Regional expansion in Papua is unavoidable. Through the 2021 Papua Special Autonomy Law, a scenario to simplify this effort has been designed. The DPR views the expansion as important to accelerate regional development.
Chairman of Commission II DPR RI Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tanjung believes that Papua is a strategic area and issue, not only nationally, but also internationally. Therefore, he said, there should be more efforts to accelerate regional growth and equalize development results.
The DPR believes that the division of Papua is the solution to this problem.
“When we conclude that regional expansion is part of the process of accelerating development in Papua, and equitable distribution throughout Indonesia, the sooner the better,” said Ahmad Doli.
The chairman of Commission II of the DPR spoke during the discussion on the division of Papua for whom, which was held by the Papua Task Force, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Thursday (24/2).
Ahmad Doli added that efforts to ease the span of control of the development process in the regions were carried out by creating new governments. For this reason, since the beginning the process of simplifying the division of regions in Papua has been included in the 2021 Special Autonomy Law.
“If we want to accelerate development in Papua from all aspects, both from the economic, infrastructure, socio-cultural aspects, including politics, we must shorten the span of control over the implementation of policies carried out by the government, both central and regional,” said Ahmad Doli. .
Commission II of the DPR, he continued, has accelerated to deal with this issue. After the 2021 Special Autonomy Law is ratified, said Ahmad Doli, the expansion process must also begin immediately.
Commission II of the DPR has taken the initiative by compiling a draft of the academic text and the draft bill for the expansion law. They also communicate with the government about the necessary preparations.
“And so far, we see that there is a high commitment from Mr. President Jokowi in particular or the central government, to immediately carry out the expansion process,” he added.
The expansion is considered successful
Mayor of Sorong Lamberthus Jitmau in this discussion asked all parties to look at the issue of expansion from a positive side.
“We should not look at this expansion from the negative side, but from the positive side. Pemekaran is here to provide answers, or the best solution for the people in each region that wants to be expanded,” said Lamberthus, who is also the Head of the Team for the Acceleration of Expansion of Southwest Papua Province.
Lamberthus reminded that when he joined Indonesia in the 1960s, Papua only consisted of one province. The area is very wide, three and a half times the size of the island of Java. While on the other hand, geographical conditions are not easy to conquer.
“With a very difficult field, with one province, we are unable to make breakthroughs, build infrastructure, whatever it is called, to realize the welfare of the nation’s people in Papua,” he said.
Conditions got a little better, when Papua was later divided into two provinces, about 19 years ago. Government control, said Lamberthus, is more affordable and Papuans in the mountains, coasts and islands can benefit.
Now there are two provinces there, namely Papua and West Papua. The province of Papua has 29 second-tier regions, and West Papua has 13. All of these regions, said Lamberthus, receive development funds from the state budget, and therefore it becomes easier to provide services to the community.
“We are very ready, everything. Our natural resources are ready, our human resources are ready, PAD and others are ready. There should be no excuse for this and that budget,” said Lamberthus.
Expansion Plan Questionable
Latifah Anum Siregar, Director of the Democratic Alliance for Papua, gave a different voice.
“Is it important for pemekaran? If we consider the expansion of facilities, not goals, there can be many ways to prosper the Papuan people without going through expansion. If that is the government’s commitment, “said Latifah.
One strategy to create prosperity, he continued, is through the center of economic activity. The government is not enough to pave the way in the Papua region, but also must prepare economic centers that focus on the nearest location. This economic center, Latifah continued, is common in every district, not necessarily at the district level.
“And it doesn’t have to be with pemekaran,” he continued.
Latifah emphasized that the government can also create prosperity in Papua by streamlining the administration of civil administration and public services. Public servants must be in place.
It is also important to carry out law enforcement efforts, both in human rights cases, as well as law violations committed by public officials or government administrators. There is a perception that so far law enforcement against local government officials has not worked because the central government is afraid that this effort will lead to demands for an independent Papua.
“So funny, think no if there is a chaos in the administration of government, the important thing is that people do not ask for independence. It’s also wrong,” he added.
Latifah also hopes that there will be deeper discussions regarding the expansion plan. Regional government institutions, such as the DPRP, MRP and civil society, especially indigenous Papuans, must be involved in a dignified manner to discuss problems and solutions, including the expansion of the division.
“So whether you want to expand or not, invite Papuans to talk. Not like now, wrapped in the Special Autonomy Law, chasingof Papua, but the content is Jakarta’s politics today. Papuans are given anything without being spoken to. What kind of agree, disagree because of what. Keep looking for solutions together,” said Latifah.
The government itself believes that the problem in Papua is welfare. However, so far taken is a security approach. According to Latifah, this is a paradox.
Latifah also sees that the division of this region has a political motive. He noted the statement by the Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian who once said that the division was carried out based on intelligence data. When actions related to racism flared up in Papua, and there was a meeting of 61 Papuan leaders at the palace, the pemekaran agenda emerged and strengthened.
In addition, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD has also stated that the formation of a new autonomous region for Papua takes into account national strategic interests. This is done in order to strengthen the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and accelerate the development of community welfare, as well as maintain a positive image of Indonesia in the eyes of the international community. [ns/ah]