Premier: Sarawak to help Indonesia build new capital Nusantara


Abang Johari delivers his speech during the dinner. — Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (July 13): Sarawak will play a role in helping Indonesia to build its new capital Nusantara in Kalimantan, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier said there will be many opportunities ahead in Kalimantan, especially in areas near Nusantara, which is likely to draw some 30 million people from Jakarta and its greater metropolitan area.

“Singapore’s Prime Minister was asking me about Nusantara and whether Sarawak will help them in building their capital. I (told Lee Hsien Loong) yes, the Indonesian government has asked us to help them,” Abang Johari said when officiating at the Singapore Business Delegation Networking Dinner here yesterday.

According to him, Nusantara is just 400km from Kapit and 500km from Kuching.

He cited agriculture, services, and high technology as sectors where Singapore and Sarawak could collaborate.

Abang Johari pointed out Sarawak is currently upgrading its tourism infrastructure including resorts as well as public transportation system with the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system using hydrogen expected to be ready by 2026.

“That is our plan. If we have the ART, Sarawak could possibly be the first in the region to deploy the hydrogen-based rail-less train-like system,” he added.

He also noted there have been more Singaporeans buying houses in Sarawak recently under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme.

“You know our houses are cheap. It takes only one hour for you to get here and actually, (the time to get to Sarawak) is shorter than Johor where you have to bear with the long queues to pass through the immigration checkpoint.

“When you go to Sarawak, not only the duration of your trip to Sarawak will be shorter, you also get to stay in your own house and enjoy good kolok mee while in Sarawak,” he said.