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Jakarta Post

Whither the ASEAN capital?

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Sat, August 24 2019   /  01:02 am

"Do you expect us all to move with you?” That might have been the question resonating in the minds of many Jakarta-based diplomats when the government first hinted that it was planning to relocate the administrative capital to somewhere on the island of Kalimantan.Then on the eve of this year’s Independence Day celebrations, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made a formal plea to lawmakers for their support to move the executive, legislative and judicial institutions away from Jakarta.The plan, first envisioned decades ago without success, is especially confusing for diplomats from Southeast Asia, who have been serving in Jakarta since the establishment of the ASEAN Secretariat in 1981. On ASEAN Day earlier this month, Jokowi expressed his hope that the new ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakarta would see more use, so as to cut down on the high costs of travel attached to the group...