Terry P. | Papuan Student
So far, many parties have said that the Government is ignorant of the aspirations of the Papuan people in terms of discussing special autonomy and regional expansion. However, President Jokowi answered the accusation, who wanted to meet the leaders of the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and the West Papuan People’s Assembly (MPRB) on April 25, 2022.
Regarding the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said Jokowi appreciated the steps taken by a number of parties to challenge the regulation to the Constitutional Court (MK).
“Earlier, the President answered, for example the Special Autonomy Law [Papua]. The law has been implemented, it has been ratified, now there are those who are examining the material in the Constitutional Court and we respect the legal process and we will follow it and of course in the end it will lead to a verdict. Mahfud said at a press conference.
“The government appreciates the ongoing legal process regarding the judicial review of the Papua Special Autonomy Law at the Constitutional Court”
Then, about the formation of a new autonomous region of Papua. Mahfud admits that there are pros and cons in the community regarding the discourse. Mahfud understands that not all government decisions are immediately approved by the whole community.
Mahfud said Jokowi had explained to the leaders of the MRP and MRPB that the formation of a new autonomous region was a bone of contention. According to him, the government has granted the establishment of a new autonomous region in Papua for three provinces.
“The president explained based on the data that actually asking for expansion in various regions is a struggle. There are 354 requests for expansion and based on interests in Papua, we are filing for three provinces. West Papua instead asked for expansion,” he said.
Previously, the Minister of National Development Planning (PPN)/Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Suharso Monoarfa considered the proposal to delay the formation of the new autonomous region of Papua.
This statement was made by Suharso in a meeting with the Chairman of the MRP, Tiumotius Murib and other representatives.
“I agree with the MRP’s aspiration that the division of Papua into provinces should be carried out with the consideration and approval of the MRP. I will consider the suggestion that the division be postponed until there is a decision by the Constitutional Court (MK),” said Suharso in a written statement.
It is known that in September 2021, the MRP submitted a request for a judicial review of Law Number 2 of 2021 concerning Special Autonomy for Papua to the Constitutional Court. One of the articles being challenged relates to the authority to expand the territory in Papua.
Meanwhile, on April 12, 2022, the DPR approved three new autonomous regional bills in Papua as a DPR initiative bill. The three bills include the South Papua Province Bill, the Central Papua Province Bill, and the Central Highlands Papua Province Bill.
Suharso agreed that the expansion in Papua must be open to the aspirations of local residents. He emphasized that the government is really realizing the welfare of the indigenous Papuans (OAP).
“I convey the seriousness of the government’s efforts to realize the welfare of indigenous Papuans. Welfare is one of the keys to realizing Papuan peace,” he said.