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Resident of Uninhabited Indonesian Island Puts the Area on Sale

January 30, 2021, 10.56 PM - Indonesian authorities are investigating the sale of the uninhabited island of Lantigiang, a part of the Selayar islands chain off South Sulawesi province, after one of its inhabitants put the island for sale with the asking price of Rp. 900 million [$64,170.54].  

Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency spokesman Indra Gunawan said he is still verifying the news, which broke after one Syamsu Alam proposed the sale and found a buyer who made a down payment of Rp. 10 million [$713.01].

Asserting ownership


"Indonesia's islands are not owned by any one individual, nor should they be bought and sold between persons. This is stated in the Ministry's Ministerial Regulation No. 17 of 2016," Indra asserted to on Saturday, January 30.

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“[The regulation] determined how many percent [of the islands] can be controlled [by the government], how many percent can be allocated to the public, and how many percent are protected. The regulation states that nobody is allowed to restrict access to any islands."

The Head of the Jinato Region II National Park Management, Nur Aisyah Amnur, verified the Lantigiang Island's standing as an uninhabited island. "Lantigiang island is part of the Taka Bonerate National Park," he added. "I can also verify that Syamsu Alam made the deal." 

On its part, the Selayar Island Police Precinct are investigating the sale of Lantigiang Island in by Syamsu. who claimed to have rights to the island. It was sold for Rp900 million.

“Syamsu claimed that he inherited the island from his grandmother. As such, he was given a certificate of ownership by the village secretariat,” said Selayar Police Precinct spokesman Police Inspector Second Class Hasan. 

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"Syamsu felt that the certficate provides him with sufficient grounds to sell the 10-hectare island to Asdianti, his prospective buyer." 

Further Investigation

Hasan added that the police has questioned a number of witnesses, including Arsyad, the head of Jinato Village. "If we detect that the transaction is fraudulent, then we will move up the investigation from preliminary inquiries to a full investigation," he noted. 

Lantigiang Island is renowned for its pristine white sand beaches and clear water. Its isolated location made it an ideal habitat for marine turtles to lay their eggs. 

(Writer: Dandy Bayu Bramasta | Editor: Inggried Dwi Wedhaswary, David Oliver Purba)


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