goodmorningpapua.com – Regent of Merauke, Romanus Mbaraka, stated that all the people of South Papua were grateful that the Law on the Establishment of the Province of South Papua had been ratified.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you can check throughout South Papua, we all South Papuans agreed to become a province so that when the law was enacted we were happy. We thank God Almighty and to President Joko Widodo and all parties, the DPR, the government through the Ministry of Home Affairs, and everyone assisting us for discussing this year after year. Approximately 20 years,” he said through an official video clip, Friday, July 15, 2022.
Romanus’s statement is at the same time to clarify the misunderstanding that occurred. He emphasized that he did not give a single rupiah bribe to the Indonesian House of Representatives for the ratification of the law.
“Correctly and sincerely, I say that there was no bribery with the DPR. If someone writes in the mass media that it is a bribe, it is absolutely not true. And it can be proven. That is absolutely not true,” said Romanus.
In the video clip circulating, it appears that Romanus alludes to the high cost of passing the South Papua Law. But what he meant was the costs that had been incurred by the people of South Papua to fight for the formation of the Province of South Papua.
“What I meant in my speech was that we, the people of Merauke in South Papua, the people of Asmat, the people of Mappi, and the people of Boven Digoel, before the division for nearly 20 years, we fought tremendously to make South Papua a province in Papua. This struggle takes a lot of determination, lives, victims, even tears, some of our souls have been lost. And the costs are not small. That’s what I mean by the large enough costs we have to spend,” he said.
These costs are like holding various activities in support of South Papua becoming a province. “How to socialize to the community, gather people from various villages, how to hold meetings, bring people to Jayapura in large numbers. So, the cost is not small,” said Romanus, who serves as Regent of Merauke for the 2020-2025 period.
Romanus also apologized to those whose names he mentioned in the speech. “I apologize to Mr. Komaruddin Watubun and Mr. Yan Mandenas, whom I mentioned by name in my speech when I returned from following the enactment of the South Papua Law in the DPR,” he said.
Romanus apologized if the distribution of his speech caused offense to a number of parties. In his opinion, the speech that was circulated was not delivered in full. “If my video is then cut into pieces, we are said to have bribed the DPR, we in Merauke have no money. Where does our money come from and we cannot do that at all,” he said.