Yogyakarta bill expected to provide clarity on palace grounds

The Yogyakarta National Land Agency (BPN) has suggested that the bill on Yogyakarta’s special status (RUUK) must give clarity to the land ownership status of the Sultan and Pakualaman Grounds.

The agency head Muhammad Adi Darmawan said that with the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 33/1984 on the implementation of Agrarian Law No. 5/1960, the latter had been fully implemented in Yogyakarta province.

However, the status of Yogyakarta Palace and Pakualaman as owners of these grounds, as stipulated in Law No. 3/1950 on the Yogyakarta Special Region, has not yet been accommodated in the Agrarian Law.

As a result, the certificates of ownership for grounds have not yet been issued.

In a bid to avoid deadlock in the certification of these areas, Adi said that both Yogyakarta Palace and Puro Pakualaman principality as institutions needed to be determined as the legal owners of the lands
in question.

“This will be a solution,” Adi told members of the House of Representatives’ Commission II overseeing agrarian affairs, during an official visit to the National Land College (STPN) in Yogyakarta earlier this week.

The lawmakers visited the college in a bid to collect input for the completion of the RUUK, which the House’s Commission II had been deliberating and apparently nearing finalization.

The status of the palace and principality with regard to the ownership of Sultan and Pakualaman Grounds has been among the issues that has made the deliberation of the bill tough and prolonged.

Adi said his office’s suggestion was based on both juridical, philosophical, sociological and historical considerations.

Sociologically, according to Adi, the public and bureaucracy of Yogyakarta acknowledged the existence of both the Sultan and Pakualaman Grounds.

Similarly, juridical and historical perspectives as shown in a 1918 Rijksblad showed that the lands had been owned by the palace and principality since they were established in 1755 and 1813 respectively. Philosophically, he added, most of the lands had been used for public interest.

“We need to have local wisdom to accommodate this in the bill,” Adi said.

Based on a 1993 inventory, according to Adi, the Sultan and Pakualaman Grounds have a combined area of 3,675 hectares, or 1.154 percent of the province’s total area of 318,580 hectares.

The rest have been converted into private ownerships, building use permits, business use permits and others.

Agrarian law expert Maria Sumardjono of Gadjah Mada University welcomed the suggestion given by the BPN Yogyakarta office, saying that she had suggested the same solution.

She said that factually, there were lands belonging to Yogyakarta Palace and Puro Pakualaman in the province, which accounted for why giving a clear status of ownership on the lands to both institutions would be the right solution.

“That way both Yogyakarta Palace and Puro Pakualaman will also have the rights and obligations over the lands they own,” Maria said.

She also reminded that the statuses of legal subjects, in this case the palace and principality, were as institutions and not as individuals. “This means that it is the institutions of Yogyakarta Palace and Puro Pakualaman that have the ownership over the lands,” she said.

Meanwhile, responding to Adi’s suggestions, Commission II member Ignasius Mulyono expressed hope that the BPN was serious in studying land problems in Yogyakarta province. That way, it could provide clear, rigid and implementable input on the issues.

“The inputs can serve as reference indefinately,” Ignasius said.

Koes Moertiyah, another member of the commission, agreed and said that clarity was needed with regard to ownership as without it, the custom rights of both YogyakartaPalace and Puro Pakualaman would also disappear.


Source: Bambang Muryanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Archipelago | Sat, July 21 2012, 9:06 AM


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