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Anies to reallocate Nusantara funds to repair roads, schools in Kalimantan

Jakarta Post - December 27, 2023

Jakarta – Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan has said it would be better to use the development funding earmarked to build the country's new capital Nusantara in Kalimantan to repair damaged roads and build schools in the region.

During a "Desak Anies" (urge Anies) campaign event in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, on Tuesday, the presidential candidate said there might be pride in having the capital built on the island, but he questioned whether that pride would bring about change in people's lives.

He further explained the poor road conditions in West Kalimantan that needed proper repair. "West Kalimantan is one of the provinces with the most damaged roads. There is a total of 3,700 kilometers of damaged roads. Is this acceptable? [Let's] allocate the funds to repair damaged roads," Anies said, as quoted by Kumparan.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has been developing a region in East Kalimantan to build the new capital city, called Nusantara. The government has allocated at least Rp 65.5 trillion (US$4.2 trillion) for the project from 2022 to 2024, according to the Public Works and Housing Ministry.

Anies emphasized the importance of taking care of basic needs and addressing fundamental aspects in society, saying that through such efforts, Kalimantan could progress and its people could prosper.

"If you have desires and needs, which do you prioritize first? Needs," said Anies at the event.

Anies also pointed to the poor condition of schools in Kalimantan. He cited data that revealed that around 79,000 classrooms across all education levels in Kalimantan were categorized as "severely damaged." According to Anies, 28,000 of them were located in West Kalimantan.

Anies said fixing those schools was more urgent than building the new capital. "Now, should they [damaged schools] be left alone? If not, it's better to use the money to improve the quality of human resources," said the former Jakarta governor, as quoted by metrotvnews.com.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2023/12/27/anies-to-reallocate-nusantara-funds-to-repair-roads-schools-in-kalimantan.htm