AMBON, KOMPAS.com - Maluku provincial administration plans to relocate the capital city of Ambon to Masohi on Seram island in 2012, an NGO spokesman said.
"The relocation of the provincial capital from Ambon to Masohi is a step forward and the best possible solution to the problem of overcrowding in Ambon city," Nice Voice Maluku Institute Director Agus Siahaya said here on Tuesday.
According to him, the relocation of the provincial capital was inevitable because the carrying capacity of Ambon city is no longer proportional to the ever increasing population growth and limited employment.
"In the next five years the population increase cannot be controlled any longer, and with the present condition of Ambon city I think the relocation of the provincial capital is very urgent and should be done immediately," Agus Siahaya said.
He was of the opinion that the relocation would also have a positive impact on the process of equitable development in "The Province of One Thousand Islands."
"With its extensive area, Masohi is ideal to replace Ambon as capital of Maluku province," Diahaya said, adding that Ambon could be turned into an economic center and city of education in the province.
The discourse of turning Masohi as provincial capital was first voiced by Indonesian founding father Soekarno when declaring it as the capital of Central Maluku district back in 1957.
Therefore former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia’s first President Soekarno, questioned the discourse about the relocation of the provincial capital when she visited Masohi in March 2010.
Megawati said at the time that the relocation of provincial capital from Ambon to Masohi in Seram Island was urgent because of limited space in Ambon. Meanwhile, Maluku Deputy Governor Said Assagaff stated the relocation of the provincial capital was scheduled to be proclaimed on August 19, 2012, coinciding with the 67th anniversary of Maluku province.