The Jakarta Post
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...