President Joko Widodo’s social media post calling for public views on his plan to relocate Indonesia’s capital away from Java island drew more than 25,000 comments on Facebook within an hour yesterday. Some netizens, understandably, recommended their own hometowns – from Ambon and Batam to even far-flung Papua. But the place that came up repeatedly was Kalimantan, Indonesia’s side of the massive Borneo island. This was not a surprise since Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno had once considered making Palangkaraya, in Central Kalimantan province, the country’s administrative centre. Netizen Tommy Wijaya, who lives in Medan, North Sumatra, said Central Kalimantan is “most suitable”, given its land area, population, lower potential for natural and artificial disasters, as well as defence and security factors. “Agreed, Palangkaraya,” posted Muza Ahmad, a resident of Lamongan, East Java. “So far, there have been no earthquakes and floods.” While a new location for the capital has yet to be finalised, Mr Joko has given the assurance that ongoing discussions will not only consider short-term benefits, but also the needs and interests of Indonesia as it continues on its journey to becoming a developed nation. The President, best known by his moniker Jokowi, hinted that it will be… Read full this story
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