26 September 2023

INDONESIA: Officers unhappy with capital move

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Some Indonesian Public Servants are pushing back against forced relocation from Jakarta to the new capital of Nusantara.

Authorities say the move is necessary to save sinking and congested Jakarta as well as to enhance development in Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia.

However one Public Servant, Dwi (not her real name) said she had no desire to make the 2,000-kilometre relocation.

“I’m not sure the move would be good for me. One of my concerns is, what about my husband whose job is in Jakarta?” Dwi, a Government worker for 11 years, asked.

She also wondered what the new capital (pictured in an artist’s impression) could provide for her three children, who are now aged between two and nine.

She is not the only Public Servant who is hesitant to move to the new capital.

Jason Kusuma (also not his real name) is concerned about his children’s education.

“I have a child with special needs, so he needs certain treatments,” Mr Kusuma said.

“Will the new capital have the facilities my child requires?”

He also has ailing parents in Jakarta and feels obliged to take care of them.

“I may resign.

“It is in my list of options, but I would like to wait and see how things develop,” Mr Kusuma said.

Budi Darmawan (not his real name) did not hesitate to leave the Public Service last year when he was sure the capital relocation would happen.

“When we don’t fit in (with the Government’s vision) anymore, it’s better to leave. No problem,” Mr Darmawan, who has set himself up as a consultant, said.

Speaking at the annual joint military and police leadership meeting, President Joko Widodo said sworn officers must not question Government decisions that had been decided through democratic means.

“The capital move has been decided by the Government and it has been approved by the Parliament. According to the discipline of the military and police, this is no longer debatable,” Mr Widodo said.

Jakarta, 16 March 2022

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