Rising Sun
    Category: Main Features By : Gloria Haraito Read : 1628 Date : Monday, October 13, 2014 - 11:01:08

    Roy Rubianto for Forbes Indonesia

    Launched a decade ago but never completed, Jakarta’s monorail project is slated to rise again. It is perhaps fitting the point man on the monorail is Edward Soeryadjaya, 66, whose profile is now on the rise as well with this project. After spending years with little attention focused on him, Edward now has a very visible role as the head of the company spearheading the $1.5 billion project, which goes under the name Jakarta Eco Transport Monorel.

    Edward’s name is familiar to many. His father founded Astra International, the largest company in the country today. Edward’s name, unfortunately, is usually linked to the family’s loss of Astra in the early 1990s due to debts held by Bank Summa, headed by Edward at the time.

    Now Edward has a chance to play a major positive role by completing the monorail, and thus helps alleviate some of Jakarta’s traffic woes. The half-finished columns of monorail project, abandoned in 2008, are a symbol of the city’s infrastructure shortcomings. “You can already foresee that traffic will be coming to a standstill unless the city government solves the problem,” says Edward, president commissioner of Jakarta Monorail and chairman of Ortus, at his office in Jakarta in July.

    Yet the project faces an uncertain future, and could even be cancelled—again. Recently Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said that Jakarta government is still waiting for Ortus to file all its paperwork, and if it cannot be filed, the DKI Jakarta Government will cancel the project. The deadline was in September, but has Forbes Indonesia went to press, there was no word from the government on its verdict.

    One requirement also asked of Ortus is to provide 5% of the project’s total $1.5 billion cost ($75 million). Edward says the agreement with the Jakarta government only required a 1.5% deposit ($22.5 million). “We just follow the regulations. The 5% amount is for civil work. We are not a civil contractor, we are the owner of concession. Our obligation is only for a 1.5%,” says Edward.