|— Muncipal City —|
|Nickname(s): Kota Metropolitan Karasem, The Big Mangosteen|
|Motto: Leading and The Best|
|North Cikulon Province|
|Metropolitan Area||Greater Meriah|
|Muncipality Office district||Kota Meriah Pusat|
|• Mayor||Drs. Budi Darma|
|• Vice Mayor||Agung Yuda|
|• Muncipal City||893 km2 (340 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,229 km2 (1,200 sq mi)|
|• Muncipal City||9,319,401|
|• Density||10,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||6,700/km2 (17,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Zona Waktu Karasem (UTC+7)|
Kota Meriah or Meriah City is Karasem's current largest city and also as the old capital of Karasem. It located in the extreme northwest point of Cikulon Island (just after Kota Barat and [[Cakung]. This area of city become the home of around 11 millions people which is around 1/9 of Karasem population. Meriah-Muara Karang Metropolitan area which home for 21 millions people is the largest one in the Karasem furthermore, if its merged with Singapore-Batam-Johor area (SIJORI Growth Triangle), the population will calculated around 30 millions which lead into 2nd Largest Metropolitan area in the world.
Meriah was the capital of Karasem from its independence until 1989 when it's capital city status stripped and the new capital was Kota Baru. With its strategic possition in a busy shipping channel, Kota Meriah currently becoming the major economic figure in the South China Sea area as well as the Mallacca Straight economy zone just below Singapore.
Pra Colonialism Era
Meriah, known as Sai-nga was one of the trading center of Srivijaya in their glory era. As known from the notes of many traders from the whole world, this port is the largest one.
Since the fall of Srivijaya, The newly founded Melayu Anyar Kingdom that center in around Cikulon (89Km south of Meriah) makes this city as the trading central compete with it's neighbor, Singapore. In 1225, along with Melayu Anyar Kingdom was taken over by Singhasari, Sai-nga become Singhasari major port. During the 14th century, Meriah was caught in the struggle between Siam (now Thailand) and the Java-based Majapahit Empire for control over the Malay Peninsula. According to Sejarah Melayu, this port was defeated in one Majapahit attack. They ruled the island for several years until the beginning of Jaya Sultanate era from Jaya Island. As Sultanate of Jaya was in conflict with it's border, Sultanate of Mallacca. Meriah was becoming their front line in stopping the Mallacca forces. Sultanate of Jaya continue to rule this port until Sultanate of Karasem attack from Kasem island and taken over the port.
Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Malay Archipelago was gradually taken over by the European colonial powers, beginning with the arrival of the Portuguese at Malacca in 1509. The early dominance of the Portuguese was challenged during the 17th century by the Dutch, who came to control most of the ports in the region. The Dutch established a monopoly over trade within the archipelago, particularly in spices, then the region's most important product. In order to fulfill it, Kota Meriah founded in 1848 as the central trading city by dutch in the Mallacca Strait. As this city grows it become compete again with the (now British owned) Singapore as the trading central of Mallacca Strait. Under Dutch colonial, this city become more populated with other ethnic like Chinese, Javanese and others.
Japanesse colonial era
Post Independence era
Kota Meriah named after the situation Meriah (Indonesian of lively) which this city activity was almost going for 24 hours. Kota itself meant city in Indonesian and Malay. The name firstly retrived by Sultan Syamsudin the leader of Sultanate of Jaya as the rename of Sai-nga as for more suitable with the local languange (Malay at that time). Then it taken to official by Herman Lars Akkerman, the Dutch East Malacca Governor in 1840.
As Kota Meriah is the capital of Northern Cikulon Province, The city plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population in the entire province. It is the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. Kota Meriah currently leaded by Drs Budi Dharma until 2013 after won 2008 election and 2003 election before.
The city administration office based on the Meriah Civic Centre (local: Pusat Pemerintahan Meriah), on the district of Meriah Pusat (Central Meriah). Located nearby the Downtown District of Karasem, made this location very strategic and easy to reach. The civic centre itself consist of the city hall, province and city muncipal buildings, and a provincial parliament building. Because of Meriah was the former capital, Meriah has some building that used as the national muncipal building like old parlement building (now Meriah International Convention Centre) and presidential palace (now Northern Cikulon Governor house splited with Vice Governor house). Those buildings now change it's function into a province or city muncipal building or as the major infrastructure of Kota Meriah some other even consindered as the historical building as national asset. Some of Major infrastructure like sport centre located within its border. For example Kota Meriah International airport and Jatibening Sport Centre located in outer from Kota Meriah.
The city shares its borders with the sattelite cities and nearby districts. It encompasses Cakung and Kota Barat in the West, Jatibening, Kelan and Tanjung Haki in South, Muara Baru City, Kota Karang and Muara Karang in East while Singapore strait in North.
Jatibening-Meriah Border mostly marked by the Kali Anyar (Anyar River) although some marked by the Meriah Outer Ring Road highway . It one of the busiest borderline in Kota Meriah with traffic congrestion up to 9200 vehicles per day.
As the former Capital of Karasem, Kota Meriah still have some main embassy buildings in the city while some other already moved into Kota Baru and change it's function into a consulate building in Meriah. The embassy buildings mostly located in Petamburan subdistrict as it was located nearby the central civic infrastructures.
Kota Meriah currently have Sister city relations with these cities:
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Batam, Indonesia
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Moscow, Russia
- Tokyo, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Shenzhen, China
- Nanohana, Nakama
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- New York City, United States
- Rotterdam, Netherlands
Kota Meriah located in the western part of Ketam Island, Karasem. it mostly have coastal mangrove forest, with 73% of it coast consist mangrove coast while the rest is normal sandy coast. Northern Kota Meriah area was reclaimed by some developer to built some elite residential area and some tourism area. Most of the mangrove forest area already turned into the residential area or some fishery area. The local government creates the national preserve in the Tanjung Bakau, northwestern of city to protect the local native animals and plants from being degraded due to the city major development.
Kota Meriah land mostly flat with some minor slopes. In the southern area there's Ciseruk Point 570 m tall from the sea level. more to the south there's Serukan Mountain 1605 M Tall from sea level as the resource of city waters.
There's some smaller island in the northwest coast of Kota Meriah. The island mostly turn into tourism area while some other is just a fishing village. The island have the minor infrastructure with a makeshift condition due to it's location far from the city.
There's 12 River crossed Meriah. the major one is Kali Seduh which comes froim mount serukan in south. This fact cause the city have flood hazard as some part of city located below water level. The local government create canals and reservoir to reduce the flood change however there's still some flood break in the city though there's no major one since 2002.