TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan claimed President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had appointed the head authority of the new capital city. When asked if the figure could be Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok, Luhut did not provide a clear answer.
"[The name] will be announced later. As fas as I know, the president has made the decision. Let's just wait for the President's official announcement," said Luhut at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Friday, February 28, 2020.
The authority board, which will consist of ministries, will lead the construction of the new administrative center in East Kalimantan and its relocation. The board is automatically dismissed by the time the new form of government is decided, which is still under the discussion.
Earlier reported, two sources of Tempo in the government revealed that Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, Chief Commissioner of state oil and gas firm Ahok, and Deputy State-Owned Enterprises Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin were the three strongest candidates to be the head authority of the new capital.
Through a short message to Tempo on Wednesday, February 25, 2020, Bambang claimed that he did not know about the news. "I haven't been informed yet," Bambang said.
Ahok also confirmed that he was not aware of the candidacy rumors. "I don't know about it," he said, adding that he did not want to make an assumption. "I've only been in Pertamina for three months." Meanwhile, Budi Gunadi had not made any response yet.
DEWI NURITA | FRANSISCA CHRISTY