The Future of Papua Development

Papua land becomes an essential discussion because Papua has a unique value in the culture and characters they have. Therefore, specific and particular approaches in the development of Papua are needed. Those were the statements from the Rector of UM Sorong, Dr. Muhammad Ali, on Muhammadiyah Diktilitbang Council webinar themed “The Papua future: on Papuan perspectives,” Saturday (19/09). Prof. Chairil Anwar, as Deputy Chair of Muhammadiyah Diktilitbang Council, also mentioned the webinar aims to see how the phenomenon of Papua development can be conveyed to the local government. “Muhammadiyah has already been well accepted by Papuan communities. Therefore, this agenda is one of the Muhammadiyah contributions for Papua,” he said.

From Papuan women’s perspective, Prof. Dr. Yohana Susana Yembisa, M.Sc., the first speaker highlighted, the core values of development are to realize the community’s welfare and the improvement of their qualities, both men and women. “Therefore, it becomes a challenge for Papuan women to have the courage to rise, speak, and improve self quality,” she said.

According to the Gender Development Index (GDI), Papua placed in the last position, followed by West Papua, which put in the second final position. It provides a working system that engages the traditional authority, religious leaders, and government to overcome this challenge. It gives the hard work from all parties because the traditional beliefs influence women and eventually put the women in the victim position. “One of the solutions is that women should develop work partnerships with the men. The women’s quality should be improved because, on Papuan women’s responsibility, the next generation of Papua will come,” the Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of 2014-2019.

Arie Ruhyanto, Ph.D. as Gugus Tugas Papua Universitas Gadjah Mada, explained that currently, the Papua expansion (pemekaran Papua) had become an issue in several parties and local elite communities. To respond to this, Arie invites the government to react carefully to it and take a considerate expansion plan. “The expansion is not only to establish the new government buildings, but also should ensure there are substantial government performance, the good public services, and the readiness of human resources to realize the good governance,” he explained.

He also inferred that the government should create not only legitimacy but also do community empowerment. Meanwhile, on creating institutional legitimacy, it should consider the geographical access, infrastructure support, availability of human resources, and the potential for regional development bases. “These are the 4 key elements in order to realize that the government institutions can work optimally,” he explained.

From the social facts of the new political space that continues to be produced until now, Dr. Ade Yamin mentioned that there was a challenging debate on racial issues in Papua. The stereotypes attached to the Papuan people also create a stigma or judgment that Papuans are actors of error. “Thus, an important step that must be taken is that all government policies must take the democratic side by understanding the history and character of the Papuan people,” he explained as a Lecturer at IAIN Fatthul Muluk Jayapura, Papua.

An assumption and value transformation provided a larger space for Papuan involvement. The second way to do this, especially in higher education institutions, is to undergo the accommodation, integration, and appreciation program.” These three things must be done to create an atmosphere and feeling for the belonging of Papuans to be Indonesians,” he concluded.

The Future of Papua Development

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