| 24 September 2022, Saturday |

Indonesia to change Jakarta as capital, names ‘Nusantara’ as replacement

The Indonesian parliament has adopted a bill to transfer the country’s capital from Jakarta to the jungles of Kalimantan on Borneo island, the planning minister announced on Tuesday.

The new state capital legislation, which establishes a legislative basis for President Joko Widodo’s ambitious $32 billion megaproject, specifies how the capital’s development will be funded and administered.

“The new capital has a vital purpose and is a symbol of the nation’s identity, as well as a new center of economic gravity,” Suharso Monoarfa, the planning minister, said in parliament after the measure was approved into law on Tuesday.

According to Monoarfa, the new facility would be dubbed “Nusantara,” a Javanese word for the Indonesian archipelago chosen by the president.

Multiple presidents have proposed plans to relocate the government from Jakarta, a busy megacity of 10 million people plagued by chronic congestion, floods, and air pollution, but none have made it this far.

The president, known as Jokowi, initially announced the idea in 2019, but work was hampered by the epidemic.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy envisions the new capital as a low-carbon “super center” that will serve the pharmaceutical, health, and technology industries while also promoting long-term expansion outside Java Island.

However, opponents claim that the bill was pushed through with little public participation or environmental concern.

Nusantara, which follows the construction of new capitals in countries like as Brazil and, more recently, Myanmar, would be managed by a chief authority whose position is comparable to that of a minister, said Saan Mustofa, deputy chair of the bill’s special committee, on Monday.

According to local media sources, former research and technology minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, often known as or Ahok, are among those being considered for the role.

  • Reuters