Farewell, trio of trail­blaz­ers!

The Jakarta Post - - FRONT PAGE -

When Anies Baswedan is in­au­gu­rated as the new Jakarta gover­nor for the next five years on Mon­day, Jakar­tans, es­pe­cially, will miss three il­lus­tri­ous gover­nors who re­shaped the cap­i­tal city over the tur­bu­lent past five years: Joko “Jokowi” Wi­dodo, Ba­suki “Ahok” Tja­haja Pur­nama and Djarot Syai­ful Hi­dayat.

Hav­ing three gover­nors in the span of five years with lots of lega­cies, de­spite many un­fin­ished jobs and lin­ger­ing con­tro­ver­sies, will be fondly re­mem­bered for many, many years to come. The trio has laid the foun­da­tion for ac­count­able gov­ern­ment, a mer­i­to­cratic sys­tem and a more liv­able Jakarta.

Af­ter win­ning the 2012 gu­ber­na­to­rial elec­tion on the “new Jakarta” prom­ise, Jokowi and his deputy Ahok took Jakarta by storm with their “rev­o­lu­tion­ary” mer­i­to­cratic sys­tem in a bid to re­form an in­ef­fi­cient bu­reau­cracy per­ceived as cor­rupt. An­other sig­na­ture pro­gram is the “Jakarta smart card” scheme to help the poor with ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and the “Jakarta health card” to give the poor free ac­cess to health care. Jokowi’s most dar­ing mis­sion was to re­vive the devel­op­ment of the MRT, which his pre­de­ces­sors had ini­ti­ated but ground to a halt, due mainly to un­re­solved bud­getary con­straints.

Evic­tions of state land en­croach­ers to make way for the revitalization of the city’s no­to­ri­ously dirty rivers and lakes have met fierce re­sis­tance un­til to­day, al­though it is hard to deny that the ini­tia­tive has re­mark­ably im­proved the en­vi­ron­ment. Wide­spread in­un­da­tion that would crip­ple Jakarta streets and res­i­den­tial ar­eas has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced in re­cent years, thanks to well-main­tained wa­ter­ways and gut­ters.

Af­ter Jokowi as­cended to the pres­i­dency in 2014, his works were con­tin­ued by Ahok, who was re­jected by hard­line Mus­lims sim­ply for be­ing a Chris­tian and of Chi­nese de­scent. He sig­na­ture schemes in­clude in­te­grated pub­lic ser­vices, e-bud­get­ing and e-gov­ern­ment sys­tems — all meant to min­i­mize cor­rup­tion. He also started the con­struc­tion of the light rail tran­sit (LRT) sys­tem.

His leg­endary ten­dency to pick a fight with his po­lit­i­cal foes ex­posed the acute cor­rup­tion that plagued the city ad­min­is­tra­tion and city coun­cil. In 2015, Ahok set In­done­sia on fire when he re­vealed that city coun­cilors had se­cretly added projects worth Rp 12 tril­lion to the pro­vin­cial bud­get. It is a shame that his epic run came to a halt when he was sent to jail for blas­phemy.

But his deputy and suc­ces­sor, Djarot, who led for the re­main­ing six months be­fore the five-year man­date comes to a close, proved that Ahok’s ab­sence did not mean the end of the world. Djarot has raced against time to ex­pe­dite the projects Jokowi and Ahok had started. He can lay claim to the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of ma­jor works, like 100 child-friendly pub­lic spa­ces (RPTRA), the Se­manggi In­ter­change and the ren­o­va­tion of the Monas (Na­tional Mon­u­ment) area.

There are nu­mer­ous jobs that the trio has failed to com­plete, as Djarot hands over the helm to Anies: The revitalization of the Cili­wung River, the MRT sys­tem, elec­tronic road pric­ing and the de­sali­na­tion of sea­wa­ter in Thou­sand Is­lands — just to name a few.

Jokowi, Ahok and Djarot have led Anies the way to trans­form Jakarta into a more liv­able megac­ity. Thank you, gen­tle­men!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.