KUCHING, June 17 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg believes that the state will benefit if Indonesia decides to shift its administrative capital from Java to Kalimantan, Borneo.
He said the benefits could be in the form of supplying electricity to the new administrative capital.
“I don’t know if they really move their capital, although there are talks about it, and if they do, then I am sure they want electricity,” Abang Johari said at a joint Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya gathering hosted by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) here today.
Recently, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visited East Kalimantan to survey possible locations for a new capital, fast-tracking a plan to move the administrative headquarters out of over-crowded and congested Jakarta.
According to the Jakarta Post, Jokowi visited Bukit Soeharto, one of the locations being considered for the capital, in East Kalimantan last month.
The Indonesian president also visited Palangkaraya, a city of about 260,000, in Central Kalimantan province and reviewed another possible site for the capital.
Apart from being over-crowded with about 30 million people, Jakarta is also said to be sinking by as much as six inches every year, Jakarta Post reported.
Abang Johari said Sarawak can supply electricity from its three mega dams while another mega dam is expected to be commissioned in 2025, both to East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan provinces
“That means we can work together with Indonesia, and the potential is there,” he said, adding that SEB is currently selling electricity to West Kalimantan province through the Borneo Grid.
He said SEB has the expertise, talents and engineering skills to work with the Indonesian power authority
He said SEB is currently negotiating with Brunei and Sabah on the prices of electricity.
“They want to pay at a lower price than we pay, which I have rejected. If Sarawak pays that much, they must pay the same price, and it cannot be lower than what we pay,” he said.
The chief minister believed that SEB will transform itself to be one of the biggest power generators in this region.
“At the moment, we are the biggest producer of clean energy because of hydro-power,” he said.