trafic jam

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jakarta Bay Reclamation, Grace or Fiasco?

Any new idea, whether it is an innovation or new development, always raises pros and cons. Jakarta Bay Reclamation (JBR) Project is no exception. A lot of people – be they environment experts, lawyers, politicians and observers – all are looking on the projects whether they are executed conforming to the regulations or whether there are some frauds involved in them. Some are trying hard to be involved in the projects in the hope of at least getting a part of the huge funds spent in the projects and some are sincere on their criticism.

The project began under Presidential Decree No. 17 of 1994 stipulating that Jakarta North Coast Region was categorized as the mainstay of Jakarta urban development region. Presidential Decree No. 52/1995 followed suit stipulated to organize the Jakarta North Coast region development through the sea reclamation integrated with existing coastal plains.

In January 2012 the Governor Regional Regulation No 8/1995 on the Implementation of North Jakarta Reclamation Area was changed under the setting of the Spatial Plan to year 2030. In September of the same year, one month before the end of his term, four principal permits were issued under the Governor Regulation No 121/2012 by Fauzi Bowo on the reclamation of F, G, I and K islands. Those permits were extended by the then Acting Governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama (Ahok) in June 2014.

From the end of 2014 to the end of 2015 Governor Ahok issued the reclamation execution permit of G, F, I and K. Today, a total of 17 man-made islands inside Jakarta Bay are in process to undergo their construction or under the process of getting the permit. Those islands were named alphabetically namely A being the westernmost island through Q island in the easternmost of Jakarta Bay.

On 27 April 2016, in a closed meeting discussing the Jakarta Bay reclamation, President Jokowi ensured that the whole Jakarta reclamation project should be continued. This reclamation project will be integrated with the National Capital Integrated Costal Development (NCICD).

He reminded that the land subsidence in Jakarta has been very worrying. It is estimated that if there is no action to cope with the problem, the entire North Jakarta will be submerged and below the sea level in 2030. In fact, as the capital city, Jakarta must have the resilience and resources to support a sustainable environment. Jokowi said that the construction of coastal Capital (NCICD) which has long been initiated would be a solution. Do not narrow the problem by focusing only to the Jakarta reclamation project alone.

Following the uproar over the issue of bribery and the arrest M.Sanusi, Chairman of the Jakarta City Council by KPK as well as the growing protest some communities, at the meeting of the Reclamation Joint Committee of inter-ministerial and DKI Government, Rizal Ramli, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Resources decided to stop the G island reclamation project on the grounds that the island was developed over the Pertamina gas pipeline and over the PLN underground cable lines.

But according to Tutty Kusumawati, Head of Bappeda DKI Jakarta, the cancellation of the G island reclamation was unilaterally decided by the Minister Rizal Ramli. Tutty said that the Joint Committee never concluded that there were gross violations on the G island development and no cancellation recommendations towards the reclamation. However, Rizal Ramli had another opinion which was beyond the Committee recommendations. According to her, the term gross violations were expressed by Rizal himself.

Mahfud M.D, ex-Minister of Law and Human Rights, was in the opinion that as Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Marine Resources, Rizal Ramli had no rights or authority to decide the fate of a reclamation project in Jakarta Bay not mention deciding the cancellation of the reclamation. Any cancellation decision is fully at the hand of the President. What Rizal Ramli did had no connection with the Governor of Jakarta. Naturally Ahok as a governor was in the right position to raise the matter directly to the president.

We all have interests that all parties concerned have proportional opinion. There are some countries that have successful development of their sea reclamation such as Singapore, our neighboring country and Dubai in the Middle East. Apart of the criminal problems associated with frauds, and violations regulation which might be done by developers, environmental and the fate of fishermen issues, we must see the reclamation project in Jakarta Bay implemented as an integral part of coastal development capital (NCICD) as a project that can provide a positive effect in a long term to Great Jakarta as a whole as referred to in Presidential Decree No. 17 of 1994 and No. 5.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Permata Hijau Flyover Avoids One Level Crossing

Jakarta is famous with its traffic jams. People are accustomed to cars and motorcycles packing on Jakarta streets. The number of cars and motorcycles are increasing significantly but very little new roads are built. To cope with this grave situation, Jakarta City Government built flyovers in several places especially above the roads crossing the peripheral railway track to curb the possible accidents colliding with the train. 

