THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) secretariat will continue to be based in this city.
This is despite the decision of the Indonesian government to move the nation’s capital to Kalimantan by 2024.
According to Brunei-based portal, The Scoop, Asean secretary-general Dato Lim Jock Hoi had said that with a new building launched on Aug 8, its secretariat would continue to serve as the anchor for the bloc.
Built by the Indonesian government at a cost of US$37 million (RM154.8 million), the building was inaugurated by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to mark the 52nd anniversary of Asean’s establishment.
“As far as Asean is concerned, the Asean Secretariat will not move to Kalimantan because we just got a new building,” he said at the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia’s (Eria) editors’ roundtable in Bangkok, Thailand, recently.
“We would like to see what we have in New York with the United Nations — that the Asean Secretariat will be the anchor for the Asean capital in Jakarta.”
With 93 ambassadors accredited to Asean, 74 of them based in Jakarta, Lim said Jakarta would remain the diplomatic capital of the 10-member bloc.
“We believe that Jakarta will be the capital of Asean,” said the Bruneian diplomat who assumed office last year.
In late August, Widodo announced the country’s capital would move from Jakarta — a city of 10 million that is facing problems such as overcrowding, pollution and subsidence — to a site in sparsely populated East Kalimantan province.
The new capital would act as the centre of government, he had said, while Jakarta would remain the country’s business and economic centre.
Widodo said the relocation of the capital would cost US$32 billion, but it was necessary to reduce population density and economic disparity between Java and the rest of Indonesia.