By: Timothy Gobay )*
The expansion of the Papua region is the aspiration and struggle of the indigenous Papuans (OAP). The expansion is expected to optimize governance and development in the widely known Papua region.
Currently, there are 2 provinces in Bumi Cendrawasih, namely Papua and West Papua and the plan is to increase this to 5 provinces. The expansion of the region has not yet been determined, but there is serious discourse going there, and it is hoped that the region will be further developed there. The community is also waiting for the government’s decision to be approved for 4, 5, or 6 provinces in Papua.
The division of the region began with 61 indigenous Papuans (OAP) who went directly to President Jokowi. In the hearing, they asked that new provinces be added, such as the province of Central Highlands Papua, Papua Tabi Saireri, South Papua, etc. The reason is because there is a different culture even though they are both Papuans, so it is hoped that if there is a new province, it will be easier to regulate it.
This statement hits hard on politician Natalius Pigai’s statement who commented that the division of the Papua region was unnecessary. If there really was an expansion, the community would reject it, even with violence and weapons. In a sense, it is as if he appears to the public by representing the voice of the Papuan people (because they are native there).
However, the public scorned Natalius Pigai’s statement. He said harsh words even though they were not in accordance with reality, due to the fact that it was the indigenous Papuans themselves who requested that there be a new province for mutual progress. So far, Pigai is well-known as a controversial politician who is unfortunately unable to control his emotions and is afraid of harming the public because of his horrendous statements.
If there have been 61 indigenous Papuans who have long asked President Jokowi for a new province on Earth of Paradise, then it is clear that they represent native Papuans (OAP). Civilians want their territory to be more developed and one way to do that is by adding provinces, aka regional expansion.
The discourse on regional expansion already exists and has been well received by the Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian. He is just waiting for the blessing of President Jokowi and currently he is still discussing how to make the procedure, schedule, etc. run smoothly.
The division of the territory is very urgent because in an area of Papua (more than 4,000 hectares) there are only 2 provinces. If there is a new province, it will benefit the community because they are much closer when it comes to taking care of permits and important papers to the provincial capital, thus saving time and transportation costs.
In addition, if there is regional expansion, new provincial government offices, markets, schools, etc. will automatically be built. The community will be able to take their children to new schools and not have to go far to register for schools in cities, even other provinces. In this way, the Papuan people will be more advanced because of their enthusiasm in studying.
The decision on regional expansion has been awaited and the people are patient because they want everything to run perfectly. If the time is right, there will be an announcement as to how many new provinces in the Earth of Cendrawasih will be.
The addition of a new privilege, aka the division of territory in the Earth of Cendrawasih, is the fruit of the struggle of indigenous Papuans, who came all the way from their territory and had an audience with President Jokowi. They carry an important mission to advance their region with expansion. Hopefully later the division of the region will run without obstacles and really advance the people of Papua.
)* The author is a Papuan student living in Gorontalo