I HAVE been observing how the slender Indonesian President, who is also a big fan of Metallica, Joko Widodo or Jokowi, steering his country right after he won the Presidency.
Although there are 1,001 problems in his country with 264 million residents of multi-religion, culture and ethnics, Jokowi remains focussed in his vision in improving the lives of his people.
Among the things that Jokowi is passionately working on is building a new capital city for Indonesia in East Kalimantan, which is located far from the current Jakarta. To be more specific, it is in the Penajam Paser Utara district and a part of the Kutai Kartanegara.
How much is the cost? A whopping US$33 billion! The area? 250,000 hectares! Jakarta is merely 60,000 hectares.
Jokowi and his team took more than three years to study its feasibility before taking the leap of faith in choosing the area.
Want to know some interesting facts about Jokowi’s choice?
Firstly, it is right in the centre of Indonesia.
Secondly, it is free from major natural disaster such as earthquake, tsunami, landslides, flood and bushfires.
Thirdly, the location has two developed cities, the Samarinda and Balikpapan and there are airports in both cities.
Most interestingly, Jokowi wanted to maintain 70 percent of natural preservation there.
What would happen when the new capital city is completed? A total of 1.5 million people ranging from government servants, their families and support industry workers will move there and the construction of its infrastructure is done in another four to five years.
How would the moving of capital city impact Malaysia as Sabah and Sarawak are sharing the same island, the Borneo Island?
Many experts and analysts have different opinion on this.
In terms of defence, some think that it would be better for us as Indonesia would put big allocations in ensuring the security of its new capital.
Indirectly, it would benefit Malaysia, especially on the threats we often face in Sabah.
We may also benefit from the economic and tourism aspects. Sabah and Sarawak would definitely receive the overflow of development in the Kalimantan region.
Jokowi has truly entered his fifth gear. In the efforts to gain financial support to develop his country, we can see Jokowi actively flying abroad.
In his latest feat, he managed to rake US$22.8billion (RM93 billion) of investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Indonesia through a joint sovereign fund between the SoftBank and United States International Development Finance Corporation.
Jokowi also appointed the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed as one of the committee member in his new capital city. Can you see that?
In conclusion, like it or not, Jokowi has achieved his mission successfully. He returned the faith of Indonesians who chose him as the President despite a tough fight during the election.
How about us?
Years ago, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad did the same thing when he created Putrajaya.
Now, the people are waiting and wondering what the Pakatan Harapan government can do after being entrusted to lead the country.
Time has passed. -MalaysiaGazette