua alasan. Pertama, Sirekap yang menjadi sistem tabulasi penghitungan suara ternyata failed atau error. “Kan ada cerita Sirekap yang failed, ada cerita servernya di Singapura. Sementara KPU mengatakan, ada di tempat kita,” ujar Ganjar.

Kedua, terkait dugaan kecurangan di lapangan selama proses Pemilu 2024. “Yang paling bagus untuk mengklarifikasi semua ini kan penggunaan hak pengawasan, hak konstitusi dari DPR untuk menyelidiki. Makanya, hak angket bisa digunakan, dan itu fair. Jadi nggak perlu takut. Ini biasa saja kok, dan pernah terjadi,” papar Ganjar.

Mantan Gubernur Jawa Tengah itu menuturkan, Jimly berhak bicara mengenai hak angket terkait Pemilu 2024. Namun, jangan sampai menilai, bahwa apa yang disampaikan para petinggi partai pengusung paslon 03 dan 01 sebagai gertakan belaka.

“Ya Pak Jimly boleh berkomentar, tapi kami tidak pernah menggertak. Kami menyampaikan dengan cara yang biasa. Ada banyak cara sebenarnya, angket atau Raker Komisi II juga bisa. Ketika melihat situasi seperti ini, DPR segera raker (rapat kerja) saja dulu. Minimal, hasil raker bisa menentukan, apakah akan menuju ke angket atau lainnya. Dinamikanya biar berjalan,” beber Ganjar.

Keputusan Partai

Ganjar mengatakan, usulan hak angket yang disampaikannya merupakan keputusan PDIP, dan sudah melalui proses yang serius. Telah disampaikan Sekjen PDIP Hasto Kristiyanto, dan diketahui Ketua DPR RI Puan Maharani yang juga kader PDIP.

“Kami tidak pernah tidak serius mengajukan hak angket. Sekjen sudah menyampaikan kok. Kalau Sekjen yang berbicara, itu artinya sudah keputusan partai,” tandas Ganjar.

Dalam kesempatan tersebut, Ganjar juga menjelaskan keseriusan PPP untuk mengajukan hak angket. Hal tersebut, kata Ganjar, sudah dibicarakan saat pertemuan koordinasi pasca pemungutan suara, pada 14 Februari 2024.

“Sampai tanggal 15 Februari, alternatif-alternatif sudah kita sampaikan. Saya kira, kita kompak untuk hak angket,” ujar Ganjar.

Ganjar juga menegaskan,  media salah menangkap pernyataan Mahfud MD selaku cawapres 03, yang terkesan tidak mau ikut-ikutan atau mendukung pengajuan hak angket di DPR. “Saya kira Anda salah,” ungkap Ganjar.

Sebelumnya, Jimly mengatakan, hak angket dugaan kecurangan Pilpres 2024 tak cukup waktu untuk direalisasikan. Menurutnya, usulan hak angket hanya sekadar gertak politik.

“Hak angket itu kan hak, interpelasi hak angket, penyelidikan, ya waktu kita 8 bulan ini sudah nggak sempat lagi. Ini cuma gertak-gertak politik saja,” kata Jimly, usai rapat pimpinan Dewan Pertimbangan MUI di Gedung MUI, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Rabu (21/2/2024).

Dia bilang, tuduhan kecurangan selalu terjadi di setiap pemilu, sejak tahun 2004. Soal ini, yang dirugikan bukan hanya satu pasangan calon saja.

“Setiap pemilu, sejak 2004, selalu riuh, selalu seru. Selalu ada tuduhan kecurangan. Tapi kecurangan itu ada di mana-mana, menguntungkan semua paslon. Ada kasus di sana itu menguntungkan paslon 01, ada kasus di sana itu menguntungkan paslon 02, tapi di sebelah sana ada lagi 03,” urai Jimly.

“Jadi, itu tidak bisa dituduh terstruktur langsung, dari atas ada perintah nggak. Ini kreativitas lokal sektoral. Buktinya, banyak kasus yang masing-masing merugikan tiga-tiganya. Selalu, dalam sejarah pemilu kita, ada yang seperti ini,” imbuhnya.

Jimly menerangkan, untuk menangani masalah pemilu, Indonesia punya tiga lembaga khusus yang mengurusi hal tersebut. Yakni KPU, Badan Pengawas Pemilu (Bawaslu), dan Dewan Kehormatan Penyelenggara Pemilu (DKPP).

“Ada KPU, Bawaslu, DKPP, tiga lembaga khusus ngurusin pemilu. Ini nggak ada di seluruh dunia, hanya di Indonesia,” cetus Jimly.