Agus Salim, Suwanti, Jakarta – Indonesia's central government, along with the Papua provincial government, will conduct an evaluation of the policy and implementation of Papua's special autonomy status, according to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).
"The central and provincial government will discuss in detail about this later on," Jokowi remarked at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Friday.
President Jokowi reiterated that matters concerning the status and funding of Papua's special autonomy pertain to how it will be beneficial to Papuans. Related news: Jokowi ensures Papuan representation in subsequent cabinet line-up
"So as to proffer wealth and prosperity and improve the quality of human resources in the land of Papua," he stated. Comprehensive evaluation and corrections will be made on how it has been applied over these years.
Researcher of Alpha Research Database Indonesia Ferdy Hasiman pointed to the fact that despite the central government being provided large grants through the general allocation fund (DAU), special allocation fund (DAK), as well as special autonomy fund, it had yet to reflect on Papua's development.
Furthermore, the Audit Board (BPK) data in 2017 indicated that funding for Papua totaled Rp11.9 trillion (or some US$840 million). "However, the high grant could not boost the Papuans' wealth and prosperity comprehensively," Hasiman noted.
It was counterproductive taking into account the fact that the grant was provided since 2002 following Law Bill Number 21 of 2001 on Special Autonomy Status of Papua.
In a written statement, Hasiman conjectured that this situation was caused by the funding not reaching Papuans but more likely remained with government elites.
He remarked that it was apparent from the poor population in Papua that has the highest percentage than other provinces.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) data indicated that Papua's poor population had reached 28.54 percent as per September 2016, while touching 27.62 percent in 2017, and 27.74 percent in 2018.
The numbers were in accordance with the Human Development Index (HDI) in Papua, which from 2013 to 2019 remained stagnant at 34.