Sapri Maulana, Jakarta – The East Kalimantan Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) openly doubts the commitment of Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan to curb the mining industry in Kalimantan, which he said is one of the reasons behind the capital city move.
"That is just a cover to [make way for] the mega project. Will Luhut, as the maritime affairs coordinating minister, dare to curb a number of shady mining companies, which includes the one he owns," said East Kalimantan JATAM dynamist Pradarma Rupang to Tempo on Wednesday.
Minister Luhut previously said that the capital city move from Jakarta to East Kalimantan will be a good momentum to finally bring order to the giant mining industry. He also acknowledged that many mining concessions have clashed with protected forest areas.
The two locations set to be home to Indonesia's new capital, Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara, are the two most mining and palm field-controlled areas in East Kalimantan.
Their internal study shows that there have been numerous land conflicts and damage reported by East Kalimantan locals in Muara Jawa, Sanga-Sanga, and Loa Janan with more than 1,300 lands owned by farmers annexed by palm field and mining companies.
"Will Luhut be certain that he will bring order to such companies?" said Pradarma who remains skeptical.