President Joko Widodo Considers East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan Become the New Capital City - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday (05/7) visited Kalimantan Island to follow up on the plan to move the country’ capital city. Yesterday, President Joko Widodo checked the feasibility and readiness of the provinces of East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, two potential regions to become the new capital city.

The two provinces previously constituted two of the four provinces that delivered presentations by Minister of National Development Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro.

“Indonesia as a big country also wants to have a separate government with a center of economy, business, trade, and services. We want to step forward as a developed country,” Widodo said in an official statement.

East Kalimantan province was the first province visited by the president in conducting an initial review of the feasibility of prospective capital cities. The Head of State explored the Soeharto Hill area located in the Taman Hutan Raya area, Samboja District, Kutai Kartanegara Regency as the candidate for the new capital city.

“Indeed, there have been several locations that have been studied for about 1.5 years, one of which is in East Kalimantan which is less and more we visited this afternoon,” said Widodo.

He also stated that the area he visited had a number of advantages. Among these are the completeness of supporting infrastructure, that has been available around the area. Then, the existence of supporting facilities could save development costs, if it was later determined to be the new capital city of Indonesia.

“Here I see everything is very supportive. Incidentally, this is in the middle of the Samarinda-Balikpapan toll road. Then if we see that there is an airport in Balikpapan, Samarinda also has an airport. It doesn’t make airports anymore, there are already two. Ports also exist,” he said.

Even so, the President stressed that the transfer and preparation of new capital cities are not only about infrastructure readiness. Many other aspects still have to be reviewed by the government and consulted with a number of related parties before making a decision.

“The study is not only about infrastructure. What kind of socio-political studies are there? This needs to be sharpened. Then the environmental affairs and water needs are far from the disaster side, whether flood or earthquake,” he added.

The president will also review the feasibility of other prospective capital cities, one of which is in Central Kalimantan Province. Widodo requested political support from state institutions for transfer of the capital city. He noted, later the government would conduct consultations both politically and legally.

Responding to this, Chairman of the House of Representatives Bambang Soesatyo said, the parliament would support if the study was done carefully. Including the funding emphasized by Widodo, so as not to burden the State Budget.

“The implementation must be careful because the transfer of the capital city is one thing that is not easy,” said the chairperson.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com

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