Monday, October 15, 2012

New Jakarta governor's first agenda is talking to people

Jakarta governor-elect Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says he will spend his first full day in office after he is inaugurated today by visiting the city's poorest areas.

"The first item on my agenda is to visit densely populated areas in the city on Tuesday [tomorrow]," Jokowi said after a rehearsal for the inauguration at the Jakarta City Hall in Central Jakarta yesterday.

"It's not an inspection — just a visit. We'll have a talk," the governor-elect said, declining to mention which areas he would visit.

Likely to be discussed are Jokowi's proposals to issue residents cards for free access to education and healthcare. "The 'smart card' and 'health card' programmes will be executed immediately. We should produce and give the cards to people so they can use them soon," Jokowi said.

The Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda) previously said that Jokowi would have three months to draft a mid-term regional development plan for the 2013-to-2017 period. The plan gives incoming governors an opportunity to outline their programmes, set general policies for the city's development and budget and define strategies for its administrative agencies.

Bappeda has suggested several priority issues for Jokowi for the next five years, including mitigating traffic and flooding problems and improving the provision of healthcare, education and employment services.

Jokowi and Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama will be sworn in as the new governor and deputy governor today. Around 2,000 guests have been invited to attend the ceremony, which will run from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Outgoing Governor and Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo and Prijanto are expected to attend.

"We're not going to work on inauguration day. What is important on that day is to take pictures together, and greet the people who have come," Jokowi said.

Hundreds of Jokowi's supporters are expected to descend on Jakarta City Hall on Jl. Kebon Sirih for the ceremony, which will be broadcast live by local television stations.

A small stage has also been provided in front of the building so Jokowi and Ahok can greet people who have come for the ceremony.

"Of course, people can come here if they want. They will be served well. I'm a servant here," Jokowi said.

The Jakarta Police spokesman that 2,300 officers would be on hand to provide security and manage traffic during the inauguration.

"The event is at 10 a.m, so we will start early in the morning to manage the traffic around the area," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said. "If necessary, we will detour traffic," he added.

The Jakarta Transportation Agency has suggested that people avoid Jl. Kebon Sirih to avoid traffic jams from those assembled to watch the ceremony.

The Jakarta City Council secretariat has allocated around 500 million rupiah (US$52,000) for the ceremony, a cut from 1.05 billion rupiah allocated in the 2012 budget.-British Broadcasting Corporation (October 15, 2012 10:33PM)

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