Jakarta. Indonesia's Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan said he wants the public to welcome change and ready themselves for more of them to improve standards of living in the long run. His remarks came in a speech he made during a topping off ceremony for Lippo Group's Meikarta megaproject on Sunday (29/10).
"People shouldn't be skeptical. James has put 67 years of his experience to good use [to build Meikarta]. This new development will create [many] job opportunities," Luhut said.
Luhut attended the topping off ceremony for the first two towers on the group's Meikarta township project in Cikarang, Bekasi, accompanied by diversified conglomerate Lippo Group Chief Executive James Riady, Meikarta President Ketut Budi Wijaya, Director General of Immigration Ronny F. Sompie and Democratic Party Secretary-General Hinca Panjaitan.
"There should be no issues with permit since the land already belongs to the Lippo Group. The government will issue the complete permits soon," Luhut said.
The minister said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has given instructions to speed up plans to integrate Jakarta, the nation's capital, with the West Java capital Bandung into one mega urban area.
Luhut said the massive investment the Lippo Group has put into the gigantic project is admirable and asked the public to see it as an effort to improve the country in the long term, not just in the short term.
Lippo has invested $20 billion into the megaproject and Luhut personally thanked James for his commitment. He said the project will bring many long-term positive impacts to the country.
"Let's all unite, let's think about how we can make Indonesia better. We can't just think about progress for the next five years. We have to think up a vision for 2045, when all of Java will be integrated into a megacity. I am proud that James has already invested $20 billion for Meikarta," Luhut said.
"Let's ask ourselves, what can we give to this country? What can we do to make Indonesia even bigger in the next 20 to 30 years? [...] We have to think far ahead. I am lucky to be able to see this now. I'll report it to the president," he said.
The modern township the Lippo Group is developing will offer more than 200 apartment towers, 250,000 units of residential property and 1,500,000 square meters of commercial space.
The new city will also have shopping malls, an international hospital, an international financial center, five-starred hotels, a national library, a theater and art center, international schools, universities, research centers and international exhibition centers.
Jakarta Globe is affiliated to the Lippo Group