by Scott Merrillees
JAKARTA: Portraits of a Capital 1950-1980 surveys the evolution of Jakarta during the first three decades after Indonesian independence had been achieved in 1945 and after national sovereignty had finally been recognized by the Netherlands in 1949. It reveals the capital city of a newly independent nation throwing off its colonial inheritance to build a bold new capital that for President Sukarno would not only unite his people and his country but would also be a “beacon” for developing nations around the world. The period 1950-1980 gave Jakarta many of its most famous and iconic landmarks including the National Monument (MONAS), Gelora Bung Karno, the Istiqlal Mosque, Hotel Indonesia, Semanggi, the Sarinah department store, the Bank Indonesia headquarters and of course, Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Jendral Sudirman.
Scott Merrillees (1962) was born in Melbourne, Australia, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne in 1984, with majors in accounting and Indonesian studies. He learned the Indonesian language at high school and university in Australia (1975-1983) and at Satya Wacana University in Salatiga, Central Java, Indonesia (1981-1982). He worked in Jakarta for twenty-two years from 1989-2006 and from 2008-2013, mainly in banking, capital markets, and equity research.
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