"(Based on the) existence of Law No. 29 of 2022, Southwest Papua is the 38th province de jure," Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian said here on Friday.
The minister attended the swearing-in ceremony of the acting governor of Southwest Papua at the ministry's Sasana Bhakti Praja Room the same day.
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"Today's inauguration means the province is present de facto, and with the existence of the acting governor. Hopefully, it will be a good Friday," he remarked.
Aspirations for the creation of the Southwest Papua region had been conveyed since 2006, he noted.
"And it was conveyed not only to the ministry but also directly to the President when Papuan figures came to the palace," Karnavian said.
Moreover, the idea of creating new provinces in Papua was conveyed through constitutional mechanisms, namely to the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Regional Representative Council (DPD).
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According to him, from the central government's point of view, the establishment of the new provinces needed to be carried out.
"Because Papua has a different historical background, it officially joined the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia in 1969," he said.
This resulted in slow development, which led to its low score on human development indices. Therefore, the number of administrative regions needed to be expanded to shorten bureaucratic processes, he explained.
"It is not easy to cut long bureaucracies in Papua's geographical terrain and widely spread distribution (of regions). We hope that with this expansion, there will be an acceleration of development that will prosper the Papuan people, especially indigenous Papuans," the minister said.
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