An illustration of demonstration to decline the Special Autonomy policy Phase II. – Jubi courtesy

Differences in public perceptions on the termination date of Special Autonomy policy in Papua


Makassar, Jubi – Dr Yusak Reba from Cenderawasih University stated that Law No 21 of 2001 on Special Autonomy will not be ended in 2021 as assumed by many parties.

According to Reba who specialised in the state administration law, “Law No. 21 will not be ended until a regulation to revoke the law is stipulated. Such law has binding legal force.” Reba told Jubi by phone on Wednesday (29/7/2020).

He further explained that what will end in 2021 is the two percent of the national allocation budget that was previously allocated to Papua Province as regulated in Article 34 (3e) and Article 6 of the Special Autonomy Law.

“However, other substantial issues covered in other articles will remain to apply and have binding legal force. Therefore, it would be applied as usual by the provincial government,” he said.

In responding to the different perspectives in public around the Special Autonomy funds and policy, Reba said it needs to clarify to avoid misperception as well as misinterpretation.


He further said despite the Special Autonomy policy will not be terminated, it also cannot be applied without financial support. “It is one package in the context of the Special Autonomy. If there is a special authority, it should be special budgeting for that. These two aspects cannot be separated,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the central government might revise Article 34 of the Special Autonomy on financial clause, but it should consider the ineffectiveness of implementation of the law due to financial issues.

“The allocated two percent could be continued. Or it might be more if there is a revision on Article 34 of the Special Autonomy Law,” he said.

In the meantime, Dr Agus Sumule who was involved in the law’s drafting team gave a similar statement about the termination of two percent of allocated national budget for Papua and Papua Barat. According to him, if the two percent of allocated national budget is discontinued, the two provinces will lose around fifty percent of their regional allocated budget. Therefore, the governments of these two provinces must think of other sources to cover the shortfall of the budget.

“However, if the financial support continues, they should improve their financial management because many parties are concerned about this issue,” said Sumule.

Moreover, Sumule who is also the Vice Chancellor of Papua State University said the primary goal of the Special Autonomy is to improve the welfare and human resources of Papuan people, as well as to develop infrastructure development in these two Indonesian eastern provinces.

However, during the time this goal has not been fully achieved, he said. In an interview with Jubi sometime ago, Sumule mentioned the termination deadline of the Special Autonomy Funds, but not the implementation of the law itself. “What has the termination date is related to finance, while the Special Autonomy Law has not been mentioned to expire. It can be changed if it wants to be changed,” Sumule said at that time. (*)


Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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