Earlier this year, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, proposed that Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, be moved. Why? In addition to problems such as overpopulation and traffic congestion, the city itself has been sinking! Say what? That’s right—parts of Jakarta have been sinking approximately twenty-five centimeters each year. After careful consideration (we’re talking about things like whether or not the location is susceptible to earthquakes and volcanoes!), East Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, has been chosen as Indonesia’s next capital. Great, right? Not so fast. While some of the people of Borneo welcome the move because of the potential for more tourism and therefore a stronger economy, others aren’t so excited about the move. After all, Borneo’s lush rainforests and pristine beaches are what make the island a paradise. What might happen to these rich environmental habitats when buildings are erected and more and more people move to the island?
While Indonesia works out the details of its move, another Asian country is looking to follow in its footsteps. Recently, the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, proposed the idea of moving the capital of Thailand from Bangkok to another part of the country. Similar to Indonesia’s President Widodo, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha thinks that a move will help with Bangkok’s growing traffic congestion, overpopulation, and pollution problems. But before a move can even be considered, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha says that studies must be conducted to understand the impact of such a move. Furthermore, the new location must meet at least three of his criteria:
1. The city can’t be too far from Bangkok.
2. The city can’t be too expensive.
3. It should be a city on the outskirts of Bangkok.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of moving a country’s capital?