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Jakarta Post

Amran Nur: Doing it for Sawahlunto

  • Ika Krismantari

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 28 2012   /  07:50 am

Sawahlunto mayor Amran Nur is a man who will probably do anything for his hometown.

Almost 10 years ago, he left his decades-old business in Jakarta, a comfortable life in the city and his golfing hobby, to return to his poverty-stricken hometown Sawahlunto nearly 90 kilometers from the West Sumatra capital of Padang.

During a short visit to the city, Amran surprisingly found that Sawahlunto, once a coal-mining city with a vibrant economy, had turned into a ghost town as depleting coal resources had forced local people to leave the city in search of better livelihoods.  

“Sawahlunto was a lovely city back then. It was like a city in the Netherlands because a lot of foreigners lived there,” Amran reminisced about his hometown in the past.

Born in Sawahlunto, Oct. 13, 1945, Amran was a child of a local trader. He spent his childhood in the city, and aft...