New Capital's Land Border with Malaysia Might Become Security Threat

Diana Mariska
The design of Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan. (Photo: Special Doc.)
The design of Indonesia's new capital in East Kalimantan. (Photo: Special Doc.) - A state official has said that land border between Indonesia’s new capital and Malaysia might become a threat to national security and defense.

Every matter related to the security of a capital city only deserves our utmost attention. Due to its massive significance and importance as governmental, economic, and military center, capital cities are oftentimes targeted in times of conflict.

Therefore, it’s only expected that capital cities are fully protected by countries’ military forces.

And after passing the new capital law and starting the work to move state capital from Jakarta to Nusantara in East Kalimantan, Indonesia might be facing an unprecedented potential of security issues because by doing so, Indonesia is bringing its core point closer to Malaysia.

Director for defense and security at Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) Bogat Widyatmoko said national defense strategy must be adjusted based on the latest condition.

 As reported by Antara on Monday, February 28, Widyatmoko explained that Nusantara’s 2,062 km land border with Malaysia is the first and foremost threat, especially considering the fact that Indonesia and its neighbor have been involved in numerous territorial disputes. To avoid similar conflicts in the future, diplomatic efforts must be strengthened.

Besides conflict potential with Malaysia, Widyatmoko also noted that Nusantara is surrounded by different defense alliances, including Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) between Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom – as well as AUKUS, which is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK, and the United States.

On the other hand, the new capital is also under pressure from China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) global development strategy.

Widyatmoko said the existence of various alliances both from the Western Bloc and China will result in a new geostrategic challenge for Indonesia, which is part of the Non-Aligned Movement.

In addition to that, air threat is also real as, after the transfer, Indonesia’s capital will be closer to Singapore, Kinibalu (Malaysia), and Manila (the Philippines) Flight Information Region (FIR).

The new capital will also be located within the range of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and hypersonic missiles owned by certain states.

Furthermore, Nusantara is located near to the terrorist transit triangle (Sulu-Sabah-Poso), and Kalimantan at large often becomes the location or pathway for transnational organized crimes, including people smuggling and drug trafficking.

Adopting Smart Defense

To successfully overcome all these security and defense threats, Widyatmoko said Indonesia must adopt smart defense which combines hard (military) and soft (nonmilitary) defense.

Strengthening Indonesia’s primary weaponry system (alutsista) is one of the efforts that Indonesia can do to enhance its hard defense, while it should also empower its citizens with local values to balance the military efforts with.

The right combination between hard and soft defense, Widyatmoko concluded, will subsequently result in improved national defense in land and air – even cyber. The road to making Nusantara a secure and solid capital might be long, but it’s a crucial step in ensuring national security.

Tag # new capital of indonesia # ministry of national development planning # national defense # indonesia defense # defense industry # indonesia military # security and defense # national security

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