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Progress or stupidity? Jokowi’s vision of Indonesia’s new capital | Infographic News

Medan, Indonesia – After Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced the surprise plan to relocate the country’s capital in his annual address on August 16, 2019, he outlined a great vision.

“Indonesia’s capital is not only a symbol of national identity, but also a symbol of national progress,” he said, a day before Indonesia celebrated its 74th anniversary of independence. “This is to achieve economic equality and justice.”

On Tuesday, Jokowi’s grand plan came closer to reality as parliament approved legislation to move Jakarta’s headquarters to Jakarta. East Kalimantan, the eastern part of Borneo, including issues such as finance and leadership.

Jakarta, a major city that has never been considered by the international community like Bangkok or Hanoi, is drowning out of the ground running, car-filled, smoky and crowded.

Under the relocation plan, 1.5 million of the city’s 11 million people have migrated to the forests of Indonesian Borneo for $ 32bn.

Jokowi has described the plot if he wants to “make our country like America,” comparing the power between Jarkarta and the new capital and the relationship between New York and Washington, DC.

“Java has also been burdened for a long time because it is home to about 60 percent of the Indonesian population and the country’s economic capital, which accounts for more than half of Indonesia’s total resources,” said Deasy Simandjuntak, ISEAS counterpart Yusof Ishak. Institute in Singapore, told Al Jazeera.

“The relocation of the country’s capital to Kalimantan is aimed at facilitating economic activities outside Java and helping to stabilize the economy, especially in East Indonesia.”

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says new state capital should be “a sign of national progress” [File: Beawiharta/Reuters]

The government says the location of the capital – near Balikpapan and the provincial capital Samarinda – will eliminate natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and tsunamis, even though Indonesia is on the Pacific Ring of Fire and will soon experience similar disasters across the country.

Aaron Opdyke, a human resources engineer at the University of Sydney’s School of Civil Engineering, doubted that the move would prevent the country from becoming one of the 10 countries that die in accidents.

“Often, governments jump at the chance to relocate in the hope that they can reduce the risk of disaster by simply reducing the risk of disaster,” Opdyke said. “We see over and over again that disasters are often manipulated by policymakers for political gain, without a clear understanding of the real causes of accidents.

On Monday, Indonesian planning minister Suharso Monoarfa announced the announcement the new capital will be called “Nusantara,” meaning “islands,” following Jokowi’s comment of about 80 names in question.

Jokowi is not the first Indonesian president to try to move the capital.

Plans to do so began in the 1950’s under Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno. Since then, other leaders including Soeharto and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia’s second and sixth president, have offered suggestions on how to deal with seemingly impossible problems.

The latest plan is to buy 40,000 hectares (98,842 acres) to relocate government officials, civil servants and security personnel such as police and soldiers.

About one-fifth of the $ 32bn must be paid by the state budget, state-owned enterprises, and other financial institutions to support the rest.

Although Herculean took action before him, Jokowi, often referred to as the “President of Infrastructure”, because of his preference for toll roads and dams, has been following his vision, even in the midst of disputes over the speedy implementation of the law. issues such as sexual violence and workers’ rights have been weakened for years.

“Before the bill was issued, some observers saw the similarities between the hasty discussions with the anti-Job Creation Law law enacted in October 2020, which many saw as less effective and more visible,” said Simandjuntak.

‘Breaking the Law’

In an open letter to the legislature prior to the enactment of the law, legal experts at Mulawarman University in Samarinda complained that the law had not received adequate and “wrong” views.

The letter, signed by Dean of Law Mahendra Putra Kurnia, stated that Nusantara would be governed by a person who is directly elected by the president every five years, an example that was “illegal and central.”

One of the rivals for the position is former Jakarta ambassador Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who was Jokowi’s ally when the two ran for office in 2012, with Jokowi winning the Jakarta leadership with Ahok as his deputy.

Ahok was jailed for two years in 2017 for blasphemy after being found guilty of blasphemy against the Quran.

Other criticisms of the migration system are the potential for displacement of Paser-Balik people, deforestation and the threat of native flora and fauna as well as endangered primates.

“Environmentalists have warned of potential damage to the area and forests that have already been disrupted by the activities of palm oil companies and mines,” said Simandjuntak. “All these problems must be carefully addressed.”

Despite the epidemic delays, construction work on the new city could begin as early as 2024, Jokowi’s second and final year.

If globalization is sustainable, the project will take years to complete.

Brasilia, which opened in 1960, was established 60 years after Brazil decided to relocate its headquarters from Rio de Janeiro. The Australian Parliament was opened in Canberra in 1927, but it was not until the 1950’s that several government departments moved to the city. Both cities have been criticized for years because of poorly designed and unsavory living conditions.

Critics also argue that Jakarta’s problems cannot be avoided.

“Whether the center is moving or not, Jakarta still needs to be repaired,” Elisa Sutanudjaja, director of the Rujak Center for Urban Studies in Jakarta, told Al Jazeera.

Sutanudjaja said Jakarta still needed to address a number of challenges including air pollution, soil erosion, lack of clean water and sanitation problems.

“And in the midst of a climate crisis like this, creating something new and bigger, adds a lot of gas to the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s not like moving to a new apartment and just selling an old one.”




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