Government Accelerating Development in Border Areas, Home Minister Says

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 21 September 2016
Category: News
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IMG-20160921-WA0021-300x199The Indonesian Government is seeking to accelerate development in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia’s border areas.The management of border areas does not only concern development of those areas and equality of prosperity of living in those areas, but also security issues, Indonesian Minister of Home Affairs Tjahjo Kumolo said.

Minister Tjahjo added that one of the reasons the Government is accelerating development in border areas is to improve the condition of Indonesia’s border areas given that Indonesia has been independent for 71 years.

“Why should we accelerate the development? Because honestly, the development of our border areas has been very late although we’ve been independent for 71 years. In 2017, the condition of our border areas must be 1,000 percent better from the condition of border areas in the neighboring countries,” Tjahjo said in a coordinating meeting on the control and management of border areas at Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta, Wednesday (21/9).

Tjahjo added that there are many problems in border areas that the Government is seeking to address.One of the problems is the existence of 39 illegal border crossings that serve as the access for smuggling of drugs, illegal goods, as well as for becoming entries for undocumented foreigners.

“The condition of our border areas is very alarming. That’s why we have to be focused on infrastructure development. There are 39 illegal border crossings, from Atambua (in East Nusa Tenggara) that becomes a place for drug smuggling. Also in Riau Islands, Sebatik (East Kalimantan) and Entikong (West Kalimantan), where more than 200 illegal foreigners to entered Indonesia and staged a jihad war here,”Tjahjo said.

In the meantime, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto said that the Government has been ‘on the right track’ in terms of managing the border areas.“We are already on the right track. And to make the management of border areas a success, we are preparing the concepts and the policies, as well as the budget. We will also be assisted by BNPP (the National Board of Border Areas Management),” Wiranto said.

Wiranto, however, acknowledged that after Indonesia has gained its independence for 71 years, the condition of border areas is still full of problems. According to him, development and infrastructure gap is the root of all those problems.“After we’ve been independent for 71 years, the condition of our border areas is still not good yet. The issues of security and orderliness, illegal logging, illegal fishing, and human trafficking remains problems in our border areas,” Wiranto said.

Therefore, Wiranto added, in the nawacita(nine priority programs of Jokowi-JK Administration), one of the points is to accelerate development of border areas.

Although he acknowledged that the development of border areas should have been done for a long time, Wiranto said that it has not been too late to materialize it.“Why haven’t we developed border areas since a long time ago? Well, it’s better late than never. In fact, we have to be grateful that now we are aware of it. We certainly understand it. We’re on the right track,” he said.

Through the coordinating meeting, Wiranto called on all ministries, institutions, and related sides to create a synergy to realize equal development including in border areas.

Meanwhile, Riau Islands Governor NurdinBasirun said that infrastructures in border areas such as in outermost islands in the province is very important in an effort to improve welfare of the people in the islands.

The province, Nurdin said, has 19 islands that share a maritime border with the neighboring countries.“Infrastructures such as seaport built in outermost islands will provide access for the flow of goods, money, and the people,” Nurdin said.

Therefore, Nurdin hopes that every island in the province will enjoy equal prosperity and it can be done by improving access to those  islands.  (HumasPemprovKepri/ES)(EP/YM/Naster) 

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