Indonesian minister proposes new sports complex

The Indonesian national government is reportedly planning to build a Rp 400 billion (about US$44 million) sports complex in Sentul, Bogor, just outside the Jakarta Capital City Province, but as yet has only Rp 5 billion to finance the project, Tempo Interaktif reported Monday. With that kind of money, the magazine commented, the government could only build one football field and housing for athletes, on the allocated 32 hectares of land.

"We are hoping the private sector will also finance the construction of the sports complex," State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs Adhyaksa Dault said after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Depending on financing, the government hopes the complex will be completed in 2009.

The central government, through the State Secretariat, currently controls the Bung Karno Sports Center in down-town Jakarta. The 297-square-hectares of prime real estate houses the country's best sports venues, including the national football stadium (pictured above) but much of its area has gradually been surrendured to shopping malls and upmarket hotels, managed by private companies that won contracts from the State Secretariat to operate them.

It is not yet clear if the proposed new sports complex will result in the conversion of the existing facilities to full commercial exploitation, an intitiative that would be vigourously opposed by the Jakarta provincial administration.