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Government and parliament set to discuss special Jakarta region bill amid capital relocation

Jakarta Globe - February 6, 2024

Yustinus Paat, Jakarta – The House of Representatives (DPR) and the government will begin discussion on the Special Jakarta Region Bill, which is a result of Indonesia's capital relocation to Nusantara in East Kalimantan.

House Speaker Puan Maharani has received a presidential letter regarding the bill and will commence discussions after the House's recess period, scheduled to conclude on March 4, 2024.

"We wish to announce that the parliamentary leadership has received a letter from the President regarding the assignment of government representatives to discuss the draft law on the Special Jakarta Region. The discussion will take place in collaboration with the House and the presidential letter will be processed according to the applicable mechanisms and regulations," Puan said at the Parliament Complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The bill was endorsed by the DPR as an initiative bill during a plenary session on Tuesday. The bill states that Jakarta will no longer function as the capital.

A contentious point in the DPR's draft version is the proposal that the president, rather than the people through an election, will appoint the governor of Jakarta.

Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian had said that the government desires the holding of regional elections to choose the governor of Jakarta.

"The government's draft has never tampered with the recruitment mechanism or the local leader election system, which remains the same as before, through an election, with 50 percent plus one vote," he said on Dec. 19, 2023.

Minister Tito said the bill grants 12 specific authorities to Jakarta. This involves public works and spatial planning, public housing and settlements, culture, investment, transportation, the environment, population control and family planning, industry, tourism, trade, education, as well as health.

With these specific authorities, Jakarta is envisioned to resemble cities like New York in the United States and Melbourne in Australia. Both cities were once the respective capitals of their countries before being relocated to other cities.

"New York City and Melbourne have become economic and business centers. That's also what will be done in Indonesia later," concluded Tito.

Previously, the Ministry of Finance revealed said there would be state assets worth Rp 1,640 trillion ($104 billion) that will be left in Jakarta.

Candra Giri Artanto, a director at the State Asset Management Agency (LMAN), said the relocation of the capital would leave empty spaces in government buildings in Jakarta. However, the government assures that the abandoned state assets will still be utilized.

"Jakarta, which will be left behind, will not be abandoned. Jakarta will be utilized and will remain a metropolitan city," he said on Jan. 23, 2024.

President Joko Widodo aims to hold the flag-hoisting ceremony of Indonesia's independence day in August 2024 – meaning that the palace and office, which is still under construction, have to be ready by then. This is set to be the last Independence Day celebrations before the two-term president steps down in October.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/government-and-parliament-set-to-discuss-special-jakarta-region-bill-amid-capital-relocatio