Saturday, March 21, 2009

Indonesia-Singapore Agreements

Since Indonesia's independence in 1945, most of the time relationship with Singapore has been very close, especially in the field of commerce, whereby we export and import many commodities through Singapore.

Due to this closeness, in 2007 both countries signed an Extradition Agreement and a Defence Cooperation Agreement. But due to the rejection by our National Parliament i.e the DPR, those agreements have not been ratified, therefore invalid till now.
The DPR has strong reasons to reject said agreement, because their members consider the Extradition Agreement does not make Singapore to extradite Indonesian citizens who were considered fugitives in our country.
In this regards, The Jakarta Post quoted our Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono as saying that there are now 80 such fugitives living in Singapore. They fled our country after the 1998 turmoil in Indonesia, bringing with them lots of money they have corrupted in Indonesia. He also said that Singapore does not want to sign the agreements because it feared that it has to return those money. Meanwhile, according to the First Secretary of the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, the reason why Singapore refused to sign the agreements because Indonesia has demanded amendments to those agreements.

It is very sad to know that our foreign policy has been made prematurely, causing inconveniences for our country's image. Such inconvenience could have been avoided if prior to signing the agreements, our government discuss them first with the DPR.
Of course it would take longer time, but we would be able to save our country's image.

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