Indonesia’s capital shift a positive devt, says Snowdan

Snowdan Lawan

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan (pic) sees many positive effects of Indonesia shifting its capital city to Kalimantan.

Snowdan said it would spur business, regional trade, tourism, social re-engineering, and cultural exchanges.

“Most of all, we can look forward to closer bilateral relations with Indonesia, and from there it will snowball,” he said when asked to comment on Indonesian President Joko Widodo who on August 8 reaffirmed that the country’s capital would be moved to Kalimantan, bidding goodbye to the current capital of Jakarta on Java island.

Snowdan believed that Sarawak’s airports are strategically located and tend to provide more open-sky opportunities for flights from countries in East Asia such as China, Japan and Korea.

“Our airports are a gateway to the new Indonesian capital city and also the resort island of Bali.

“There is tremendous tourism potential especially from ‘stop-by’ tourists, which makes it even more relevant for Sarawak to push forward the construction of airports in Limbang and Kapit in the north, and Betong in the central region,” he said.

Snowdan added that he could foresee significant inter-trade business opportunities for both Kalimantan and Sarawak in goods such as electricity, construction materials, food, labour and technical expertise.

“Of course, with more intense movement of goods and people, Sarawak will have to strengthen her security, immigration and checkpoint infrastructure along the borders,” he said.