One of them is Permata Hijau flyover built crossing the railway Tanah Abang-Rangkasbitung completed in first week of January 2016. Its length measured 533 meters and 12 meter height with construction cost of Rp131 billion. 

Prior to the construction of the flyover, the road connecting Permata Hijau and Senayan is always packed with cars and motorcycles in the morning and afternoon especially at the spot where the road crosses over the railway tracks causing people be late to go to offices or be back home in the afternoon.

The contractor was able to complete such a huge task successfully especially when they had to set the construction during the rainy season. Believe it or not, although we live in modern era, rumor circulated that while constructing the flyover the contractor hired 12 metaphysicists from Kalimantan, Central Java and Banten to prevent the rain from falling down at the constructional area, thus, preserve the quality of wet cement from degrading. 

Though it is contrary to the logic, some people still use the service of metaphysicists to prevent rain in wedding or cultural ceremony and performance but it’s look funny when applied for civil construction work such Permata Hijau Flyover. 

Notwithstanding just few hundred meters from the flyover, there is small pathway crossing the railway that some people still drive their cars and motorcycles across causing the danger of collision with the train remains. There are some free-lance boys (popularly called pak Ogah) who guard the railway-crossing, but they work occasionally.

It seems that the purpose of Permata Hijau flyover construction which costs hundreds billion of rupiah is in vain. The public discipline should be strongly held. The attitude of the government towards the people’s indiscipline is too weak especially to those considered as marginal such those who occupy the railway track or river banks.

We are waiting for firm action from the local authority. We can no longer tolerate people who don’t mind with the government effort to manage the traffic spending billon of rupiah. On behalf of orderliness people should be ready to just take a little tour using the new imposing flyover built to make life better.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Local Culinary: 'Obama' Nasi Goreng

Nasi goreng is one of the Indonesian national dishes served in a plastic plate at a roadside food stall, on porcelain in restaurants, or collected from the buffet tables of Jakarta dinner parties. Its origin is supposed to be from Southern Chinese, just like mie goreng which origin is more obvious. Some guess that the acculturation began at the era of Srivijaya or Majapahit around the 15th century when local people simply dried the leftover rice to make rice cracker instead of fried rice as the Chinese did.
Nasi goreng refers to fried precooked rice accompanied with ingredients, particularly onions, chili, cucumber, tomatoes, fried eggs, alternately added with chicken and prawns or salted dried fish. Some common condiments are: fried onion, crackers, pickles and chilli sauce.

While most Indonesian households serve it for breakfast, nasi goreng is also a popular choice for late night supper served by street vendors, in stalls and also by travelling night hawkers that frequent Indonesian residential neighborhoods with their wheeled carts. 

Nasi goreng is considered as Indonesian national dish, although it is also popular in Malaysia and Singapore. In the Netherlands, Indonesian cuisine is common due to the historical colonial ties with Indonesia. Indonesian migrants (or their offspring) cater Indonesian food both in restaurants and as take-away. This national dish is consumed by all layers of societies as its price varies widely from the cheapest one enjoyed in its simplest manifestation served in plastic plates at a roadside food stall to fancy restaurants and five-star hotels.

In 2011 CNN International held an online poll on  Indonesian nasi goreng followed by 35,000 people and the result showed that nasi goreng was chosen as the number two of their 'World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods' list after rendang. Even Barrack Obama, the current President of United Stated of America, is quite accustomed to this meal because he used to eat it in his childhood while living in Indonesia. His Indonesian culinary does not stop there; bakso (meatballs), satay and rambutan (hairy fruit) are also among his favorites. 

The strong memory related to the taste of these two kinds of meals has made him still long for them and try to eat either of the two at any possible chances. During his visit to Indonesia, he seemed to take a chance to satisfy his longing appetite.

