Indonesia’s plan to shift its capital from sinking Jakarta in overcrowded Java to thinly-populated east Kalimantan has naturally evoked comparison with other new Southeast Asian new capitals, Naypyidaw in Myanmar and Putrajaya in Malaysia. But Putrajaya barely counts as a new capital as it is little more than a suburb of Kuala Lumpur between the city and its airport. Naypyidaw was a political statement more than an economic or environmental necessity. Indonesia’s decision is both – and also the boldest of all.
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