Johny Kamuru, the regent of Sorong Regency, Papua Barat Province, has issued a decree for the legal recognition of the Gelek Malak Kalawilis Pasa, an indigenous clan of the Moi tribe (see photo, source: Jubi). The legislation gives the clan legal certainty over 3,247 hectares of customary land in the Sayosa District. On 15 October, the regent confirmed the enactment of the decree in an official ceremony which Moi representatives attended.
“This is a form of my commitment to protect the rights of indigenous peoples,” said Johny Kamuru in a written press release, dating 15 October 2021. Previously, the Moi held a customary assembly. They collectively rejected the presence of the three palm oil companies PT Sorong Agro Sawitindo, PT Papua Lestari Abadi, and PT Inti Kebun Lestari on their land.
In September 2021, the regent of Sorong had withdrawn the companies’ concessions because an assessment of palm oil licenses in the regency had revealed multiple irregularities. According to Kamuru, PT Sorong Agro Sawitindo and PT Papua Lestari Abadi had violated Article 26 of Law 5 of 1999 concerning the Prohibition of Monopolistic Practices and Unfair Business Competition. According to the local government, the companies had also breached cultivation license regulations (KGU) in their concession areas.
The companies filed a lawsuit against Sorong Regent to the administrative court in September 2021. The verdict is still pending.