The Emperor’s New Capital
President Joko Widodo is sticking to his plan to move the capital city to East Kalimantan. Instead of backing off in the face of criticism, a number of officials have said that the president is starting to make preparations for the selection of the head of the Capital City Authority, a ministerial level official who will be responsible for building the new capital.
Before the Capital City Law was passed on January 18, the president had offered the position to West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, who is seen as fulfilling the criteria that Jokowi has spoken of, namely an architect with experience of regional leadership.
After receiving Jokowi’s offer, Ridwan and his team began sounding out various officials. The problem is that as a regional head, Ridwan is not allowed to simultaneously hold another position. This means that if he accepts Jokowi’s offer, he would have to relinquish the governorship of the province with its 30 million voters—the largest electorate of all the provinces that could become a launch pad for the 2024 presidential election.
Another problem is that Jokowi’s desire to choose the head of the Capital City Authority soon is at odds with the wishes of the parties supporting him. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) does not support Ridwan Kamil. It is promoting Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok, former governor of Jakarta and now president commissioner at Pertamina. It is reported that the party wants to move Ahok to Kalimantan as a way of easing him out of Pertamina.
As well as the matter of the head of the authority, it turns out that parties supporting Jokowi do not agree with the moving of the capital. The hasty passing of the Capital City Law was nothing more than a formality. The parties are also dubious about the rush to move the capital. The PDI-P even considered opposing it.
It is a similar story with Golkar Party. Other parties are also opposed because the funding is not yet available, while the hope for investors have yet to show any serious commitment. The lack of funding and uncertainty about the future have not stopped Jokowi and his aides: a number of projects using state funding have already started at Penajam, the location of the new capital city.
What about the ministers? They are also worried. But like in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes, they lack the courage to say that the emperor is not wearing anything. They are praising the emperor for his beautiful clothes because they are frightened of being punished.
Is the moving of the capital like the allegory in this fairy tale? We have extensive coverage on the moving of the capital from various viewpoints: politics, economics, the environment. Enjoy the magazine.
Who Will Lead the Capital City Authority?
A number of names have emerged, several are being considered, and a number have declined. Who will Jokowi choose?
The Bogus Solidarity of Parties and Ministers
What will happen if ministers and the parties supporting Jokowi are divided over the moving of the capital city? They are also worried about this megaproject, like the majority of Indonesians.
Where Will the Funds for the Capital City Come From?
Initially it relied on investors, but it then subsequently used pandemic funding, so what will it use next? The story of the disarray in funding the capital city project.
The Future of the Orangutans of Penajam
Opinion: The Dangers of the Capital City Project