Agus A. Apituley | Writer / Socio-political observer lives in Jakarta
Have you ever been fascinated by the Red Youtefa Bridge that connects Holtekam and Hamadi? Also the Trans Papua Road that stretches 4,330 kilometers. All of this infrastructure are the results of Special Autonomy which began on 2001. Papuans can enjoy progress and no longer experience difficulties due to the lack of facilities there.
Special Autonomy has indeed provided many benefits for the Papuan people. They were given the trust to lead their own regions, and there were funds so that development there would be equal to those in Java or other regions in Indonesia. The Papuan people agree and supporting the extension of the Special Autonomy because it brings prosperity to all.
The holding of the National Sports Week (PON) to be held in 2021 in Papua is also a proof of the central government’s confidence in the Papuan government. Because there are infrastructures such as stadiums, inns and smooth roads are readily available. Again, all of these facilities are the result of the Papua Special Autonomy fund, which is worth billions of rupiah.
It is proper for Special Autonomy to be continued because it is highly supported by all Papuan people and has proven to be advancing their region. The land of Papua is no longer synonymous with an island which only consists of wilderness, hills and Mount Jayawijaya. Papua is advanced and pristine with the modernity that has been obtained from the results of Special Autonomy.
However, with the various benefits of Special Autonomy, there are still people who reject it. This rejection is a serious problem because it links to elements who want to separate Papua from Indonesia. This issue was deliberately blown up so that it was imaged as a bad thing and became neo-colonialism. Yet since 1928 Papuan youth have also been determined to unite to form the Indonesian state, through the Youth Oath. So there is no neo colonialism.
Mayor of Jayapura Dr. Benhur Tomi Mano, stated that people should not be provoked by the rejection of Special Autonomy. According to him, Special Autonomy has shown success every year, so this is important for the people of Papua.
In order to overcome the problem of misunderstanding that led to the rejection of Special Autonomy, it is necessary to conduct socialization. Before the Special Autonomy program continued, residents can be invited to have a heart-to-heart discussion. Whereas in fact Special Autonomy was continued for their welfare. Development in Papua will facilitate transportation and facilitate Papuan business.
Extension of Special Autonomy for the welfare of the Papuan people. So there should be no rejection. Because if Special Autonomy ceases, there will be no more disbursement of funds from the central government. Even President Jokowi has announced an increase in the Special Autonomy fund. These funds can certainly build Papua to be more advanced and modern.
Let us support the sustainability of Papua’s Special Autonomy because this program is proven to advance the Land of Papua. With Special Autonomy, Papua has become a modern region without any imbalance between eastern and western Indonesia. The Papuan people feel proud because the results of the Special Autonomy such as the Youtefa bridge are not only beneficial, but also make their region more beautiful.