Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sand diplomatic war

Singapore government was iritated with the statement of Primo Alui Joelianto (director general for East Asia at the ministry of foreign affairs) that Indonesia's recent ban on the export of concreting sand was a "key way of placing more pressure” on Singapore“(to resolve differences) in extradition and some border negotiations”, as reported in The Jakarta Post of 16 February 2007.

Singapore MFA's spokesman responded the statement as follows (it's provided to this blog as well):
"If this is indeed DEPLU's approach, it is a disappointment to us. The
official reason for the ban announced last month was environmental
protection. Director-General Primo's remarks lead us to wonder whether
that was the main reason for the ban. Singapore had earlier expressed
willingness to work with Indonesia on environmental protection, but
Indonesia ignored this offer and proceeded with the ban.
The ban is now purportedly tied to ongoing negotiations between the two
countries. Singapore has embarked on negotiations with Indonesia on the
Extradition Treaty and border delineation in good faith on the basis of
mutual benefit. On the Extradition Treaty, both Indonesian President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had agreed
in Bali on 3 October 2005 that it would be in parallel and linked to the
negotiation on a Defence Cooperation Agreement. Indeed, on this basis,
we have made good progress on both agreements even though some
difficulties remain. What is needed is political goodwill on both sides
to finalise the agreements which, from Singapore's perspective, is
within reach. Unilaterally making sand an additional issue with the
objective of delinking the Defence Cooperation Agreement from the
Extradition Treaty contravenes the earlier agreement by the two Leaders.
As for the linkage to border delineation, Minister for Foreign Affairs
George Yeo said in Parliament recently (12 February 2007) that the talks
are complicated enough without this additional complication."

Some politicians urged government to cut diplomatic ties with Singapore instead. "The ban on exporting sands is not enough to push Singapore to discuss critical issues of importance to us," Permadi, legislator from PDI-P said yesterday.
And indeed there are lots of Indonesians fugitives hiding in Singapore in recent years that cost the neighbor an allegation as 'protector of Indonesian corruptors'.
Morgan Stanley's economist Andy Xie had to tender his resignation last year for his comments over the issue.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Watch out if you shake hand with a Singaporean and count afterward your fingers”. This statement is a little bit harsh but surprisingly accurate!

February 20, 2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Watch out if you shake hand with a Singaporean and count afterward your fingers”. This statement is a little bit harsh but surprisingly accurate!

February 20, 2007 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed with Permadi Said...
For sure, Singapore it will never and ever agreed with “extradition” what ever Indonesia diplomatic ways.

February 20, 2007 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny that some of the people shouting loudest against the Singaporeans are potential beneficiaries of NOT having a treaty!

WIth parliament such a cesspit of corruption, surely a few parliamentarians must wonder whether such a treay is even in their own interests. They may need to flee one day and Singapore remains a favorite safe haven. Indonesians remain the largest group of apartment buyers in that market...just in case.

February 21, 2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gpRemember Merrill Lynch “leaking internal” analysis in Sept 2006 before the IMF meeting in Singapore?

“80% what Singapore is today, thanks to the corrupt bureaucrats and businessmen from Indonesia. Now Indonesia is in crises, Singapore government is turning to corruption money from China, that’s why the construction of one of the biggest casino in the world”

This “leakeage” cost Merrill Lynch a “reputation” among Singapore so called “clean” government.

Back to the sand issue, this is much needed for the huge casino construction and the peripherals. I am sure if Singapore offers Indonesia some share of the casino, the sand issue will disappear in thin air.

February 23, 2007 9:44 AM  

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