Indonesia moves its capital

Indonesia moves the capitalGovernment move: Of Jakarta to Borneo

Floods, earthquakes and daily traffic jams - the Indonesian government wants to leave Jakarta and relocate the seat of government to the island of Borneo. The title "Capital" is also to be moved. This triggers different feelings among the population.

The plan is not entirely new: The seat of government in Indonesia is to be relocated from Jakarta to Borneo and the capital is also to move there, as it were. President Joko Widodo is now pushing the plan that six other presidents had before him.

Jakarta keeps falling

The idea of ​​the move is understandable: the city of Jakarta on the island of Java is regularly flooded and there are earthquakes. The city, home to 30 million people, sinks 25 centimeters every year, and it is already below sea level in many places.

Traffic collapse paralyzes the economy

In addition, there is the daily traffic collapse. People in Jakarta are stuck in traffic for hours every day, reports Lena Bodewein, our correspondent for the region. Economic experts estimate that this standstill alone causes economic damage running into billions.

Change of government provokes mixed feelings

People have mixed feelings about their president's move plans. Lena Bodewein reports that there are many who are in favor of Joko Widodo promoting the change of government. Above all, because Jakarta is only a comparatively small piece of a huge country that does not feel represented in large parts.

Others react a little more subdued - on the one hand because the move is not planned for 2034, i.e. at a time when Widodo's presidency is already ending, and on the other hand because they say: We will only say something about it when it is finished. So you seem to have doubts.

Indonesia can afford to move

Moving from government and capital from Jakarta to Borneo will be expensive. That much is clear. It is currently expected to cost around 30 billion euros. If you look at the fact that many people live very poorly, in slums, you ask yourself: Can Indonesia even afford something like that?

Lena Bodewein makes it clear that Indonesia, as a country that belongs to the G20 - the leading economic nations - definitely has money. Among other things, government buildings in Jakarta are already being sold to finance the new city on Borneo.

Goal: Modern, futuristic forest city on Borneo

In order to be able to move to Borneo at all, a lot has to be built. Borneo is one of the largest islands in the world, with lots of nature and one of the last places where orangutans live. Although the monkeys are protected, they are currently still being hunted or driven away. Mainly because of plam oil.

"The people who live in Borneo don't even know whether they like it so much that the capital moves there."
Lena Bodewein, correspondent in Southeast Asia

People in the city where the government is moving are skeptical. "So far they consider themselves a sleepy little town," says Lena Bodewein. But that would be over if construction lions came and flattened everything there.

They fear that politicians and building contractors will not be considerate of nature and destroy a lot. On the other hand, however, it is said that it should be a modern, futuristic forest city. Man watch out.