Papua Expansion Will Be Discussed After Papua Special Autonomy Bill Completion

The Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri) has prepared a scenario for the expansion of the province in Papua. However, further discussion regarding the expansion of a new autonomous region (DOB) in Papua awaits the results of the revision of Law Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua, which is currently still being discussed by the DPR and the government.

“Because, we need a legal umbrella first,” said Head of the Ministry of Home Affairs Information Center Benni Irwan when confirmed by Republika, Monday (24/5).

He said the division of the region in Papua was one of the agendas proposed by the government through the Papua Special Autonomy Bill (RUU). The plan for the expansion of Papua requires regulation in advance, although preparatory steps can be taken jointly from the start by the central government and regional governments, including elements of local communities in Papua.

According to Benni, currently, the stages of the process of amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law are still ongoing between the government and the DPR, including the article regulating the division of territories in Papua. The provisions already regulated in the government’s proposed draft bill may change in the legislative process at the DPR.

Benni said, some time ago, the Special Committee (Pansus) for the Revision of the Special Autonomy Law had completed a field visit in Papua. The Special Committee has also received a number of inputs and aspirations from various parties regarding the amendments to the Papua Special Autonomy Law.

“We are waiting for the next discussion schedule with the DPR, including to discuss the proposal for further expansion of the province in Papua,” said Benni.

Previously, Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian conveyed the scenario of regional expansion in Papua on April 8 to the DPR. The new provincial plans in Papua include South Papua, Central Papua, Central Highlands, and Southwest Papua.

According to Tito, the scenario for regional expansion in Papua depends on the state’s financial capacity and the results of the revision of the Papua Special Autonomy Law. The government proposes amendments to the article which contains the provisions for the expansion of regions in Papua to support the realization of the scenario for the expansion of Papua.

Article 76 in Law 21/2001 reads, the division of Papua into provinces is carried out with the approval of the MRP (Papua People’s Assembly) and DPRP (Papua People’s Representative Council) after paying close attention to socio-cultural unity, readiness of human resources and economic capacity. , and future developments.

Meanwhile, the government added the provisions in Article 76 in the Papua Special Autonomy Bill to three paragraphs. Paragraph (1) contains the same provisions as Law 21/2001 above.

In Paragraph (2), the government can expand provinces into autonomous regions to accelerate equitable development, increase public services and public welfare by taking into account the socio-cultural unity, readiness of human resources and economic capacity, and future developments.

In Paragraph (3), the division of the province as referred to in paragraph (2) does not go through the regional preparatory stages as regulated in the law on regional government. The reason for the dedication of this verse is in the context of accelerating development and improving the welfare of the community.

According to Tito, the option to change this provision was conveyed because the aspirations for expansion were often locked when only relying on the approval of the MRP and DPRP. Meanwhile, he said, the aspirations for regional expansion in Papua are very high.

“Because the options in the MPRP-DPRP are approved, if it is locked there, if the deadlock is there, while the aspirations for expansion are quite high, we feel,” said Tito.

Source: Republika

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