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Jakarta Post

Chinese-Indonesians’ fight against land ownership policy gains support

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Tue, March 20, 2018   /   10:47 am
Chinese-Indonesians’ fight against land ownership policy gains support Show of leadership: Yogyakarta Governor Hamengkubuwono gives a talk in Yogyakarta in August 2017. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

A joint statement supported by 39 individuals and institutions has called on Yogyakarta Governor Hamengkubuwono to revoke a Yogyakarta regional head instruction on land ownership for “non-native” Indonesians. The instruction, which was issued in 1975, prohibits Chinese-Indonesians in Yogyakarta from owning land in the province.

Awaludin Marwan, a doctoral student from Utrecht School of Law in the Netherlands, said he was striving to garner support for Chinese-Indonesians in Yogyakarta because according to Presidential Instruction No.26/1998, the term “non-native” is no longer allowed to be used in the government’s decision-making. Labeling a group of entities "non-natives" also contravened other prevailing laws and regulations.

“We are waiting for the Yogyakarta governor, who is widely known for his wisdom and simplicity, to act wisely. Please give all Yogyakarta residents equal treatment,” Awaludin told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

During his doctoral research on the protection of the rights of minority groups in Indonesia, Awaludin claims to have found evidence that State Land Agency (BPN) officials in Yogyakarta did not process the transfer of land ownership to Chinese- Indonesians because of a 1975 regional head instruction.

“They keep using the instruction although it is not legally binding and continue to carry out discriminatory measures,” said Awaludin. (ebf)