Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the establishment of Southwest Papua as Indonesia's 38th province.
The new province comprises Sorong Municipality as the provincial capital, the District of Sorong, the District of South Sorong, the District of Raja Ampat, the District of Tambrauw, and the District of Mamberamo.
The plenary session of the lower chamber of Indonesia's legislature was led by House Speaker Puan Maharani and attended by 160 lawmakers physically or virtually.
Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian, who represented the government in the session, thanked the lawmakers for unanimously approving the arrival of the country's youngest province.
"This is a historical moment for the people, especially those living in Greater Sorong," Tito said.
"But there is a lot of work needs to be done ahead involving the central and regional governments, the House of Representatives, and the regional legislative councils."
Southwest Papua is the fourth new province to be established across Papua, which is located in the western half of the world's second-largest island internationally known as New Guinea.
The House has recently approved the establishment of three other provinces namely South Papua, Central Papua, and Papua Pegunungan (Papua Mountains). In total, the Indonesian territory of the island now has six provinces which also include Papua and West Papua.
South Papua comprises the District of Merauke as the capital, the District of Mappi, the District of Asmat, and the District of Boven Digoel.
Central Papua has eight districts namely Nabire, Paniai, Mimika, Dogiyai, Deyiai, Intan Jaya, Puncak, and Puncak Jaya.
Papua Mountains is also comprised of eight districts including Jayawijaya, Lanny Jaya, Central Mamberamo, Nduga, Tolikara, Yahukimo, Yalimo, and Pegunungan Bintang.