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Seven Main Points in Improving the Papua Special Autonomy Law | by Vella A.

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Vella A. | Papuan Student

The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) through a plenary session on July 17, 2021, has ratified the second revision of Law (UU) Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua Province by fixing seven crucial points in 20 articles.

The decision to ratify the amendment to Law no. 21 of 2001 was taken at the 23rd plenary meeting of the Indonesian Parliament during the V session of the 2020-2021 trial year.

There are seven crucial points that have become priorities for amendments to Law no. 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua, including in the political field by granting the expansion of political roles for Indigenous Papuans in membership in the Regency/City People’s Representative Council (DPRK).

Institutionalization in the DPRK is a new nomenclature as a replacement for the DPRD which was initiated in Bill Number 21 of 2001.

Regarding the seats for DPRK/DPRP membership from the element of appointing members of the DPRK/DPRP, it cannot be filled from political parties, and affirms 30 percent from women.

Meanwhile, in the fields of education and health, this amendment to the Special Autonomy Law has regulated the obligations of the central government, provincial governments, and district/city governments to allocate education and health budgets for Papuan Indigenous People.

With this rule, it is claimed that every Indigenous Papuan can enjoy education up to the level of higher education and the health level of Indigenous Papuans will also increase.

Meanwhile, in the field of employment and the economy, Article 38 of the Papua Special Autonomy Bill has emphasized that in carrying out economic activities in Papua, it is obligatory to prioritize Papuan people.

In the field of empowerment, Article 36 paragraph (2) letter (d) emphasizes that 10 percent of the revenue-sharing fund is allocated for expenditure on assistance for the empowerment of indigenous peoples.

The chairman of the Special Committee for amendments to the Papua Special Autonomy Bill, Komarudin Watubun, said that the more empowered indigenous peoples are, it is hoped that it will also touch the empowerment of the indigenous Papuans.

The second point conveyed in the Papua Special Autonomy Bill is related to the existence of cultural institutions for indigenous Papuans, namely the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the DPRP.

In this bill, it is claimed to provide legal certainty that the MRP and DPRP are domiciled in their respective provincial capitals and by providing an explanation of the naming of each institution.

The third point is related to the existence of local political parties by removing two paragraphs in Article 28 of the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

The Special Committee and the Government have so far assessed that Article 28 has created misunderstandings between the regional government and the central government regarding local political parties.

In order to avoid differences of opinion, the Papua Special Autonomy Bill adopts the Constitutional Court Decision Number 41/PUU-XVII/2019 by removing the provisions in paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 28.

“As a form of specificity in Papua, the members of the DPRP and DPRK, apart from being elected, are also appointed from elements of the Papuan Indigenous People.”

With the provision of space for the appointment of indigenous Papuans, it is hoped that it will fulfill the real wishes of the Papuans.

The fourth point of the amendment to the Special Autonomy Law is related to the Papua Special Autonomy Fund (Otsus Papua) because the issue of Otsus Papua is not only about the amount of funds.

The Special Committee of the DPR and the Government agreed that the special autonomy fund had increased from two (2) percent of the National General Allocation Fund (DAU) to 2.25 percent.

The fifth point, changes to the Papua Special Autonomy Law, the presence of a Special Agency for the Acceleration of Papuan Development (BK-P3) and an office in the local provincial capital.

The Special Committee and the Government are aware that during the 20 years of Otsus Papua, there are many programs or activities carried out by various ministries/agencies in Papua that are not in sync and harmonization with other related institutions.

The presence of BK-P3 which is chaired directly by the Vice President and consists of the Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Bappenas, and Minister of Finance, as well as each representative from each province in Papua is expected to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of development in Papua.

In particular, the Pansus emphasized that the secretariat of the special agency should be in Papua.

The sixth point is related to the division of the province in Papua, the Special Committee and the Government agreed that the expansion of the province in Papua could not only be carried out with the approval of the MRP and DPRP, it could also be carried out by the government and the DPR.

The government and the DPR can also expand the province without going through the preparatory regional stages, which are intended to meet the demands and aspirations of the Papuan people and provide guarantees and space for Papuan people in political, governmental, economic and socio-cultural activities.

The seventh point of the fundamental changes to the Papua Special Autonomy Law is related to the implementing regulations of the latest Papua Special Autonomy Law by emphasizing the issuance of implementing regulations for the implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

The DPR RI together with the government are committed to always presenting implementing regulations in the form of government regulations (PP) no later than 90 working days and for Perdasi given one year.

As a form of the DPR’s commitment to the implementation of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, the DPR and the government made a legal breakthrough by stipulating that the preparation of the PP was consulted with the DPR, DPD, and the Regional Government of each province in Papua.

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