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Papuan Leaders Support the Extension of Special Autonomy

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By: Alfred Jigibalom)*

Special autonomy ( Otsus ) is a privilege for all Papuan people, because they are given the funds and authority to develop their territory. So that the Earth of Cendrawasih is more advanced and does not lag behind other cities in western Indonesia. Papuan leaders support Otsus because they feel a lot of progress has been made after the program is implemented.

Papua is the most remote province in the eastern region and the centralization during the New Order era created a gap between this place and other cities in Java. During the reformation period, regional autonomy was given and Papua was splashed with blessings. Especially when the government has implemented Otsus since 2001 and extended it in 2021, more and more modernity has beautified the face of Papua.

When special autonomy was to be extended, Papuan leaders immediately agreed. They feel that this program has made Earth of Cendrawasih more advanced and is no longer synonymous with an area that only contains forests. Moreover, some of the Special Autonomy funds were also channeled to several fields, not only infrastructure. For example education, economy, health, etc.

One of the figures that support Papuan Autonomy is Benhur Yaboisembut, S.Th states that Autonomy should be continued, but it should be right on target. The secretary of the Moy Tribal Customary Council (DAS) emphasized that Otsus must provide for the needs of the community.

Benhur added that the Special Autonomy funds should be received directly by Papuan civilians. Do not pass other hands. In a sense, he is afraid that there will be bad actors who circumcise the Special Autonomy funds, so that only a small amount is received by the community, so the effect of this program is less effective.

When distributing the Special Autonomy funds, the flow must be considered. Do not let any person who dares to corrupt even if only 10,000 rupiah. Therefore, supervision of Otsus funds must be tightened. If necessary, a KPK employee will be dispatched to investigate whether there is a possibility that individuals may be secretly stealing Otsus funds.

Society should also be understood that the special autonomy funds are not given as bansos , but dirupakan working capital, so it is expected to be a good start to trade. Generally given to mamas, aliases for mothers in Papua. They can become strong entrepreneurs and their standard of living rises. Help in the form of a hook, not a fish, is very important, because it does not cause them to become dependent.

In addition, the Special Autonomy funds are also used as scholarships, so that the sons and daughters of Papua are smarter. So that the assistance provided will build their human resources and eventually have sufficient knowledge, as capital to advance their own region. Later, when they graduate from college, they can become government employees or entrepreneurs, and have the enthusiasm to build Papua.

Boas Asa Enoch, Ondoafi (tribal chief) Sosiri also supported Otsus. He gave an example of the many successful results of this program, namely thousands of Papuans who were educated abroad. Namely at universities in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, to America. In a sense, Otsus really educates Papuan children because after studying abroad, they have more insight and knowledge.

The Special Autonomy Scholarship is one of the programs coveted by many Papuan sons. They are happy because with the scholarship, they can go to school from elementary to university level. Even if they haven’t been accepted into foreign universities, they are quite happy with studying in Java and getting to know more people when they migrate. So that the mind is more open.

Otsus should be continued, because all Papuans support it, especially the community leaders there. Otsus is not a distribution of money, but a program to advance Papua through human resource and economic development. This is done by providing business capital assistance and scholarships.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Surakarta

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