Survey says an overwhelming 95.7% of Jakartans disagree with moving the capital to a new location

Illustration showing the location of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan. Image: @jokowi / Twitter
Illustration showing the location of Indonesia’s new capital in East Kalimantan. Image: @jokowi / Twitter

President Joko Widodo finally revealed the exact location of the country’s new capital in East Kalimantan yesterday, putting Indonesia one major step closer to actually enacting the long-discussed plan to move the country’s seat of government away from Jakarta. A major justification for the move is alleviating the severe environmental and infrastructure problems facing the current capital, but do Jakartans agree that it’s the right thing to do? 

No, they do not. That’s according to the results of a recent survey, which found that the overwhelming majority of Jakartans did not agree that moving the capital was a good idea. The same survey also found that the majority of correspondents from throughout Indonesia didn’t agree either.

The poll, conducted by the KedaiKOPI survey institute, found that a whopping 95.7 percent of respondents living in Jakarta did not agree with moving the capital to another city. 

Lembaga Survei Kedaikopi 发布于 2019年8月26日周一


Based on respondents throughout all of Indonesia, 39.8 percent did not agree with relocating the capital, more than the 35.6 percent that agreed and the remaining 24.6 percent that chose neither option. 

Lembaga Survei Kedaikopi 发布于 2019年8月26日周一


The survey was conducted on Aug. 14-21 (so before yesterday’s announcement of the new capital’s location) and surveyed Indonesians in all of the country’s 34 provinces.

While we could see a majority of Jakartans disagreeing with moving the capital, we find it hard to believe that so few could see the possible benefits it would bring to the city.

But KedaiKOPI Executive Director Kunto Adi Wibowo said he didn’t find the results of their survey surprising.

“Jakarta residents are, of course, the most affected by this transfer plan, so it is not surprising if they disagree the most,” Kunto said in a written statement picked up today by Tempo

Kunto said one reason for the high rate of disagreement among Jakarta residents was concern that the government would no longer give sufficient attention or resources to solving Jakarta’s problems. 

“This causes uncertainty which triggers negative reactions from Jakarta residents,” he wrote.

Another likely source of disagreement has to do with the logistical challenges of moving the capital that will pose a major disruption to the lives of many Jakartans. Officials estimate that around one million civil servants will need to leave Jakarta to work in the new capital once government functions are transferred there, a process which is expected to take place starting in 2023.

President Joko Widodo announced yesterday that the country’s new capital will be located in East Kalimantan, specifically an area of land resting party in North Penajam Paser regency and partly in Kutai Kartanegara regency.

A large part of the justification for moving the capital is that it would help solve the many problems facing the densely populated megalopolis of Jakarta, including the current capital’s maddening traffic, rising levels of air pollution and the long-term threat of sea-level rise inundating vast swathes of the rapidly sinking city.



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