Government now claims 92% of Papuans back integration based on BIN survey

Source – May 26, 2021
Indonesian security chief Mahfud MD – Undated (Humas Kemenkopolhukam)

Erlina Fury Santika, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD claims that 92 percent of the Papuan people support the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

This was conveyed after he met with several Papuan figures following a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I on Tuesday May 25.

Mahfud explained that the data was obtained from a survey by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). He did not however provide any details such as the research method, respondent profiles or other crucial information about the survey. Mahfud also concluded that those respondents who answered "up to you" (terserah) meant that they agreed.

"According to the government, 92 percent of Papuan people are pro-NKRI, where does the data come from? The BIN conducted a survey with tertiary education institutions and others, the conclusion was that 82 percent support the draft Special Autonomy (Otsus) Law, 10 percent said it's up to you, meaning they agree, and 8 percent reject it", said Mahfud in an official release on Tuesday.

Mahfud said that the 8 percent of respondents who reject it can be divided into three groups, namely political groups, clandestine groups and armed criminal groups (KKB). He said that currently the government is focusing on dealing with armed criminal groups because, according to Mahfud, they are interfering with the 92 percent of Papuans who are pro-NKRI.

Aside from meeting with the DPR's Commission I to discuss the Papua issue, Mahfud has also been holding discussions with Papuan figures, including well known religious figures that are playing an important role there. Mahfud began conducting these dialogues two months after he was inaugurated as the security chief.

On Monday May 24, the former defense minister under the administration of former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, invited several religious leaders from Papua to hold a dialogue at the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs office in Jakarta.

Those who attended included, among others, Bishop Innocentius Rettobjaan of Agats, Merauke Archbishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi, Papuan figure Michael Manufandu and Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) Chairperson Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo.

"We will invite anyone to a dialogue and to exchange ideas including figures who can open the way for peace and security for the Papuan people", said Mahfud.

Also attending the dialogue was a representative from the Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama’s Central Board (PBNU), Marsudi Syuhud, and a representative from the peak Islamic body the Indonesia Ulama Council (MUI), Cholil Nafis.

On Tuesday afternoon he also received several leading priests from the Indonesian Communion of Evangelical Church Institutions (PGLII). They included PGLII Chairperson Pastor Ronny Mandang, Advisory Council Chairperson Pastor Nus Reimas and four other Church officials.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pemerintah Menegaskan 92% Masyarakat Papua Pro NKRI".]