Thousand Islands set to get mayoralty status
JAKARTA (JP): The Thousand Islands district will be elevated in April to mayoral status.
"The decision came following the implementation of Jakarta Provincial Administration Law No. 34/1999. The administration is preparing for the establishment of the new mayoralty, by among other things discussing the appointment of administrative officials in the would-be regency," Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso said on Friday.
Speaking after a coordination meeting with Jakarta Military Commander Maj. Gen. Slamet Kirbiantoro and Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mulyono Sulaiman at the city military command headquarters in East Jakarta, Sutiyoso said the chain of islands to the north of Jakarta would become the sixth mayoralty in the capital.
He added that police and military precincts would also be established on the islands.
"During the meeting, I informed the officers about the plan because they have to be ready, too. The Jakarta Police chief has to appoint an officer to head the police precinct there, for example," Sutiyoso said.
The Thousand Islands, an area of 69,976 square kilometers (of which 9,214 square kilometers is land), is a popular marine resort. It is currently a district of the North Jakarta mayoralty.
The House of Representatives approved in 1998 a draft law on regional administrations, which stated the Thousand Islands would be upgraded from a district to an administrative mayoralty.
At least 28 of the 108 islands are privately owned, while 34 are owned by private companies and used as resorts, including Ayer and Pantara islands.
Only 11 islands are permanently inhabited by locals.
Currently the State Secretariat has the power to sell these islands, and it is unclear whether with the implementation of Law No. 22/1999 on regional autonomy in January next year this authority will shift to the city administration.
The Thousand Islands is one of many assets, including Tanjung Priok seaport and Senayan Stadium, the city administration is trying to claim from the central government in accordance with the implementation of regional autonomy.
In line with the area's new status as a mayoralty, the city administration has been urged to issue detailed regulations on land ownership in anticipation of a development boom in the resort area.
Sutiyoso said the establishment of the new mayoralty was aimed at improving the quality of life for residents of the area.
"Raising the status (to a mayoralty) will enhance the administration's services to locals," he said. (asa/dja)