KUCHING, March 30 – A Malaysian delegation consisting of Minister of Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili and Sarawak Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan yesterday visited the site of the new Indonesian capital Nusantara.
Video and photos shared by Awang Tengah’s office showed the delegation at the Nusantara site which is being developed in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
In an interview with the media there, Awang Tengah said it was a great honor and privilege to be at the “titik nol” (KM 0 point) of the new Indonesian capital.
He also expressed his confidence that Nusantara, once completed, will have a positive impact on the island of Borneo, especially Sarawak and Sabah, which are the closest neighbors of Indonesian Kalimantan.
“We share (a) border. This is why we see that the relationships and bonds (between us) need to be strengthened. Many opportunities will present themselves.
“With the private sector, especially from Sarawak and Sabah, they can be involved (in such opportunities).
“We can improve border trade and also consider joint border development. With infrastructure development in Kalimantan involving the road from West Kalimantan to North Kalimantan, we need to consider upgrading our current CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) complexes and building new ones,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ongkili said that although the development of Nusantara is still in its early stages, the Malaysian delegation has seen and been briefed on its master plan and timeline.
“The Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta will assist Malaysian investors who wish to invest or participate (in the development of Nusantara). But to start with, we should strengthen the border economy that has long existed between regions in Borneo,” he said.
Their visit to Nusantara was part of their official working visit to Indonesia. Sabah’s deputy chief minister, Datuk Joachim Gunsalam, is also part of the delegation.
On March 14, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited and camped at the Nusantara site as he pursued the ambitious plan to build Indonesia’s new capital. — Borneo Post Online