Minister of Home Affairs opens regional expansion for Papua

17
Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Tjahjo Kumolo stresses that the moratorium on regional expansion has been in force since 2014. The government does not intend to lift the moratorium on regional expansion except for two provinces in Papua. (photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Home Affairs (Mendagri) Tjahjo Kumolo said there were 314 proposals for regional expansion that were queuing up at the Ministry of Home Affairs to date. 

However, Tjahjo stressed that the moratorium on regional expansion has been in force since 2014. The government does not intend to lift the moratorium on regional expansion except for two provinces in Papua. 

“There are 314 regions, including the one in NTT, Sumbawa, Buton Islands, North Barito and South Barito, Nias, Tapanuli, Bogor-Sukabumi, Cirebon, Lampung as well,” Tjahjo said at the Grand Paragon Hotel, Jakarta, Tuesday (10/15). 

Tjahjo said the regional expansion that had been implemented since 1999 had not been fully effective. The government temporarily concentrated on optimizing 514 districts/cities and 34 provinces that already exist. “Of the 514 regencies/cities that were established from 1999 to 2019, those who met the success criteria were no more than 23 percent, where the region could finally be independent and not rely on the central government,” he said. 

The Jokowi-JK government is imposing a moratorium on regional expansion. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs continues to open proposals for regional expansion. 

Over the last few months, the issue of regional expansion has revived. This discourse began when Bogor Mayor Arya Bima formed a team to study the unification of Bogor City, Bogor Regency, Sukabumi Regency, and Sukabumi City. 

After the discourse developed, it was the turn of Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi to propose Bekasi with DKI Jakarta. Bekasi is said to be ready to become Southeast Jakarta. Effendi claimed that 80 percent of Bekasi residents agreed to join Jakarta. 

Even so, the Ministry of Home Affairs continues to conduct a moratorium on regional expansion except for two new provinces in Papua, because the cost to expand can reach IDR 500 billion per region. 

Tjahjo Kumolo opened the opportunity for Papua to increase the number of existing provinces. At present, there are two provinces on the island of Papua: Papua and West Papua. Tjahjo said that Papua was privileged to expand. 

Earlier in September, several Papuan and West Papuan leaders met with President Jokowi at the State Palace to convey their wishes. The leader of the group of Papuan leaders, Abisai Rollo, submitted ten requests. One of them was related to regional expansion. “I need to say a few things… first we ask the president for the division of the five indigenous territories in the provinces of Papua and West Papua,” said Abisai, who is also known as the Chairman of the Jayapura City House of Representatives. 

The proposal was welcomed positively by Jokowi. But he could not promise that all the requests could be granted. “Regarding the division… how many additions will be there? Five. It’s possible but maybe not for five. Maybe if not two, then three,” said Jokowi at the Palace at that time. (Dsy)