Anies Baswedan can thank relentless media scrutiny for his cardiovascular fitness since it looks like the governor will still need to take the stairs to go between the two floors of the official governor’s residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
Recently, a budget proposal from the Jakarta Provincial Government’s Cipta Karya Agency (which oversees public buildings and land planning) to renovate the governor’s residence was revealed to the public. In the proposal, which amounted to IDR2.4 billion (US$180,695), was an allocation for the installation of a IDR750 million (US$56,467) elevator in the two-story house.
The Jakarta City Council quickly criticized the proposal, with speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi asking the question pretty much everybody has on their minds.
“If I’m not mistaken the [governor’s residence] has only the first and second floors, not 10 floors. What is it for? I don’t know,” he said, as quoted by Detik yesterday.
To his credit, Anies said he pulled the plug on the proposal after finding out about it.
“Yes, [I just found out] from the news,” he said, before adding that he is going to scrap the whole renovation budget of the governor’s residence as he doesn’t feel any of it is necessary.
Pandita, head of the Regional Government Buildings Department at Cipta Karya, said that his agency put forward the elevator proposal in order to help disabled visitors of the residence.
“The residence can then be used for public visits, and among the visitors there will be disabled people,” he told Detik yesterday.