KOTA KINABALU: The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Business Council (BEBC) has welcomed Indonesia’s decision to move its capital into the "heart of Borneo".
BEBC national chairman Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed said Indonesia’s future capital - proposed as Kalimantan - has the potential to become a green city if properly planned but noted it was no easy task.
Borneo is a large island that comprises the lands of three nations - Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak, as well as Brunei.
“It does not matter if Palangkaraya (capital of central Kalimantan) is not visibly mentioned, but anywhere within Kalimantan is also good.
“It is very rare to learn of any green city of the world and (it is good) if Indonesia’s latest capital can be a green city but it won’t be easy,” he told The Star.
Roselan said there would "gainers and losers" when the move from Jakarta materialises.
“When the capital moves, the population will also move in tandem.
“Hopefully, the Small and Medium Industries (SMIs) and the manufacturing industries will be left behind, and this new capital will strictly be an administrative and governing centre where new infrastructure is accordingly planned,” he said.
Roselan said initially Sabah and Sarawak will not benefit much apart from the hope of getting orders for building and construction materials, due to the proximity.
“But the cross-border linkages will be expedited, and so shall be the fibre-optics and 5G (telecommunication network).
“Air linkages will be next in line and meetings with (Indonesia’s) government officials will be faster and more convenient,” he projected.
Roselan concluded that every support should be given to the Indonesian government to see this happen as soon as possible, in order to reap any gains.
Last week, Indonesia's Tawau consulate head Sulistijo Djati Ismojo said Tawau district, located in Sabah’s east coast, is expected to receive the most positive impact, especially from the economic side, when the capital is moved to Kalimantan.
With the prospect of being the city nearest to Indonesia’s capital, he expected many Indonesian travellers will come over and therefore believed Tawau should gear itself for this.