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Appreciate the Government’s Full Support for Papua’s New Autonomous Region


By : Alfred Jigibalom )* 

Currently there are 4 new autonomous regions (DOBs) in Papua, namely the provinces of South Papua, Central Papua, Highlands Papua and Southwest Papua. The government fully supports the four new autonomous regions by disbursing APBD funds. Then, there are directions and arrangements so that the four new provinces can develop more and the people will prosper.

Four new new autonomous regions in Papua have been officially established. The existence of a new autonomous region was a request from the people of Papua who directly had an audience with President Jokowi in 2019. When new provinces were inaugurated in Papua, it was a form of the government’s partiality towards the people. When there is expansion of the territory, there is also expansion of potential and massive development so that residents in Cendrawasih Earth can live at a better standard.

M Ridwan Ruusukun, Acting Governor of Papua, stated that the government is exerting everything and is very total in supporting the 4 new provinces in Papua. This is done by transferring ASN (from other provinces) and providing APBD funds to the 4 new autonomous regions, to support the implementation of the government’s initial stages.

In a sense, the central government fully supports the 4 new new autonomous regions in Papua, especially from a financial perspective. The provision of APBD funds is expected to be the initial ‘capital’ to build a new province. Both government buildings, roads between regions, school buildings, to funds for community empowerment.

M Ridwan continued, the government also supports new autonomous regions through a joint strategic program. One of them is by providing special autonomy funds (Special Autonomy). Otsus is very important because it is a source of scholarships for Papuan children.

Jaleswari Pramodhawardani, Deputy V of the Presidential Staff Office, stated that the inauguration of the 4 new autonomous regions is a form of the government’s and the DPR RI’s alignment with the people’s aspirations. Especially the Indigenous Papuans (OAP) who want steps to accelerate welfare development in the Cendrawasih Land region.

In a sense, the government is very concerned about the people of Papua and ultimately created divisions. After the 4 new autonomous regions were officially established, the people were very happy because the government was on their side.

So far, President Jokowi has paid great attention to the people of Papua, and has set a record as the head of state who has visited the Cendrawasih Land the most times. He also granted the people’s request for the division of the Papua region. Especially when Papua is too large in area (almost 40,000 m2) so new provinces are needed to make it easier to regulate.

Therefore the people are very grateful because the government has granted the request, by adding 4 new provinces. President Jokowi has proven to be on the side of the people, especially indigenous Papuans. 

Jaleswari added, Papua has extraordinary natural tourism potential, such as Raja Ampat. There is also good mining potential, both gold and copper mines. Therefore there needs to be collaboration from the local government, indigenous peoples, academics, entrepreneurs, so that Papua is more advanced. 

In a sense, Papua will grow into a prosperous region. With APBD funds from the central government, the tourist areas will develop again. Not only Raja Ampat but also other places. People can sell souvenirs, food, and offer inns to tourists.

If there is attention from the government with the establishment of a new province and APBD funds, it will have a positive domino effect, namely people’s welfare. They can be more prosperous because more tourist areas are being developed. With so many foreign tourists, it will increase the country’s foreign exchange and at the same time increase people’s income.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs John Wempi Wetipo stated that the formation of 4 new autonomous regions was to shorten the span of control of public services. The hope is that the Papuan people will be more advanced and prosperous. Then there is also equity in all regions of the Cendrawasih Earth. 

With the inauguration of the 4 new provinces, there will be an even distribution of development. Development in Papua really needs to be increased so that it is evenly distributed. So, not only big cities like Jayapura or Merauke have good infrastructure. But also other areas such as Nabire, Yahukimo, Intan Jaya, etc. 

Equitable development is needed so that the community can progress. When the Southwest Papua Province was established, a new provincial government office was established. Automated roads and other infrastructure continues to be repaired. The Papuan people are very grateful to the central government because since the new province was established, there will be many positive changes there.

The development needed by the community is not only in the form of roads and bridges, but also school buildings. If there is a new province, new school buildings will be built, starting from kindergarten to high school. Papuan children can go to school there and do not have to go to another city because there is no high school in their area.

The government fully supports the four new new autonomous regions in Papua. Support is provided both in terms of financial and other support. In this way, the 4 new autonomous regions will be even more advanced, both in terms of infrastructure and human resources and natural resources.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali

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