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Another SE Asian Nation May Be Moving Its Capital

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is considering such a switch to provide relief to overcrowded Bangkok
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2019 10:20 AM CDT
Stock photo of Bangkok.   (Getty Images/Kittikorn)

(Newser) – Bangkok is beset by a slew of issues tied to overcrowding, including pollution, traffic congestion, and even sea level rise. That's led Thailand's prime minister to consider a drastic solution: moving the capital elsewhere. The two options that seem the most feasible in Prayut Chan-o-cha's mind, per the Guardian: either shifting the capital to just outside of Bangkok, which would at least help with traffic trying to cram into the city's center, or uprooting the capital altogether to "a city that's neither too far nor too expensive to move to."

The idea isn't without precedence in Southeast Asia: Myanmar changed its capital from Yangon (aka Rangoon) to Naypyitaw in 2005, and in August, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced his country's capital will be moving from Jakarta to Indonesian Borneo. The Globalist notes that moving capital cities in general isn't as uncommon as one might think, reporting that there's been such a change every five or six years around the world since World War I. Studies into the potential economic and social impacts of such a move still need to be undertaken before a decision can be reached in Thailand, the prime minister says. (Read more Thailand stories.)

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