Batam (ANTARA News) – The governemnt has named 1014 out of 1050 isles in the province of Riau Islands in Sumatra that still had no names.
“The names would make them easy to detect and prevent them from being illegally sold,” the province`s second assistant for administrative affairs, Muhkhtaruddin, said here on Thursday.
He said before giving a name to each of the isles, a team of the ministry of home affairs and the provincial administration had recorded their location as well as size.
He said the isles were named after local trees, animals or given names already familiar to the local population.
He said the provincial administration would popularize the names among the people in the region immediately in the hope that they would become more aware of the existence of the isles and would not sell them.
Batam deputy mayor Ria Saptarika said the people would not so easily sell the isles if they were aware of their existence and cared for them.
Some isles in the province might already have been illegally sold to foreigners including the Segayang isle which was reported to have been sold at Rp55 million.
Ria said the capability of the local administration to monitor the condition of the isles was limited because of their huge number. She said the possibility to sell them was still there because their ownership was not clear.(*)
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