Most Jakartans see better-paying jobs and a solution to the crippling traffic as the key requirements for the next governor of the capital.
Whoever wins — incumbent Fauzi Bowo or challenger Joko Widodo — will have his work cut out for him. Nearly seven million voters will go to the polls today to elect Jakarta’s next governor, with both men confident of victory.
Voters should vote with their heads as well as their hearts when deciding on who they want to govern the city over the next five years.
Jakarta is a city with complex challenges, and solving them will require skill and commitment. Voters must pick the man who can best deliver on his promises.
The next five to 10 years will be critical in Jakarta’s development. As the capital of the second-fastest growing economy in the world, it must keep pace, especially in its transportation infrastructure.
Given the need to create more good-paying jobs, the next governor will also need to attract new industries. These must be high-tech, or services that can take the city’s economy to the next level.
Solving the traffic gridlock must also be a top priority. If no long-lasting solution is found, traffic will come to a standstill in a few years, which means billions of dollars in economic losses and enormous strain on the city’s residents. Without a modern, efficient and affordable public transportation system, Jakarta will not attract global talent and new investments.
The next governor will have to work with the business community to ensure that the investment climate remains friendly. It is businesses, after all, that will create jobs and raise the standard of living for the city’s residents. Given the rising competition for talent and investment among global cities, Jakarta’s next governor must be able to rise to all these challenges.