Nandra Galang Anissa
The annual problem of people from across Indonesia flocking to Jakarta after the Idul Fitri holiday highlights the continuing disparity in development between the capital and the rest of the country, experts have contended.
Yayat Supriatna, an urban planning expert from Trisakti University, said on Monday that the essence of the problem was that other regions, even Bekasi on the outskirts of the capital, were not developing as rapidly as Jakarta.
“If development across the country was more equal and if we could redistribute the functions of the capital to other regions, people would migrate elsewhere,” he said.
He added that three-quarters of newcomers were unskilled and could only get jobs in the informal sector, including as construction workers or domestic workers.
Rudi P. Tambunan, an urban planning expert from the University of Indonesia, said that in addition to boosting development in other regions, another solution would be for the Jakarta administration to work with regional governments on a campaign to encourage would-be migrants not to move to the capital.
“The Jakarta authorities should theoretically know how many migrants come from each region, so they could run a campaign two or three months before the start of Lebaran [in those regions],” he said.
However, Yayat argued that this kind of regional-level cooperation was not enough, stressing the need for the central government to address the issue.
“There needs to be a government institute that is responsible for dealing with the pace of urbanization,” he said.
The thorny issue of the migrant influx plays out every year around the holiday period, but this year it has taken on added emphasis with Jakarta’s announcement that it would be more strict about enforcing residency requirements.
Governor Fauzi Bowo warned would-be migrants on Monday against “burdening” the already-strained capital.
He said anyone hoping to stay longer than three weeks in the capital would have to apply for a letter of temporary residency, which is valid for a year, or show they had skills to contribute to earn a letter of permanent residency.
Fauzi — who did not detail which skills he had to contribute — added that visitors staying with relatives could stay in the city for up to 14 days, or up to 21 days in the period around the Idul Fitri holiday.
“Jakarta is not a closed city, but it will be open only to people who fulfill population administration requirements,” he said. “But for those who can’t meet the qualifications and who will instead burden Jakarta … I think we need to inform [them about] this.”
According to data from the Jakarta Population and Civil Registry Agency, about 59,000 newcomers arrived in the capital in 2010, compared with about 52,000 in 2011. This year, about 46,000 new people are expected to arrive.
Agency head Purba Hutapea said his office would conduct three residency raids after Idul Fitri. The controversial probes see authorities raid neighborhoods to look for people without a Jakarta-issued ID cards, or KTP. Those caught are usually just admonished and asked to return to their hometowns, though there is no obligation for them to do so.