Indonesia Floats Yet Another Plan to Move Its Sinking Capital

13-May-2019 Intellasia | Foreignpolicy | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Big plans to relocate from Jakarta keep disappearing into nothing. Will this time be different?

In 1957, Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, took a 36-hour boat trip across a river to the small city of Palangkaraya, soon to be christened as the capital of the Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo. Sukarno dreamed that the city could be the capital for “Maphilindo,” an imagined future confederation made of a never-realised union with Malaya and the Philippines.

But in the meantime, Sukarno thought it might also do as a capital for Indonesia, a nation that with its 260 million people and sprawling islands has always had trouble determining exactly where the centre should be. January Pieterszoon Coen, an officer with the Dutch East India Company, placed the capital in Batavia, the administrative centre of the Dutch colony. It later took a new name: Jakarta. After the declaration of independence from the Netherlands in 1945, the new government bounced around the islands, avoiding Dutch retribution and solidifying local rule, to cities as far-flung as Yogyakarta on Java and Bukittinggi on Sumatra, nearly 1,000 miles away from each other. It was not until 1964 that Sukarno declared Jakarta as the official capital.

In 1957, Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, took a 36-hour boat trip across a river to the small city of Palangkaraya, soon to be christened as the capital of the Central Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo. Sukarno dreamed that the city could be the capital for “Maphilindo,” an imagined future confederation made of a never-realised union with Malaya and the Philippines.

But in the meantime, Sukarno thought it might also do as a capital for Indonesia, a nation that with its 260 million people and sprawling islands has always had trouble determining exactly where the centre should be. January Pieterszoon Coen, an officer with the Dutch East India Company, placed the capital in Batavia, the administrative centre of the Dutch colony. It later took a new name: Jakarta. After the declaration of independence from the Netherlands in 1945, the new government bounced around the islands, avoiding Dutch retribution and solidifying local rule, to cities as far-flung as Yogyakarta on Java and Bukittinggi on Sumatra, nearly 1,000 miles away from each other. It was not until 1964 that Sukarno declared Jakarta as the official capital.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/10/indonesia-floats-yet-another-plan-to-move-its-sinking-capital/

 


Category: Indonesia

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