For one week, after his inauguration as Jakarta governor, Anies Baswedanevaded questions about the future of Jakarta Bay’s reclamation. Anies says he will wait for the outcome of the Jakarta City Council’s (DPRD) special session before making any public statement on the topic, contrary to his zealous rejection of the project during the campaign period.
Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, Jakarta’s new deputy governor, seems equally unruffled. According to Sandiaga, he and Anies are still studying how the already- built islands will be utilized. ‘So, be patient, friends. We’re studying this issue carefully and are not rushing,” he said last week at the State Elementary School VII in Cawang, East Jakarta.
Anies has denied giving an interview on the topic, particularly on the lobbying efforts of the developers and pressure from the central government. When Tempo’s Friski Riana asked about these points, the governor simply replied, “Ah, Tempo.” Here are several of Anies’s statements, made on various occasions.
Much has changed over the past six months in regard to the Jakarta Bay reclamation project. Will you also make some changes?
We see that many steps have been taken. But these were not steps for building new islands. These are steps for islands that have already been built. We do not approve of the reclamation. As for islands already built, as we have said in the past, they must be utilized in the interest of the public. As for (islands) not yet built, just don’t execute.
What do you mean by halting the project?
Would you tear down islands that have already been built? If so, where will you dispose them? If the sand is dumped, it could harm the sea. Also, tall buildings can’t be built in the area because it’s close to the airport.
What are your plans for these islands?
The process has happened, but what to do with the islands? And for whom? How much for the developors and how much for residents? I can do several things. And this doesn’t have to do with political interests nor our attitude toward the reclamation, but with administration, with regulations.