30 August 2017
Singapore should look into new ways of engaging Indonesia, participants at The Straits Times Global Outlook Forum panel discussion said yesterday.
They said Singapore should work with Indonesian millennials, who are more outward looking and taking on more important roles, and also focus on regions outside Jakarta that are hungry for growth.
Singapore has typically engaged Jakarta but Associate Professor Leonard Sebastian said that Indonesia’s younger generation tended to be suspicious of the usual government processes.
“The millennials don’t trust the government… For the young people, the government is the problem, not the solution,” said Dr Sebastian, coordinator of the Indonesia programme at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
“There is going to be a lot of ‘ad hocism’ in terms of the way people operate. You will find that much of the real work will be done on the side of the government structure,” he told the discussion titled, Singapore-Indonesia Ties At 50: What Lies Ahead. “The traditional government- to-government type of working will not work any more… We need people-to-people engagement,” he added.
Dr Sebastian also spoke about the need to enhance ties at the provincial level. “It is more productive for us to go down to the region, to reach out to the provinces that are very interested to cooperate with Singapore, as opposed to just dealing with Jakarta,” he said. Singapore’s expertise in building smart cities could be the starting point for such cooperation.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 30/08/2017