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The Special Autonomy Bills for West Papua’s Future Prosperity

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The Indonesian People’s Representative Council (DPR) accepted the new local authority law for Papua in July 17th, 2021. This aimed to boost Papua’s development in general, including West Papua. In view of 60 years, there has been no progress there. The central government’s purpose is to bring prosperity to the Papuan people.

A Brief History of the Special Autonomy Law

One of the privileges of living in the province is having a special autonomy law (Otonomi Khusus). The exceptional regulations were based on Indonesian Law (Undang-Undang) No. 21 in 2001 and No. 35 in 2008. Since 1962, this law has been designated to resolve the multidimensional conflict there.

West Papua, along with Papua, has received more attention from special authorities up to the present. This can be a great approach to building up the easternmost point of Indonesia. By law, the development is continuously pushed by Jakarta to increase the living quality there.

The Privilege of the Local Autonomy Bills

West Papua has several great opportunities given by Indonesia’s government. Here are some privileges that exist there:

Obtaining income of alokasi dana umum nasional or the national general fund allocation

Getting 2% of the general fund allocation (alokasi dana umum) for education and health purposes

Gaining an 80% royalty from forestry and fishery industries

Getting a 70% royalty from mining and gas

Having an additional fund for infrastructure building

Allowing to create Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papua’s People Assemble), consisting of traditional society, the church, and the chair (pimpinan)

Permit using and waving the local flag (Papua’s flag) as a cultural symbol, not a sovereignty symbol

Then, recently, the local government just issued a statement that the new special law has been passed by the Indonesian People’s Representative Council, or DPR, and will increase the funding by two percent of the national general fund allocation. That is good news for local governments because they will have more opportunities to use their autonomy and improve their capacity.

The Special Autonomy Laws Give Much More Opportunity!

Behind the passing of the new law, people in Papua tend to hope the future will be brighter. The new regulation covers all aspects, including politics, economics, social, education, employment, and education. This has been an initiative of the government to speed up the development of the island. Moreover, the special law will improve society’s conditions in the modern era.

In politics, the local people will be embraced more in governance systems such as the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Kabupaten or the Regency People’s Representative Council (DPRK). This will embrace more of the native people in the seat of government.

Besides that, Jakarta also drew up the map of Papua again because of the area’s expansion as a part of three additional laws: Provinsi Papua Selatan (South Papua Province), Provinsi Papua Tengah (Central Papua Province), and Provinsi Pegunungan Tengah (Central Mountain Province). The plan will give the local government the freedom to monitor their own region.

It is also supported by the establishment of Badan Pengarah Percepatan Pembangunan Otonomi Khusus Papua (BP3-OKP), which aims to control the policy regarding the special autonomy law (otonomi khusus) in Papua. Furthermore, the council assists in harmonizing, synchronizing, coordinating, and making sure everything is running well. The council is under the patronage of the Indonesian vice president, along with several central ministries.

Meanwhile, every government layer will give the local government funding for the indigenous people in the education and health systems. The government also must prioritize the native people (orang Papua asli) in the economic and business sectors. This corresponds to the law’s chapter 38. The funding is also allocated to local empowerment, as much as ten percent.

The New Ones Brings New Hope!

Actually, the new special autonomy law is not only a quick fix for the problematic situation in West Papua but also a hope for the people, especially for the growth of the region in preparing their future generations through development.

The mobility of development there may also be easier to control due to the autonomy rights of the local government to explore their own region with more freedom. Moreover, Jakarta also helps in monitoring, coordinating, and guiding directly. Thus, the progress may be rocking!

The new special autonomy law helps accelerate the development of all sectors. Besides that, the new law also plays a part in improving the public service and strengthening the good governance system there. Local development will be noticed more by the local authorities. Thus, indigenous rights can be reserved and empowered more by the government.

Consequently, every government official must work hand in hand to realize this great opportunity and maximize the policy. Therefore, the goal of the plan can be

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