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Traditional Figures Praise Jokowi Era Infrastructure Development

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By : Rebecca Marian )*

 Traditional leaders praised the clear infrastructure development in the era of President Jokowi’s administration. They appreciate it because now Papua is changing for the better after he became the leader of Indonesia. Progress in Papua is also a reflection of the Government’s alignment with the people of Cenderawasih Earth.

So far, Papua has been synonymous with a remote place with its people still processing sago and sweet potatoes in traditional ways.  The image of  Papua is actually not true, because what many people imagine is only wilderness, mountains, and people who still wear koteka. In fact, they are very wrong. 

Papua has turned into a modern region and is on par with other big cities in Indonesia. Even in Mimika the situation is claimed to be similar to San Fansisco. Papua’s modernity is the result of the hard work of the government under the command of President Jokowi, who wants equality between western and eastern Indonesia.

Traditional leaders praised Papua’s progress which was realized thanks to infrastructure development during President Jokowi’s administration. Thanks to his attention, Papua is now a region that has various very adequate facilities and infrastructure.

One of the Papuan figures who lives in the city of Malang, East Java, Matthew Makuker, emphasized that he is against movements that pit people against each other and lead to the opinion of an independent Papua. Matthew appealed and invited Papuan students in Malang City to remain focused on pursuing education and want to become useful people.  

Matthew Makuker continued, the Special Autonomy program and the formation of new autonomous regions are extraordinary because they are efforts to improve the welfare of the Papuan people. It is very wrong if anyone says that Papua is less prosperous.

In that sense, traditional leaders who are in fact native Papuans (OAP) really appreciate the government which really pays attention to their territory. President Jokowi wants Papua to progress and have equality throughout Indonesia. Papua is part of Indonesia, therefore it must also be developed, especially its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the people of Bumi Cendrawasih responded positively to the rapid development of infrastructure in their area. First, they are happy because it is no longer synonymous with backwardness there, because modernity continues to be improved for the progress of Papua. The sad thing is that in the past there were people who thought that in Papua there were only mountains and virgin forests even though modernity was so rapid.

The image  of Papua immediately changed when PON XX was held there. In the national level competition held 2 years ago, many  representative and modern  venues  were shown, from swimming pools to race tracks  .

People throughout Indonesia, even throughout the world, see the Papua Bangkit stadium as magnificent and the largest in East Indonesia. Uniquely, this stadium is designed with typical Indonesian architecture, with the addition of traditional Papuan carved ornaments. With these ornaments, Papuan characteristics are displayed in the stadium which is the pride of its people.

Second, with the large amount of infrastructure being built, of course the community will benefit. For example, the Papua Bangkit Stadium, after PON XX, can still be used, for example for football matches (Persipura Jayapura), athletics or other sports that can be held there. Spectators are no longer crowded into the Mandala Stadium, but can watch their favorite team at the Papua Bangkit Stadium.

If there is a Papua Bangkit Stadium, the Papuan people can also use it to exercise, for example on Sunday mornings. They can jog or just take a leisurely walk to sweat and become fitter. The stadium is not only a display but is very useful for the benefit of the Papuan people.

When there are many people jogging around the Papua Bangkit Stadium, it can increase the economic value of the surrounding community. They can sell mineral water, iced tea, or bread and other food, so that residents who have finished exercising can immediately rest while eating breakfast. With the development of this infrastructure, there are many benefits, not only in the sports sector.

Meanwhile, thirdly, a building resulting from an infrastructure project can also be used as a tourist attraction, for example the Youtefa Bridge. This bold and red bridge is in demand by many local and foreign tourists. So that income from the Papua regional government will increase because the tourism sector will also increase. 

The government really intends to develop Papua through its infrastructure and all these projects for the sake of a better life for the people. Civilians in Bumi Cenderawasih are also grateful because they are really cared for by the government, especially in the era of President Jokowi.

Infrastructure development in Papua is a positive thing because it benefits the community. They can enjoy good and smooth road access, not paths that are difficult for motorized vehicles to pass. Therefore, Papuan traditional leaders praised Papua’s infrastructure development so that the region becomes more dynamic and modern.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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