TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Sudirman Saad, director general of marine, coasts and small islands at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said the government allows foreign investors to help develop the coastal islands in Indonesia.
"Foreign investors may come as long as they abide to the law on the use of small islands in Indonesia," he said in a release Tempo received on Monday, September 1.
According to Sudirman, island management policies must be in accordance with Law 1/2014 on the development of eco-tourism, which states that business activities must not damage the environment and social order. In addition, tight processes and conditions can reduce the risks of misuse—especially those that could harm Indonesia's sovereignty.
Despite the consent, Sudirman said, the development of coastal islands remains a priority for domestic investors.
Coastal island investments became an issue after website privateislandsonline.com advertised a number of Indonesia's small islands for sale. The islands that were put up for sale are Kiluan Island in Lampung, and Kumbang Island in West Sumatra.
Sudirman said that the two islands are still within Indonesia's sovereign territory and are not for sale.
"We will have a talk with the site manager of privateIslandonline.com to find out who are responsible for the ad," Sudirman said.
YOLANDA RYAN ARMINDYA