Indonesia capital move likely won’t stop Jakarta sinking

By January 3, 2023

Indonesia (MNN) — Indonesia will move its capital from crowded Jakarta on the island of Java to a rural area of Borneo. Jakarta faces severe overcrowding and flooding, as it was designed for only a third of its current population.

Indonesia plans to move the political capital to Borneo, with the financial capital remaining behind. The new city could be ready by the end of 2024.

Will the move help?

But will this move lift any pressure on Jakarta? Bruce Allen with FMI says, “In the immediate term when you’re moving all the politicians in Parliament, all the representatives, and all that sort of traffic, it will help ease things. Is it going to stop the sinking of the city into the sea? I don’t know that. This chain has thousands of islands that are volcanic. They go through a lot of disruptions.”

Allen says the financial capital may also move away from Jakarta in the future.

Plus, to save Jakarta, Indonesia will sacrifice several natural habitats on Borneo. It remains unclear if the Indonesian government sought permission from indigenous peoples to build on the land. Allen says, “This is an area where orangutans and other species live in the wild. And this move will be taking away some of that. That’s something to watch.”

FMI church planters

In the meantime, FMI wants to establish a strong presence in the new capital, even as it is being built. Allen says, “Right now on this island, Kalimantan, FMI supports 14 church planters. It’s the vision of the leadership team there (and I concur) that we should add eight more church planters in 2022 and 2023. That way, by the end of 2024, we’re set.”

Ask God to strengthen and build churches in the region. Allen says, “Ask God to raise up the indigenous church planters to have a vision for outreach there. Then also pray that the Lord would increase the vision of the supporting partners, those brothers and sisters in the Lord here in the West.”

And as Jakarta continues to sink (some parts by several centimeters per year), ask Him to give Indonesian authorities wisdom.



The header photo shows flooding in the streets of Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of VOA Indonesian Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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