Politics

Nusantara will replace Jarkarta as the new capital of Indonesia

Indonesia's parliament has approved a bill to relocate the nation's capital from Jakarta to the island of Borneo. It is called Nusantara.

Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city will be replaced by Nusantara
Jakarta during the country's 76th Independence Day celebrations. Indonesia's capital city and administration offices will be transferred to Nusantara | August, 2021. Willy Kurniawan via Reuters

The plenary session of Indonesia's House of representatives approved the bill on January 18 to transfer the capital city from Jakarta to East Kalimantan. The new state capital law stipulates how development of the capital will be funded and governed.

The new capital city will be in the jungle of East Kalimantan, an Indonesian province in the east of the island of Borneo island. Borneo is shared with Malaysia and Brunei.

Built from scratch in the jungle, the new capital will bear the name Nusantara, an old Javanese designation for the Indonesian archipelago.

The construction could take up to 10 years according to officials, with the first government offices moving by 2024. The project is expected to cost US$32 billion.

Government offices will be relocated, involving a change of life for several thousands of Indonesian families. Forest areas will likely be converted into residential areas, causing concerns for some environmentalists.

President Joko Widodo first announced the plan to move Indonesia’s capital in 2019 and was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. With 10 million people living in Jakarta, the city is notoriously overcrowded. Moving administrative offices have been in discussion for years but Jakarta will remain the economic capital of Indonesia.

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