Government’s Legalistic Attitude on Kampongs

Since the “informal” registered land has easier registration process and charges lower costs than the “formal” land (Cuadra, Sears and Gieble, 2015), major portion of the land owner chose to register land as the “informal” land. Consequently, kampongs, the informal settlements of the cities, were regulated under a local level of land rights in Jakarta. As a result, although the neighborhood is registered legally under local regulation, since it is not registered under National Land Agency, the Jakarta government accused the kampong residents for improperly occupying the coastal area of the city.

Although the Jakarta government may have succeeded in expelling kampong residents from some marginal spaces, owing to the dualism of BPN land registration system, the government was not able to evict the land owners with explicit jurisdiction if the land owners refuse to leave voluntarily until 2000 (Cuadra, Sears and Gieble, 2015). Hence, the government was not able to directly relocate the kampong residents from their neighborhood and construct new infrastructures and modernized buildings licitly even though kampongsare recognized as “informal” villages.

The government paid effort to formalize the informal lands of Jakarta not only aiming for unified land regulation system but also aiming for clearing of kampongs (Kusno, 2012). However, the change of legislative system means that the kampong land owners have to face the higher amount of registration fee to match with the registered land rights. The residents of these informal settlements must reconstruct their housings according to the building regulations or even will be forced to move out of their neighborhood if they are not able to pay for the registration fee.

It is important for the government to help improve the living environment of the kampong, since the residents are living in self-constructed housing under adverse conditions. However, it is questionable that the governmental action on these housings are appropriate to the current situation of low-income residents of Jakarta.



  1. Cuadra, Linda, Sears, Laurie J., and Giebel, Christoph. This Grievable Life: Precarity, Land Tenancy, and Flooding in the Kampung of Jakarta, 2015, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
  2. Kusno, Abidin. “HOUSING THE MARGIN: PERUMAHAN RAKYAT AND THE FUTURE URBAN FORM OF JAKARTA.” Indonesia, no. 94 (2012): 23-56,149.

1 Comment on “Government’s Legalistic Attitude on Kampongs

  1. This blogpost makes me reflect the value of vernacular architecture. I agree with the writer that is it important for the government to help improve the living environment of the kampong, since it is a housing solution that evolved naturally from the residents. It is often the situation that informal settlements are more affordable living options for the people, but with the current policy, it might worsen the situation for low-incomes residents. Instead of unifying them, perhaps the government should recognise their existence and preserve it with the local people.

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