07 September 2017
Fifty years of Singapore-Indonesia bilateral relations can be demarcated into two significant historical periods – 32 years under the New Order of President Suharto and 18 years under the Post-Suharto regime, also known as the Reformasi era. Political and governance structures that were once a staple of the authoritarian New Order State were swiftly replaced by a quick process of democratisation and an even faster decentralisation throughout the archipelago.
While Suharto had firmly entrenched himself for three decades, 18 years of reform had witnessed five presidencies that saw democratic competition take place at the provincial (provinsi), regency (kabupaten) and the district (kecamatan) levels. Singapore, on the other hand, had remained very much a single-party dominant parliamentary state. In dealing with Indonesia, Singapore had to contend with the profound political transitions as Indonesia consolidates its domestic agenda of greater democratisation and devolution of powers. What impact did this have on Singapore-Indonesia relations?
… Jonathan Chen is an Associate Research Fellow with the Indonesia Programme, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 13/09/2017