President university students give suggestion about Indonesia capital city relocation

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President Joko Widodo’s plan of moving the capital city out of Jakarta received responses from various groups, including President University students.

The responses were raised in a discussion about “Views and Suggestions on the Capital City Relocation Reviewed from Economic, Social, Political and Environmental Aspects”. The discussion was delivered by the Student Senate of President University, Cikarang in Menara Batavia, Jakarta (Wednesday, 05/15/2019).

In her presentation which highlighted the economic aspects of capital city relocation, Luh Devany Trishnaputri Wijaya said that the plan on moving the capital city departs from the current condition of Jakarta.

Ranked as the 9th most populous city in the world, 661 square kilometers area of Jakarta has a population of around 14 million people during the day while 10 million people at night. Under these conditions, people in Jakarta have a very busy life following the fact that Jakarta is the center of government, business, and services.

“Unfortunately, this activity was not complemented by the mobility of the residents due to congestion problems in Jakarta. This has resulted in government, business and service activities have not been run effectively and efficiently. Further, this has resulted in economic losses,” Devany said.

As an illustration, President Joko Widodo once revealed that congestion in Jakarta and surrounding areas (Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi) has resulted in losses of up to Rp 65 trillion.

For this reason, if this plan is implemented, the capital city relocation should be well planned so that can avoid future economic losses. Devany proposed that the prospective capital cities selection should be divided into a clear zone.

“The new capital city can be divided into five zones. The first zone is at the center for government offices and institutions, followed by diplomatic zones and international representatives. The third zone is a supporting area consisting of education park, medical zone, sports zone, and others. The fourth and fifth zones are residential areas of various types accompanied by public facilities. All zones must be connected with good infrastructure,” Devany added.

She also explained that the emergence of a new capital city would lead to a multiplier effect. This is because it will be followed by the transfer of human resources. “The relocation was followed by the increased demand from the citizens that will lead to the growth of economic activities,” Devany continued.

Another student, Natalia Tamara Hamdali highlighted the political aspects of the capital city relocation. According to her, the capital city relocation is not only about technical issues, but also political processes.

That was due to the position of Jakarta as the capital city covered by Law Number 10 of 1964 regarding the statement that DKI Jakarta Raya remained the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia with the name Jakarta. In addition, the function of Jakarta as the capital city is explained in Law Number 29 of 2007 regarding the Provincial Government of the Special Capital Region of Jakarta as the Capital of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

Thus, capital city relocation needs a new law. “This involves the political process between the government and the DPR. Further, the political process is not only limited to the legislative level, but to political commitment to guard the agreement that will be made,” Tamara uttered.

Tamara also explained that the moving of capital city out of Jakarta is a step to decrease the perception of a Java-centric in Indonesia’s development. At a certain point, this plan has a very strong political impact. Indonesia will have a new image which so far has been referred to Java-centric.

“Education plays an important role to guard this transformation. Therefore, in the capital city, education centers need to be developed. This is done to support local development needs by accommodating local human resources, such as vocational schools, polytechnics, and universities. It is expected that there will be a tight synergy between the government, business industries, and education institution in developing local human resources,” said Tamara.

On the same occasion, Militia Christia Pandelaki said that when certain region changes to be a capital city, this region will meet some consequences on the environment and people’s lives.

Therefore, as part of the capital city relocation plan, the government needs to think of solutions for the livelihoods of local communities as a result of the physical changes and functions of the area where they live.

“As we might know, new development requires the readiness of the citizens in that area so that they can feel the benefits of development in their area. In this case, it is necessary to think of a social transformation process so that it does not disturb the existing social rules of society. The government needs to seek alternative livelihoods by paying attention to their education and expertise,” said Militia.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Afli Alamzah Zugito said that the plan of moving the capital city out of Jakarta was also driven by the declining capacity of the Jakarta environment.

For example, the growth of vehicles in Jakarta was recorded at 11.26% in 2017, while the growth in road segments was only 0.01%, resulting in congestion. Alfi also emphasized the problem of waste disposal in Jakarta which needs a solution. He explained that according to various sources, until the beginning of 2019, the Bantar Gebang Integrated Waste Disposal Site (TPST) has already contained 39 million tons of waste from its total capacity of 49 million tons. With the waste products of its citizens that reach an average of 7,400 tons per day, the Bantar Gebang TPST is predicted to be full in 2021.

Besides that, Jakarta has a problem with the ecosystem which causes flood, water pollution, and drought. “In fact, an ideal capital city should be friendly to its citizens so that they can feel safe and peaceful to live there. In addition, the capital city should be geographically safe from natural disasters, have adequate infrastructure, have well urban planning, supported by advanced education and technology, and is a place to find a decent livelihood for its citizens,” Alfi said.