REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Oleh: Dr. Murniati Mukhlisin, M.Acc*
Layyina, putri kami berusia 16 tahun, belakangan sangat gusar dengan pembangunan di sekitar kawasan perumahan kami di Bogor, Indonesia. Beberapa waktu yang lalu, Layyina menyusun surat untuk dikirimkan ke pengembang tempat kami tinggal. Berikut draftnya (nama-nama dalam surat tidak ditampilkan di sini):
Colchester, 2 October 2016
Your housing complex is where my family have lived for 11 years and as far as I could remember we used to have only one shopping mall in the area. But when I came back this summer there was a new lovely hospital and a less lovely second mall built. The most shocking of all was a massive construction site in the area, where apparently a new mall - 78,000 m2 - is going to be built (sigh!). It is absolutely frustrating because it’s said to be the 4th biggest mall in the greater Jakarta area, just next to the existing malls.
To me, this mall is nothing but unfair market competition because it will threaten the future of traditional traders in our place, just a mile away from the location of the site, because it would avert the market from buying local produce.
The owner of this mall is probably going to get richer, the shareholders of your company would be happy to get more money in their pockets, but the traditional traders will suffer even though their tiny businesses may alleviate poverty in the villages behind the complex. Not to mention the new (almost unnecessary) developments could reduce 30% green space that is required by the regulation.
To make matters worse, roughly every Sunday there is already traffic jam because of another attractions such as massive theme park, which affects the lane passing the hospital and the construction site. Now imagine when the new mall is built (2018) - how chaotic would that little world be? Not only any of these are sustainable in any means, the theme park stood right next to a shabby village, where most of traditional traders and less fortunate people live.
I understand how your housing complex is convenient place for leisure as it is so close to Jakarta, but does anybody care about the local people’s welfare anymore? Or maybe the less fortunate people not your concern anymore? Are we actually in the hands of outrageously rich people, like yourself?
And to be honest, with infamous Jakarta traffic, it could at the worst take you 3 hours to reach our place; so marketing at its best there bla-bla-bla Mall! There are of course solutions if you want to develop, but sustainably. You could renovate existing unsold houses into bespoke sustainable ones, or maybe not to develop in front of a filthy river that its sole function now is a sewer and a water source for the poor, because what your company doing by neglecting the problems is driving away their loyal residents and just blindly expanding.
In a way, being an Indonesian in the UK is hard because you think of how much better this country is doing. Maybe the Indonesian government should take care of their people rather than the rich, or themselves.
Thank you for reading my letter. Best regards, Layyina Tamanni