THE Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Law and Security assesses and agrees that Banda Island, Central Maluku Regency, Maluku Province is a national tourism area

According to the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Mahfud MD in Ambon said that I heard the story from Governor Murad Ismail and saw the historical background of Banda Island, so I agreed if the group of islands became a national tourism area.

“Aside from being a national tourist area, the island of banda is also suitable to be a national history museum, because it holds various relics of the 16th century,” he said.

He added, I considered it natural that the Banda Island region which was world-famous and became the target of countries in the world in the 16th century because of the wealth of spices in the form of nutmeg and cloves.

“Moreover, Banda Island has also been a place of exile for the figure of Proclaimer Mohammad Hatta and several freedom fighters such as Sutan Syahrir, Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo, and Iwa Kusuma Sumantri,” Mahmud MD noted.

He explained, later if the COVID-19 pandemic was resolved and the situation had begun to be normal I would invite the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama, to visit and see the condition of Banda Island. Maluku, with its archipelago characteristics and has 1,340 islands, certainly has many beautiful places, especially natural beach tourism which is not inferior to other regions in the country and even the world.

Meanwhile Maluku Governor Murad Ismail stated that Banda Island is currently proposed to the Central Government to be designated as one of the National Strategic Areas for tourism, because of its background in the history of national independence, in addition to being rich in various potential natural resources, both fisheries and marine tourism and history .

Moreover, according to the Governor, Rhun Island, which is one of the Banda Islands, was exchanged with Manhattan, the United States in 1667. The exchange of Rhun Island and Manhattan was contained in the Treaty of Breda (Treaty of Breda) signed between England, Holland, France and Denmark – Norway.

Under the agreement, the Dutch were willing to relinquish their territories in Nieuw Netherland, America, or currently known as Manhattan Island, in exchange for Rhun Island in the Banda Islands in order to maintain its monopoly of world spice trade in the 17th century.

Manahattan Island, located south of the tip of the Hudson River, became one of the five parts of the city that formed New York, due to a fierce and bloody struggle between Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) and British troops in the early 17th century led by Captain Nathaniel Courthope.

The Maluku Provincial Government in 2016 proposed the Banda Islands to be designated a Tourism Special Economic Zone to the central government, but until now it has not been realized.

“I hope the Banda Islands development proposal, which was once designated a World Heritage by UNESCO, can be approved by the central government, so that it will have a double effect on development progress and improve the welfare of the people in the islands and surrounding islands,” Governor Murad Ismail finished. [antaranews/photo special]