Papua, West Papua Stand Equal With Other Provinces, Wiranto Says
Date 23 Agustus 2019
The provinces of Papua and West Papua are not “step children” of Indonesia, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto has said.
According to him, the two provinces stand equal with other provinces, proven by a big amount of budget allocated to build the two provinces.
“If some people say that Papua and West Papua are “step children” of Indonesia, this is completely wrong,” Wiranto said during a visit to Sorong Regency in West Papua province, Thursday (22/8).
Wiranto also reminded that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had visited the provinces seven times in a year and no other province has been visited by the President that often.
“There’s no other province that the President visits seven times a year. Even the President has not visited Central Java as frequently as that. It means that Papua and West Papua stand equal with other provinces in Indonesia. I believe that and I can prove that,” he said.
The Government, he added, has disbursed more than Rp100 trillion for the provinces of Papua and West Papua. In addition, the Government, he added, has also proven its commitment to make prices of basic goods in Papua equal with prices in other regions in the country.
“Funds channeled from the Central Government to Papua is more than Rp10 trillion. And we still remember when the President visited Papua, he ordered his Cabinet to immediately build the provinces and to lower the prices of basic goods in Papua and to make them equal with the prices in the island of Java and we proved we could do it,” Wiranto said.
Previously during a meeting with leaders of Regional Leaders Communication Forum, traditional figures and the people in Manokwari, West Papua on the same day, Wiranto stressed that his visit to West Papua is not to monitor them or to spy on them.
“Our purpose of coming here (to Papua) is not to monitor the people or to spy on them but to meet them after that regretful incident unfolded,” Wiranto said.
Regarding incidents in a number of university dorms, especially in Surabaya and Malang that triggered protests and eventually led to riots in a number of regions Papua, Wiranto expressed belief that the incident happened because of certain people who could not restrain themselves.
“We believe that this incident is not because we do not respect our brothers and sisters in Papua and West Papua or we wanted to degrade them, just like stated in hoaxes on social media. It was not done deliberately but because of some rogue people who could not restrain themselves so the incidents broke out,” Wiranto said.
Wiranto also said that in the past three years, Chief of the Indonesian National Police, Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI) and himself almost everyday become subject to ridicule or insult on social media. However, the President has always reminded them to be patient and to be forgiving because this is the key to face provocation, insults, and offenses.
“I am glad and thankful that this incident did not drag on and all of us , local governments, the public, traditional figures, religious figures, youth leaders, and others, realized that there is no need for actions that will in fact disadvantage us; that will hurt our unity as a nation; that will hurt our brotherhood as a nation; that those destructions are actually that ones we really regret,” Wiranto said, adding that this incident is a lesson and should be resolved with dialogs. (Humas Kemenko Polhukam/ES)
Translated by: Muhammad Ersan Pamungkas