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Development for the sake of Increasing the Welfare of the Papuan People

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By : Charles Tabuni )*

Improving the welfare of the people in Papua has indeed become one of the government’s focuses. This is one of the reasons why the government is quite intense in carrying out infrastructure development in Papua, such as the construction of roads, bridges and other developments.

Efforts to improve the welfare of the Papuan people cannot be carried out in a matter of days, so this construction requires escort from the security forces. On the occasion of a limited meeting with security forces for the Papua Province region, President Joko Widodo emphasized all levels of the TNI-Polri to participate in overseeing development in order to improve the welfare of the people in the Papua region.

In his statement, the National Police Chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, said President Jokowi reminded the TNI-Polri to work in a more integrated manner between central and regional programs. So that the TNI-Polri can really oversee all policies and improve the welfare of the Papua region.

Furthermore, the National Police Chief explained that one of the ways to increase welfare is through support for development in the Papua region. Both in terms of development and in terms of regional expansion, everything is going well.

Meanwhile, the TNI Commander, Admiral Yudo Margono, said on the same occasion that the TNI would continue to collaborate with the Police to achieve community welfare, one of which is through law enforcement operations. Currently, the number of TNI in the Papua region is considered sufficient to carry out this law enforcement operation.

The TNI Commander also said that his party was encouraging the implementation of community security force operations both in land and sea border areas in the Papua region. In addition, the TNI also carried out a backup operation for the Police in the context of law enforcement.

In addition to infrastructure development such as airports, the government is also carrying out developments in the health and education sectors. Papuan people need higher education in order to have a good standard of living. Then, they also have to be healthy so that they are enthusiastic about working to build their birthplace.

In development in the field of education, the government has also disbursed Special Autonomy funds (otsus) to make this happen. The Special Autonomy Budget is also not only in the form of a physical building, but also in the form of scholarships for outstanding Papuan sons and daughters. The Special Autonomy Scholarship is given so that Papuan children can study at school from elementary to high school, even to tertiary institutions.

Thanks to this development in the field of education, young Papuans emerged who were able to achieve their dreams of becoming members of the TNI or police. Even those who have graduated from college certainly have a greater chance of getting a job with a high salary. Moreover, education is a long-term investment and programs to improve human resources can change the mindset of the people of Papua about the importance of education.

In addition, development in the health sector is also being encouraged by the government, especially for areas in remote areas of Papua which are still facing endemic malaria and other diseases. The more puskesmas or health facilities that are built, supported by the presence of health workers, medicines and representative facilities, of course it is hoped that the health status of the people in Papua will be improved.

President Jokowi has prioritized the development of superior infrastructure and Human Resources (HR) as part of a broad framework for responding to problems in Papua. Indirectly, the current government wants to leave benefits for Papua by continuing to progress in developing Papua, both infrastructure development and human resource development.

However, this accelerated development cannot run well if there is still concern from a security standpoint. So that the government needs collaboration from the security forces, both from the TNI, Polri and BIN to oversee the development that has started a long time ago.

Previously, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin had explained that one of the issues in Papua that had to be resolved was the high level of poverty. Therefore, he asked that in the development of Papua, a new spirit, a new perspective and also a new way of working are needed to improve the welfare of the people in the region.

Ma’ruf emphasized that the purpose of establishing Inpres 9/2020 was to create a developed, prosperous, peaceful and dignified people in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The purpose of Presidential Instruction number 9 of 2020 is to follow up on the implementation of Presidential Regulation Number 18 of 2020 concerning the 2020-2024 National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN).

Of course, development in Papua and West Papua cannot be separated from the challenges that must be faced, such as separatism and actions from KST which often disturb peace and security in Papua. This is further complicated by the existence of social media accounts that support KST’s work.

Whatever happens, development in Papua must continue. Because after all, Papua is an integral part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), so that the central government and all related agencies cannot escape attention to Papua.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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