Home Economy Special Autonomy, bridge to build prosperity in Papua, by Rara Setiawati

Special Autonomy, bridge to build prosperity in Papua, by Rara Setiawati


Rara Setiawati | Papuan Observer

Special autonomy has officially become part of the state administration system through the Second Amendment to the 1945 Constitution. This is in line with democratization that has become the mainstream of reform. Special autonomy was only known in the Indonesian state government system in the reform era. Previously, only the terms special region and special area were known. In the past, special regions were regions that had different government structures because of their position, while special regions were regions that had different government structures due to differences or privileges in the form of the original composition of the community gaps between regions, which lead to threats to national integration. It hoped that decentralization within the framework of regional autonomy can create a more just and democratic relationship between the regional-center and between regions. Especially for Papua, the granting of special autonomy is expected to resolve the longstanding integration conflict. The background of granting special autonomy to Papua is also confirmed in Law Number 21 of 2001. The General Elucidation of Law Number 21 of 2001 illustrates that granting special autonomy to Papua is motivated by the state’s recognition of two important things. First, the government admits that up to the time the law was formed there were problems in Papua that had not been resolved.

These problems cover various fields, both in the political, government, economic, as well as social, and cultural fields. Second, the government admits that there have been mistakes in policies taken and implemented to resolve various problems in Papua. It is recognized that what is being carried out in Papua has not fulfilled a sense of justice, has not made it possible to achieve prosperity, law enforcement, and respect for human rights in Papua.

Based on Perpu No. 1 of 2008 concerning Amendments to Law no. 21 the Year 2001 regarding Special Autonomy for Papua Province, Article 1 Papua Province is Irian Jaya Province which later became Papua Province and West Papua Province which was given Special Autonomy within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) Special Autonomy is a special authority recognized and given to 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 The Papua Special Autonomy Policy (Otsus) is a meeting point, a middle way to strengthen Papuan integration as well as a bridge to pursue peace and build prosperity in Papua. Through Special Autonomy, Indigenous Papuans also become a requirement as regional heads based on Article 12 of Law 21 of 2001 concerning “Special Autonomy for Papua Province,” that the Governor and Deputy Governor are obliged to be Indigenous Papuans (OAP).”

Special Autonomy for Papua Province is an authority recognized and given to the Papua Province to regulate and manage the interests of local communities according to their initiative based on the aspirations and rights of the Papuan people

Based on the background of the formation of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, it can be seen that the aim of granting Special Autonomy is to resolve the root causes of Papua’s problems under the aspirations of the Papuan people. However, the substance of the Papua Special Autonomy Law itself does not directly cover efforts to resolve all the root problems in Papua. The Papua Special Autonomy Law can only be used as a normative instrument to resolve the root problems in the form of “inequality, equality of opportunity, and protection of basic rights and human rights.” This special autonomy is part of a peaceful resolution in which this special autonomy is very helpful for the development of education, health, infrastructure, and affirmation of the Papuan people. If this is stopped it will cause 60% of the fiscal capacity in Papua as well as in West Papua. If there is no major role for the Papuan community or government, this will lead to conflict.

Since being implemented for 20 years, the amount of special autonomy funds for Papua has reached IDR 126.9 trillion. Special Autonomy for Papua Province is an authority recognized and given to the Papua Province to regulate and manage the interests of local communities according to their initiative based on the aspirations and rights of the Papuan people. Utilization of the Prov. Special Autonomy Fund. Papua and Prov. West Papua intended to finance education and health. The priority for the use of the Infrastructure Transfer Fund (DTI) is directed primarily at accelerating infrastructure development, such as roads, bridges, docks, land transportation facilities, rivers, sea; and Overcoming isolation and disparities in the provision of infrastructure between Papua and West Papua, as well as with other regions.

During President Joko Widodo’s administration, Papua was one of the areas that became the focal point of development. Various infrastructures are presented as concrete steps to strengthen the economy of the Papuan people. Efforts that have been made in the field of Infrastructure Development are Trans Papua Route, Long Bridge, Hamidi-Holtekam, Electricity in Papua and West Papua, Sentani Airport, Indonesia-Papua New Guinea Border Road. The government continues to focus on improving welfare in Papua so that it is equal to other regions in Indonesia. In this case, the Government issued a regulation in the form of Presidential Instruction (Inpres) Number 9 of 2017 concerning the Acceleration of Welfare Development in Papua and West Papua Provinces.

This Presidential Instruction has expired in 2019 and will be renewed. The President mandated that education, health, local economic empowerment, infrastructure, digitalization, governance, and the law must simultaneously and parallel receive continuous attention. We know that people see problems in Papua only about human rights and about violence. But how to fulfill the basic rights of the Papuan people is still minimal and continues to be improved. Papua’s achievements have begun to show results. It is proven that the Human Development Index (HDI) figures in the last five years since 2015 in Papua and West Papua have increased. In 2015, Papua’s HDI was 57.25, then in 2019, it increased to 60.84. Meanwhile, West Papua’s HDI in 2015 was at 61.73, then it rose to 64.7 in 2019. 21 of 2001 regarding Special Autonomy, so that schools, health centers, and even hospitals were built throughout the Land of Papua. Papuan children are allowed to go to school abroad and become officials in all government institutions. The Special Autonomy Policy for the Provinces of Papua and West Papua is considered to have provided great progress for the development of infrastructure and human resources throughout the Land of Papua. The special autonomy policy related to the development of education and health infrastructure in Tanah Papua is progressing. The authority to regulate the budget and the government is given to Orang Asli Papua (OAP).

The development of infrastructure, electricity, clean water, logistics via air bridges, and the one-price fuel oil (BBM) policy are manifestations of the accelerated development that is currently taking place in Papua. Special autonomy funds for Papua have been disbursed by the central government in Jakarta since 2002, to develop the Papuan economy. The result is that the economic conditions of Papua and West Papua remain strong amid the pandemic. The latest data from the Central Bureau of National Statistics and BPS Papua show the economic growth of Papua and West Papua, that in the second quarter of 2020 Papua’s economic growth experienced a growth of 4.52 percent. Meanwhile, Papua experienced economic growth of 0.53 percent. The Papua Special Autonomy Fund will end in December 2021. The evaluation of the Special Autonomy Fund which will be carried out by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Home Affairs will determine the amount and continuity of the Special Autonomy Fund for Papua after 2021. This is the basis for the Government’s Analysis to continue to apply Otsus Papua. Although the Special Autonomy Law focuses more on the distribution of economic and infrastructure funds in Papua, while there are still many other aspects that have an important influence on the Papuan people, until now it is necessary to expand the Papua special autonomy policy by adding more rights to indigenous peoples, as well as history and the use of cultural symbols, besides the role of the media, society, the Indonesian national army, the government, NGOs, youth, businessmen, etc., need to work together in this regard because Papua has great potential to become an advanced region in the economic aspect. For that, through special autonomy, it is hoped that this wish will be achieved.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here