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The Expansion of the Papua Region is Proof of the Presence of the State

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By: Alfred Jigibalom )*

South Sulawesi.id| Papua finally has 3 new provinces officially, namely Central Papua Province, Central Highlands Papua, and South Papua. The expansion of this region is the aspiration of the Papuan people which the Government has heard as a form of the state’s presence in advancing the earth of Cenderawasih.

After waiting for several years, finally the people of Papua should be happy because they have 3 new provinces. The determination of the three New Autonomous Regions was carried out on June 30, 2022 and the Papua New Guinea Bill was formalized into a law. With 3 new autonomous regions, Papua has 5 provinces and this is very good because an area of ​​309 square kilometers can be more manageable if there are 5 regional governments.

With the expansion of the territory, it is proof of the presence of the government in Papua, because the request from the Papuan Orang Asli to have a new province has been granted. Since 2019, Papuan community leaders have asked for regional expansion and they have had a direct audience with President Jokowi, at the State Palace. When the addition of provinces actually took place they were relieved to have their voices heard.

The government of President Jokowi has been proven to give full attention to the people of Papua, because he wants there to be equitable development from Sabang to Merauke. Moreover, Papua is a potential area so regional expansion will advance it. It is hoped that the community will be more organized and have a higher standard of living, after the addition of 3 new autonomous regions.

The chairman of the DPR RI, Puan Maharani, stated that the regional expansion was aimed at accelerating equitable development and improving services in Papua. In addition, the inauguration of the new autonomous region bill into law is an effort to elevate the dignity of the Papuan Indigenous People (OAP).

In a sense, when there is a new province, it is certain that there will be an increase in services because the addition of a province means the addition of local government offices as well. If the number of offices increases, the service will be better, because they serve fewer people. In addition, it also brings the community closer to the local government because the distance between residents’ houses and the provincial capital is getting closer.

When there is an increase in services from the local government to the community, it is also beneficial because the citizens will be more orderly in managing important documents. They will be more obedient in paying taxes, have updated KTP and KK, because the management is closer. If the distance is close, it will automatically cut transportation costs.

Meanwhile, when the new autonomous region law is implemented, it will prioritize OAP because they will be appointed as state civil servants (ASN) in the 3 new provinces of Papua. Giving this priority is very reasonable because at this time Papuan youths are educated and deserve to be appointed as state servants. Moreover, on average they can study through an Otsus (special autonomy) scholarship so that after graduation they will serve in Papua as a thank you.

Giving priority to indigenous Papuans will advance them because they receive the minimum wage and allowances. With a better standard of living, Papuans are more prosperous and can send their children to the highest possible level of education. This priority also removes the adage that Papuans are marginalized when there is development, because in reality they are the ones chosen by the government.

The priority for OAP is in line with the Special Autonomy Law which gives 24 special powers to Papuans. Among other things, the governor and deputy governor must be chosen from the indigenous Papuans. In addition, there was also the establishment of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) as a place to listen to the voices of the Papuan people. The position of the MRP here is equivalent to that of the DPRD.

Political observer Karyono Wibowo stated that the expansion of the Papua region was something important, so it must be supported by all Indonesian people. If there is an addition of a new province in Papua, there will be equitable development and no area is isolated from modernity.

In a sense, when a new province is formed, the regional government is more focused on developing the entire Papua region. With a lower span of government control, it is actually beneficial, because it is more focused. Even remote areas will receive attention from the government and various infrastructures will be built, as capital to achieve progress and prosperity. With these positive contributions, it is hoped that the acceleration of the Papua region can be realized soon.

Infrastructure development is very important because Papua’s geographical conditions are quite unique and some areas are located in hills and mountains. It is hoped that if there is a massive construction of highways and toll roads, it will reduce dependence on air transportation. Thus, the price of goods can go down because they can be transported via land, not expensive airplanes.

The expansion of the territory is a clear proof of the government’s concern for all the people of Papua. If there is a new province, then the APBD funds (regional expenditure revenue budget) are also new, so that they can be used for infrastructure development and the establishment of programs that prosper the people. All Papuans support regional expansion and they are grateful that the government has granted their wish.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali

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