Wanting to try Nasi Goreng in some food stalls and restaurants around Jakarta?
Have a nice taste!
  1. Avara Lounge, Epicentrum Walk, Lantai 2, Jl. HR Rasuna Said, Kuningan
  2. Nasi goreng Bhakti, Jalan Bhakti, Blok S, Kebayoran Baru
  3. Nasi goreng Cirebon Jl. Paus Raya, Rawamangun
  4. Nasi goreng Gila Taman Menteng, Jalan HOS. Cokroaminoto, Menteng.
  5. Nasi goreng Gila Liem, Jalan Kebagusan Raya, Kecamatan Pasar Minggu
  6. Nasi goring Ikan Asin Alila Jl. Pecenongan
  7. Nasi goreng Ijo Tole, Jl. Panglima Polim X, Melawai
  8. Nasi goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih, Jl. Kebon Sirih Barat, Menteng
  9. RM Legoh Senopati, Pasar Santa, Lantai 1, Jl. Cipaku I, Senopati
  10. Lokananta, / Jl. Panglima Polim 2 No. 2, Melawai
  11. Nasi goreng Mafia, Jl. Tebet Raya No. 27 D, Tebet
  12. Kedai Pelangi, Jl. H. Agus Salim No. 18B, Menteng

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Unpopular Jokowi’s Letter on Cheap Car to Vice President

Jokowi, the popular Jakarta Governor, sent a letter to Vice President calling for the postponement for the sales of low cost green car (LCGC) in Jakarta. E.E. Mangindaan, the Minister of Transportation, wanted that the LCGC program should be carried out in line with the road infrastructure availability in the country. “The number of cheap cars should not be excessive because the infrastructure is not yet sufficient”, said he.

One may consider such a letter and statement as controversial. Most of the reasons that the opponents of the LCGC program have put forward are related to the traffic problems. They show their worry that the traffic in the big cities will be stagnant as the infrastructures that are available would not be able to afford the additional LCGC.

But Jakarta does not reflect the image of Indonesia. In many small cities in the country, one may count with his fingers the vehicles that run on the road. After twilight the roads in those cities are almost deserted. Obviously, the LCGCs are suitable for such cities. The LCGC is classified as the one which consumes one liter for 28 kilometer-distance, has 60 percent local content and the selling price below Rp 75 million  (US $6,800). Just couple days after launching, almost 18,000 cheap cars have been sold out where most of buyers are those who live in Jakarta and nearby cities.

Low and middle class people are eager to buy such cars as they cannot afford to buy normal car which price beyond their purchasing power and buy motorcycles instead. Now having such a low price car available, some of them may convert from riding motorcycles to cheap cars. The haves may also buy the car as a second [or higher] vehicle especially for their kids.

The number of cars in Indonesia compared to its population is among the lowest in the world around one car for 40 people, compared that of to the developed countries which ratio is 1:3. The availability of the LCGC will certainly increase the car population in Indonesia. Huge investment up to US$ 3.5 billion is required and it might absorb thousands of workers to fabricate the cars.

Definitely the LCGC mass productions will give a positive impact on the country economy as they improve the quality of the private transportation mode in term of fuel saving, the transportation efficiency as compared to bigger and expensive cars, the condition of transportation mode especially for those using motorcycles and, last but not least, the environment.

However, a big controversy has arisen as the government launches the beginning of the mass production of LCGC. Isn’t that the people car (“mobil rakyat”) that the country is longing for? The car which is not exclusively for the haves but also for middle and lower class? Of course, to become a national people car, it is hoped that at the latest stage the local content  would be close to 100 percent.

How come that we should against the relatively poor people for having a little comfort by possessing LCGC replacing their motorcycles in favor of the relatively rich people enjoying their “luxury” cars? Shouldn't we have opposite standpoint by encouraging people to have LCGC as it gives so many beneficial for the low income people?

Mr. Governor, we understood of your apprehension on the Jakarta traffic jams as they are already aggravated. But don’t you consider to impose the luxury car (more that 3000 cc) usage limitation, by for example allowing them to circulate only beyond the office time instead of limiting the LCGC? Or more radically proposing to limit the production of the 3000 cc-cars or higher rather than that of LCGC?

The postponement of the cheap car mass productions will be a blunder as it will cause Indonesia suffer a big loss, as by 2015 any ASEAN countries under AFTA can easily export their cheap cars into their neighboring countries. They have kept eyes to take any opportunities to inundate their cheap cars here and certainly will establish their sole agents in our country for selling their home-made cheap car.