Sarawak must plan border highway to tap devt spin-offs from Indonesia’s new capital

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Aug 10: Sarawak must plan ahead and build a border highway to tap on the development spin-offs from Indonesia’s new proposed capital in Kalimantan.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing lauded Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s (Jokowi) decision to move its capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan as “a good administrative decision”.

The reason being that the Kalimantan region has room for future development, while Jakarta has reached its full potential, he said.

“Kalimantan has a good potential for future development, while the island of Java as a whole and Jakarta, as the capital, is too crowded.

“Sarawak, as Kalimantan’s nearest neighbour must be ready to grow in tandem with the region including our infrastructure development, in particularly our border highway.

“Let us not be in slumber. Let us be ready to catch the spin-offs of Kalimantan development,” Masing, who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister, told DayakDaily.

He was responding to Indonesia’s decision to move its capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan by 2024 at the earliest.

Jokowi was reported as saying on Aug 6 that the announcement is expected to be made later this month, after considering three options between the provinces of Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan.

“Whether it be Central, East or South Kalimantan, it will be decided soon after presentation of the details (viability of studies).

“These are related to disaster risks, environmental capacity, economy, demography, sociopolitical conditions, security and all aspects that must be considered in detail, so the decision we take will be correct for our future vision,” the president said in his opening remarks during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

All preparations, including the legal framework a, are expected to be completed by next year, so construction can start by 2021, the report continued. — DayakDaily