A proud West Papuan, John Wempi Wetipo was recently appointed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as Deputy Minister of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) of Indonesia, assisting Minister Basuki Hadimuljono at the Ministry.
Quoted from Detik.com, before being elected as deputy minister, John Wepito has long been known as a West Papuan leading figure and also the politician of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP). He has served as Chairperson of PDIP’s Regional Representative Council of Jayawijaya District, as well as the Papua Province.
In August 2014, the result of the National Conference of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Billiard Sports Association (PB POBSI) declared John Wetipo as Chairperson. The declaration made him became the first West Papuan native to lead the association.
Born in Jayawijaya on September 15, 1972, Wepito served as the Regent of Jayawijaya for two periods in 2008-2013 and 2013-2018. In his recent interview with detik.com on his current position, he stated that he would work hard to accelerate the process of infrastructure development, especially in eastern Indonesia.
“A lot of work was not completed in the first period due to lack of supervision,” he added at the Presidential Palace complex, Jakarta, Friday (10/25/2019).
The West Papuan Deputy Minister also admitted that there are many challenges in building infrastructure in the eastern part of Indonesia, especially in the West Papua region (Papua and West Papua provinces) due to geographical conditions, dominated by mountains. This causes difficulties in the distribution of raw materials in the area.
To this end, one should see, as the West Papuan deputy minister stipulated, how hard to materialize any development agenda in eastern Indonesia and understand why the development does not go as fast as the development of the other parts of the country.
The response of West Papuan Leader to the E]election of Wepito
As reported by CNNIndonesia.com, a leading female West Papuan figure, Rosaline Rumaseuw said she is happy because there is a West Papuan native, deeply and actively involved in the composition of the President Jokowi’s new cabinet.
The Deputy of General Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Mandate Party (PAN), Rumaseuw stressed on the optimism for the future of the region of West Papua because there still requires infrastructure and non-infrastructure development for its sustainable growth.
“West Papua needs a lot of things, so this is great news as for the inclusion of the son of West Papua in the Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s cabinet arrangement,” said the respected West Papuan female leader, as interviewed by CNNIndonesia.com.
Similar appreciation was also given to John Wetipo directly by the President Jokowi himself. According to CNNIndonesia.com, during the moment of introducing some of his deputy ministers, including John Wetipo, Jokowi praised the experiences and expertise of this West Papuan leader.
“(Let me introduce to you) Mr. John Wempi Wetipo, a great son of West Papua of Papuan native. He had been the Regent of Jayawijaya for two periods, so there is no doubt about him (in working as a deputy minister of Indonesia),” said Jokowi during the above moment, Friday (10/25).