President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo studies a map of Kalimantan while scouting for the location of Indonesia's new capital city, in this photo posted on his social media accounts on Tuesday.

East, or Central Kalimantan for Indonesia's New Capital? Here Is What Jokowi Thinks

MAY 08, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been scouting potential locations for Indonesia's new capital while visiting cities in East and Central Kalimantan.

"The second day of Ramadan. In the city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. I am with the local people performing tarawih [evening prayers during the Islamic fasting month] at Darul Arqam Mosque," the president said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, referring to Tuesday night's activity. 

"Like yesterday in East Kalimantan, today I am visiting regions that can be alternatives for the country's capital," he added.

Jokowi also visited Gunung Mas, a district of Central Kalimantan.

"The president and his entourage traveled to Gunung Mas – a city that is a potential alternative for Indonesia's capital – on a Super Puma helicopter of the Air Force from Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangkaraya at 9.55 a.m. He arrived at a helipad in Gunung Mas at 10.40 a.m.," Bey Machmudin, deputy for protocol, press and the media in the Presidential Secretariat, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The former mayor of Solo, Central Java, also took time to visit the Soekarno Monument in Palangkaraya, inaugurated by Indonesia's first president on July 17, 1957.

On Tuesday, Jokowi visited some areas in East Kalimantan, as mentioned on his Facebook account.

"An afternoon in a region of East Kalimantan. Supporting infrastructure is available; it is in an area along the toll road from Samarinda to Balikpapan, two cities with airports; there is also a seaport," he wrote.

"It is worthy of being the country's capital. Yes, in terms of supporting infrastructure. But the relocation and preparations for a new capital are not just a matter of ready infrastructure. Many other aspects must still be studied and discussed," he added.

On the plan to relocate the capital, Jokowi said the government would take many aspects into consideration, including sociology, environmental matters, disaster potential and other issues related to sociopolitical conditions in such area.

He said once all studies had been finalized, the government would consult with the House of Representatives before deciding on the location.

The president has allowed his social media followers to be curious about where the new capital is going to be.

"Just wait," he wrote.

While surveying the Balikpapan-Samarinda Toll Road project in East Kalimantan on Tuesday, Jokowi said he would announce in detail the results of the study and the planned budget for the relocation, once the location of the new capital has been determined.

He added that moving the capital could be managed in such a way to prevent it from burdening the state budget. He did not elaborate.

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