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Capital appreciation: Indonesia’s Nusantara vs Malaysia’s Putrajaya

It’s a name everyone in this region should know and understand. If you don’t, you haven’t been paying attention, or worse, you live in a sanitised (or putrid) bubble somewhere, oblivious to the history and culture of our region, or worse, the geopolitics of the day.

It is now also in the news for the prosaic reason that Indonesia has chosen it as the name of its new US$34 billion political administrative capital, situated in its Borneo territory of Kalimantan.

What’s in a name? What’s in a name indeed. Nusantara is an ancient name, having its etymology in the names of conquered territories of old Indonesian empires. I remember thinking of it, long ago, as an outdated and archaic name for the history books, and not one for the modern world.

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