Patani/Thailand, Jubi – Alawi, a resident in southern Thailand, is familiar with the reputation of US-owned gold company PT. Freeport McMoRan in Papua as his final course work while he was a student in Indonesia was about the firm.
Alawi, from Bendang Sta, Yala province, said even though he had never been to Papua, he understands that PT. Freeport has exploited Papua natural resources for decades without caring for local communities.
“I know a little bit about Freeport, including how its behavior of not caring for Papuan indigenous people or in a sort way doing imperialism. So, is Freeport still operating in Papua?” Alawi said in conversation with Jubi at Bendang Sta, Patani, on Monday (17/8/2015).
Alawi who is graduated in 1996 from Universitas Pasundan, Bandung West Java, majoring International relations said he did his final research on PT. Freeport for his final study at university. That’s why he had a lot of information about this American gold company.
“At that time, I get a lot of data from Freeport Company Office in Jakarta. Not like most of my friends, I can get the data about PT. Freeport easily because I am not Indonesian Citizen, and I took the letter from the Thailand Embassy,” he said. From his research, he found out how Freeport exploits the natural resources in Papua, but it not give profit to Papuans. “At that time, Freeport said it just exploited the copper, but the reality is it has mined the gold too,” he said.
According to him, he came to the Freeport Headquarters in Jakarta for several times when doing a research. He never thought that the Freeport’s staffs are foreign citizens. “When I came to Freeport Office in Jakarta, I was surprised to find out many foreign citizens who work there. The office seems not located in Indonesia. No Papuans there though from the mining production Freeport could finance and pay the salary of State’s employees,” he said.
Lately, the Freeport issue becomes a public focus in regards to the plan of contract extension in Papua. Papua Government and Papua Parliament convicted PT. Freeport management for only involving the Central Government into discussion of the extension of contract of work.
“Freeport was doing operation in Papua, but never involving the Papua Provincial Government into discussion of the extension of contract of work. During its operation in Papua, Freeport did not give impact towards the welfare of Papua indigenous people,” Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Yunus Wonda said in one occasion. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)