Elfrita Barzah | Political Science Student
As we know, Papua is one of the regions in Indonesia which has a variety of abundant natural resources. Besides that, Papua became one of the areas that became the focal point of development during the administration of President Joko Widodo. Various infrastructures are presented as concrete steps to strengthen the economy of the Papuans. Even so, this has not made some Papuans happy and prosperous. Those who are not satisfied are responsible for causing the conflicts that have occurred in Papua. But this time, I will not discuss the triggers for the emergence of these conflicts or what the conflicts are. Instead, I will discuss the Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua.
What is Papua Special Autonomy? Why is there Special Autonomy for Papua? How did Papua Special Autonomy emerge? And what is the positive side of the Papua Special Autonomy (OTSUS)? I will start with the definition of Regional Autonomy first. From several sources that I have obtained, the meaning of Regional Autonomy, in general, is the authority to self-regulate the interests of the community, or the interest to make regulations to manage their regions. There are also other explanations such as Regional Autonomy, which are the rights, authorities, and obligations of regions to regulate and manage their households following the prevailing laws and regulations.
Thus, Papua Special Autonomy is a special authority recognized and given to the Papua Province to regulate and manage the interests of the local community according to its initiatives based on the aspirations and basic rights of the Papuan people. Then, what does this mean without interference from the government? Or what kind of policy is this? Now the form of this policy usually includes decentralization of government, basic rights of indigenous Papuans, democracy and democratic maturity, respect for ethics and morals, respect for human rights, upholding the rule of law, and pluralism and equality of position.
For this reason, the Papua Special Autonomy policy can be a meeting point or a middle way to strengthen Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build prosperity in Papua. In my opinion, the existence of the Papua Special Autonomy provides many positive sides for Papua. This is because not only for developing Papua, but it can also provide concrete evidence for the Papuan people that the government has paid a lot of attention to Papua. The government wants the people of Papua to be able to develop and progress like other regions in Indonesia.
For example, President Joko Widodo has built infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, docks, sea, land transportation, and so on. With this infrastructure, of course, it can facilitate the activities of the Papuan people and make it easier for people outside Papua to access or go to Papua easily, and vice versa. Then, with this infrastructure it can also facilitate trade from Papua to other regions, thereby helping the economy of the Papuan people themselves.
With the existence of Otsus, Papuan children get attention for their health such as attention to their nutrition, routine health checks so that their growth will be better, and reduce the number of malnutrition in Papua.
Furthermore, in the economic sector, in addition to the infrastructure created by President Joko Widodo to facilitate access to Papua, the Government has also allocated funds for Papua’s Otsus. The fund aims to build the Papuan economy so that the Papuan economy remains strong, not only amid a Covid-19 pandemic like this but forever. That means not only the Papuan economy is starting to improve, but the Papuan people there are also starting to get better if this continues. It seems that it will reduce unemployment so that slowly the Papuan people can prosper independently.
For the education sector, the existence of Otsus provides equality in the field of education with other regions. Through the Otsus Education scholarship, children throughout Papua, from high school to university level, are allowed to go to school and abroad. After completion, their opportunity to become regional officials in all government institutions in Papua is very open.
Judging from all the positive sides that I have explained above, the Papua’s Special Autonomy Policy has had many positive impacts on the people of Papua. Maybe just a few of the arguments above that I still collect. I am sure that there are many other positive sides that the Papuan people can feel directly.
I hope that this Special Autonomy can improve the human resources of the Papuans. If the children of Papua get the same rights as they are concerned about their health and nutrition, then getting the same education, can certainly form a great new generation of Papua. Also, it can also form an independent and prosperous society. Then we also help the government by embracing the Papuans and not discriminating against them.