Widi Islands in North Maluku sold at a U.S. auction site

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Widi Island
(IO/Pramita Hendra)

Jakarta, IO – Widi Islands, in South Halmahera regency, North Maluku province, are reportedly being sold on a foreign auction site called Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions based in New York. Home Ministry has issued a clarification regarding the matter.

According to Director General of Regional Development Safrizal Za, based on a joint meeting on November 24 between Home Ministry’s Director of Toponymy and Regional Boundaries, Marine and Fisheries Ministry’s Director of Utilization of Coastal and Small Islands, the Marine and Coastal Environment Mapping Center of the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), the Indonesian Navy’s Hydro-Oceanographic Center and the North Maluku provincial administration, it was revealed that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was established in 2015 between the North Maluku provincial and South Halmahera regency administrations and PT. Leadership Islands Indonesia (LII) to develop the islands into an eco-tourism destination and a leading tourism icon of North Maluku under a 35-year lease and management agreement, reported Jawa Pos, Monday (5/12).

However, since the signing of the MoU PT. LII has yet to carry out any development in the islands. According to prevailing regulations, the permit can be suspended or revoked permanently if within six months the land use and development activities are not carried out.

Therefore, the government will evaluate PT. LII’s land use permit based on Law 11/2020 on job creation which stipulates that spatial use of coastal waters is required to comply with business permits related to utilization at sea from the integrated Online Single Submission (OSS).