Thinking Citizen Blog — The Indonesian Anomaly — Size, Resources, Location
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s Topic: The Indonesian Anomaly — Size, Resources, Location
Indonesia, with its 17,000 islands (7,000 of which are uninhabited) stretches 3200 miles from East and West and 1100 miles from North To South. With a population of 270 million it is the fourth most populous country on earth (after China, India, and the US). But in terms of GNP it is only the 16th largest — smaller than Spain, Australia and not much bigger than the Netherlands, its former colonial ruler, which has a population of 17 million. Today, I decided to learn more about each of the five major islands. Here are a few notes on three of them. Next week, the remaining two plus the Moluccas. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
SUMATRA (population 58 million )— the western most, separated from the mainland by the Straits of Malacca
1. 87% Muslim, 11% Christian. Central axis from northwest to southeast is 1100 miles long. Maximum width: 270 miles.
2. Largest cities: Medan (2.5 million), Palembang (1.7 million), Bandar Lampung (1.2 million)
3. Highly seismic: the Mount Toba eruption of 75,000 years ago was the largest volcanic eruption on earth in the last 25 million years; the 2004 earthquake and tsunami killed 170,000 Indonesians.
NB: The largest producer of Indonesian coffee. “Sumatra has a wide range of plant and animal species but has lost almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years. Many species are now critically endangered, such as the Sumatran ground cuckoo, the Sumatran tiger, the Sumatran elephant, the Sumatran rhinoceros, and the Sumatran orangutan. Deforestation on the island has also resulted in serious seasonal smoke haze over neighboring countries (eg Malaysia and Singapor).”
JAVA — (population 145 million) — to the east of Sumatra to the south of Kalimantan; 90% Muslim
1. Most populous island in the world and 55% of the Indonesian population.
2. “The centre of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Java was also the center of the Indondian struggle for independence during the 1930s and 1940s. Java dominates politically, economically, and culturally. Four of Indonesia’s eigh UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Java: Ujung Kulon National Park, Borobudur Temple (above), Prambanan Temple, and Sangiran Early Man Site (the “Java Man).”
3. Jakarta (population 10 million) is the capital and its metropolitan population of 35 million is the second largest in Asia after Tokyo. The capital is sinking at a rate of 6.7 inches per year. The government has decided to move the capital to Kalimantan within 10 years because of the rising risk of flooding.
KALIMANTAN — population 16 MM — 73% of the island of Borneo (the rest is Eastern Malaysia, including states of Sarawak and Sabah, 6.9 MM pop, and Brunei, 490,000 pop.
1. The name is from the Sanskrit meaning “burning weather island.”
2. “In 2019, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo proposed that Indonesia capital be moved to Kalimantan, and in January 2022 Indonesian legislature approved the proposal.”
2. Religions: 80% Muslim, 9% Protestant, 9% Catholic.
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20Here is a link to the last four years of posts organized by theme: (including the book on foreign policy)
YOUR TURN — Please share:
a.) the coolest thing you learned this week related to business, economics, finance.
b.) the coolest thing you learned in your life related to business, economics, finance.
c.) anything at all related to business, economics, finance.
d.) anything at all