Archipelago

New Kupang mayor pledges
pro-people policies

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Frans Leburaya, on behalf of the Home Minister, swore in Yonas Salean and Harmanus Man, respectively, as mayor and deputy mayor of Kupang on Wednesday for the 2012-2017 period.

The swearing-in ceremony for the pair, who were elected in June as independents. was held at the Kupang legislative building.

Present at the ceremony were Kupang council speaker Telenmard Daud and councilors and officials of related offices. Both Yonas and Hermanus are pure bureaucrats. Yunas is the former secretary of Kupang city, while Hermanus is the former head of health offices in a number of regencies.

Leburaya asked the two newly-installed officials in his speech to listen to the people’s voices for their policies. “The title of mayor and deputy mayor constitutes services. Please use the people’s trust optimally during your tenure of office for the next five years,” he said. Leburaya also advised the two officials to maintain solidity and avoid any bickering.

“In several regions, regents and their deputies are solid only at the beginning of their administration, and later they are in enmity until the end of their tenure. This situation is unfavorable for the people. Please maintain good relations with the legislative council and other regional leaders communities,” Leburaya said.

Later in a press meeting, Yonas promised to realign the development of Kupang City, which seems to have been built without any master plan.

“We’re backed and financed by the people, so that it’s impossible for me to disregard the people’s wishes. We will build the city together and make policies that are for the people,” he said.

He further said that the regionally generated income of Kupang City accounted for 10 percent of the city’s total annual budget of Rp 400 billion (US$42 million).

“Under this limited funding, we will give emphasis to the people’s needs, including the allocation of Rp 500 million per year for each district for infrastructure development,” he said. Other allocations, Yonas said, included the exemption of health service fees for residents of the city, and the provision of scholarships for bright students from poor families.

Meanwhile, Kupang City secretary Thomas Jansen Ga said that at least 5,000 people were invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony. About 1,000 of them were invited to the council building and the other 4,000 to witness the ceremony from the building’s yard.

“Most of the invitees are religious leaders and noted regional figures,” Thomas said.

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