Fix existing cities and regencies first before talking about Papua division: MRP

Chairman of the Papuan People's Council, Timothy Murib. - Jubi/Yance Wenda

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) chairman Timoius Murib said that the division of Papua and West Provinces was not necessary because the existing cities and regencies as a result of the previous division still needed a lot of attention and improvement.

Murib said the central government should have fixed the cities and regencies in the two provinces instead of creating more of them. He said that the plan to divide Papua Province and West Papua Province was not based on clear indicators.

“Forming a new autonomous region is good but Papua does not need it right now. That is why the MRP rejects the formation of new autonomous regions in Papua,” Murib said on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Murib said many regencies in Papua had been divided into new regencies and it was not very effective. He also questioned the argument that regional division would accelerate the development process in Papua. Instead, he highlighted that many of the special authorities granted by Papua Special Autonomy (Otsus) could not be implemented because they were considered to contradict various sectoral regulations. According to him, this must be addressed first before the talk about regional expansion.

The coordinator of the Papua and West Papua Student Executive Board, Unas G Tabuni, agreed that there are still a lot of reforms that must be done in existing provinces, regencies, and cities in Papua before the central government establishes a new region in Papua.

“Fix the existing provinces, regencies, and cites. Make rules that the regent and deputy Regent must be Papuans, the members of the Papua Legislative Council must be Papuans, civil servants and the head of agencies must be Papuans. And there should be no additional military troops in Papua,” said Tabuni.

He said that from a population perspective, both Papua and West Papua provinces were not suitable for expansion. “Don’t force the situation to fit the interest of certain parties. The Papuan population is not eligible for expansion. Don’t sell the name of the Papuan people,” he said. (*)

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