The introduction of regional autonomy is believed to give more authority and power to the Bupati, the regency head as a part of the decentralisation process. The provincial governor is described to act as a co-ordinator. Under regional autonomy the Regency head, Bupati and the regency should have authority to decide policies for their region. This is a significant change in terms of decision and policy-making in contrast to the state administration system under the New Order. The Bupati had little say in policies and decisions made in Jakarta or the provincial capital. The Bupati of Lahat regency in South Sumatra Province, Hamata, told me that he would oppose policies made in Jakarta or Palembang if he found them unattractive to his regency (Map 12.1). In contrast, according to sources close to the governor of South Sumatra, Rosihan Arsyad has commented many
Despite the blurred nature of the 'co-oridnation' task in the hands of the governor and province, many regions have started lobbying and negotiating to create new provinces. Table 12.1 shows that three new provinces, Banten in West Java, Bangka-Belitung in South Sumatra and Gorontalo in North Sulawesi, have been officially formed. Furthermore, 11 other regions have aspirations to secede from mother provinces and negotiations are in progress. An Indonesian political analyst, Andi Malarangeng, states that the number of provinces could increase from 40 to 50 ('50 Provinsi, Realistiskah?', Kompas Online 7 February 2000).