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J.J. Kusni, a renowned Borneo-born writer who spent many years in Paris before returning to his native island, explained during our encounter:
"While the idea to move the capital to Borneo, by Sukarno, was correct, to do it now would be totally wrong. The reasons have changed, and the goals are different. By building a new capital, Sukarno was confronting British imperialism, and British client state - Malaysia. It was a political as well as a strategic decision."
Now, Mr. Kusni explained, moving the capital to Borneo, would only help to harden Javanese colonialism.
Also, Palangkaraya is not the place that is now being designated as the future site for the capital. Instead, construction is supposed to begin in the middle of nowhere, between the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.
And it is said that many government officials and business tycoons of Indonesia have already made huge investments in the land in that area, knowing that the price will appreciate tremendously. Therefore, enormous profits will soon be made, by those who are already wealthy. And what is left of nature, will be ruined.
While, as mentioned above, millions of Jakarta-dwellers will be abandoned, left unprotected, and forgotten. Their lives will be ruined.
The water will swallow their city. There will be no compensation. Billions of dollars will be made, and 'recycled' into lavish condominiums in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States.
If built at all, the quality of the future Indonesian capital will be, predictably, and forgive my language, total sh*t.
Nothing good is ever constructed here, except malls and 5-star hotels, but those are erected by foreign constructors, and for the profits of multi-national companies and local tycoons.
In Indonesia, which has not managed to give birth to even one single great scientist, thinker or architect in several decades, even two tiles usually cannot be put together, properly. Sidewalks, if built at all, are of terrible quality. Parks are essentially non-existent. Waterways, are the most clogged and polluted on earth, even according to local experts.
Officially, new projects are promising parks, walkways, even fountains and green areas, but when construction ends, all the 'extras' miraculously disappear. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is given to the people for free.
Why, one could ask, would the new capital be different?
And the frank answer is: it would not be.