COORDINATING Minister for Politics, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, accentuated that foreign nationals cannot own land or islands in Indonesia.

“All land on Indonesian soil can only be owned by Indonesian citizens (WNI). Based on the 1945 Constitution, land, water, and natural resources are controlled by the state and used for the greatest prosperity of the people, with regulated usage rights,” he noted in a press release here, Thursday (12/22).

During his visit to the Zero Kilometer Monument in Sabang, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Province, on Wednesday, the minister was keen to underline that the Indonesian government remained resolute and bound by the Constitution to protect all parts of Indonesia.

“This is also a strong reminder that all of Indonesia’s territory, including its islands, must be utilized in order to be productive for economic development especially, but there are limitations that no island, no matter how small or big, is bought and/or resold by foreign parties or foreign investors,” he explained.

However, a person can have business rights to be used by foreign capital, but with certain limits, the minister affirmed.

“For activities, such as investment, we already have the usage restriction. The land will be fully controlled by the state and is not allowed to be transferred to other hands,” Mahfud remarked.

Along with Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian, who also serves as head of the National Border Management Agency (BNPP), Mahfud will conduct data collection of islands throughout Indonesia.

“The work starts today with our visit to Sabang, as the western outermost region in Indonesia. Along with the Ministry of Home Affairs and BNPP, we will conduct data collection throughout Indonesia,” he stated.

Indonesia has 17,504 islands, of which 17,400 are islands that cover an area of over 10 thousand square kilometers, while the remaining 111 islands are small islands that are attached to large islands. [antaranews/photo special]