Bengkulu Governor Talks Lebong Regency’s Borders

Bengkulu governor’s legal counsel Jecky Haryanto testifying at a material judicial review hearing of the Law on the Formation of Lebong Regency, Thursday (9/7/2023). Photo by MKRI/Panji.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The fourth 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 Thursday, September 21, 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.

At the hearing presided over by Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other eight constitutional justices, Bengkulu governor Rohidin Mersyah testified as a Relevant Party through legal counsel Jecky Haryanto. He explained that Lebong Regency was formed by part of Rejang Lebong Regency, comprising North Lebong, Central Lebong, Rimbo Pengadang, South Lebong, and Lebong Atas Subdistricts as set forth in Article 2 of Law No. 39 of 2003.

In 2014, according to his authority, the Relevant Party as Bengkulu governor had made efforts to settle the borders issue of North Bengkulu and Lebong Regencies and implemented the mandate of Law No. 39 of 2003 and Law No. 23 of 2014 by issuing letter No. 135.6/234/b.1/2014 on April 7, 2014 to the Ministry of Home Affairs so that a ministerial regulation (Permendagri) can be issued relating to the bases for a proposal of topography map side Muara Aman and the earth map of Indonesia as shown in the minutes of agreement prior to the proliferation of Lebong Regency dated April 9, May 6, and June 9, 2002; the memorandum of understanding on confirmation of territorial borders dated February 5, 2007; the minute of meeting on the agreement between the North Bengkulu Regency and the Lebong Regency confirmation teams dated June 20, 2008; as well as the letter of the Director-General of General Administration No. 136/3117/PUN dated October 16, 2013, Padang Banu Subdistrict and its villages were not registered.

He believes the Minister of Home Affairs had issued Regulation No. 20 of 2015 on the borders of North Bengkulu Regency, Bengkulu Province so that based on Law No. 39 of 2003, Law No. 23 of 2014, and Permendagri No. 2 of 2015, there are clear legal bases for the borders between North Bengkulu and Lebong Regencies in order to manage their administrative territories and provide legal certainty in their administrations so that public services run optimally. This, he asserted, is in line with Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution.

Through its regent, Lebong Regency had filed an objection to the material review of Permendagri No. 2 of 2015 to the Supreme Court. On December 8, 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed the objection.

Governor’s Follow-Up

On February 5, 2007, the government of North Bengkulu Regency, the regent, the House of Representatives (DPR) speaker, and the government of Lebong Regency—as witnessed by Bengkulu governor—signed an agreement on the confirmation of the borders between North Bengkulu and Lebong Regencies where the results of the determination of the zero point—facilitated by the provincial borders confirmation team—would be used as the basis for the borders confirmation by the Minister of Home Affairs.

As a follow-up to the agreement, on February 19, 2008, the confirmation team had a meeting on the borders between the two regencies, that Bengkulu police chief attended. An agreement was made as a result of the meeting, where three alternative borders were agreed on.

The governor followed up on this by facilitating borders issue settlement between the two regencies as shown in the minutes dated April 7, 2022.

Also read:

Lebong Regency Govt Questions Certainty of Borders 

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

Govt Asserts Formation of Lebong Regency in Line with Constitution 

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.

Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 16:20 WIB 129