Govt to involve local figures to publicise renewed Papua autonomy law

23-Jul-2021 Intellasia | AntaraNews | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The Jayapura city administration is planning to launch a public awareness campaign on the renewed Papua special autonomy law by involving religious, customary, and youth figures from native Papuan communities.

The awareness programme is expected to apprize the city’s residents of the newly-enacted legislation and what it will entail, the Jayapura city government’s secretary, Frans Pekey, told ANTARA in a phone interview from Jakarta on Wednesday.

“Surely, local religious, customary, and youth figures will be engaged to help improve the legal knowledge of the city’s residents, particularly related to the amended chapters,” he said.

After several months of deliberations, the House of Representatives (DPR) ratified the bill amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law No.21 of 2001 during a plenary session on July 15, 2021.

The newly-enacted bill accommodates 18 revised chapters and two new chapters, according to the head of the House’s Special Committee for Amending the Papua Special Autonomy Law, Komarudin Watubun.

The enacted bill has accommodated the need to regulate the privileges of indigenous Papuans in political, education, health, labour, and economic sectors, as well as to support customary communities, he said.

It offers more room to native Papuans to get involved in politics and in such organisations as the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) and Papua legislative councils (DPRK) in districts/cities.

At least 250 seats will now be reserved for native Papuans in district- and city-level Papua legislative councils (DPRK), Watubun disclosed. At the same time, 30 percent of the DPRK seats will be reserved for native Papuan women, he added.

On Wednesday, Pekey said the planned awareness campaign is part of confidence-building measures as several community members remain skeptical about the newly-enacted bill.

The public awareness campaign will be the first step to help residents understand the benefits of the renewed law in order that they are well-prepared for its implementation, he added.

Highlighting the importance of the newly-enacted bill, House Speaker Puan Maharani earlier said it was long-awaited by native Papuan communities of Papua and West Papua.

In response to the enactment of the bill, West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan thanked the House members and the central government on behalf of his people and administration.

The passing of the revised Papua special autonomy law by the House will be a milestone for sustainable development and help boost the prosperity of all indigenous Papuans in the two provinces, he said.

Speaking at a press conference in Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province on July 15, 2021, Mandacan urged all native communities in Papua and West Papua to welcome the legislation.

Native Papuans must try not be roused by the objections and reservations against the extension of the Papua special autonomy law that certain parties have repeatedly echoed, he advised.

Instead, they must support the sustainability of regional development programmes in Papua and West Papua to help accelerate the government’s endeavors to improve prosperity of all Papuans, he added.

The Papua Special Autonomy Law No. 21 of 2001, which had been in force for nearly two decades and had paved the way for a significant amount of funds to flow into Papua and West Papua, was set to expire in November this year.


Category: Indonesia

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