Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo requested the approval of the House of Representatives on Friday to transfer the Indonesian capital from Jakarta to a city on the island of Kalimantan.
Jokowi's request was part of his annual state of the nation speech. Dressed in the traditional golden dress of the Sasak tribe, he said, "Indonesia is not only Jakarta, not just Java. Indonesia is Sabang, it is Merauke, it is Miangas, it is Rote," he said. Jokowi.
The four regions represent respectively the most western, most eastern, northern and southernmost points of Indonesia.
"Our development must be focused on Indonesia, it must be appreciated by everyone throughout the archipelago," he said.
The president also said that the success of development depends on the support of all political parties, including the opposition.
"I request permission from you, members of the House of Representatives, to move our capital to Kalimantan," Jokowi said.
"The new capital should not only represent the identity of our nation, but should also be a symbol of development, economic equality and equity," he said.
During a cabinet meeting to discuss the transfer of the capital at the beginning of this month, three options in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and South Kalimantan were presented to the president.
Jokowi will make his final selection at the end of this month. He plans to begin the relocation process in 2024, the last year of his presidency.
The government wants the House of Representatives to approve the legislation supporting the transfer within the next year. Construction of the new capital should begin in 2021.