FLOODWATERS dragging and tossing cars, motorbikes and furniture, smashing house walls, destroying electricity lines, killing people… No, this is not tsunami scale disaster, but, for the umpteenth time it is rain, rivers and the sea upsetting Jakarta. The city is crumbling.
We do not know how the city took shape. The story goes that its history began with the Dutch who build a fort and social barricade in the 16th century. Then, in 1945, the Indonesian Republic turned it into a capital, and inhabitants flocked in. Migration from the interior happened in waves. The city had no walled borders; it was not a ‘tuin’, the Dutch word that also means ‘enclosed space’.
Nobody wanted such a th...