Govt Asserts Formation of Lebong Regency in Line with Constitution

Ministerial advisor for economy and development La Ode Ahmad Pidana Bolombo testifying on behalf of the Government at the material judicial review hearing of the Law on the Formation of Lebong Regency, Wednesday (9/6/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The third material judicial review hearing of Law No. 28 of 1959 on the Stipulation of Emergency Laws No. 4 of 1956, No. 5 of 1956, and No. 6 of 1956 on the Formation of Level II Regions Including Township within Level I Region of South Sumatera into Law commenced in the Constitutional Court (MK) on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. The case No. 71/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by Lebong regent Kopli Ansori and Lebong regency DPRD (Regional Legislative Council) chairman Carles Ronsen on behalf of the regional government of Lebong Regency, Bengkulu Province.

The plenary hearing, set to hear the testimonies by the President/Government was presided over by Chief Justice Anwar Usman and six other constitutional justices.

The Government, represented by ministerial advisor for economy and development La Ode Ahmad Pidana Bolombo, asserted that North Bengkulu Regency is a level II region within the territory of level I region of South Sumatera based on the a quo law. Then, Bengkulu Province was formed in 1967 under Law No. 9 of 1967 on the formation of Bengkulu Province, whose territory include North Bengkulu Regency, South Bengkulu Regency, Rejang Lebong Regency, and Bengkulu City. Meanwhile, Lebong Regency was proliferad from Rejang Lebong Regency under Law No. 39 on the formation of Lebong Regency and Kepahiang Regency.

“Therefore, the formation of Lebong Regency is in line with the mandate of Article 18 of the 1945 Constitution—which states that the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia shall be divided into provinces and the provinces shall be divided into regencies and cities, where each province, regency, and city shall have a regional administration, stipulated by virtue of law—and Article 25A of the 1945 Constitution, which states that the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia shall be a state with many islands characterized by Nusantara archipelago whose borders and rights shall be stipulated by virtue of law,” Bolombo said.

The 1945 Constitution, he asserted, provides exception on government to the central government as long as it is stipulated by law. As such, the arrangement in the a quo law is an open legal policy.

“The a quo law is in line with Article 18 of the 1945 Constitution, which regulates the implementation of autonomy, in this case of Bengkulu with the formation of Lebong Regency,” he added.

Bolombo also said that some of the territory of Lebong Regency had come from part of Rejang Lebong, which consisted of North Lebong, Central Lebong, Rimbo Pengadang, South Lebong, and Lebong Atas Subdistricts as stipulated in Article 2 of Law No. 39 of 2003. The boundaries between Lebong and North Bengkulu Regencies were clear and the Minister of Home Affairs had had the authority to determine the borders of Lebong Regency in order to ensure administrative order in Lebong and North Bengkulu Regencies.

The Government stressed that the Petitioner’s argument that the a quo law did not regulate clearly the administrative borders of North Bengkulu was irrelevant and legally groundless. It asserted that the issuance of Law No. 39 of 2003, Law No. 23 of 2014, and the Regulation of the Minister of Affairs (Permendagri) No. 20 of 2015, the borders between Lebong and North Bengkulu Regencies has had a clear legal basis for implementing the administration and it has provided legal certainty for governance in order to ensure that public services run optimally. This, it asserted, is in line with Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution.

Also read:

Lebong Regency Govt Questions Certainty of Borders 

Petitioner’s Legal Team Reveals Lebong-North Bengkulu Territorial Dispute 

At the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, the Petitioner asserted that Article 1 point 10 of the Law on the Establishment of North Bengkulu Regency and its elucidation had harmed them, as it resulted in the loss of the entire Padang Bano Subdistrict as well as some of 18 villages in 6 other subdistricts.

The Petitioner claimed to be able to prove that Padang Bano Subdistrict and some of 18 villages in 6 other subdistricts belong to them based on a Law on the regency’s establishment, given that the residents of those areas had belonged to the electoral district of Lebong Regency in the presidential, DPR (House of Representatives), DPD (Regional Representatives Council), and DPRD (Regional Legislative Council) elections in 2009 and 2014, not to North Bengkulu Regency. 

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Wednesday, September 06, 2023 | 14:54 WIB 123