Wed, 31 Aug 1994

Ex-governors, sociologist get transmigration award

JAKARTA (JP): Former governors of Irian Jaya and Aceh and a noted sociologist were awarded by the government yesterday with the Satya Lencana Pembangunan stars for their contribution to the government transmigration cause.

Ibrahim Hasan, the current state minister for food who served as Aceh governor in 1986-1993, and Izaac Hindom, Irian Jaya governor between 1983 and 1988, and sociologist Selo Soemardjan each received the award from Minister of Transmigration Siswono Yudohusodo on behalf of President Soeharto.

Irian Jaya has been a major destination for the government's program to resettle people from overcrowded Java and Bali to the lesser populated regions.

The transmigration program in both Aceh and Irian Jaya has been particularly challenging given the strong opposition in its initial stages and also the difficult terrain and conditions, including the presence of ongoing separatist wars.

Siswono said Ibrahim during his tenure as Aceh governor provided many facilities to help improve the welfare of transmigrants in the province.

"Aceh under his coordination succeeded in protecting thousands of transmigrants and their families from the ferocity of the separatist rebel group in the province," he said, recalling that some transmigrants and officials were killed in various raids.

Izaac, who is now a member of the Supreme Advisory Council, helped intensify the transmigration program during his tenure, by providing new settlement areas and developing the needed infrastructure, Siswono said.

"The success of the transmigration program in Irian Jaya was achieved because of close cooperation with the local administration," he said.

Selo was awarded for his contribution in designing the transmigration program, according to Siswono.

As a sociologist, he contributed many of his thoughts in designing and carrying out the program, the minister said.

Selo has been active in promoting transmigration as far back as the 1950s, by encouraging people to resettle outside of Java when he served as district head in Yogyakarta. (rms)