Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SBY: New capital city needs consideration

The President has again raised the issue of moving the country's capital from Jakarta to somewhere else nearby to avoid problems of overcrowding and congestion.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono said Jakarta was too crowded, and that any plans to develop a new location to be the country's administrative capital were acceptable.

"About 15 years ago there was mention of moving the administration from Jakarta to Jonggol in West Java," Yudhoyono said Wednesday evening to heads of the country's 33 provinces ahead of the national working meeting of the Indonesian Provincial Administrations Association (APPSI) in Central Kalimantan.

"However, following the Asian financial crisis, the idea of moving the center of administration from Jakarta to Jonggol has never been aired again," he said.

"Going forward, the idea of moving the center of the administration must again be considered and developed, considering Jakarta has become exceedingly crowded."

Yudhoyono said, to facilitate the move, the site for the new capital should not be too far from Jakarta.

"Find alternatives not too far from Jakarta, such as Sentul and Jonggol in West Java," he said, referring to areas situated about 36 kilometers and 50 kilometers south of Jakarta, respectively.

In the 1990s, former president Soeharto floated the idea of moving the capital with his son Hutomo "Tommy" Mandala Putra and his daughter Sri Hadiyanti "Tutut" Rukmana, preparing Jonggol to be the new capital.

However, the plan failed to materialize when the Indonesian strong man was forced to step down in 1998.

Years after Soeharto's fall, Jakarta faces more problems, ranging from heavy traffic jams, annual floods, frequent fires and a high crime rate.

Traffic congestion has worsened compared to 10 years ago because projects aimed at easing traffic flow have stagnated.

Large parts of the city still face the threat of annual flooding because of the sluggish pace of construction of the East Flood Canal (BKT), the largest flood mitigation project in the city.

In recent years as the country faces more and more natural disasters, Jakarta has turned out to also be prone to earthquakes, with major quakes hitting the capital in the last year.

Many have suggested that Kalimantan is the safest place for the country's capital as the island is the most geographically and geologically stable.

Responding to the idea that the administrative capital be relocated to Palangkaraya, Yuhdoyono said it would not be practical given Palangkaraya's considerable distance from Jakarta.

He added, however, that since Kalimantan was relatively safe from natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis compared to other parts of the country, it was sensible that Palangkaraya be developed further.

The APPSI meeting is scheduled to take place from Dec. 2 to 4. Yudhoyono opened proceedings Thursday morning, after which he flew back to Jakarta.

In his opening speech before the country's governors, provincial secretaries and other regional executives, the President called on them to support the central government's first 100-day programs, which consist of a total of 65 programs including 15 priority programs.

He said the programs could only succeed with the regional participation.

"The programs are related to the economy and law and security sectors. They require cooperation with each sector and with the regions," Yudhoyono said.

He also reminded the regional heads of the importance of ensuring good economic growth, job creation, controlled inflation and poverty reduction in their respective areas.


  1. SBY confirm what i say from my first time in Indonesia 17 years ago,mouve all administartion and govoffice,create embassy city will means mouve out of Jakarta towsend of car and peole,plus more easy handle security and pollution,that mouve will bosst also infrasctutures because will be build also trasportation sistem link Jakarta to the new city. Go ahead Mr Sby,as italian i fully support and agree with you! To those not agree or sayng better improuve Jakarta existing situation i say: sorry my friends,the damage done to Jakarta from the previous administration is to bad,there are no solutions,unless start to destroy all buidilng done with "easy"permit especially in greean area,so what i suggest is : all building remain empthy must be trasformed in home for poor or free school building for poor,that is what Indonesia need for better future:free education to everione cant afford! Thanks to Jakarta Post for let me express my opinion

  2. Seems the political classes always look for the easy and expensive solution to any problem. Rather than going through the very expensive exercise of creating a new capital from scratch it would be far better if they just made more of an effort to fix Jakarta's problems. If you want you could also consider moving various ministries to different cities. Move Fisheries to Kupang, Forestry to Medan, Agriculture to Jogyakarta, Oil and Gas to Balikpapan, Communications to Surabaya, Industry to Bandung......

  3. The capital will NEVER move to Kalimantan. The powerful of the nation will not move themselves (or the country's power base) away from Java, away from decadence, away from opulance, into the 'jungle'. Kalimantan is actually a fantastic place to live (I'm more familiar with KalTim, but hey). But it isn't Jakarta and I'll bet that means more to the 'powers that be' than any socioeconomic advantages that might exist. It makes me laugh everytime I think about it.

  4. The reason why Jakarta is so congested is because the government doesn't develop much of other cities besides Surabaya. Hence everyone wants to come to Jakarta as it has the most opportunity and best facilities. IF the government develops other areas, the population migration to Jakarta will decrease/slow down. I do agree with the move to develop Kalimantan. It's still full of land and also the population there is less, hence can help distribute the large indonesian population in the country.

  5. I will object any plan to move the capital to a place in Sumatra or Java/Bali. They are too crowded and already environmentally damaged.

  6. How about moving the capital to a place in West Papua? I believe it will boost the economic in eastern parts of the country.

  7. Rather than going through the hassle of shifting the capital to some other place, it would probably be wiser to start having a more proper city planning, drainage system, population control and public transport system in Jakarta while at the same time developing other cities through creating job opportunities and increasing the living conditions there. Come on, it's not a rocket science to figure out the over-arching strategy. But, as the reality has it - we're always failing in the implementation.

  8. I think Kalimantan would be an ideal place for the new capital city such as Palangkaraya. President Soekarno planned Palangkaraya as Indonesian capital city, and Jakarta as economic centre of this nation. I think it would be best if we succeed Soekarno's plan.