Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - A lawmaker has asked Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi to stop an unprecedented discourse on the integration of Natuna district in Riau Islands province into West Kalimantan province.

"The home affairs minister must stop the discourse," Harry Azhar said here on Saturday.

He said the discourse had no strong foundation at all.

Natuna could not automatically be integrated into West Kalimantan on the ground that the gas-rich district was culturally and historically part of Riau Islands, he said.

Neither did the integration of Natuna district into West Kalimantan have a strong legal basis because it violated law on the establishment of Riau Islands province and West Kalimantan province, he said.

"If we want it to happen a lot of laws must be amended. But I think it will take long time," he said.

He said the discourse on the integration of a district into other province was the first of its kind. So far, demand related to regional autonomy had surrounded the establishment of new district or province.

He further questioned in what capacity the minister had raised the discourse. As a government official, he should have discussed it with the President and relevant provinces before he made it known to the public.

"I think he raised the discourse in the capacity as an observer rather than as a government official," he said.

"As a Member of Parliament from Riau Islands, I feel offended. I will ask the government and people of Natuna district about it," he said.(*)


Editor: Ruslan Burhani
Copyright © ANTARA 2011