There are many dissents associated with the implementation of special autonomy. One side of perspective that people need to take a deeper look into is from the community welfare it has significantly increased. Indigenous Papuans have felt that the governments’ action so far has resulted in better welfare for people in the land of Papua. The main contribution of special autonomy to Papua’s development is that the law makes Papuans indeed special. Compared to other provinces in the nation, there are no other areas that receive special treatments like Papuans people do.
Papua’s Development for its People
Compared to years ago before the special autonomy has been applied, the career path of Papuans has changed significantly. Special autonomy law has given funds that are assisting Papuans in their education and career journey. The era has given better development in regards to people that make Papua able to keep their progress in development. With a good conscience, special autonomy funds ensure that Papua and West Papua are developing sustainably. The central government has given a good amount of care in terms of this.
Granting the funds are as simple as accepting that the welfare of Papuans is increasing. The support of communities in the province can help the special autonomy funds to be extended. Looking at the results derived from the law so far, all that is needed from the special autonomy is everything to be done more effectively. Rather than removing the movement altogether, improving, which is part of the process, should be done instead. The prosperity of Papuans is in good hands yet should be more optimized.
Since 2012, Papua and West Papua have gathered around 126 trillion rupiahs in total. The funds from the central government have helped the prosperity of human resource development. We still have more to develop especially peace and crime prevention, and that is going to require even more. While this has been done by improving the quality of people, extended funds can be used to prioritize other things that haven’t been focused on before.
The Improvement and Troubleshooting
Rejecting the extension of special autonomy disregards the process towards bettering the land of Papua and its people. One of the distinct differences that one can argue is how the numbers of districts or cities improved, more than four times than a decade ago. Due to the implementation of special autonomy, there are now 40 districts/cities in Papua as well as 12 West Papua. Compared to back in the year of 1960s where Papua returned to the Republic of Indonesia, there were only 12 districts at the time.
These developments prove that if one would take the right point of view, one can easily tell the extraordinary steps taken and while it’s still on process now, bigger picture needs to be more acknowledged. It doesn’t stop right there as the local government has benefitted a lot. On top of that, the youth of Papuans have been getting scholarships from the government.
Not only that the province’s development is improving, but Papuans have also been increasingly educated. A lot of Papuans have been getting their degree abroad through special path various scholarships have given. The scholarships are hoped to be the key in order to increase the quality of education there, and the students are expected to give back to Indonesia, and of course, Papua and West Papua. Special autonomy law even has its own scholarship program and none of the other provinces in Indonesia has the kind of special treatment that Papuans have received for years.
Now, the question is, has the implementation of special autonomy been done optimally? Any program does require evaluation as well as correction. The best way to ensure that this is done correctly is by communicating it well enough. The law needs to be discussed on various levels from local to the regional government. Papuans have been directly affected by the special autonomy and the success of its extension should be supported by having dialogues between the government with the indigenous Papuans. This ensures that various problems that occur in the land of Papua can be tackled and taken care of.
The purpose of the evaluation of the current program should not be to stop it but to improve what should be improved. One of the things that can be improved is the peace from criminality so that people in the land of Papua and West Papua can feel safe and secure. All of these require citizen welfare and stopping the special autonomy will only be decreasing the funds and will get the ripple effect to the human development index as well as security issues. A lot of Papuans believe that the implementation of special autonomy is indeed important, especially if it keeps being evaluated.