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Special Autonomy Benefits the People of Papua

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By: Moses Waker ) *

The Special Autonomy Policy is a meeting point, a middle way to strengthen Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build prosperity in the Land of Papua. The people of Papua and West Papua also appreciate the continuation of Otsus, which has had many benefits.

Otsus is still ongoing in accordance with Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua. So far, since it has been implemented for 20 years, the amount of special autonomy funds for Papua has reached Rp. 126.9 trillion, which is focused mainly on 30% for the education sector and 15% for the health and nutrition sector.

              The amount of the Special Autonomy fund shows the commitment of the Indonesian government to develop Papua and West Papua, in terms of human resources and infrastructure.

              Through Otsus, Indigenous Papuans are also required to become regional heads based on Article 12 of Law 21/2001 concerning special autonomy for the Papua Province, the Governor and Deputy Governor must be indigenous Papuans.

              Deputy Regent of Asmat, Thomas Eppe Safanpo , explained that many Papuan students get scholarship to study from the special autonomy fund . Then the Papuan youth who managed to enter the police service as well as the army, in terms of education costs came from the special autonomy fund .

              In fact, various customary institutions and religious institutions in Papua actually enjoy special autonomy funds . So, if there is a rejection from the recipient of the special autonomy fund, it is clearly unfair and wrong.

              Unfortunately, these various advantages are not well socialized by the provincial government. Even though there are shortcomings, in the 20 years period until now, the presence of special autonomy has provided enormous benefits which are focused on four priority programs.

              For example, aspects of education, health, infrastructure, to community economic empowerment. This is proof that the central government’s attention to Papua is so great.

              Therefore, he asked the Papua and West Papua provincial governments to be more open in conveying what data the benefits of the Special Autonomy fund were and what were they used for.

              During the webinar , Thomas Eppe asked the provincial governments of Papua and West Papua to disclose data. Regarding the refusal of special autonomy , the regional government seems silent, making the situation seem to be forcing the central government to face the Papuan people directly.

              The provincial governments of Papua and West Papua should have opened data to the public, related to what special autonomy has been doing in Papua. From 2002 to 2020, open data to the public in Papua and nationally about the achievements of Otsus.

              The Papua provincial government, as the representative of the central government, must have the courage to open these data so that it does not appear to lead Papua against the central government.

              This needs to be done, so that the Papuan people are not consumed by political agitation by contra government groups who reject the special autonomy policy . Such political agitation can only be countered by correct data and information that can be adequately accessed by the public.

              He stated that there were many positive impacts from the special autonomy for 18 years, for example, many students received education fees from the special autonomy system . Many police and soldiers are OAP and recruited into the apparatus, where the recruitment and training costs are financed by Otsus, this is never disclosed to the public.

              According to Thomas, the provincial government is not good at using socialization instruments, such as social media. So that the various benefits of otsus are not conveyed. In fact, the special autonomy funds have been felt so that the villages, districts and communities have also responded positively.

              For example , there is a program that families with children under 4 years of age receive a monthly budget and are paid twice a year. If this policy can be extended to all city districts,

              On a different occasion, Billy Mambrasar as President Jokowi’s special millennial staff , invited the Papuan people, and the young Papuan generation, not to be easily influenced by political agitation and hoaxes from certain groups without seeing the full benefits of special autonomy. The agitation of groups that reject special autonomy needs to be countered with positive news from Papua.

              Billy also admitted that he was one of the original Papuan youths who received the special autonomy scholarship , without the existence of the special autonomy program he could not go to school.

              The Special Autonomy of the Papua region has proven to be of benefit to the Papuan people, with the existence of this policy, not a few young Papuans can study up to university.

) * The author is a Papuan student living in Gorontalo

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