Papua’s 20 Years of Progress Are the Results of the Otsus


PAPUADAILY –The various progress that Papua has made over the past 20 years cannot be separated from the existence of a special autonomy (Otsus) policy as regulated in Law 21/2001. This is according to a senior Papuan figure, Michael Manufanda.

“I am a witness to history, as well as a historical actor. With Law 21/2001, many Papuan rights were lifted so that we can see that the developments during the 20 years were extraordinary,” said Manufandu, Sunday (25/7/2021).

Manufandu, who is now trusted as the government’s adviser for Papuan affairs, said that the issuance of Law 21/2001 was the result of 37 years of decline, backwardness and exclusion.

During the era of President Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur, he said, the president rejected the bill on Papua Otsus, both proposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Provincial Government of Irian Jaya at that time.

Furthermore, President Gus Dur summoned four Papuan figures, namely Michael Manufandu, Simon Morin, Lukas Degei and Erari to convey to the Papuan people that the Papua Otsus Law was drafted by the Papuans themselves according to the desires, wishes and desires of the Papuans themselves, but still within the framework of the Papuan people. NKRI.

On this basis, educated Papuan sons and daughters drafted the Papua Otsus which was later approved and ratified by the Indonesian House of Representatives on November 21, 2001.

Without Law Number 21 of 2001, he said, it is impossible for Papua at this time to have two provinces, having 42 regencies/cities. 733 sub-districts or districts and 7,143 villages or villages.

“With Law 21/2001, the government is trying to be closer to the people, to provide services that are faster, more precise, closer and harmonious with the people. In our time, Papua did not have any developments like what is happening now, we only work with what is exists,” said Manufandu, who has been trusted to be the sub-district head in Papua since 1970.

The former Indonesian Ambassador to Colombia and the Mobile Ambassador for Papua Affairs reminded certain groups not to keep highlighting the failure of the Papua Otsus program.

In terms of infrastructure, he said, the Otsus Law for Papua encourages the growth of many international-class airports in Papua, as well as sea ports, trans-Papuan highways that connect one district with other districts to the interior of Papua.

Meanwhile, in terms of human resource development, now many Papuans have become educated and attend various universities and colleges both at home and abroad.

“In Australia, New Zealand, the United States, I met many Papuan children who are studying. Likewise in Europe, China and Japan. Everywhere many Papuan children have the flexibility and freedom to study by being funded by the state and by the special autonomy fund. So, Law 21/2001 must be grateful for it as a reconciliation law and a liberation law,” he said.

In the political field, he said, almost all positions were filled by native Papuans. Currently, governors, deputy governors, regents, mayors, chairmen and members of the DPRD are up to the level of government officials, 80-90% of whom are native Papuans.

He welcomed the results of the revision of Law 21/2001 which was ratified by the DPR on July 15, 2021 in an effort to improve the welfare of indigenous Papuans within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

Prior to the enactment of the Papua Special Autonomy Law, he said, the vast territory consisted of only one province, one governor, nine regents, 117 sub-districts and 892 villages.

“After 20 years after the Papua Otsus policy, development in the provinces of Papua and West Papua is far ahead of the progress of development in neighboring Papua New Guinea,” he concluded. ***