While new Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan has moved to terminate the operating permit of Alexis Hotel, experts have branded it an “easy” task and suggest that the real challenge lies in his other ambitious promises, which includes ending the controversial reclamation projects.
Governor Anies stated on Monday that he had decided not to extend the hotel’s permit because he believed it was operating as a brothel. The hotel, whose operation is set to expire soon, has requested to have its tourism business certification (TDUP) extended. However, the proposal has been denied by the city administration. “Legally, there is no more contract. So it is much easier (to carry out)…,” said Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) researcher Siti Zuhro, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.
Other experts have also argued that the move has not required much effort and resolve as the matter is fully under the authority of the Jakarta administration and does not involve central government or other authorities. Siti said that the real challenge for the new governor and his administration will be fulfilling the other promises he made in his gubernatorial campaign, such as providing houses with zero down payment, opening up 200,000 new jobs and–arguably the most challenging of all–stopping the reclamation projects in Jakarta Bay, which deputy governor Sandiaga Uno says will be the administration’s next big agenda.
The reclamations project initiated by the former Jakarta governor has long been marred by regulatory and environmental problems. The projects were briefly stopped by the government, but the moratorium was later lifted. Anies and Sandiaga have pledged to stop the projects, but face opposition from the central government which claims to have authority over the projects. “Political will, commitment, and law enforcement must be there so that everything can be realized. Without that, it will not happen. These three things must be possessed by the Jakarta administration when executing the programs that are more beneficial for the people of Jakarta,” said Siti.