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Special Autonomy Law for the Welfare of the Papuan People

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By: Rebeca Marian)*

Special Autonomy (Otsus) is a privilege that has been obtained by the Papuan people since 2001. To strengthen its status, the Special Autonomy Law was made as a legal umbrella for the Special Autonomy program which aims to immediately achieve the welfare of the Papuan people.

So far, the people of Papua have lived simply and sadly there is a negative image that there is a big gap between life in Papua and non-Papuans. There are differences, especially in terms of geography. However, the government has worked hard so that there is an even distribution of development throughout Indonesia, so specifically for Papua there is special treatment, so that they can also enjoy various progress.

To further develop Papua and improve the welfare of its people, since 2001, Special Autonomy alias Special Autonomy has been created, namely a special status for Papuans. With this status, they have the right to regulate their own area. In addition, there are special autonomy funds worth billions, so that they can be used to build the Earth of Cendrawasih.

To further strengthen Otsus, the Special Autonomy Law aka Law number 21 of 2001 was made as a legal umbrella, so that this program will continue to be extended and receive legal protection. So if there is protection, whoever the president is will continue Otsus, because this program has proven to be good for the welfare of the Papuan people.

In the Special Autonomy Law, it is stated that the people of Earth of Cendrawasih have the freedom to lead their own regions, except in the fields of monetary, defense and security, and foreign policy. In a sense, since Otsus was implemented, the governor, deputy governor, mayor and deputy must be Papuan natives (OAP).

The policy that the leader must be a native Papuan really makes the people happy and indeed, when he was still called Irian Jaya, the governor was an outsider. This is not racism, but if the leader is OAP, then they will understand better how to touch people’s hearts and approach them from a social and cultural perspective.

In addition, the Special Autonomy Law states that the role of the MRP, aka the Papuan People’s Assembly, is very important. Here the MRP represents indigenous peoples so that their voices are heard by the central government. If there is an extension from the people (not only from the DPRD) it will be easier to convey aspirations.

If the aspirations are heard by the central government, then the Papuan civilians will benefit, because they will be more prosperous. An example is when there are representatives of the Papuan people who have an audience with President Jokowi and they propose regional expansion. The envoy stated the importance of adding provinces, from a cultural and economic perspective.

If there are additional provinces in Papua, apart from making the arrangements easier (because it can be easier with the same cultural approach) it will also prosper the people. The reason is because more and more APBD funds are being disbursed by the government, so that the money can be used for infrastructure development and others, so that people’s lives are getting better.

The Special Autonomy Law was really made for the benefit of the Papuan people. The Special Autonomy program is very good for decades to come, so it needs a definite legal umbrella to protect it. The Papuan people also support the Special Autonomy Law because after the Otsus program, their lives have become much better and Papua is no longer synonymous with areas that are still natural forests.

The existence of the Special Autonomy Law is a protector for the special autonomy program so that no one can thwart it. The reason is, Otsus is very useful for the welfare of the Papuan people. Apart from building a lot of infrastructure, Otsus also provides loans so that Papuans can trade and make their lives better. Therefore, all the people on Earth of Cendrawasih support the Special Autonomy Law.

)* The author is a Papuan student living in Jakarta

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