Otsus funds in West Papua


The Special Autonomy Fund (Otsus) has a significant impact on all Papuan people, not just youth. This was conveyed by the Papuan youth leader Steve R. E. Mara, S.H., M.Han. This is because Otsus regulates cases (general circumstances and special circumstances) of Papuans and gives special attention to all Papuan people.

For the youth themselves, we can see it in the field of education. Papuans in their productive age are given special attention to financing education. Several regions in Papua provide free schooling for early childhood to youth and provide scholarships for youth who want to continue their studies at universities, both domestically and abroad.

This is a form of extraordinary attention from the central government to the Papuan people which should be used properly so that the results can also have a positive impact on Papua in the future. The government has provided broad opportunities for Papuan youth, one of which is through Presidential Instruction (INPRES) no. 9 of 2020 concerning the acceleration of development in Papua and West Papua.

In this Presidential Instruction, several things have been rolled out that will encourage Papuan youth to be more creative in developing their interests and talents, one of which is through the Papua Innovation Hub which will be managed by the Inspirational Young Papua movement in 7 regions in Papua.

This hub will then be used to develop the demands and talents of Papuan youth in various sectors and to encourage Papuan children to develop businesses, especially businesses related to Papua’s natural resources.

According to Steve, the question now is not what the government should do, but whether Papuan children are ready to accept the policy and apply it in life. Moreover, Papuan youth are encouraged to open themselves up to learn new things that can be combined with the talents they already have.

“I, as a young Papuan, also ask Papuan youth throughout Papua, both in Papua and West Papua to be actively involved in Papua’s development through improving soft skills and must also have good legality through adequate education,” said the Alumni of the Study Program. Peace and Conflict Resolution Post Graduate of the Defense University.

The Government’s Serious Form

Steve Mara, who is also the Chairman of the People’s Information Barn Youth (LIRA) of Papua Province, said that the continuation of the disbursement of the 2022-2042 Special Autonomy Fund is a form of the Government’s seriousness, especially in paying attention to the specific conditions of the Papuan people. The continuation of this special autonomy fund is accompanied by a revision of the special autonomy law with the addition of several articles so that the 2042 special autonomy journey can be better.

One of the interesting things is the presence of Article 68A, namely the establishment of an Otsus supervisory body. One of its roles is to supervise and harmonize the Papua Special Autonomy Law. The goal is that Otsus can run in accordance with the expectations of the central government and the needs of the Papuan people can be met. “What I note is that Otsus has been revised. However, the use of special autonomy funds that have lasted for 20 years from 2001 to 2021 must be audited. The goal is for the Papuan people to know who the actors who corrupted these funds are, so that the Papuan people have not prospered until now, “explained the former chairman of the Umel Mandiri BEM.

The Need for Strict Supervision

Steve Mara hopes that the presence of the Supervisory Agency chaired by the Vice President will have a positive impact on the sustainability of Otsus in the future. According to him, this special autonomy must be monitored closely. The reason is that so far there has been a lack of supervision which has resulted in the use of not all being on target, so that people in various regions in Papua and West Papua are still voicing development imbalances. “For the sake of the continuity of the special autonomy, I also suggest that the special autonomy can be revised in three or five years. The goal is to review what policies are appropriate and what must be added so that in the future it can be better,” he explained.

In the second amendment to the Special Autonomy Law which was promulgated through Law no. 2 in 2021, there are sectors that are specified, including: Education, Health, and Infrastructure development related to Education and Health as well as to encourage the community’s economy. One of them is for making Government Regulations as implementing regulations. But also, DPR Papua can prepare Provincial Regulations (Perdasi) and Special Regional Regulations (Perdasus),” said Steve.

He assessed that currently the focus of Papua’s development will be directed to the development of Papuan Human Resources, by educating Papuan youths to prepare for the future of Papua. Therefore, today’s young people must use the opportunity to focus on development well in order to get the benefits. “If we don’t use it well, other people will enjoy it,” he concluded.