Sunday, October 20

Report: Jokowi denies picking East Kalimantan for Indonesia’s new capital

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Joko Widodo delivers a speech in front of parliament members, ahead of Independence Day, at the parliament building in Jakarta, Indonesia. AFP File Photos

KUCHING: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has reportedly denied that he has settled on East Kalimantan for the relocation of the country’s capital from Jakarta although he remains set on the move to one of its provinces in Borneo.

Indonesian media have reported that Joko, popularly known as Jokowi, had refuted his land planning minister Sofyan Djalil’s claim that the government had picked East Kalimantan for the move.

“Masih tunggu satu atau dua kajian (Still waiting for one or two more studies),” he told reporters at Istana Bogor yesterday, Kompas reported.

Tribunnews also quoted the president saying: “Akan kita umumkan pada waktunya, masih nunggu kajian, tinggal satu, dua kajian belum disampaikan kepada saya (It will be announced when the time is right. Still waiting for the study. One or two left not sent to me yet.)”

Earlier, the media had apparently cited Sofyan as confirming East Kalimantan’s selection.

“Yes, East Kalimantan, but we don’t know where specifically,” he reportedly said in a Reuter’s report yesterday, which was based on an article on Detik.com.

Sofyan was also quoted saying that the government has 3,000 hectares in the province for the first stage of development.

Last Friday, Jokowi formally proposed the relocation of the country’s capital to Kalimantan during his state of the union speech in parliament.

About a week earlier, Jokowi said on Facebook: “Our capital will move. It will be on Kalimantan island. The location can be in Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan or South Kalimantan.”

He added that all aspects of the capital’s relocation was being studied, including the experience of other countries in moving their administrative centres.

“In deciding on the relocation of the capital, my position is not as the head of the administration but the head of the country. We have to see the bigger picture for our people and country for the next 10, 50, 100 years,” he said.

Jokowi is expected to announce the exact location of the new capital by the end of this month.

He had announced his plan to relocate the capital outside Java in May this year, citing the overpopulation on the island and the need to bring about a more equitable development to its territory.