TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said that Jakarta was not designed to be the national capital city based on historical studies which revealed that during the colonial government, only three regions were surveyed to be a capital, namely Bandung, Malang, and Surabaya.
“So I read that in the colonial era, Batavia was not suitable as a capital city,” said Kamil who is familiarly called Emil in an official statement, Wednesday, Jan. 26.
When the malaria pandemic hit and killed thousands of people in Batavia, the colonial government planned to move the capital. For this reason, three regions were studied, namely Malang, Surabaya, and Bandung. “The chosen one is Bandung with all calculations,” Emil added.
The colonial government's plan, he went on, was proven by the relocation of government offices up to military headquarters. “But then Japan arrived. The colonial government's design for the capital was cut off by the fate of history. So Jakarta was never designed as the capital,” he explained.
This means Emil opined that the Indonesian government did not have a capital city that fundamentally represents national values. Consequently, Jakarta developed into a dominant economic engine and took on many vital roles.
Since the vital wheel of governance and economy are based in Jakarta, any form of turmoil in Jakarta could easily risk crippling the activities of both of them.
Ridwan Kamil further commented on the plan to relocate the capital city from Jakarta to Eastern Kalimantan. He assessed that the plan had been proposed since the era of President Soekarno. “At that time, Bung Karno considered Kalimantan [as the new capital] so this idea had come a long time yet Bung Karno chose Palangkaraya,” he said.