Jakarta, InfoPublik - Home Affairs Ministry (MOHA) will conduct an investigation on the alleged sale of a number of islands.
"We must investigate it first to find the truth,” said MOHA's territorial administration director-general Syafrizal in a statement on Monday, 8 February.
According to Syafrizal, there is no regulation that stipulates someone may have a whole island. However, management by the private sector is allowed on a limited basis.
“In accordance with the provisions, a small island may not be owned completely. It can only be managed by 70 percent in maximum,” he said.
Syafrizal underlined that the National Land Agency (BPN) never issued a certificate for small island ownership. Small islands are considered conservation areas managed by the state.
"Small islands which are part of conservation areas are managed by the state. Those who want to manage the area outside of the conservation must apply for a permit to the government,” he said.
He underlined any violation is subject to criminal punishment.
Previously, Gili Tangkong Island in West Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province were allegedly sold on the Private Island Online website.
The website also offered a number of other Indonesian islands, namely Tojo Una-Una Island in Central Sulawesi; Panjang Island in NTB; Ayam, Kembung, and Yudan Islands in Riau Islands; Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT); and Gili Nanggu and A-Frames Islands in West Sumatra.
(Photo: Home Affairs Ministry, Writer: Eko Budiono, Editor: Taofiq Rauf, Translator: Filmon Leonard Warouw)