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Agus withdraws from Nusantara opposition and supports new capital

Jakarta Globe - February 28, 2024

Fuad Iqbal Abdullah, Nusantara, East Kalimantan – Democratic Party Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono confirmed on Wednesday that he no longer opposes the ongoing construction of the new national capital, Nusantara, after recently joining President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's cabinet.

His statement followed a visit to the Nusantara construction site in North Penajam Paser regency, East Kalimantan, where he inspected the progress of the project in his role as the Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning.

During the visit, Agus examined the construction of office buildings and the new presidential palace. The large square in front of the partially completed palace is slated to host the Independence Day ceremony in August, marking the official relocation of the national capital from Jakarta.

Speaking to reporters at the site, Agus explained that he and the Democratic Party had initially opposed the new capital mega project due to severe economic impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with the national economy showing strong signs of recovery and small and medium businesses gaining ground, Agus said there is no longer a reason to continue the opposition.

"I'm not accustomed to denying my past statements, and it's true I did oppose the capital relocation with good intentions. I'm sure President Jokowi understands the surrounding circumstances when we reminded [the government] about the post-Covid recovery period," Agus said.

"Now that the dust has settled and the Indonesian economy is recovering strongly as we continue to support the MSME sector, I don't see any obstacle anymore," he added.

The eldest son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said he is tasked with providing legal assurance about commercial land use in Nusantara to attract investors.

"We focus on investments because the strength of such a massive project lies in investments – we must not strain the state budget," he said.

"We need domestic and foreign investments, so the ministry plays a pivotal role in providing clean legal assurance about the land use."

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/agus-withdraws-from-nusantara-opposition-and-supports-new-capita