Should Indonesia move its capital city?
From the West to the Center. Is that possible? Equity in development and so on.
We should know that the thought of moving the capital away from Jakarta has been there for about 54 years. It was one of the main concern by our first President then, Soekarno, when he was not convinced that Jakarta was big enough to be the capital city of Indonesia. The initial idea was to move it to Palangkaraya, now the capital of Central Kalimantan Province with area approximately covers 2.678,51 sq kilometers compared to Jakarta with its 661,52 sq kilometers area. Now I would like to assess the benefits of moving the capital that would indirectly shows why Jakarta is not really suitable to be the capital, with now the evidences of problems taking place in there.
Firstly, geographically a capital city - and as the name suggested - should be located in the center of the country. This would relate to the accessibility of the city from all the area in the country. With now Jakarta is in the west part of Indonesia, there has been growing concerns that the development of the surrounding area that benefited from the capital city would be centered only in the western part of Indonesia. Unfortunately, this is the case now. Java has been the most developed island with Papua being the neglected area full of conflicts from mining to human rights. So, with that Jakarta is not really suitable to be the capital.
Despite few people concern that the accessibility by land is easier, and I believe that they are from Sumatra or Nusa Tenggara area,the essence of a country with more than 13000 islands would be to develop its maritime and its water transportation. Then, it would add to my point that a city in Kalimantan is to be a capital.
Secondly, that the pollution and over-crowded population have been becoming more and more serious problems to overcome. Part of the root of the problems is the lack of planning in developing the city. We know that big capital city around the world has done that for years. For instance, Singapore has done that early since its independence with the government already looked forward to 50 year ahead. Indonesia need such a leader that I feel the masterplan by Soekarno decades ago should be implemented for the better of the Indonesia as a whole. It also has been put into a plan by the local goverment of Central of Kalimantan in its Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Daerah (RPJMD). So it is just a matter of time whether Indonesian people could accept the moving of the city.
However, other people might think that it could lead to a loss in investment made in Jakarta today if we are to move the capital city else where. In this case I believe it would not matter if there is a clear planning in the moving of the capital. In the world few countries has done that. It is mainly for administrative purposes and there is no evidence of the loss in investment as long as the government tries to communicate its plan better.
Thirdly, would be about social and cultural exposure. Many believe that Java and Bali as the center of Indonesian culture. However, we would not like to change it, but what is the relationship between administrative capital and cultural capital? Malaysia has Putrajaya as administrative capital, but Kuala Lumpur as official capital. We should also consider that only few people know about the local culture such as that of Borneo’s or Celebes’s. By moving the capital there we would expect their culture to be exposed internationally and would develop Indonesia equally.
In conclusion, I believe that moving the capital elsewhere is not a bad idea. We should look at the advantaged and disadvantages in greater details and that is what the government should consider if the issue in growing in near future. Comprehensive study in city planning is needed for the capital city to be sustainable and can long last to be enjoyed by the locals and the country as whole.
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