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Jakarta Post

Ahok slams City Council for halting reclamation bill deliberations

  • Callistasia Anggun Wijaya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 13, 2016   /  03:56 pm
 Ahok slams City Council for halting reclamation bill deliberations Construction activities take place on a reclaimed islet in Jakarta Bay in northern Jakarta on April 5. Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has criticized the City Council's decision to stop deliberations on two bylaw drafts on reclamation in Jakarta Bay. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has slammed the City Council for halting deliberations on two draft bylaws on reclamation in Jakarta Bay, saying it would harm the property industry and related businesses.

The two bills on northern Jakarta spatial planning and the zoning of coastal areas and small islands are needed as legal bases by property companies for construction and development projects, Ahok said on Wednesday, adding that the move could have a domino effect on related businesses.

“The property industry is followed by thousands of other industries, like ceramics, electricity and sand-mining businesses. It could impact workers and many other people; from the uneducated to educated,” Ahok told journalists at City Hall.

City Council Speaker Prasetio Edi Marsudi announced at a press conference on Tuesday that it had been decided to stop deliberations on the two bills because of legal issues confronting reclamation projects off the coast of Jakarta. The decision was made following the arrest of a city councillor from the Gerindra Party, Mohammad Sanusi, by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for allegedly accepting a bribe from property giant PT Agung Podomoro Land, which has a permit to develop islet G in Jakarta Bay.

As deliberations on bills have been halted, no construction activities involving the islets are allowed.

Despite the controversy surrounding the mega project of the 17 man-made islets off of the coast of the capital, Ahok believes the projects will increase tax revenue for the administration.

He questioned the City Council members’ decision to stop deliberations, saying they did not understand the profitability of the projects.

“[It’s a case of] I let you do your property business, but you must pay the taxes. If you want to use the air space or underground, just pay the taxes. It’s as simple as that,” he said, adding that there was nothing the city could do to make the council proceed with the deliberations.

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