Ahad 18 Jan 2015 10:33 WIB

Minister: Development of border area in Kalimantan a priority

Red: Julkifli Marbun
Basuki Hadi Muljono
Foto: www.tataruangindonesia.com
Basuki Hadi Muljono

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, YOGYAKARTA -- Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said infrastructure development in the border areas in Kalimantan would be a priority this year.

The social economic condition in the areas in both sides of the border with Malaysia is quite lopsided, Basuki said here on Saturday.

The condition is much poorer in the Indonesian side of the border, therefore, serious addressing is needed for the frontier areas, the minister said.

The priority would be given to development in four check points of Entikong , Nanga Badau and Aruk in West Kalimantan and Nunukan in North Kalimantan.

"In 2015, we would be focused on development in Entikong and Nanga Badau," Basuki said.

He said the infrastructure development program along the border areas is to be completed in 2-3 years.

Among the projects is the widening of existing roads there and repair of various facilities in the check points, he said.

The government has set aside Rp2 trillion for development of frontier areas in West Kalimantan, East Nusa Tenggara and Papua under its long term development plan.

Kalimantan has the largest portion of the budget because of the lopsidedness of social economic condition between areas both sides of the border, the minister said.

President Joko Widodo has passed order that specification of development should be better than in the Malaysian side of the border.

The special attention given by the government to condition in Kalimantan border area came after report of many people there began to disown their Indonesian citizenship claiming that they were Malaysians.

The government has long been aware of the problem along the border area in Kalimantan, where log smuggling had been rampant even in broad day light.

There had been plan to build oil palm plantations along the border to help bring modernity to the isolated regions but realization of the plan is not forthcoming.

"The condition of infrastructure in the East Nusa Tenggara border area and that of Papua is quite good," he said.

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