Mohamad Lakotani’s: Ups and Downs in His Career

Mohamad Lakotani

Mohamad Lakotani is a politician from West Papua. He is the third Vice Governor of the province, starting his tenure on May 12th, 2017.

He led a colorful career as a politician and invited praise and critiques.

Mohamad Lakotani’s Background

Mohamad Lakotani was born on March 13th, 1971. He studied at Cendrawasih University, West Papua, for his bachelor’s degree. Later, he would continue his studies at Hasanuddin University in Makassar for his master’s degree.

He and his wife, Lani Laisanggi, are blessed with two children.

Previous Positions

In his career so far, there are many things Lakotani has managed to achieve. Before his tenure as vice governor, he worked in the government in various positions.

He was a civil servant, having taken office as Head of the Secretariat of the Development Acceleration Unit of West Papua. He also served as Kaimana’s Head of Community and Women Empowerment and Family Planning. Aside from that, he was also the Buruway District Head.

Lakotani also had a standing in the religious community. He was active as the Head of Nahdladul Ulama Branch in Kaimana and the Head of the Muslim Assembly of Papua in 2013. He would later become the Head Regional Leader of the Indonesian Mosque Board of West Papua in 2018, a tenure that would last until 2023.

Mohamad Lakotani As Vice Governor

Being elected as vice governor was not his first foray into West Papua’s political scene. He was also a candidate for vice-regent of Kaimana in the simultaneous election of 2015, where he partnered with Freddy Thie as the regent.

At the time, the pair had support from the Democratic Party and National Democrat Party (NasDem). However, the pair lost to the opposing pair, Matias Mairuma, and Ismail Sirfefa.

He would later win the 2017 elections and become West Papua Vice Governor. In this period, he partners with Dominggus Mandacan. They would win over 58% of the votes during the election.

As vice governor, he has expressed concerns over the importance of human resources in agriculture. He believes that with good human resources, the fruits of labor in agriculture would mirror the quality of the resources.

He also expressed willingness to support programs to help raise the quality and productivity of human resources. Hopefully, it will lead to better crops in the future.

Controversy Surrounding Mohamad Lakotani

west papua vice governor

Lakotani’s career is not without controversy. He serves as the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra)’s Head of the Regional Representative Council (DPD) in West Papua. Upon receiving a decree from Gerindra’s Board Chairman Prabowo Subianto that chose Lakotani as Gerindra’s Head of DPD.

Several parties requested that he was to be removed from the position. Some even went as far as barring the entrance to Gerindra’s DPD office to make their point.

The protesters, mostly from Branch Board, argue that Lakotani had not been able to bring significant progress for Gerindra in West Papua. They also argue that there needed to be more communication between the Main and Branch Boards of Gerindra, leading to improved coordination. There was also an issue of a decrease in the party’s position on government boards. They also pointed out that some funds are unaccounted for and need audits.

The Branch Board also declared that they wouldn’t accept Lakotani as Gerindra’s Head of DPD and would not open the entrance to the office until a new head was picked.

Lakotani himself simply responded that if they had a problem with the decree, they should discuss it civilly with the Main Board and wished they hadn’t barred the office. Untung Tamsil as the Head of the Branch Board voiced his disagreement with the protesters and declared his support for Lakotani, citing that Fakfak’s Branch Board stood with Mohamad Lakotani.