BREAKING: Indonesia to have a new capital city

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has announced that two regencies in East Kalimantan are to be the site of the country’s new capital city.

“The government has conducted in-depth studies in the past three years and as a result of those studies the new capital will be built in part of North Penajam Paser regency and part of Kutai Kertanegara regency in East Kalimantan,” the President said at a press conference at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Monday.

He also said that he had sent a letter to the House of Representatives about the decision and that the government would prepare a bill regarding the capital relocation for the House’s approval as soon as possible.

The plan to move the capital from the island of Java was first announced by National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) head Bambang Brodjonegoro in April. The new capital is to act as the center of government, while Jakarta would remain the country’s business and economic center.

A Bappenas team tasked with studying locations recommended three provinces in Kalimantan, namely South, Central and East Kalimantan, which all fit the requirements for a new capital, including being relatively free from earthquakes and volcanoes.

Shortly after the plan was announced, Jokowi visited two alternative locations in Kalimantan, namely Bukit Soeharto in East Kalimantan and the Triangle Area near Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan.

In his state of the nation speech in front of at the House complex earlier this month, Jokowi formally asked all officials and representatives in attendance to support his administration’s plan to relocate Indonesia’s capital to Kalimantan.

“The [new] capital is not only a symbol of our nation’s identity, but also represents our nation’s development,” Jokowi said at the time. “It’s for the sake of realizing an equitable and just economy.”

The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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