Lawmakers approve draft law to create three new provinces in Papua

Source – April 7, 2022
View of Jayapura city from hills south of city – Undated (Komaps)

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – Indonesia will have three new provinces. Thus, later, Indonesia will have 37 provinces. The planned addition of these provinces is regulated under the Draft Law on South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and the Central Highlands Province.

The draft law was approved by the House of Representatives' (DPR) Legislation Body (Baleg) during a plenary meeting held on Wednesday April 6. It will later need to be ratified into law by the DPR.

During the plenary meeting, all of the political party factions in the Baleg agreed to the draft law on the creation of three new provinces.

"Now that we heard all of the opinions of the factions and declared our agreement. Are the results of the harmonisation of the Draft Law on South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and the Central Highlands Province agreed to?", asked Baleg Deputy Chairperson Achmad Baidowi.

"Agreed", replied the participants at the meeting.

So where exactly will the three new provinces be located?

Regional coverage

Later, the three new provinces will cover dozens of regencies which are currently part of Papua province.

The following are the regions covered by South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and the Central Highlands Province which were agreed to at the Baleg.

1. South Papua (Ha Anim): Provincial capital Merauke

  • Merauke regency
  • Mappi regency
  • Asmat regency
  • Boven Digoel regency

2. Central Papua Tengah (Meepago): Provincial capital Timika, Mimika regency

  • Paniai regency
  • Mimika regency
  • Dogiyai regency
  • Deyiai regency
  • Intan Jaya regency
  • Puncak regency

3. Central Highlands Province (Lapago): Provincial capital Wamena, Jayawijaya regency

  • Puncak Jaya regency
  • Jayawijaya regency
  • Lanny Jaya regency
  • Central Mamberamo regency
  • Nduga regency
  • Tolikara regency
  • Yahukimo regency
  • Yalimo regency

Notes of consideration

After reaching a decision, DPR Commission II (which proposed the draft law) Deputy Chairperson Syamsurizal expressed his thanks to all of the parties which assisted in the process of drafting the draft law on the three new provinces.

Syamsurizal said he hoped that the new provinces in Papua would have a good impact on the lives of communities in Papua.

"Hopefully this will be our pious deed and our homage to the country and the nation, specifically to the nation or our extended family in Papua. Hopefully they can live together alongside us all in Indonesia", said Syamsurizal.

During the meeting, DPR faction member Selly Andriany Gantina from the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) took the opportunity to register a note.

Although his faction agrees with the draft law he reminded the meeting that the implementation of the law will still need to refer to the constitution and the law on Special Autonomy (Otsus) for Papua.

"The PDI-P faction is of the view, the contents of the draft law on South Papua Province, Central Papua Province and the Central Highlands Province, should still be within the implementary corridor of Article 1 Paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution by referring to the materials in the Special Autonomy Law on Papua which was discussed at earlier meetings", said Gantina.

In addition to this, the PDI-P faction also emphasised that the creation of the three provinces must taken into consideration the aspirations of local communities.

These aspirations are needed to accelerate even development, improve public services and social welfare, as well as raising the standards and dignity of the Papuan people.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Indonesia Segera Miliki 3 Provinsi Baru, Total Jadi 37 Provinsi, Apa Saja?".]