MoD Prabowo signs Indonesia-Singapore Defense Cooperation Agreement

Minister Prabowo, Joko Widodo, Ng Eng Hen
Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto at the Leaders’ Retreat on Bintan Island. Photo: BPMI SETPRES/LAILY

IO – Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen have concluded an agreement to release a joint declaration putting the 2007 MINDEF Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) into force. The DCA was forged at the Leaders’ Retreat meeting attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, on Bintan Island, Tuesday, (1/25/2022). 

A key part of the document concerns a Flight Information Region (FIR) realignment agreement between Indonesia and Singapore. Also, the 2007 DCA confirms Indonesia and Singapore’s commitment to implement the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), regarding the boundaries and rights of a country’s sovereignty, according to the archipelagic state principle and to accommodate the various interests of neighboring and friendly countries. 

The joint statement outlines the basic principles of cooperation in the defense sector, mutually beneficial and respectful of a country’s sovereignty, in accord with international and national laws. 

In short, DCA 2007 will serve as a vessel for the two countries to periodically build dialogues and engage in consultation on bilateral policies regarding security issues, exchange of intelligence information (including counter-terrorism), science and technology collaboration in the defense sector, human resource development, military personnel exchange programs, joint exercises and operations, Search and Rescue (SAR) and humanitarian assistance, construction of joint training bases and access to military training in zones cleared by the Government of Indonesia. 

Through the Defense Cooperation Committee formed under the DCA scheme, Indonesia will oversee and ensure the execution of the cooperation as agreed. 

Defense Minister Prabowo commented that the visit of Lee Hsien Loong and his staff to the Leaders’ Retreat meeting in Bintan, Riau Islands, demonstrated the mutual trust and respect between Singapore and Indonesia. “The most important aspect is the friendly relations and close cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore,” declared Prabowo, during the commemoration of the 76th Youth Service Day at the Taruna National Cemetery in Tangerang City, Wednesday (1/26/2022). 

MoD Prabowo emphasized how Indonesia indeed needs such close friendships, as they benefit the nation in formulating agreements between cooperating countries, for mutual benefit. 

In a working meeting with Committee I of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta, Thursday (1/27/2022), Defense Minister Prabowo also discussed the readiness of the National Armed Forces (TNI) primary defense system (Alutsista). Over the next 24 months, Indonesia will field 50 combat-ready warships. 

The Minister also shared comments on the defense budget approved by the President. “President Joko Widodo has approved the largest budget allocation, perhaps in 40 years. Or even in the history of the Indonesian Republic, if one examines it closely,” said MoD Prabowo. 

Defense Minister Prabowo has repeatedly expressed his determination to upgrade national defense systems. During his three-year tenure, he has succeeded revitalizing the Indonesian defense industry. 

Recently, MoD Prabowo proposed the sale of two legacy warships appraised as “unfit for further service”, namely, KRI Teluk Penyu 513 and KRI Teluk Mandar 514. His proposal was approved by Committee I of the House and replacement vessels have been proposed. (Eka)