Indonesian Natural Resources in Wrong Hands

Saturday, 21 May 2016 , 09:00:00 WIB - Economy

People of Anak Dalam Tribe gathering at their huts temporarily in a forest area. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - The government is considered failed in managing the natural resources as mandated by the Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution. It mentions that natural resources should be managed for the sake of the nation's prosperity. Nowadays, most of natural resources in Indonesia are controlled by foreign private sectors, and the nation have no power over it.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry's General Director of Social Forestry and Environment Assistance, Hadi Daryanto, claims the government must act firmly in making policies to recover the nation's welfare through natural resources management. He said that the government still pays lack attention to the nation in managing natural resources.

Hadi said the government has to follow the mandates written in the Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution. According to him, the government has the obligation to make the nation prosperous through natural resources management.

He didn't decline that the government refers to rely on foreign investments for the whole time. As a result, the state natural resources in Indonesia is not well-managed for the nation.

At the same time, the Ministry's General Director of Foresty Planology and Environment Spatial, San Afri Awang, asserted that nationalism is essential to keep the state independent in managing natural resources. He also exposed that there are many national mining companies that act mischievously by selling their concession permits to foreign private sectors.

He mentioned that seven companies established since 2011 in Papua have owned permits. However, they have sold their companies to foreign private sectors. "They have sold the nation. Where is our nationalism?" Awang said.

He added that natural resources sector has to be maintained. The government has to maintain the existing regulations.

Foreign sectors have controlled too many natural resources in Indonesia. The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) records have shown that 70 percent of oil and gas in Indonesia have been controlled by foreign private sectors. Besides that, 75 percent of coal, bauxite, nickel, and lead mines have been controlled by foreign sector, and 85 percent of gold mines in Indonesia have been controlled by foreign private sectors.

On plantation sector, foreign private sectors also dominate 50 percent of them. The data shows that the government is frail in protecting the assets in Indonesia. The government is also weak in preventing agrarian conflict from occurring. In 2013, the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) noted that 197,365.90 hectares land are disputed for mining area development, 38 conflicts occurred along with the disputes.

Some mountains in Indonesia are also dominate by foreign private sectors and turned into mining areas. Tembagapura Mountain in Mimika, Papua is controlled by Freeport since 1967. Meratus Mountain in South Kalimantan is in PT Antang Gunung Meratus (AGM) hands since 1999. Salak Mountain in Bogor is controlled by Chevron. Pongkir Mountain is controlled by PT Aneka Tambang. Lately, Ceremai Mountain in West Java got controlled by Chevron.