Jakarta (Greeners) – President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo announced the new capital city of Indonesia will be moved from Jakarta to a location in Kalimantan island. However, the indigenous peoples’ alliance (AMAN) states that the move will create new conflict, social issues.
Rukka Sombolinggi, AMAN’s secretary general, said that herself or AMAN has not been invited to discuss about the moving despite the fact that it has social risks on indigenous peoples in the island.
“Up to this date, indigenous peoples have yet to be asked to discuss about moving the new capital city, especially AMAN. Kalimantan island is not prone to natural disasters, yet it’s vulnerable to social conflicts given the facts that the history of the island,” said Sombolinggi in Jakarta, on Thursday (01/08/2019).
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Furthermore, she said that the move should be cautious about transferring more problems to indigenous peoples as the government needs to be aware that it is for people’s welfare, and nothing else.
“Currently, we cannot differentiate between government talking interests as public servants or interests of major companies which will come to invest in the new capital city’s infrastructure development,” she said.
Based on AMAN data on customary areas indicative maps, nearly all areas in Tanah Bambu, Gunung Mas, and Palangkaraya of Kalimantan are customary forests.
“It’s not we don’t want new capital city, but when it is not being moved successfully, then it would only transferring new problems occurs in Jakarta, that is how Betawi people are evicted from their own lands,” she said.
To move ethnics and culture, she added, is dangerous in Kalimantan. Moving state officials, from the president, ministers, to other civil servants have the potential of social conflicts.
“You can’t just fire all employees then hire people of Gunung Mas, for instance, that’s hardly possible. There will be human migration, surely people from outside of Gunung Mas have different backgrounds,” she said adding that land clearing for buildings and other infrastructure will be massive, meanwhile people of Kalimantan know that they have intact forests.
“From our monitoring, when Palangkaraya was announced as the new capital city, there are lots of people buying lands in Palangkaraya. Surely, people with full understanding will be so easily sold their lands, given the economic pressures. We fear that this issue to Gunung Mas will happen again,” she said.
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She suggested for central government to be able to explain all consequences to public, especially indigenous peoples if the move is going to happen in Kalimantan, give them information on positive and negative impacts.
“Don’t use excuses such as giving new jobs for local people because that wouldn’t hold long. The reality is probably they will be hired as labours because they don’t qualified according to the company’s requirements,” she said.
On May, President Jokowi visited two locations in Kalimantan, — Bukit Soeharto of Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan and Gunung Mas in Central Kalimantan –, as potentials for new capital city.
Reports by Dewi Purningsih