The administration of Indonesian President Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) will not give priority status to the Sunda Strait Bridge project. As such, the new government’s stance is in direct contrast to the previous administration’s stance toward the ambitious infrastructure project. The Sunda Strait Bridge, a planned road and railway connection between the two (westernmost) Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, was placed high on the agenda of the government led by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
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Seven suspected terrorists have been shot dead and 20 more have been arrested by Densus 88, Indonesia’s anti-terrorism squad, on Wednesday (08/05/13) during raids in Kendal (Central Java), Sumedang (West Java), Bandung and Banten. The suspects are believed to be part of a terrorist network that imported weaponry from the Philippines and engaged in violent robberies on bank branches of Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) to fund various terrorist activities in Poso (Sulawesi).
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Due to uncertainty over the feasibility study, it seems highly unlikely that groundbreaking of the ambitious Sunda Strait Bridge project can be conducted in 2014. There has been a long delay with the feasibility study as differences of opinion emerged over who would undertake the study and how it will be financed. Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said that if the government considers the project to have high priority, then it should make a decision now. If not, Indonesia's next government - after the 2014 elections - will be burdened with the issue.
The Sunda Strait bridge, a planned road and railway connection between the two western Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java, has been a dream of Indonesia's political elite since the 1960s. From both a political and an economic point of view, the connection between these two islands through physical infrastructure is a grand ideal. However, as with many other infrastructure projects in Indonesia, its realization tests people's patience.
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