DPR Guarantees Autonomy Status of Maluku`s Southernmost Islands

Ambon, Maluku, March 28 (Antara News) - The House of Representatives` Commission II overseeing local governments and regional autonomy, guarantees the expansion of Maluku`s Southernmost Islands autonomy to separate from Southwest Maluku (MBD) district.

"Chairman of the House Commission II Agun Gunanjar Sudarsa has promised to fight for the establishment of Maluku`s Southernmost Islands as a new autonomous district before the end of his term in 2014," Southernmost Islands District Expansion Acceleration Board (BPPKKT) Secretary Lamberth Maupiku said here on Thursday.

Lamberth said the proposal on the formation of the Southernmost Islands District of Maluku was submitted to the House`s Commission II and the Home Affairs Ministry through the Directorate General of Regional Autonomy on March 13, 2013.

He noted that the House`s Commission II positively welcomed the proposal and registered the Maluku`s Southernmost Islands as a prospective new district to split from Southwest Maluku district.

"We hope the House of Representatives and the central government will soon establish the new autonomous district of the Southernmost Islands," Lamberth said.

According to him, Agun Gunanjar Sudarsa and the commission member Alex Litaay of the electoral region of Maluku asserted that the southernmost islands of Romang, Kisar, Wetar, and Lirang deserve to be expanded into a new autonomous district.

Meanwhile, Southernmost Islands People Alliance (ARKT) Chairman Alexander Dadiara said these four islands are directly adjacent to Timor Leste, the country which had been part of Indonesia for 23 years before it gained its sovereignty in 2002 following a UN-sponsored referendum.

Asked why the expansion of Southwest Maluku District was necessary, Dadira said it had something to do with border issue, outlying region, and integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

"Romang, Kisar, Wetar, and Lirang are the outlying islands at the border of Timor Leste, and therefore they deserve a new autonomy in an effort to maintain the integrity of the unitary state of Indonesia," Dadiara noted.

He said these four islands are the front line of NKRI and that they deserve special attention from the central government.

"Serious attention from the central government must be given to these four islands in terms of development to shorten the span of government control," he went on. (*)
(O Tamindael)