Imagine if Nusantara had been built closer to KL

Imagine if Nusantara had been built closer to KL (nst.com.my)

October 14, 2022 @ 12:30am

LETTERS: Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s administration announced in 2019 that it would build a new capital, Nusantara, in eastern Kalimantan.

The area was chosen due to the fact that it is right in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago, and unlike other provinces, Kalimantan is almost completely free from natural disasters.

Nusantara is far from Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Medan.

While it is true that East Kalimantan is not prone to natural disasters, the same applies to the Riau Islands as well.

Hypothetically, if Indonesia had chosen the Riau Islands, particularly Bintan, Batam or any of the adjacent islands as the site of Nusantara, then the new capital would not geographically be in the middle of the archipelago.-ADVERTISEMENT-Ads by 

Nevertheless, the Riau Islands are a stone’s throw away from Singapore and near to Kuala Lumpur.

If any of the Riau Islands in the Singapore Strait had been selected, Indonesia would have had a new capital capable of capitalising on the trade flowing through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

Logistically speaking, it would be nearer to travel from Riau Islands to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok compared with East Kalimantan, which is hundreds of kilometres away to the east.

Singapore is constructing a mega port in Tuas, touted to be the world’s single largest container port, while Malaysia is developing the RAPID refinery project in Pengerang, not too far from the Riau Islands.

Imagine if Nusantara had been built adjacent to the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

This would have seen the three nations capitalising on the trade flow in two of the world’s busiest straits.

Nevertheless, Indonesia has begun building its capital in Penajam Paser Utara, Kalimantan.

Let’s be optimistic that Nusantara will one day become a dream city of the future.

DR MOHD HAZMI MOHD RUSLI

Associate professor

Faculty of Syariah and Law

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM)

MOHD RIDWAN TALIB

Researcher, USIM


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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