Jakarta beat out Asian neighbor cities as the most Instagrammable city on the continent. Source: Shutterstock/amadeustx

Jakarta’s Smart City program faces uncertain fate following Ahok’s ousting

DESPITE the possibility of many initiatives disappearing with the jailed former governor of Jakarta, government sources have said they expect the Jakarta Smart City program to continue as planned.

Setiaji, the head of the Jakarta Smart City management team, told Tech in Asia before his election loss, former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama had told him and the team business should continue as usual.

The last week has been a tumultuous period for Jakartans, as Ahok was unseated in a highly contested election for the governorship. Two days ago, Ahok was sentenced to imprisonment for two years on a blasphemy charge.

The removal of Ahok could result in the discontinuation of the Jakarta Smart City program, an initiative he spearheaded to establish a technology-based services for residents. As part of the initiative launched in 2014, the city introduced the smartcity.jakarta.go.id website as well as two smartphone apps: Qlue, meant for residents of the city, and CROP Jakarta for government staff.

SEE ALSO: Get smart: Five of the best and most popular ‘Smart City’ apps in Asia

The website will be integrated with Qlue and CROP, as well as Google Maps and traffic application Waze. The combination of all four will allow users to access various pieces of information regarding the city including traffic conditions and directions. These digital tools are meant to improve administrative processes as well as bolster government transparency and strengthen service provided to locals.

Residents can also use Qlue to report neighborhood problems directly to executive officials, while administrators can use it to coordinate tasks and groups. Qlue’s offerings have evolved over the years to include more applications and tools.

ahok, indonesia, blasphemy

Ahok, arrives at court for his verdict in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has been sentenced to two years in prison on blasphemy charges. Source: Reuters

As of now, Setiaji said, the Smart City program has not faced any executive changes or budget cuts, but it’s unclear what will happen once the new governor Anies Baswedan and his deputy Sandiaga Uno are inaugurated.

“From [what] I have read, they are committed to [continuing] this program.”

Qlue CEO Rama Raditya had a sunnier outlook. He said Qlue was still a private business and any changes in its relationship with the government would probably not affect their service. Though Qlue is affiliated with the Jakarta Smart City program, it remains separate and does not receive government funding.

There are plans to spread Ahok’s vision of a “smart city” to other municipalities in Indonesia, according to Raditya.