Jakarta. The Indonesian capital should consider canceling its Formula E Championship next year as the city is still running a budget deficit and many of its residents still lack access to basic necessities, politicians from the Indonesian Solidarity Party, or PSI, said.
Anthony Winza Probowo, a PSI lawmaker in the city council, said it was not appropriate for the government to spend a major part of its budgest on hosting an international sporting event.
He also pointed out that many other countries have shunned the event because it loses money.
“Many Jakartans still don’t have access to clean water. Many still struggle coming up with enough money for their small businesses. And there are many school buildings in Jakarta that need to be renovated,” Anthony said.
Anggara Wicitra Sastroamidjojo, another PSI politician, said the city could use other methods to promote and build electric car infrastructure without having to spend Rp 1.6 trillion ($101 million) on hosting the race.
“If the goal is to encourage the use of electric cars, we can use the huge budget to build infrastructure to support them. The city government can install thousands of electric car chargers around the city and buy hundr of new electric buses. Why does the governor seem to only want to host events?” Anggara said.
“We in the PSI are of the opinion that the Formula E race should be canceled unless there is complete transparency. The governor should order his staff to conduct an in-depth study first,” said Anggara, the grandson of the late Ali Sastroamidjojo, a former Indonesian prime minister.
Passed Many Studies
Hani Sumarno, event organizer Jakarta Propertindo’s (Jakpro) corporate secretary, said that before agreeing to host the Formula E Championship, the company had already conducted both pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.
“We’ve done everything according to procedure. The first thing to be done was a feasibility study. Then, we assessed the economic, social, geotechnological and urban regeneration impacts. All the assessments were done holistically,” Hani said.
“Will all the money go to Jakpro? No, no. The tourism industry, from airlines, hotels, to restaurants will reap financial benefits,” Hani said.
The budget has been made part of a Rp 4.6 trillion capital injection for 2020 that Jakpro is proposing to the city council for approval.
“The money will come from grandstand and general admissions ticketing, hospitality services, sponsorships and other sources,” Dwi said.
When commission members criticized the meager revenue compared to the city’s capital injection, Dwi said the company expects to bring in more for the city in the following years since it will hold the event’s license from the provincial government for five years.