Regional Autonomy is the reintegration of diverse political entities into a single political entity. Regional autonomy is decentralized decentralization of political governance into outlying autonomous regions. It is an approach that promotes the creation of a plurinational polity through the use of federalism. Examples of past disputes over regional autonomy include: the Frenchraine, Walloon, Sardinia, and Cypriot independence movements. The international community does not view these as acceptable practices; however, each region still practices some form of regional autonomy within its own country
Regional autonomy in Indonesia has been used by the major ethnic Chinese communities to promote local control over policy making. Most of the Indonesian cities have strong local governments, which in turn act as an agent to implement the regional autonomy policies of the central government. The central government considers most regions to be of local concern; that is why they have limited powers to negotiate with non-government organizations. Regional autonomy is also used in some form or other in the form of the Suharto System of government. Suharto was an Indonesian governor who had control of the Indonesian people’s regional autonomy policy.
Many citizens believe that regional autonomy is beneficial for the local population because it gives them greater control over their resources and economy. However, regional autonomy policies have often been used by powerful regional parties to take control of certain regions. The practice was discontinued in 1997. The central government fears that if this happens, the people who live in these regions will demand more power from the central government.
The governments of the Philippines and Malaysia follow similar practices when developing their regional policies concerning autonomy. Both provinces and municipalities elect leaders to serve as the representatives of their regions. Once elected, they are assigned the powers and duties of their office, which include the powers to make laws for the regions in charge. Regional policies regarding regional autonomy are incorporated in the Constitution of both provinces and municipalities.
Some local governments have sought assistance from the central government to support their regional autonomy agenda. For instance, the Philippines implemented a law in 1998 that allows the Manila region to implement its own local economic development programs. Likewise, the Malaysian governing council made a motion to pass a regional autonomy motion at its upcoming session. Although the motion was not passed, many local governments are trying to impose such a policy. They believe that a separate administrative structure will allow them to promote economic development.
Regional autonomy may be a good idea for a region, but some people believe that it is a dangerous move toward separation from the central government. There have been several cases when strong rulers have lost their grip on the region, and they were forced to cede control to the central government. If the regional autonomy movement gains enough popularity, there is a big possibility that it could completely split the country into two parts – giving each group control over their own local government. Regional autonomy may be a brilliant idea for many regions, but its detrimental effects to the country’s unity and long term interests need to be properly examined by the government and society.