Meikarta, Project for Who?

Ariefdhianty Vibie H.
Political Observer, living in West Java
Meikarta! Initially the public was wondering. A little girl in a luxury sedan looks sad to see the saturation of urban atmosphere, traffic jams, dirty air, floods and slums. "Take me away from here!" Then, suddenly the situation turned 180 degrees, the atmosphere of a modern city with sophisticated technology coupled with skyscrapers and luxury occupancy. That is the ad campaign of Meikarta city that plastered on television lately.
Meikarta, an elite township project, is a consortium headed by tycoon James Riyadi. This project belongs to Lippo Group to build and market a 500 hectare mega project in Cikarang, Bekasi. Physical work of Meikarta city itself, actually has started since January 2016 with plans to build up to 100 skyscrapers that have 35 floors to 46 floors. Meikarta became an international project involving many renowned investor partners from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Qatar. The investment value of this project is estimated to reach Rp 278 trillion. In its first public sale in May, Lippo Group reported 16,800 apartments sold up to 14.00 WIB. This achievement was awarded MURI (World Record Museum of Indonesia) record as the highest sales of apartment units for one day (, 25/8).

Although already held a grand launching on August 17, apparently before the launch was held, the West Java Provincial Government requested that Lippo Group cancel the grand launching. West Java One Stop Service and Investment Service Office (PMPTSP) in a letter to PT Lippo Cikarang Tbk, requested the cancellation of the launching ceremony on 17 August. But in fact, they insisted on the grand launching, even 100,000 units of apartments have been bought by the public on that day. Though the permission for Meikarta itself has not been out of the Regional Government of Bekasi Regency and recommendation letter from West Java Provincial Government (, 23/8). Even the construction of this project continues even though not out of official permission.

Meikarta itself will be the most strategic area in the "gold" of Bekasi - Jakarta. There are Patimban ports, Kertajati International Airport, light rail transit (LRT) from Cikarang to Cawang, Jakarta-Bandung highway, Jakarta-Cikampek 2 Toll Road and Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road. Where is the role of the government that is apparently ignorant even support this project?

Project for the People?
James Riady and Lippo Group do have a great business intuition. How not, Meikarta will be surrounded by six main basic infrastructure owned by the Government of Indonesia. With such complete access, Meikarta is expected to have a region value and property value soaring not too long. However, what should be questioned is where the property developer belongs to the Government? Where is Perum Perumnas as a provider of national housing for the people? Whereas the infrastructure budget comes from the people, the private sector actually uses the land to make a profit for themselves. In the midst of big cities still struggling with slums, the size of the home deficit, the green open space crisis, the crisis of social facilities and public facilities, why is the opportunity for the development of the area for the public interest be ignored?
Meikarta is designed to be supported by high and international public facilities. Like the Central Bussiness District (CBD) includes a modern and classy mall, international hospitals, educational facilities, Central Park or a 100 hectare green park that is public, an artificial lake with beautiful scenery that also functions as a flood embankment and also supporting facilities other necessities of life. Anyone would be tempted to have a unit in Meikarta with complete facilities. Meikarta will be transformed into an elite independent city. Therefore, deserving the Vice Governor of West Java, Deddy Mizwar called Meikarta with the term 'state within the state'.

It is certain that only upper-class people can afford the luxury of life in Meikarta. Moreover the cost of living in it is not cheap. Who can afford if not a handful of upper-class people? Property prices for the lower middle class alone are now in the range of 300 millions, and not to mention the price of property is always up. Not worth the millenial generation income that has an average income of 6 millions per month, if they have to pay home installments of 4 million - 7 million per month for years. Millennial generations are even predicted to be difficult to get occupancy in the next 5 years.
So, for whom else is the property with exorbitant prices reserved if not for a handful of the elite for the sake of style and life satisfaction? That is life in the land that adopts the system of capitalism and neoliberalism. The state is not a guardian for its people, but as a seller of assets and natural resources to the owners of capital and big businessmen. The state sells this country to the capitalists, so that its people are victimized by the greed of the rulers and capitalists.

Islamic Shariah Goodness for the People
Certainly, capitalistic and neoliberal private managers are only collecting the coffers of profits for their own personal pockets. Therefore, they sell luxury properties with exorbitant prices that it seems unlikely to be bought by most people let alone lower middle class. Though Indonesia has a number of homeless that is not small, even Jakarta entered into one of 7 cities that have the largest number of homeless in the world (, 2015). The state should provide a decent home for all its people. Instead of selling a field for the capitalists and re-selling to the people with expensive.
These are the great problems arising from the ambitious projects of the neo-liberal cities. Until the earth and its expanse become unable to provide a good place of life for its inhabitants.

It is right that we return to the guidance of the Islamic Shari'a system, in which Allah Almighty obliges the ruler to take care of the affairs of his people. Including the responsibility to meet the basic needs of living with various infrastructure, both city and village, so that everyone can build a house in it plus the infrastructure and other life support facilities.

The State undertakes the development and management of the expanse of the region with the principle of service, not even make it as an asset that is traded to the people or handed over to private developers as an object of taxation of the state. As the Caliph Umar ra. when he began to organize his territory in Iraq he calculated the category and potential of his land, space, and wild animals to serve the needs of his people, not counting the business formula.

It is time for us to return to the divine guidance on the governance of the cities of Islamic countries in the Islamic Shari'a system which follows the method of the Messenger of Allah. (from various sources)

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