World’s most populous Muslim nation is changing its capital city

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced plans to move the country’s capital city away from Jakarta and build a new one, Al Jazeera reported.

State media outlets say the city of Palangkaraya, on the island of Borneo, could be the next capital city.

The idea has been circulating for decades but has “never been decided or discussed in a planned and mature manner”, Mr Widodo said.

But according to the Economist, the president’s plan will likely meet resistance from civil servants and oligarchs many of whom own real estate in Jakarta.

The UK’s Guardian newspaper reports that not only is Jakarta, home to 10 million people, bedevilled by pollution, overpopulation and soul-destroying traffic, it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world.

Spread across a chain of thousands of islands between Asia and Australia, Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.

Nigeria, Brazil, Myanmar and Australia have previously changed their capitals.

Egypt is currently building a new, as-yet-unnamed capital to replace Cairo.