President Jokowi formally proposes to relocate the seat of government to another island entirely
Indonesia’s capital will likely move from Java to Borneo.
The province of East Kalimantan has been confirmed as the prime candidate for the archipelagic nation’s new seat of government, land planning minister Sofyan Djalil revealed Thursday, although he stopped short of naming a specific city.
“Yes, East Kalimantan, but we don’t know where specifically,” Djalil was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Borneo, known for having one of the world’s largest rainforests, will thus be home to a 3,000-hectare area being masterplanned as the initial phase of the future capital.
Djalil’s comments come on the heels of President Joko Widodo’s formal proposal last week to relocate the capital from Jakarta outside congested Java island.
Calls to transfer the capital are gaining traction as Jakarta contends with intensifying overpopulation woes. The metropolis is currently home to at least 10 million and constantly suffers from traffic gridlocks and infrastructural problems.
Speculation in the Indonesian media has been rife as to the whereabouts of the new capital. Some point to the towns of Samboja or Bukit Soeharto as likely candidates.
The new capital is likely to be a port city, according to a statement by Bambang Brodjonegoro, the head of the national development planning agency Bappenas.
Still, the government has reached “no decision yet” on the future capital’s location, stressed Kennedy Simanjuntak, deputy chief of Bappenas. The agency estimates the relocation will cost the country’s coffers around USD33 billion.
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