New capital city, RR asked Jokowi: for the people or for Beijing

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Former Coordinating Minister for Economy Rizal Ramli

The plan to move the new national capital (IKN) to Penajam Paser Utara, Central East Kalimantan has attracted the attention of national figure Rizal Ramli.

In particular, Rizal Ramli (RR) even asked Jokowi about the relocation of the country’s capital, two questions regarding the plan to build a new capital city.

This question was asked by Rizal Ramli during a dialogue with the Deputy Chairperson of the Gerindra Party, Fadli Zon, on the YouTube channel @fadliZonOfficial. Rizal questioned the purpose of moving the capital city.

Former Coordinating Minister for Economy Rizal Ramli Photo: Rmol

“We suddenly made the capital city in East Kalimantan. The question is, who wants to live there? Officials with mediocre salaries, what do you want? Except for corrupt officials. Then, how about the financing?” said RR, Rizal Ramli’s greeting.

The construction of the nation’s capital city will indeed be carried out using the state budget, but Rizal was asked if there was a shortage of development costs.

However, Rizal continued, until now no one has been able to explain who will and is interested in living in the new capital city regarding the clarity.

New capital city design in Kalimantan.  Photo: Ministry of PUPR.
New capital city design in Kalimantan. Photo: Ministry of PUPR.

“Big real estate companies will not want to build real estate in East Kalimantan, unless they are forced to. Because they are more profitable to build new BSD, create new cities, create new satellite cities on the island of Java. If you go there you are forced to do it,” he said.

Rizal Ramli’s new capital, China’s opportunity

According to this senior economist, only Chinese state-owned enterprises will be willing and interested in building real estate in the new National Capital area.

With its track record and characteristics, Chinese SOEs can certainly work on real estate there, and do not rule out inviting Chinese residents to occupy the new capital city, because the Indonesian people do not seem willing to live in our new mother area.

“Many who are interested in it are Chinese SOEs. To buy land there, build a new capital city, but who will live in it? People don’t want to live there,” he said.

“Later, the Chinese SOEs can enter. Because Chinese SOEs, they always have that model. For example, make the Jakarta-Bandung train. They know that just from selling tickets they can’t afford it, they don’t count. So they asked for 3 stops. So that it is provided for them to make real estate. One of those near Bandung is Walini, a former tea plantation. Why? Because if he develops the reset, they sell the real estate covering the tariffs. So this is different infrastructure investment from other countries. They just focus on the infrastructure,” he added.

RI's new capital city design
Design of the new capital city of Indonesia. Photo:

RR added, China’s Beijing style is always in every cooperation in infrastructure and investment is always associated with real estate. So that they can develop and sell not only the infrastructure they have built.

“Well, the pattern is the same. Buy cheap in East Kalimantan, build and sell with Indonesian people, who wants to move to East Kalimantan to sharpen North Paser, isn’t there one right? but from Beijing with a population of 1.4 billion, many want to move. So who are we building the capital for? Is it right for the people? Is it right for our nation? Or do we prepare this for the new Beijing?” he insisted.

“What is clear is that Pak Jokowi is telling the truth!” added RR emphasized.

On that basis, RR questioned President Jokowi’s intention to build and move a new capital city in East Kalimantan, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, in which state finances are still “dying” as it is today.

“So I apologize, Mr. Jokowi, please explain who will live in this “new” capital city. I think this is the new capital of Beijing,” he said.

“Let’s just be honest, Mas Jokowi, who have you prepared the capital for? for the people of Indonesia or for a new Beijing?” so RR.

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