1) Papuans Want Freeport to Open Local Office
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-Papuan Regional Representative Council member Charles Simaremare said that Papuan people want PT Freeport Indonesia to open their office in Papua. It is because the royalty given to Freeport never made it into the region directly. “Freeport office is located in Jakarta, its royalty goes into central government,” stated Charles on Sunday, October 25.
In Papua, said Charles, local people are merely spectators of the American company. They’re not allowed to get close to the mining site. “Only lately 30 percent of Papuans become Freeport’s employee. Even that is for [non-managerial] level.”
However, he stated, treatment received by local employees is completely the opposite of their expatriate counterparts. He was sorry Freeport never build smelters in Papua, even after the company has been digging for gold for 40 years.
VP of Corporate Communications Freeport Indonesia Riza Pratama said that Freepoty will not build any smelter in Papua due to low infrastructure there. Riza claimed that the company has given bigger royalty to Indonesia instead of the sum they give to their parent company in America. “60 percent is returned to Indonesia, and 40 percent goes to Freeport,” he added.
MAYA AYU PUSPITASARI
2) Papua Ready to Buy Freeport Share, Charles Simaremare Says
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-Papuas’s local House of Parliament member Charles Simaremare said he is thrilled to hear PT Freeport Indonesia’s plan to divest its shares.
However, Charles requests that the central government also involves the local government. “Please involve the local government, as it also has the desire to own Freeport shares,” he said in Jakarta on Sunday, October 25.
Charles mentioned his urge to own Freeport share is because the government never involved the local parliament to discuss the purchasing of Freeport shares, the Papuan people have only been acted as `viewers`.
“It’s like we’re being left out by the government and Freeport. They negotiate alone, so we do not know,” said Charles. He claims to have reported the matter to President Joko Widodo, however, the President has yet responded to the issue.
Charles said the local government will think of a way to purchase the share once the central government has given a signal. The local government plans to partner with Bank Papua and local companies having solid strong economy.
“Papua is rich, all eyes are on Papua,” said Charles. The local government is ready if it’s asked to purchase Freeport shares.
Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Sudirman Said say Freeport will first offer its shares to the central government and state-owned enterprise (SOE). In this phase, the Finance Minister and SOE Minister will be involved.
If the government is not interested, then the shares will be offered to the local government and regional-owned enterprise. If the local government refuses to purchase it, then it will go to stock sales in the Jakarta Stock Exchange or Initial Public Offering (IPO) to be offered to private parties.
MAYA AYU PUSPITASARI
3) Efforts to halt West Papuan fires
Updated at 11:09 am today
Authorities in Indonesia's Papua region are taking measures to try and control dozens of forest fires that burning across the western half of New Guina island.
Tabloid Jubi reports that large fires are burning in the South Sorong, Fakfak, Mimika and Merauke regions.
Thick smog from the fires has blanketed much of Papua, forcing some airports to close, and people have been advised to wear face masks as a result of the air pollution.
Forest fires are burning across much of Indonesia, with haze from them spreading across to Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and as far east as Guam.