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Itís About Time

Indonesia Weighing Introduction of a Nationwide Single Time Zone

(3/16/2012) The national government has ordered all branches to simulate a change from three time zones to a single nationwide time zone. Promoted as an efficiency move, the government is targeting August 17, 2012, as the date for the introduction of the single time zone concept.

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The presidentially chaired Indonesian Economic Committee (KP3EI) is driving the change. Quoted in The Jakarta Globe, a spokesman for KP3EI, Ebid Muslim said, “The decision to change the time zones will only need a presidential decision and does not need approval from the House of Representatives.”

The proposal being prepared for implementation would see all parts of Indonesia, now divided over three time zones, unite into to a single time zone of Universal Time Coordinated +8 (UTC+8/GMT+8). This would see western Indonesia jump forward one hour from UTC+7 and eastern Indonesia (UTC+9) set their clocks back by one hour. Bali would experience no change if the new time-zone plan were implemented.

Indonesia, equal in breadth to the Continental U.S.A which has 4 time zones, stretches east to west over a distance roughly equal to one-quarter of the world’s circumference.

During WWII the Japanese occupying forces established a single time zone of UTC+9 to put Indonesia on the same time zone with Japan. Dutch colonial rulers, however, divided Indonesia into six separate time zones in gradations of 30 minutes.

The national government insists that a single time zone would bring significant economic benefit to the country by promoting productivity and efficiency.

Shown on Balidiscovery.com is a simulation for Saturday, March 17, 2012, showing the changes in sunrise and sunset times on that date in three different Indonesia locations under the current three time zone system and under a single time zone.