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Jakarta Post

Why Jokowi's administration picked two regencies in East Kalimantan to host new capital

  • Kharishar Kahfi and N. Adri

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta and Balikpapan   /   Wed, September 4, 2019   /  07:41 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (third left), along with other officials, looks at a map as he visits Bukit Soeharto in Kutai Kartanegara regency, East Kalimantan on May 7. Bukit Soeharto was one of several areas that had been nominated for the site of a new capital city.(Courtesy of Presidential Press Bureau/-)

The names of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara regencies in East Kalimantan may not ring a bell for most Indonesians, let alone an international audience, compared to that of the major cities in the province, such as Balikpapan or Samarinda. However, they found instant fame when they made it into global headlines after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Aug. 26 that Indonesia would move its center of government from Jakarta to a 180,000-hectare area spanning the two regencies in the eastern part of Borneo.   The capital relocation is part of the Jokowi administration’s efforts to reduce inequality between Java — the country’s most populated island — and other regions, as well as to take some burden off Jakarta, which has been dragged down by, among other things, overpopulation, traffic congestion and air pollution. The go...