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July 6, 2020, 08.59 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comJakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s pledge to stop reclaiming land along Jakarta Bay during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign is starting to haunt him, following his decision to reclaim coastal land to expand the Ancol amusement park.

“Anies has reneged on his campaign promise,” Jakarta Fishermen’s Communications Forum (Forum Komunikasi Nelayan Jakarta) head Muhammad Tahir told the Antara news agency.

“I will take the [Forum] members throughout Jakarta Bay to protest the reclamation of the coast.”

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While Tahir acknowledged that Anies has lived up to his promises over the past three years, he said the Forum will not hesitate to set him straight. “[The Forum] has given [Anies] a mandate to govern Jakarta,” he said.

“We fishermen have put much effort to get Anies elected governor. So do not underestimate us.”

“If the Ancol reclamation is carried out, then it will carry on to the 17 islands designated for that purpose. As a third generation fisherman, this is unacceptable, as it will kill our livelihood,” he added.

“We have been helpless long enough, as the government has been neglecting us.”

Kept in the dark

The Movement to Develop North Jakarta (Gerakan Bangun Jakarta Utara) is just as strident in criticizing Anies.

“Anies has not been transparent to fishermen on Jakarta Bay about his plans to expand Ancol,” said the Movement’s chief Kemal Abubakar. “To this day we have not been consulted about the policy.”

Kemal warned that he will mobilize fishermen to reject the reclamation plans.

Anies has authorized the expansion of the Ancol amusement park complex from 120 to 155 hectares on February 24, 2020. Jakarta Provincial Administration official Saefullah insisted that the Ancol reclamation is different from those of the reclaimed islands on Jakarta Bay.

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“The Ancol reclamation is for the public as it is carried out for recreational purposes,” said Saefullah. “It is also used to accommodate land dug up from the dredging of five reservoirs and 13 rivers throughout Jakarta that have been carried out since 2009.”

Anies beat his challenger, then incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, in 2017 in a campaign charged with sectarian and ethnic tensions.

(Writers/Editor: Sandro Gatra)

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