Hundreds of people attend the function with Merauke regent Romanus Mbaraka
NGGUTI – “I’d like to pass this message to the Marind community and especially the landowners in Maam: if you want to make progress, you must have an open mind and heart.”
This call was made by Merauke regent Romanus Mbaraka during a dialogue with hundreds of locals in Maam Hamlet, Nakias Subvillage, Ngguti District, Merauke Regency Tuesday (12/5). “The Marind people must have an identity. You can take me as an example. I never hesitate when making decisions. When I ran for election, I stood by this principle, and I decided on my own what I wanted to do. And that’s because I want to change my life,” he said.
He could not even listen to others’ opinions, the regent admitted. Just like him, the Marinds must have a resolve to move forward.
“If we live with our own people, our own community, we can only perceive the world through what’s in front of us, the village. But when we take in outsiders, we get to realize how big and vast our world is.”
This was what he meant by “opening the mind and heart”. One cannot continue being a big fish in a small pond if he or she wants to get anywhere, he said.
“[While I’m saying this], let me remind you not to listen to people who come for a while, those who are unknowns and who will backstab you, because as soon as they get what they’re looking for, they will leave and never return.”
He ensured that regional developments would proceed even after he steps down next year. “I want to make it clear that the government does not want to trouble anyone. The Bible says governing authorities are God's representatives on Earth,” Mbaraka said.
Nobody in this world can do everything alone; only God can, he stressed. There will always be someone better. Also, we must focus on one goal in life.
“I came here with the Jakartans so you could have a better life. When companies grow, communities grow as well. That’s what you all need to understand and remember.”
He reminded everyone not to disturb companies’ operations and provoke trouble. Investments will not stop flowing into Papua, and this is guaranteed by the state.
“I want to ask you something. Until when are we going to complain and stage protests? Instead of growing, we are shrinking. Remember, we need to think about the future,” he concluded.