Forget the New Capital – Joko Widodo’s government has again failed to determine priorities. In the midst of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease or Covid-19 outbreak with an ever-increasing number of victims, the government continues to plan to move the capital city.
In fact, in normal situations, the lighthouse project is actually not of much benefit. It was decided without careful planning – including that it was never mentioned in President Jokowi’s campaign pledge, last year – the capital city was made before the financing mechanism was clear.
When the outbreak caused a worldwide crisis, not least in Indonesia, the plan was increasingly absurd. Foreign investors who are heralded to fund the project are almost certain to recalculate. It made no sense when the government did not budge and continued the plan.
Forget the New Capital
The continuation of the relocation of the capital can be seen from the revolving project of preparing the master plan of the national capital. This was stated in the Electronic Procurement Service document with the name of the package for the preparation of the Master Plan and the Development Strategy for the National Capital that was handled by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas). The Rp 85 billion project is carried out through direct appointment. Poker Online
The government argued that it would carry out soft activities, a kind of technical study by the ministry. The results of various meetings in the ministry were deposited to Bappenas. From here, then the master plan is made. The consultant appointed through the electronic procurement will later develop the final master plan.
According to the government, plans for physical construction of basic infrastructure for the new capital, such as water supply and roads, have not been included in the 2020 budget. The government claims to have relocated a budget for handling Covid-19 worth Rp 24.5 trillion.
The figure of Rp85 billion could be considered small compared to the value of the capital city relocation project which was said to reach Rp.446 trillion. Even so, the budget allocation for the preparation of the master plan is clearly not right. Moreover, until now no one has been able to predict when this outbreak will end.
The government should focus on carrying out mitigation, while hoping that corona drugs and vaccines will soon be found. It becomes ironic when the development of the new capital is continued, while research funds, which are needed to find vaccines and drugs, are cut down.
The government should also provide maximum funds for the social safety net program. The crisis caused by this plague has hit various industrial sectors. The unemployment rate soared. The poverty rate is certain to increase. Life insurance for the new poor must be properly prepared so that the explosion of social problems does not occur.
Direct cash assistance to affected groups is absolutely necessary. The Rp 20 trillion funds allocated for the Pre-Work Card – the program to carry out Jokowi’s campaign promises – should be diverted for this purpose. The government must make the continuation of the lives of the affected groups the highest priority.
Even if the temple ends quickly, it is definitely still needed time for everything to be back to normal. That means, the government must prioritize the basic rights of citizens guaranteed in the long run.
In short, things that are not important should be put aside. These include the lighthouse moving project of the capital. Forget the New Capital.