Monday, January 28, 2013

Kulon Progo Farm or Die: SG and PAG, The Stowaway of Yogyakarta Special State Planning Act

All this time, arguments over Yogyakarta's Special State status has been too focused on deciding who should be the rightful Governor and Vice Governor. The issue, in my opinion, is too confined. Because the thing that more characterizes the feudalism of Special Region of Yogyakarta (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta/DIY), is the existence of million hectares of the imperial land in this province, known as Sultanate Ground (Sultanaat Gronden/SG) and Pakualamanaat Ground(Pakualamanaat Gronden/PAG).

SG and PAG in DIY are really large streches of land, because based on the Empire's Paper of the Sultanate(Rijksblad Kasultanan) No. 16/1918 and Rijksblad Kadipaten No.18/1918, all the land in which ownership (eigendom) cannot be proven as belonging to someone else is automatically owned by the sultanate and the resident governor.

Thousands of acres of SG in DIY is now concentrated in Yogyakarta, Bantul and Sleman (Kabare, Juli 2007, page 14-15). Beside SG, there's also PAG, and that land is concentrated in Kulon Progo. Both of the lands are the income source of those two Palaces, beside their shares in Hotel Ambarukmo, Ambarukmo Plaza, Saphire Square, and Merapi golf court.

The management of the palace land is under jurisdiction of Paniti Kismo's office, which is directed by GBPH Hadiwinoto, the Sultan Hamengkubuwono X's younger brother, the honorific Penghageng Kawedan Hageng Wahono Sarto Kriyo.(1)

The legalisation of SG and PAG is done through the Yogyakarta Special State Planning Act, and it has been emphasized many times by the Sultan HB X.(2)

The Business assets:

Similiar with imperial families in Europe, the SG and PAG land parcels become a business capital – and social activity – for most of the Sultan Hamengku Bowono X and Paku Alam X big family members. Between the Sultan's younger brother and sister, the one that stands out most is GBPH Prabukusumo. He is the head director of PT Karka Adisatya Mataram, one of the biggest outdoor advertisment companies in Yogyakarta, and the Main Comissary of JogjaTV.(3)

The oldes daugheter of Sri Sultan, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu/GKR (The Great Queen) Pembayun, is the most active in taking advantage of the imperial land inherited by the Giyanti Agreement in 1755. Beside owning sugar factory (Madukismo), she directs a cigarette factory labelled Inner Palace(Kraton Dalem) which has it's own tobacco farm in Ganjuran, Bantul; she also has a silk worm farm PT Yarsilk Gora Mahottama in Karangtengah village, Imogiri district, Bantul; and also a shrimp farm PT Indokor Bangun Desa in Kuwaru village, Bantul.(4)

But the “diamond in the crown” of the business kingdom of the palace's family is the iron sand mining company; PT Jogja Magasa Mining (JMM) in Kulon Progo. In the company, Gusti Pembayun and her uncle, GBPH Joyokusumo, are the commissaries, while the Main Director position is held by BRM Hario Seno from Puri Pakualaman.(5)

This company merged with Indo Mines Ltd. From Perth, West Australia, and become PT Jogja Magasa Iron (JMI). They plan to mine the iron sand of the Kulon Progo seashore, in an area of 22 kilometers, and then process it to be pig iron and export it to Australia. Not long afterwards, the Sultan stated that he wants to be a candidate for the country's president, and PT JMI sign the working contract for the iron sand mining in Bugel seashore, Kulon Progo, for 30 years.(6)

Ever since, the struggle of Kulon Progo seashore people that is organized via PPLP(Paguyuban Petani Kulon Progo/Kulon Progo Sea Shore Collective) has increased in intensity. 21 June 2009, for example as many as 38 trucks carrying 5000 seashore farmers of Kulon Progo travelled to Gadjah Mada University (UGM) to protest that UGM forestry and social-political researchers had sided with the mining company and recommended the land reclamation by the mining corporation.

Rather than researching revolutionary farming techniques that have been implemented by Kulon Progo seashore farmers, who have successfully transformed the black beach sand into a fertile land to farm chilli and various other crops, those researchers from UGM accepted the mining plan as if it were an inevitability, despite the fact that the merge-project of Indo-Australia is against the environmental and space design law of Kulon Progo resident.

Besides, the mining plan in Kulon Progo also shows how big is the dependence of the Jogjakarta palace's family business to their feudal lands, which supposedly erased already, if the royal family members honor the UUPA (Main Agrarian Act) 1960 made by Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX (the father of the current Sultan), in 24 September 1984. Instead of doing land reform agenda that was planned by the UUPA 1960, the controversial SG and PAG is trying to be legalized with slipping it in Yogyakarta's Special State Planning Act.(7)

That's why, all of the fraction in the Republic of Indonesia House of Representatives who are debating about Yogyakarta's Special State Planning Act passage per passage, better not only being focused on the mechanism of changing the Governor and it's Vice, but rather more focusing on the implications of legalizing million hectares of this swapraja land.**

-George Junus Aditjondro

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George Junus Aditjondro has been researching about agricultural reform issues since being involved in establishing Sekretariat Bina Desa in the 1980's. This article was previously published in Sinar Harapan, 31 January 2011

Sources :

1.Kabare, July 2006, page 60-62
2.Kabare, July 2007, page 13
3.Kabare, July 2005, page 25
4.Kompas, 11/8/2003 ; Kabare, June 2006, page 24 ; Agrina, 14/4/2008 ; Bemas Cyber News, 1/8/2008 ; Jawa Pos, 30/7/2009
5.Akte Pendirian/ Establishment Letter, PT JMM, 6 October 2005
6.Koran Tempo, 12/11/2008
7.See Article 12 chapter VIII of the Yogyakarta Special State Planning Act

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