Septia Ryanthie, Jakarta – Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan criticized Indonesia's new capital or IKN project initiated by President Joko Jokowi Widodo. He assessed that the mega project has the potential to create new inequalities.
"If building a new city and a new capital is done with the aim of realizing equality, it will not result in new equality. Why? Because it will result in a new city that is unequal to its surrounding regions," Anies said in response to a question from a panelist at an open dialogue organized by Muhammadiyah at the Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta (UMS) Solo Auditorium, Central Java, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023.
Anies and his running mate Muhaimin Iskandar backed by the Coalition for Change will vie in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. The other candidates are Ganjar Pranowo-Mahfud MD and Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka. Gibran is the eldest son of President Jokowi.
To achieve equality, Anies believed that the government should carry out equal development throughout the archipelago. Moreover, building the new capital in the middle of a forest in East Kalimantan won't be synchronized with the goal.
"If [the government] wants equal development in Indonesia, then they should build a small city into a medium city, a medium city into a large city throughout Indonesia, instead of building one city in the middle of the forest. This is a problem and will create new inequality," Anies said.
The former Jakarta Governor assessed that the government has a lot of homework to do in order to achieve prosperity for all, so equal development should be a priority. "This country is founded for social justice for all Indonesians. That's the point of our independence."
He highlighted the current visible inequality. "One of them is the Human Development Index (HDI) between regions. Java and Sumatra had an index score of 69 in 2013, while Kalimantan, Bali, Sulawesi, and Maluku had a score of 69 in 2022. They are a decade behind," he said.
On this basis, Anies Baswedan promised to better implement the principles of equality and justice in various government policies if he is elected to succeed President Jokowi in the 2024 election.