2024 Political Affirmations and the Papuan Legislators

goodmorningpapua.com – President Joko Widodo ratified PP No. 106/2021 on October 15, as a legal product derived from Law No. 2/2021 on Special Autonomy for Papua. One of the important breakthroughs in the law is the opening of opportunities for Papuan community leaders to sit as members of the legislature without an election process. Valentinus Sudarjanto Sumito, a Director of Regional Planning, Special Autonomy and DPOD of the Ministry of Home Affairs, said the move was an affirmation of the political sector for Papua and West Papua.

In the discussion on the New Directions of Special Autonomy for Papua, which was held by the Papuan Task Force (GTP) of Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Yogyakarta, Valentinus mentioned a number of considerations for the decision. First, he said, was because of the number of OAP becoming members of the DPRD in several districts/cities was less than that of non-OAP. The second consideration is to strengthen the cooperation between the executive and legislative bodies, and to guarantee the rights of the OAP indigenous peoples.

For Papua, for example, in Jayapura there are 56 percent of OAP members sitting on the council. In Boven Digul the number is 55 percent and in Biak Numfor 53 percent. But in Sarmi Regency, it is only 35 percent, Mappi Regency 36 percent, Merauke 20 percent, and in Keerom 20 percent. While in West Papua, in Fak Fak Regency 40 percent, Raja Ampat 40 percent and Wondama 55 percent. The number decreased drastically in Sorong City which was only 20 percent and Sorong Regency at 28 percent.

With the new Special Autonomy Law, the representation of OAP in the legislature will increase. According to the regulation, a quarter of the members of the Provincial and Regency/City DPR in 2024 will be appointed directly and must be OAP.

A Deputy Chairperson of the DPR’s Special Autonomy Special Autonomy Committee, Yan Permenas Mandenas, said the new Special Autonomy Law had a number of substances. This law accommodates the specific interests of OAP, regulates the formation of DPR in provinces and districts/cities. Providing an increase in Special Autonomy funds from 2 percent to 2.25 percent. Presenting a special agency for the acceleration of Papua’s development, as well as the division of a new province.

The Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Cenderawasih University, Papua, Dr. Marlina Flassy assessed that the central government already had good intentions. Huge amounts of Special Autonomy funds have been provided, as well as a scheme to ensure that OAP’s political rights are implemented.

As stated by him, the key to the success of Otsus is currently in the hands of regional leaders. How the OAP regional heads hold their power, and are able to regulate and manage the trillions of rupiah Special Autonomy funds. The question arises, can the leader, who incidentally is OAP, build Papua wholeheartedly, said Marlina later.

 According to data from the Ministry of Finance, during the first 20 years of Special Autonomy, the central government has disbursed IDR 138.65 trillion.

However, this new Otsus scheme is also not spotless from critics. Dr. Ade Yamin, a lecturer at IAIN Fattahul Muluk Papua, regretted the dominance of the structural approach in it.

The additions, called Ade, are plans for additional budgets, additional powers, additional political opportunities, to additional provinces or expansion. All of these efforts are imagined to be the best solution for all problems in Papua.

This new Special Autonomy, according to Ade, divides society based on race and ignores the principle of equality. The state, said Ade, will actually accept distrust from two sides, namely OAP and non-OAP people.

Ade recommends that cultural approaches must be put forward and grounded. The cultural approach should not stop at jargon.

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