In case you didn’t hear, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced back in April that they will be changing their capital city, shifting away from the congested streets of Jakarta.
He then took to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to ask millions of Indonesians for suggestions on the new capital.
Now, a mere 3 months later, Jokowi’s taken to Twitter again to make the big announcement of the capital change.
Indonesia’s new capital city will be in Kalimantan, Borneo!
Ibu kota negara kita akan pindah ke Pulau Kalimantan. Letaknya bisa di Kalteng, Kaltim, atau Kalsel.— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) August 8, 2019
Segala aspeknya sedang dikaji mendalam sehingga keputusan nanti benar dalam visi ke depan kita — visi besar berbangsa dan bernegara untuk 10, 50, 100 tahun ke depan. pic.twitter.com/K9TAHrL8P1
Whooo! So our Sabahan and Sarawakkian brothers will soon have an exciting new addition to their island.
According to Jokowi’s Tweet, the new capital is a toss-up between Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan or South Kalimantan. Meaning, they’re still deciding a new capital city lah.
Why is Indonesia moving the capital city?
Long story short, Jakarta is sinking.
According to BBC, the 10-million strong city is the world’s fastest-sinking city. In fact, it’s sunk 13 feet (around 3.9 metres) in the last 30 years!
Coupled with the rising sea levels, Jakarta is in a very dangerous position with researchers speculating that the city could be underwater by 2050.
But the idea of moving the capital away from Jakarta has been floating around since the nation’s independence in 1945. It’s just finally happening now.
Moving a capital city is a herculean task that requires a lot of time, research and careful planning. Jokowi estimates that it would take at least 10 years.
So Jakarta will be holding on to its capital crown for another decade at least.
Besides, the Indonesian government envisions it as the New York City of Indonesia- the financial centre of Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
There’s no word yet on how the move will be done or when it will begin, but there are concerned replies to Jokowi’s tweet on the forests of Borneo.
Duh..berapa banyak lagi hutan yang mau di gundulin..— juminten (@Gyoucancallme) August 8, 2019
Translation: Ouch … how many more forests do you want cleared …
Apa urgensi pindah ibukota pak?— Maudy Asmara (@Asmara_Maudy) August 8, 2019
Berapa lagi hutan yang harus di gunduli 😊😎
Translation: What is the urgency of moving the capital, sir?
How much more forest must be cleared?
semoga saja tidak membuat rusak hutan kalimantan dan tetap bisa sebagai paru-paru dunia.— be (@komengtartor) August 8, 2019
bukan hanya keegoisan manusia semata.
Translation: Hopefully this doesnt damage the Kalimantan forest and it will still be able to be the lungs of the world.
Not just for human selfishness.
Kita dukung pembangunan, tapi kita mengecam perusakan dan penggundulan hutan.— Kelapa Muda (@Deggann) August 8, 2019
Translation: We support development, but we condemn forest destruction and deforestation.
According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), about 56% of protected lowland tropical rainforests in Kalimantan were cut down between 1985 and 2001.
WWF also says that Borneo forests are facing serious deforestation threats with blossoming palm oil plantations, logging, mining as well as illegal wildlife hunting and trade.
Until the Indonesian government makes it clear where the new capital will be and how much development they envision, there’s not much we know yet.