Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan admitted that he really longed to return to work. When asked what program he would pursue when he recovered and returned to work, Luhut stated that he want to work on the Jakarta-Surabaya High-speed Train project.
“I really miss going to work. What’s happening now is already good. Pak Jokowi wants the Jakarta Surabaya High-speed Train to continue,” said Luhut via his personal Instagram, @luhut.pandjaitan, Saturday, October 28, 2023.
Luhut has reportedly been ill since October 10, 2023, he has been undergoing medical check-ups and recovery stages in Singapore. His duties in the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet were temporarily transferred by President Joko Widodo or Jokowi to BUMN Minister Erick Thohir.
Luhut admitted that he had just received news that the agreement with China for the Jakarta-Surabaya High-speed Train project was also underway. “In fact, the loan interest is much cheaper than that offered by a number of other countries.”
Therefore, he admitted that he was optimistic about the project. The reason is, the technology that Indonesia has has proven successful.
Plus, according to him, Indonesia now has experience in resolving land acquisition issues. Luhut said the issue of land acquisition was the main key in the High-speed Train project.
“Now that we have experience, we don’t have any problems anymore,” said Luhut.
Previously, Luhut also repeatedly said that President Jokowi had requested that a study be carried out to continue the high-speed train route to Surabaya. The government has considered China re-engaging in the project. This is because the country is considered to have experience working on a 41 kilometer high-speed train project.
President Director of PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC) Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi said that Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang was also interested in re-investing in this project. According to Dwiyana, the extension of the high-speed train line to Surabaya will have a positive impact on society.
“This means that in all railway investments, the further the better. The economic scale will be better. That’s the law,” he said at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Friday, September 29, 2023.