The division of this area is a game changer, the key to building prosperity in Papua, so that people can be better served, closer to the people, and more direct to the surrounding communities
Merauke, South Papua (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has urged the people of Papua, especially South Papua province, to unite their hearts and goals, just like the slogan carved at Mopah International Airport in Merauke— Izakod Bekai Izakod Kai.

"Finally, I want to compel us to unite our hearts, unite our goals. I read this at the airport. I think that's right, unite hearts and unite goals, Izakod Bekai Izakod Kai, that our hearts are the same, our goals are the same, our spirits are the same," the Vice President said in Merauke, South Papua, on Wednesday.

Amin made the remarks during a meeting with the acting governor of South Papua, Apolo Safanpo; Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, John Wempi Watipo; South Papua Leadership Coordination Forum; Merauke Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB); religious leaders, including the Archbishop of Merauke, Mgr. Petrus Canisius Mandagi; as well as Merauke community leaders, including the former head of Merauke Marine district, John Gluba Gebze.

"I believe that South Papua will become a developed province in a short time. We listen to various inputs, suggestions, and indeed, we, the government, must listen a lot, must hear the aspirations of the people, so that we can adjust to the wishes of the people," he noted.

He said that he actually came to Papua to “scratch” the Papuan people's “itch for change.”

"That means, where is the itch, which one should be scratched? Do not scratch the places which are not actually itching just because you do not listen much. I'm glad Mr. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs came to note down the wishes, and your wishes are our wishes, national leaders' wish," he remarked.

With the development of Papua, including South Papua province, he said that collective prosperity would be achieved quickly.

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"The division of this area is a game changer, the key to building prosperity in Papua, so that people can be better served, closer to the people, and more direct to the surrounding communities," he noted.

He also lauded the social life of the people of South Papua, which is full of kinship and inclusiveness.

"Because the harmony among these religious leaders is something we must protect. I know that in Merauke, South Papua, until now, the harmony between religious communities is still well maintained. Thank you to all the religious leaders and also to the head of districts who have been upholding harmony," he said.

The main capital of the nation is its harmony, and the main element of national harmony is that seen among religious believers, he added.

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"Let's build South Papua with the same goal, with the same heart, unite our hearts, unite our goals. That is the motto that we continue to live up to, not only in letter, but we (implement it) in society," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Mandagi said that security is paramount if South Papua province wants to grow and develop.

"But the condition for being safe for me is harmony between religious followers because often, religion destroys brotherhood. It's great to be different, but don't let those differences cause discord and conflict," he added.

He also reminded that 2023 is a political year, so everyone must be careful to not use the name of religion in vain for political gain and destroy Indonesia.

"And lastly, of course, we want to progress because we are still left behind other provinces. Try to speed it up, but speeding up requires funding too, so give money here as long as the officials here are not corrupt because corruption is destroying Indonesia," he added.

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Translator: Desca L N, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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