Lesson learned for West Papua
West Papua Blog (Opera News) – Timor Leste is a country that cannot be separated from Indonesia’s history. The country, which was once part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), broke away from the Republic of Indonesia after a rebellion occurred by the elite there.
In fact, Timor Leste, formerly known as East Timor, wanted to join the Republic of Indonesia in 1976. However, as time went on, Timor Leste saw Indonesia as a colonizing country.
Through a referendum led by Australia and Portugal, on 30 August 1999 Timor Leste officially separated from Indonesia.
Now for 21 years, Timor Leste has stood alone as an independent country. However, instead of being prosperous, Timor Leste fell to become the poorest country in the world.
Despite being the 27th province at the time, the turmoil that occurred for 25 years in the region made them want to become an independent country.
Referendum was carried out with the support of the United Nations (UN) which ended the conflict there.
Even though it had become an independent country and separated from Indonesia, Timor Leste only gained world recognition 3 years later.
Or to be precise in 2002, after the referendum was held in the area that was formerly known as East Timor.
It turns out that even though it has been a country itself for 21 years, interesting facts have been revealed recently.
There are many issues regarding Timorese citizens choosing to rejoin Indonesia if given a second chance.
This has shocked many because of the zeal of Timor Leste’s citizens at the end of the 20th century who wanted independence as a country.
However, it turns out that the facts revealed by this world bank are strong evidence of the reasons why many Timorese people want to return to the arms of Mother Earth.
Quoting from Kompas.com which launched from the United National Development Program (UNDP) report, Timor Leste is ranked 152 countries as the poorest country in the world out of 162 countries.
It is very unequal compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.
The Heritage page even states that Timor Leste’s score of economic freedom is 45.9.
This score makes the country directly adjacent to Indonesia ranked 171 countries in the world in the 2020 index.
The growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Timor Leste is revealed to be the cause, due to being weak despite an increase since 2009.
Not only that, the country’s economy only depends on government spending.
Meanwhile, the incoming funds are only obtained from the Petroleum Fund.
In other words, like what is revealed in the official report of the World Bank in 2020, stating that Timor Leste’s economic growth is the slowest compared to other Southeast Asian countries.
Therefore, the country with the official name Republica Democratica de Timor Leste is on the list of the poorest countries in the world.
The GDP per capita figure for Timor Leste is estimated to reach US $ 2,356 or around IDR 34.23 million (exchange rate IDR 14,532) by December 2020.
This achievement was still below Indonesia’s per capita income in 2019 which amounted to 4,174.9 US dollars or around Rp. 60 million.
A number of sectors of the Timor Leste economy are actually still very dependent on Australia and Indonesia, especially imported goods.
Timor Leste itself still relies on income from oil products.
In 2019, Timor Leste’s oil production reached 38 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), which was widely collaborated with Australia.
Meanwhile, quoting data from the Timor Leste Economic Report released by the World Bank in April 2020, Timor Leste’s economy will worsen in 2020 due to the corona virus pandemic (Covid-19) and unstable political conditions.
The Timor Leste government has disbursed 250 million from the Petroleum Fund, of which 60 percent was used for handling Covid-19.
Other obstacles to its economic freedom are rampant corruption and the ineffectiveness of the judiciary, which weakens the integrity of the government
This Lesson learned for West Papua is not only very important to see how political elites in a conflicted region failed, but also to understand how much Indonesia has changed in the last 22 years, from an authoritarian regime to democratic state.