Journey Through Kalimantan: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Role of the State

The Vice Governor of North Kalimantan, Dr. Yansen TP, converses with the MAF mission aircraft pilot at Malinau Airport. As of now, there are still no inter-island air flight routes in Kalimantan.

The tourist journey from Jakarta to Kalimantan offers an extraordinary experience with a variety of appealing destinations scattered across the island. 

You can explore the natural beauty, cultural diversity, and exoticism of each visited city. Cities such as Pontianak, Sintang, Ketapang (West Kalimantan), Pangkalan Bun, Palangka Raya (Central Kalimantan), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan), Balikpapan, Samarinda (East Kalimantan), Tarakan, and Malinau (North Kalimantan) provide unique and unforgettable experiences.

While these cities present interesting destinations, there is uniqueness in the inter-island flight routes, especially between Pontianak and Balikpapan. In the past, this route was served by Garuda Indonesia's Fokker 27. 

There are no direct inter-province flight routes in Kalimantan

Unfortunately, due to the decline in passengers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this flight route was eventually discontinued. This situation creates a challenge for travelers who want a direct connection between these two cities.

Post-pandemic, challenges in inter-province flight routes in Kalimantan become apparent, with the absence of direct flights from Pontianak to Balikpapan. Although this poses a barrier for tourists planning to explore the beauty of these two cities, the potential redevelopment of flight routes could be an opportunity to support the tourism industry in Kalimantan.

These difficulties may serve as a call for authorities and airlines to find creative and efficient solutions. Perhaps by designing more optimal and attractive flight services for tourists and capitalizing on post-pandemic tourism growth opportunities, inter-province flight routes can be reopened, facilitating traveler journeys and supporting the recovery of the tourism industry in Kalimantan.

The implementation of Nawacita 

Alhamdulillah, after Joko Widodo won the Presidential Election in 2014, he launched a development program called Nawacita. One of the program's main focuses is "building Indonesia from the periphery," aiming to improve welfare and infrastructure in remote areas.

In Kalimantan, the implementation of Nawacita includes the construction of the Trans-Kalimantan road, a significant milestone in regional connectivity. The Trans-Kalimantan road stretches from the Tayan Bridge in West Kalimantan, connecting several districts such as Ketapang, Sukamara in Central Kalimantan, and extending to South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and North Kalimantan.

This road development has a significant impact on facilitating accessibility and mobility across the island of Kalimantan. Through the Trans-Kalimantan road, people can more easily move from one region to another, supporting economic growth, trade, and tourism in the region.

Improved connectivity aligns with the vision to reduce development disparities between regions and enhance the well-being of the people in various parts of Kalimantan. This initiative reflects the government's commitment to achieving equitable and inclusive development throughout the archipelago, providing sustainable positive benefits for the residents of Kalimantan.

The State as not Leviathan in Kalimantan

In such a way, in Kalimantan, the presence of the "State" is not only perceived as an authoritarian entity or "Leviathan" in Hobbes' concept, which might be seen as an inevitable force dominating society. 

Instead, the presence of the state in Kalimantan creates a different experience, where the state functions as a caring and active public servant in building the spirit and body of the Indonesian nation.

The people of Kalimantan feel that the state is present to provide support and facilitate the development of local communities. This is evident from the government's efforts in infrastructure development, such as the Trans-Kalimantan road, which not only enhances connectivity but also brings positive impacts to the local economy.

More than just a physical presence, the state also plays a role in building the soul of the Indonesian nation. 

Through education and cultural programs, the government seeks to foster unity and nationalism among diverse ethnicities and communities in Kalimantan. This development is not just about material improvement but also about strengthening national identity and preserving the diversity that enriches Indonesia.

The concept of the state as a public servant in Kalimantan creates a reciprocal relationship between the government and the people. 

Residents feel supported in their basic needs, and in turn, they respond with involvement in the development process. This creates a positive dynamic where the presence of the state is not just a symbol but also a driving force for sustainable development.

The state can be an agent of change

Through this model, Kalimantan proves that the state can be an agent of change that builds, guides, and empowers its society. 

Thus,in Kalimantan, the concept of the state is not an entity that judges or oppresses, but a committed partner in improving the quality of life and strengthening unity in diversity.
(Rangkaya Bada)

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