"We must not abandon the existing culture of Papua. The government now has the task of improving the welfare of the people and their livelihood in Papua," he said during a discussion titled "Voice to Papua" at Borobudur Hotel here on Wednesday.
However, he clarified that by improving employment opportunities in Papua, they do not mean that indigenous communities will have to wear business suits or change the traditional habits they have had for generations.
"In other countries, local people are free to dress according to their customs in public places and at official state events. There is no problem with the people of Papua because their culture should not be compared with those of other regions," Purdijatno remarked.
Furthermore, the minister noted that the task of the government today was to harmonize the welfare of the people of Papua with their own culture and customs.
Therefore, while framing policies, the government has vowed to always involve the local residents of Papua, Purdijatno affirmed.