Protests in Indonesia’s Pulau Rempang due to poor communication, says Jokowi

JAKARTA: A series of demonstrations by locals affected by the relocation process in Pulau Rempang, Batam, Riau, resulted from inadequate communication between the local authorities and residents, said Indonesian President Joko Widodo (pix).

Residents have been protesting the Regional Council of Free Trade Zone and Free Port of Batam (BP Batam)’s actions since Sept 7, rejecting the installation of land boundary markers as part of the relocation for the Rempang Eco City project.

The President, popularly known as Jokowi, said this issue could have been avoided if residents had been engaged in dialogue especially considering the existence of an agreement regarding compensation.

“It is indeed a case of poor communication,” he said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Jokowi had also instructed Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia to visit Batam to provide explanations and address the matter.

According to BP Batam, the development of the Rempang Eco City project is included in this year’s National Strategic Program.

Pulau Rempang is set to be developed into an integrated area for industry, trade, and tourism with the aim of positively impacting the economic growth of the Riau Islands province.

The project covering an area of 17,000 hectares, encompassing the entire Pulau Rempang and Pulau Subang Mas, will be carried out by PT Makmur Elok Graha. –Bernama