West Papua No. 1 News Portal | Jubi
Jayapura, Jubi – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo issued a presidential regulation, opening up four provinces, including Papua, to alcoholic beverage investment but Papuan politicians said the policy would make the province’s fight against alcoholism and the related crimes more difficult.
The Presidential Regulation No. 10/2021 on Investment Sectors, signed on Feb. 2, 2021, stipulated that investment on alcohol beverages were allowed in Papua, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, and North Sulawesi. The regulation said that the investment should consider “local culture and wisdom”.
The four provinces have a high non-Muslim percentage in their population and are expected to be more welcoming to alcohol beverage investment.
Apparently, that is not the case in Papua.
West Papua province senator, Filep Wamafma, said Papua Land (Papua and West Papua provinces) had been struggling with high crime rates related to alcoholism. “Today’s problem [in Papua Land] is not only political problems but also law violations and high crime rates related to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As a senator, I question the central government’s commitment in helping to solve this problem,” he said as quoted by CNN Indonesia on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
The head of religious affairs working group at the Papuan People Council (MRP), Yoel Mulait, said on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, that the regulation opened up a business opportunity but it would threaten native Papuans.
He said the death and crime rate due to alcoholism addiction was worrying.
“Today’s problem is the high crime rate, including deaths, related to alcoholism and drugs, according to data from Papua Police,” Mulait said.
Papua province issued a regulation in 2013, prohibiting the distribution of alcohol beverages in the province. Mulait said MRP backed that policy, and the policy had also been discussed with all religious figures.
Mulait said the central government’s new regulation was in opposition with various regional regulations including the one in 2013.
The head of Indonesian Ulemas Council of West Papua province chapter, Ustaz Ahmad Nausrau, also rejected the new presidential regulation. He said the policy could become a stumbling block in the two provinces’ fight against alcoholism especially among the young people.
“The regulation would give room to destruction of the young generation,” he said.
The provincial regulation (Perdasi) on limited distribution of alcohol beverages was signed by Papua Governor Lukas Enembe and the basis of that regulation was the Law No. 21/2001 on Special Autonomy, which stipulated, among others, protection for native Papuans.
The 2013 Perdasi was issued after Papua Police in 2012 released data that 75 to 90 percent of crimes in the regency level police precincts were related to alcoholism. The high rate of crimes had caused the high rate of deaths among Papuan youths.
Former Papuan Legislative councilor, Jhon Gobay, once said the administration should ask the Trade Minister to issue a regulation to support the 2013 Perdasi, to make the enforcement more effective.
Update: On March 2, 2021, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo revoked the part regulating the investment of alcoholic beverages in the four provinces following an uproar from religious organizations.
Reporter: Angela Flassy
Editor: Yuliana Lantipo