By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Aug 16: Indonesian President Joko Widodo today made a formal proposal to move the country’s capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
He made the proposal during his State of the Union speech at Parliament earlier today on the eve of Indonesia’s 74th independence anniversary.
“I, hereby, request your permission to move our national capital to Kalimantan,” said Widodo.
He will be sworn in for a second term in October after winning April 2019 election.
“A capital city is not just a symbol of national identity, but also a representation of the progress of the nation. This is for the realisation of economic equality and justice,” he added, without specifying the exact location for the new capital.
The idea to move Indonesia’s capital was said to be due to over-congestion of Jakarta. In addition, Jakarta is sinking, making it prone to flooding as well as other natural disasters.
Previous news reports suggested that the city of Palangkaraya and an area near oil-rich Balikpapan in East Kalimantan have been considered as among the likely sites for the new capital.
Experts said that unlike other parts of Indonesia, most of Kalimantan is not prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
News reports also indicated that the Indonesian government wants to start moving to a new capital by 2024, at the end of Widodo’s second five-year term in office.— DayakDaily