Get to Know Rahimin Katjong, West Papua’s First Vice Governor

Rahimin Katjong

Rahimin Katjong was a West Papuan politician. He was born on June 28th, 1948, in Fakfak, West Papua, and died on January 22nd, 2015, in Sleman, Special Region of Yogyakarta.

During his life, Katjong was an accomplished politician. Here are some of the things he accomplished.

Who is Rahimin Katjong?

Rahimin Katjong was born in Fakfak. Before his tenure as the Vice Governor of West Papua Province, he was already a prominent figure in Fakfak’s culture. He was also known as a child from Seram, a neighboring island located in Maluku Province.

Katjong married Naning Wibowo and had five children. Before he became a politician, he worked as a teacher. His work would later lead him to the local governing offices, where he eventually joined and started his career as a politician.

Political Career

There are many things Katjong accomplished in life as a politician. Before he went on as the Vice Governor, he had taken the position of Southwest Sulawesi’s Head of Education. He also worked as the Second Assistant in West Papua and the Region Secretary for West Papua Province.

He was known to be a humble leader who would not hesitate to greet the people. His first tenure as vice governor was in 2006 and lasted until 2011, with Abraham O Atuturi as the governor.

During this period, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) supported him. He did not have tenure as vice governor in the next period, but he ran as vice governor once again for the 2012 regional leaders election. Again Abraham O Atuturi became West Papua’s vice governor from 2012-2017.

During his second tenure, multiple political parties supported him. Among them are Democratic Party, Party of Functional Group (Golkar), People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), Great Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra), United Development Party (PPP), Crescent Star Party (Partai Bulan Bintang), Indonesian Unity Party (Perindo), Concern for the Nation Functional Party (PKPB), and Patriot Party.

Difficulties in Election

Despite the support of many political parties, Katjong’s road to success in the 2012 election wasn’t smooth. A proposed rule deemed that any person to act as a leader to the West Papuan people should also be a full West Papuan citizen.

Katjong’s position as a candidate became shaky when no less than twenty-eight cultural leaders proved that he was not a full West Papuan citizen but a mixed one. In addition, his political partner, Atuturi, had problems with his bachelor’s degree as he did not yet have a degree.

Katjong managed to push through it all. He and Atuturi won the election and became the vice governor and governor of West Papua for the 2012-2015 period. Not only that, they won by 57,71% of the votes.

Then-Minister of Home Affairs, Gamawan Fauzi, inaugurated the two on January 17th, 2012. He also noted that they were among the few political pairs to stay paired after their first tenure, as most pairs ended up going their separate ways after their first tenure was over.

Rahimin Katjong’s Death

Rahimin Katjong’s Death

Rahimin Katjong died on January 22nd, 2015, at age 66, in the middle of his second tenure as vice governor. He suffered from a stroke and was treated at Sardjito Hospital in Yogyakarta, where he eventually breathed his last.

He was later transported to Manokwari and later buried in Fakfak. As his tenure was still ongoing, Katjong’s position was later filled by Irene Manibuy.

The people did not forget his achievements after his death. His name was later used to name a street in the province. Recently, West Papua’s provincial government also arranged a pilgrimage on October 11th, 2022, to Heroes’ Grave Garden (TMP) to commemorate the province’s anniversary the next day. Rahimin Katjong’s grave was among the first where they sow flowers to pay respect.