Jakarta, a new perspective

 

Jakarta now emerges not only as Indonesia’s largest city, but also one of the world’s fastest growing megacities, now containing a population approximately 10 million strong in an area barely larger than Singapore (the latter by which has ‘merely’ 5.4 million). As the epicenter of the emerging market, with strong economic boom and vibrant dynamism, this metropolis is currently being faced with numerous challenges, ranging from yearly flooding seasons, en masse traffic breakdown in nearly all important highways stretching across the city, overpopulation, and a lackadaisical of sanitary and hygiene management, the main cause of many infectious, but easily curable, diseases. Worse, it is now being faced with threats resulting from global warming, with its surface level gradually decreasing, placing more areas around the capital at higher stakes.

Nevertheless, last year, Jakarta’s authorities, led by Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, had eventually stricken a massive long-term joint investment deal with Dutch government, and some of the country’s major corporations, in order to build a series of megaprojects intended to support its so-called ‘Coastal Defense Strategy’, ranging from giant sea walls, new bridges and highways, and lastly, a wholly new planned city intended to house hundred thousands of people. These series of massive-scale public work projects are expected to significantly reduce the problems the capital is being faced at this moment.

Okay, despite Indonesia’s reputation as one of the world’s highly corrupt countries, let us put some assurance, at least, that this program will be implemented with complete transparency and public accountability.

Watch it, and support it in a new perspective.

The Dutchman who built Singapore

albert winsemius

 

The little-known story of Albert Winsemius, a Dutch economist who, to Singapore’s luck, dedicated his whole life to the success of economic development in the city-state.

Read his full story in International Institute of Asian Studies.

 

Excerpt:

 

 

Dr Winsemius’ first impression was anything but hopeful. “It was bewildering,” he remembers. “There were strikes about nothing. There were communist-inspired riots almost every day and everywhere. In the beginning one has to very careful about passing any judgement – one does not know the country, one does not know the people, one does not know the men and women who are trying to steer this rudderless ship. But after a couple of months the pessimism within our commission reached appalling heights. We saw how a country can be demolished by unreal antitheses. The general opinion was: Singapore is going down the drain, it is a poor little market in a dark corner of Asia.”

Within a year, on 13 June 1961, the Winsemius team offered Singapore a development plan. The final assessment was written by Winsemius personally: ‘Expectations and Reality’ was his motto. This was permeated with an emotional appeal for unity, a passionate warning that time was running out if Singapore was not to sink away into the mud. The gloom was not completely unrelieved, there was one bright spot on the horizon: “In our opinion”, wrote Winsemius, “Singapore has the basic assets for industrialization. Her greatest asset is the high aptitude of her people to work in manufacturing industries. They can be ranked among the best factory workers in the world.”