Mon, 20 Nov 2000

Surjadi names Jamal Banten acting governor

SERANG, Banten (JP): Minister of Home Affairs and Regional Autonomy Surjadi Soedirja officially inaugurated the new province of Banten on Saturday by naming Hakamuddin Jamal the acting governor of the 30th province.

In the ceremony held at the Serang square (Alun-Alun Barat), Surjadi said that Hakamuddin, an expert staff at the ministry, would commence all duties relating to the new administration, including collecting the first capital and transfer of management of all assets from West Java province, and managing foreign aid.

"He will work for between three and six months until a governor is elected by the legislative council," said Surjadi.

Banten province covers the mayoralty of Cilegon and regencies of Lebak, Serang, Tangerang and Pandeglang, which were previously parts of the West Java province.

West Java governor R. Nuriana was among the VIP guests in the ceremony.

Surjadi called on the Banten people to carefully select "the best sons' of the province to represent them in the administration.

"The acting governor must be able to accelerate the selection process in the best manner," he said as quoted by Antara.

Surjadi said he hoped that the new province would do its best in politics, democratic administration, the economy and legal systems.

Hakamuddin told reporters after the ceremony that he would work hard to meet the minister's expectations, asking the people to help him in maintaining peace and a conducive atmosphere.

Banten is well known for its martial art masters pendekar and the magical show called debus.

The ceremony was therefore spiced with debus and pencak silat shows.

Tourism, industry and agriculture are expected to become the economic backbone of the area in the future. The Ujung Kulon natural sanctuary, with its distinctive animal species, which are in peril, is now under the province's auspices. The state-owned PT Krakatau Steel is also located in the province.

The new province, with Serang as its capital, will adopt the one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) as its mascot.(sur)