Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia claimed that there are no problems in the development of the Rempang Eco-City in Batam, even though the national strategic project continues to face objections from residents of Rempang Island and surrounding areas. He said he would visit the region to resolve the issue.
"So there are no issues. It's just a matter of communication with the people, which must be good," Bahlil said at the Merdeka Palace on Thursday, October 5, 2023.
The government was determined to develop Rempang Island into Rempang Eco City, an integrated industrial, trade, and tourism area under PT Makmur Elok Graha with an investment value of Rp381 trillion until 2080. The Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs launched the project on April 12, 2023.
The project met with rejection from the Indigenous people, leading to a clash between the joint apparatus of the military and police and the residents after a protest on September 7, and again on September 11.
Bahlil said there was no specific deadline for resolving the Rempang conflict. "The sooner the better," he added.
Previously, he said there would be no evictions, but the residential areas would be shifted to the neighboring area of Tanjung Banon. The government also pledged to compensate each Rempang resident with a type-45 house worth Rp120 million and a 500-meter plot of land, as well as financial aid of Rp1.2 million during the transition period.
However, the rejection continued to grow, not only from the indigenous people of the old villages affected by the relocation but also from the fishermen around the small islands in Rempang, who were concerned about the environmental impact of the Rempang Eco-City project.