Riots In Rempang Batam – Chronology of Clashes between Residents and Officials on Rempang Island, Batam Saturday, September 9 2023 | 01:30 WIB Suci Amaliyah Contributor Download PDF Jakarta, NU Online Riots broke out in Rempang, Batam City, Riau Islands on Thursday (7/8/2023) afternoon.
Joint officers from the National Police, TNI, Ditpam Batam Business Agency (BP), and Satpol PP were involved in a clash with Rempang residents. The clash occurred during measurements for the development of the area by the Batam Concession Agency (BP).
Riots In Rempang Batam, the commotion started with a demonstration by residents opposing the development of the area. The residents’ quarrel with security officers prompted the authorities to fire tear gas. The situation became increasingly unconducive, residents ran, and pushing and shoving between officers and residents occurred. From this incident, it was reported that several school students were taken to hospital due to being hit by tear gas carried by the wind, because the location was not far from where the commotion occurred. Also read: Farmers ask to form an Agrarian Conflict Resolution Commission. In the video uploaded by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) via its Twitter account, a police fleet can be seen spraying water cannons at the location of the clash.
Uniformed officers and residents appeared to be gathered together. A voice was heard from the toa asking the residents to step back. At the end of the video circulating, a number of residents were arrested. YLBHI Chairman Muhammad Isnur said the video was obtained by YLBHI from local residents. The agrarian conflict started with a relocation plan.
The agrarian conflict on Rempang Island started when the Batam Entrepreneurs Agency (BP) planned to relocate the entire population of Rempang. This was done to support investment development plans on Rempang Island. According to the Batam Concession Agency (BP), the Rempang Island area will be included in the National Strategic Project (PSN) in 2023 as Rempang Eco City. PSN 2023 is contained in the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Decree Number 7 of 2023 concerning the Third Amendment to the Regulation of the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia Number 7 of 2021 concerning Changes to the List of National Strategic Projects.
Also read Letter from Urutsewu to PBNU and all Nahdliyin regarding land conflicts. This area is estimated to receive investment of IDR 381 trillion by 2080. In the development plan, Rempang Island, which covers an area of approximately 17,000 hectares, will be developed into an industrial, trade and tourist area. The aim is to boost economic growth and increase Indonesia’s competitiveness with Malaysia and Singapore.
The seven zones that will later be developed include industrial zones, agro-tourism zones, residential and commercial zones, tourism zones, forest zones and solar power plants, wildlife and nature zones and cultural heritage zones. In fact, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia is targeting the development of the Rempang Eco City area to absorb up to 306,000 workers by 2080.
In a written statement, BP Batam said that the development of Rempang Island began with investment by a leading glass manufacturer from China since the end of July. Companies that are committed to investing around IDR 175 trillion will build downstream facilities for quartz sand and silica sand as well as a supply chain ecosystem for the glass and solar panel industry.
“The signing of the collaboration with Xinyi Group was witnessed directly by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, and the President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Xi Jinping,” said the Head of BP Batam-Medan as reported by Antara.
The indigenous community rejects PSN Rempang Eco City. The indigenous community of Rempang Island who live in 16 old villages reject the relocation of the Eco City development. Residents consider their village to have strong historical and cultural values, even before Indonesia’s independence.
They firmly refuse to relocate the area. Chairman of the Rempang and Galang Local Indigenous Community (Keramat) Association, Gerisman Ahmad, on several occasions emphasized that the village residents did not reject development, but refused to be relocated. Residents invited the government to carry out development outside the residents’ villages.
“There are at least 16 resident villages in the Rempang Island area, we want these villages not to be relocated,” he said.
He claimed that the residents of Rempang and Galang, consisting of the Malay tribe, the Orang Laut tribe and the Orang Darat tribe, had lived on the island at least more than a century ago. “These villages have existed since 1834, under the Riau Lingga kingdom,” said Gerisman.
Since 1834, said Gerisman, the state has never been present for the local indigenous people in Rempang. They never got the legality of the land even though it had been submitted. “Suddenly now our village wants to be built,” he said. Explanation from the National Police Chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, explaining the clash that occurred between joint forces and residents on Rempang Island, Batam, Riau Islands.