Jokowi to announce site of new Indonesia capital to replace Jakarta

Indonesian President Joko Widodo recently sought lawmakers' approval to move the capital to Kalimantan island after first proposing the relocation in April.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo recently sought lawmakers' approval to move the capital to Kalimantan island after first proposing the relocation in April.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo will announce the site of the country's new capital on Monday (Aug 26), ending months of speculation about the location of the new city to replace Jakarta as the administrative headquarters.

The announcement will be broadcast live from 1pm Jakarta time (2pm Singapore time) on the official YouTube channel of the president's secretariat.

Mr Joko, who is popularly known as Jokowi, recently sought lawmakers' approval to move the capital to Kalimantan island after first proposing the relocation in April.

Mr Joko has displayed an urgency not shown by his predecessors in pressing on with the capital relocation plan, which has been periodically discussed for decades.

With the greater Jakarta area, home to about 30 million people, nearing a gridlock and pollution levels reaching unhealthy levels, efforts to decongest the city have made little progress, with tens of thousands of cars getting added to the roads every year.

The government has said building a new capital will cost about 466 trillion rupiah (S$45 billion) and it plans to begin construction from 2021.

It may start relocating some offices from 2024 and the project will be financed by the government as well as through private-public partnerships, according to Planning Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro.

"We do not want to do this in a rush, but we want to do this as fast as possible," Mr Joko said in a YouTube video posted by his office.