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Seeing the Broad Benefits of the Special Autonomy Law for Papua, by Reinhard K.


Reinhard K. | Papuan Observer

The government and the House of Representatives (DPR) have ratified the revision of the Papua Special Autonomy Law on July 15, 2021. After nearly 20 years, the community was asked not to see the impact of Otsus Papua in black and white.

The request came from the Presidential Special Staff Billy Mambrasar. According to him, Otsus and Papua development are a process of policy making through consultative efforts. This means that the programs that are implemented are compiled based on what happens below, then policies are drawn up from above according to these conditions, and the whole process is a long process. Therefore, the long process cannot only be translated into two conclusions, namely success or failure.

“Otsus success or failure is like a black and white question. Even though we are talking about development, it is a process from point A to point B. If we haven’t reached point B, at least we are walking well to point B. That’s the process, and we’ll see what the process looks like.”

Billy does not agree with the assessment of many parties who only judge this long process with the two conclusions mentioned above. Instead, he asked all parties to see the process. The process, for example, can be explained by the changes that occur through numbers.

The 1996 Human Development Index in Papua was only 60.20. In 2020, said Billy citing existing data, the number has increased to 65. The literacy rate in Papua in the 2000s was in the range of 70 percent, currently in Papua it has reached 88 percent.

Billy said, those who use a fail-success or black and white perspective, do not see the process as working well. Comparing the national figures for each assessment standard with the figures achieved by Papua is also considered misleading.

This young Papuan leader also thinks that the most important thing at this time is the development actors there and not just norms or the rule of law. Papuan youth must be in control to take different approaches, which make development progress better, said Billy.

From 2001 to 2020, according to records from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the central government has disbursed Special Autonomy funds to Papua amounting to Rp. 146.39 trillion. Unfortunately, many parties, especially Papuan leaders themselves, view that the amount of funds is not able to improve the welfare of the Papuan people.

The Director General of Regional Autonomy at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Akmal Malik, in the same forum said that the policy for nearly two decades still has problems related to its implementation in the field.

Because there are implementation issues, the new Special Autonomy Law has drawn up a Government Regulation to clarify future governance. This legal basis can be the basis for implementing the program, so that the Special Autonomy funds handed over to Papua and West Papua are right on target.

Meanwhile, Member of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) Dorince Mehue admits that the Special Autonomy fund of Rp. 146 trillion over the last 20 years is a large number. Seeing the many assessments that such a large fund does not have a maximum impact on Papua, Dorince said there must be efforts to oversee the implementation of the Special Autonomy Law phase 2 in the next 20 years. He even asked for an evaluation to be held every one or five years.



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