MEDAN: Agrarian and Spatial Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil has blamed Indonesia’s poor land-certification system for conflicts occurring across the country, including in Medan, North Sumatra, where there have been serious problems.
“Land conflicts occur very easily here,” Sofyan said when distributing land certificates in Medan on Tuesday.
The higher the price of a piece of land, the more easily a conflict arises because much land is still uncertified, he added.
It is estimated that 80 million parcels of land across the country remain uncertified.
When a piece of land had no certificate of ownership, Sofyan said, it attracted land syndicates and fraudsters using fake documents, causing disputes with the people who inhabited the land.
Therefore, the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry aims to have all land certified by 2025, he added.
Medan Mayor Dzulmi Eldin said land conflicts occurring in the city were relatively complicated and had existed since the early years of Indonesia’s independence. At that time, the government initiated a national landreclamation program in an attempt to seize assets from the Dutch.
According to the North Sumatra chapter for the Commission for Missing People and Victims of Violence (Kontras North Sumatra), land conflicts often lead to brawls and even fatalities.
One example of a deadly land conflict involved concessions formerly managed by state-owned plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara II, which measures nearly 6,000 hectares.