Central Maluku is one of the largest regencies in the Maluku province. Apart from encompassing the vast central region of Seram Island, the area of Central Maluku extends to a small portion of Ambon Island and the surrounding smaller islands. This is not surprising considering that Central Maluku is one of the oldest regencies in the Maluku province, with Masohi as its capital city.
Masohi, which means “mutual cooperation” in the local language, is a densely populated city with fairly adequate facilities. While it may not be on par with Ambon, Masohi has great potential to surpass it in terms of development. During the past conflict in Maluku, Masohi was one of the cities that experienced tragic consequences. However, most of its residents have now realized the futility of maintaining intergroup conflicts for the progress and improvement of Masohi.
On a sunny day, I toured the city of Masohi using a motorcycle taxi (ojek). Although other modes of transportation such as public minivans (angkot) and a few bicycle rickshaws (becak) are available on the city’s small streets, I opted for an ojek as it was convenient and easy to navigate when I got lost. Additionally, riding an ojek allowed me to feel the refreshing breeze, considering the generally dry and hot climate in Masohi.
The city of Masohi is still in the development phase. The population growth in the city can be observed through various indicators such as births, deaths, and migration in and out of the city. However, despite the challenges, the diverse population of Masohi presents remarkable potential. The influx of migrants from other provinces and islands such as Buton and Java adds a healthy competitive atmosphere to the local population in the development of Masohi. This district city, established in 1957, has been gradually progressing. It is even projected by some that Masohi has the potential to become the capital city of the Maluku province, replacing the increasingly congested Ambon.
The hot weather did not deter me from further exploring Masohi. Several prominent buildings have already been established in the city, including government buildings, trade centers, and improved residential areas. The progress of Masohi is evident, even to someone like me who was visiting the city for the first time. I encountered no difficulties in adapting to the city’s atmosphere, and finding accommodation was incredibly easy due to the wide availability of lodging options in Masohi.
In terms of tourism, Masohi also offers several potential attractions. Its varied topography, ranging from highlands to beaches, provides numerous destination alternatives. Notable places include Tanjung Kouako Beach, Bukit Karai, and the bustling shopping center in the city. Moreover, Masohi serves as a stopover for tourists heading to North Seram, particularly the famous Ora Beach that has attracted both domestic and international tourists.
Masohi is an exemplary city that continues to progress in Central Maluku. With its strengths and weaknesses, the city’s residents and government persist in their efforts to create an impressive capital district. True to its name, which means “mutual cooperation,” Masohi demonstrates the importance of collective efforts in development to achieve shared prosperity in the land of the Maluku kings.