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Knowing the Customary Deliberation System in Papua

by Senaman
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Indonesia is a country that has a culture of always discussing one issue and another with deliberation. This is done so that there are no misunderstandings, hear every opinion from individuals or groups, and prioritize the common interest. Every major event that occurs in Indonesia always starts with a high spirit of cooperation. With the many tribes and customs in Papua, the people there usually deliberate to find a solution to every problem.

The politics of deliberation in Papua is a principle that prioritizes the customary approach to solving problems in Papua, no longer prioritizing the security approach as was done before. This is a step to prioritize a customary approach that involves all parties, as the best way for peace in Papua. Deliberations in elections in Papua use the noken system, which is a traditional Papuan bag carried on the head and made of fiber. In this system, voters cannot directly vote according to their preferences with his will, but represented by the customary leaders in his region. Noken is the highest symbol of deliberation for the determination of opinions in Papua, without secrets, and more concerned with deliberation for consensus in tribes in Papua.

The function of deliberation in Papua is to produce decisions as the basis for drafting village regulations and the like. It also functions to provide advice/opinions to expedite activities, decide on the content of meeting minutes if there are differences of opinion, and hold consultations. Papuans have been familiar with deliberation since it was recognized by the Constitutional Court through law No. 47-81/PHPU.A-VI/2009, regarding re-voting in Yahukimo Regency, Papua Province, in the 2014 presidential and vice-presidential elections by stating that the noken system as one of the voting methods in several regions in Papua is valid in the implementation of elections by the Constitutional Court.

Community deliberation in the Land of Papua has several important benefits. Deliberation is an effort made together to resolve a problem or issue. In Papua, deliberation can be used to address issues related to land management, such as land use issues, natural resource management, and land development. Deliberation can unite different opinions, seek the truth guard against mistakes, and draw conclusions that are produced by all participants who take part in the deliberation. In land management, deliberation can help reach a consensus or agreement on land use, natural resource management, and land development. 

Deliberation can help increase the sense of community in the community, resolve problems fairly, and strengthen the value of fairness in the decisions made. It can also help develop proficiency and skills in discussing and speaking in depth and effectively. In addition, it can help create integration and interdependence between different societies, such as indigenous and modern societies.

As in big cities, Papuan communities also have their own Rukun Tetangga (RT) and Rukun Warga (RW). The establishment of RT or RW in Papua is done through local community deliberation and determined by the village or neighbourhood. Each RT consists of a maximum of 30 families for villages and 50 families for urban villages. The following are examples of documents required by Papuan communities to form Rukun Tetangga (RT) and Rukun Warga (RW):

Regional Spatial Plan (RTRW) of South Papua Province

– Regional Regulation (Perda) on RT and RW

– Government Regulation (Perpres) on RT and RW

– Governor Regulation (Pergub) on RT and RW

For example, in the South Papua Province, the formation of RT or RW refers to Law Number 14 of 2022 concerning the Establishment of the South Papua Province.

“In implementing regional autonomy, South Papua Province needs to make various efforts to increase economic capacity, prepare government facilities and infrastructure, empower and improve human resources, and manage natural resources by the provisions of laws and regulations. One of the Provincial Government’s efforts in realizing this effort is by preparing the South Papua Provincial Spatial Plan document,” according to the Acting Governor of South Papua, Apolo Safanpo.

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