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.