As Indonesia prepares to move its capital to Kalimantan, some officials are hesitant to move

JAKARTA: Indonesian civil servant Dwi (pseudonym) recently reflected on her career and her future.

President Joko Widodo signed the Capital Relocation Bill on February 15 and it became apparent that officials would have to move from Jakarta to the new capital named Nusantara.

Authorities said the move was necessary to save sinking and congested Jakarta, as well as to boost development in Kalimantan and East Indonesia, as most of the economic activity in the country is concentrated in Java, where the current capital is located.

But Dwi, a mother of three, has no desire to move from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, some 2,000 km away.

“So far I’m not sure the move would be good for me,” said the 36-year-old who has been a civil servant for 11 years.

“One of my concerns is, what about my husband whose job is in Jakarta?”

She also wondered what the new capital might offer her three children, who are now between two and nine years old.

Dwi is not the only official reluctant to settle in the new capital Nusantara. Reports by officials opponents of relocation to Nusantara have also emerged in recent days.

Jason Kusuma, who is also not his real name, is concerned about the education of his children.

“I have a child with special needs, so he needs some treatment,” Kusuma, 40, told CNA, adding that he was worried the new capital would not have the facilities his child needs.

Moreover, Kusuma also has sick relatives in Jakarta and since he is their eldest, he feels obligated to take care of them.

If there is no way to opt out of the relocation, Kusuma said he is ready to take the last option.

“I can quit. It’s on my list of options, but I’d like to wait and see how things develop,” he said.

Budi Darmawan (pseudonym), on the other hand, did not hesitate to leave his job as a civil servant last year when he was sure that the relocation of the capital would take place.

Having moved around a lot as a child due to his father’s work, Darmawan said he does not want his children to have the same experience, especially when it remains to be seen what the new capital will be like and the facilities it will offer. .

“When you no longer correspond (to the government’s vision), it is better to leave. No problem,” he said.

Darmawan has since set up his own consulting agency and he said he has no regrets.