Jayapura, Jubi – Indonesian Minister of Rural and Underdeveloped Region and Transmigration, Marwan Jafar, contradicted President Joko Widodo’s pledge to terminate the transmigration program in Papua.
Despite giving support to Jokowi’s statement, the minister said he would expand the program of transmigration in Papua. In an interview in Jakarta on last week, he said the current program is intended to move residents from densely populated areas to less-populated ones. Those people also would be provided with cash and land property if they “succeed” in Merauke.
“Merauke could be considered as the borderland area that was succeed in executing the transmigration program and development of farming area in the eastern Indonesia,” said the minister to reporters in Jakarta as cited by Jakarta Globe. He further said Merauke is the “heaven for trans-migrants”.
He predicted about 275 thousand people have moved to Merauke since the annexation over West Papua by Indonesia in 1969. Those migrants were often said to harm the indigenous people. They were accused ignoring the sense, habitude and tradition of the indigenous people, destroying the environment and taking the economic opportunity of indigenous people.
In the meeting with public figures in Jakarta on last week, Jokowi renounced that his government will terminate the transmigration program to Papua.
“The government will end the transmigration to Papua because it has caused social gaps,” through the statement conveyed by the President Spokesperson, Teten Masduki.
The president, Teten said, has asked the Papua Governor to terminate the transmigration program.
However, the Minister Marwan Jafar seems not paying attention to Jokowi’s statement. He said the transmigration program will accelerate the production as well to support the government’s plan to develop 1.2 million hectares of rice field in Merauke under the Merauke Integrated Rice Estate (MIRE) Project. “If the program is succeed, will bring more benefits for this district,” he said. (Victor Mambor/rom)