TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Jokowi has officially decided to postpone the 2020 National Games Week, or PON 2020, in Papua to October 2021, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The sporting event, held once every four years, will be postponed to October 2021.
“The President has decided that PON 2020 in Papua, which was originally planned for October 2020, will be postponed to October 2021," said Minister of Youth and Sports Zainuddin Amali in a conference after a limited meeting with the President via teleconference, Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Zainuddin cited a number of considerations underlying the postponement, including the physical construction of the venues which are not yet finished, due to construction materials becoming unavailable. In addition, construction materials for development and sports equipment for the national games imported from outside Papua have also been hindered.
"In addition, some of the workers who do construction there are expatriates from outside Papua," said Zainuddin.
In addition, the Papua Provincial Government has also stated that they have received the result of President Joko Widodo’s cabinet meeting, on the postponement of PON 2020 Papua to October 2021.
"Results of the cabinet meeting have been received, now we are also preparing for a press conference led by the Deputy Governor (Klemen Tinal)," said Papua Regional Acting Secretary, Ridwan Rumasukin, when contacted by Tempo, on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
As the Primary Organizer (PB) of PON 2020, the Papua Provincial Government had previously lettered President Jokowi regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the preparation process of PON 2020 Papua.
Papua Regional Secretary Acting Assistant II for Economic Affairs and People's Welfare, Muhammad Musa'ad, revealed that the letter was also forwarded to the Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian and the Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali. “The message was sent last week,” Musa'ad said when contacted by Tempo, Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
The letter, continued Musa'ad, detailed the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak to the preparation of venues in Papua, initially scheduled for completion in June 2020. “Due to the pandemic, (the preparations) for a number of venues have been disrupted," Musa’ad added.
IRSYAN HASYIM | DIO SUHENDA (INTERN TRANSLATOR)