Papuan Council Members Stage Protest Over Salary

The Jakarta Post - Members of the Papuan People's Council (MRP)
staged a rally in front of their office on Friday demanding the
payment of overdue salaries.

"The 39 of us MRP members have yet to get our salaries," council
member Yusuf Simonapendi said.

"We are not that stupid to take bank loans without the guarantee
of sufficient income."

A gubernatorial decree issued in 2006 stipulates that MRP
members are to be paid a monthly salary of Rp 38 million
(US$3,254) each. Members have taken loans from Bank Papua to
cover costs.

"We do not have cars and houses although we were installed by
home affairs minister as Papua officials just like the
governor," Yusuf said.

"It is the provincial administration's responsibility to fulfil
our needs because the law says we must hold office in provincial
capital Jayapura and not our regions of origins."