October 6, 2023
JAKARTA – Chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Megawati Soekarnoputri held a meeting with former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Muhammad in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday evening, during which the two senior politicians discussed several issues including Indonesia’s plan to move its capital city to East Kalimantan.
Megawati was in Kuala Lumpur to join a ceremony held by the Tun Abdul Rahman University, which gave her an honorary doctorate in social science.
During the meeting, Mahathir mentioned the monumental task of moving Indonesia’s capital city, a job that would be more complex than what the Malaysian government undertook in the early 1990s when it moved the administrative center to Putrajaya, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur.
“Kuala Lumpur was so crowded and we decided to move the government center to Putrajaya, but this was only 25 kilometers away, different from IKN,” Mahathir said, referring to the Nusantara capital city by its initials.
Mahathir also said that Putrajaya was smaller in size, covering only 50 square kilometers, compared to IKN’s projected size of more than 2,500 sq km.
Early in the meeting, Megawati commented on the rain in Kuala Lumpur, which she thought was strange as the region is now entering the peak of the dry season.
“We don’t have too much rain in Indonesia now,” Megawati said with a chuckle.