Friday, April 19, 2024

RI-Singapore inaugurate air services, regional defense and law enforcement cooperation

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Gusty da Costa

Journalist

Editor

Interview

Jakarta 

Indonesia and Singapore have finalized three important agreements on Flight Information Region (FIR) realignment, Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), and Extradition Treaty (ET). 

The three agreements officially came into force, after Indonesia and Singapore completed the legislative process at the domestic level and received the approval of the International Civil Aviation Organisation for the transfer of the FIR. The entry into force of these three agreements further strengthens the Indonesia-Singapore cooperative relationship in the future.

The commitment to ensure and strengthen the cooperation between the two countries has been expressed by President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in various Leaders’ Retreats, including when witnessing the signing of the three agreements in Bintan, on 25 January 2022.

On the occasion of the 2022 Leaders’ Retreat, President Jokowi stressed that cooperation in law enforcement, aviation safety, and defense and security between the two countries can continue to be strengthened based on the principle of mutual benefit.

As directed by President Jokowi and the Prime Minister of Singapore, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and Senior Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean then efficiently and optimally coordinated policies at the technical level to ensure the enactment and implementation of the Indonesia-Singapore cooperation agreements in accordance with the national interests of both countries.

Luhut believes that the implementation of the three agreements will bring benefits to Indonesia. With the enactment of the FIR transfer agreement, the airspace that was originally included in Singapore’s FIR becomes Indonesia’s FIR. This is then followed by the Government’s efforts to ensure the management of Indonesian airspace that is safe, effective, in accordance with national interests and meets international civil aviation service standards can be achieved.

The enactment of the extradition treaty also provides a better law enforcement framework for both countries in addressing various forms and modes of crime that continue to evolve. On the other hand, the enactment of the defense cooperation agreement will further enhance the existing cooperation between the two countries and is expected to contribute to stability in the region.

Luhut said the entry into force of these three agreements would bring great benefits to Indonesia. 

“There are so many benefits that Indonesia will receive. We can see, starting today, the management of civil aviation in Indonesian airspace over Natuna and Riau Islands has switched from Singapore’s FIR to Indonesia’s FIR,” he said. 

“We have representatives of the Ministry of Transport, TNI and AirNav stationed at Changi. They are on duty for a full 24 hours to monitor aircraft to and from Singapore so that no one violates the sovereignty of Indonesian airspace,” he added. 

Luhut believes that the transfer of the FIR will have a positive economic impact on state revenue. The Ministry of Transportation will professionally organize competitive aviation service charges so that the national aviation industry can grow and Indonesia continues to be attractive for investment in the civil aviation sector.

Regarding the Indonesia-Singapore extradition agreement, Luhut said that various measures have been prepared to ensure effective extradition of fugitives. The agreement framework contained in the extradition agreement will accommodate 31 types of criminal offenses as well as other forms of crime that are not explicitly mentioned in the agreement.

“We have started to use the extradition treaty to pursue fugitives who have fled to Singapore. We will not give them space, we encourage this agreement to be very adaptive to changes, especially since the current mode of crime continues to develop,” Luhut said.

The extradition agreement also introduces a new retroactive period of up to 18 years (from the original 15 years), thus allowing alignment with national criminal law provisions.

“We also make this extradition agreement retroactive up to 18 years, so that we can prosecute past crimes in Indonesia. We are very serious about this, all our law enforcement officers have begun to make preparations. My deputy has also reported that the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has been actively coordinating with the Police, Interpol, and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK),” said Luhut.

In addition, one of the agreements that has also entered into force on 21 March 2024 global time, or 22 March 2024 Indonesian time, is the Indonesia-Singapore Defense Cooperation. 

Luhut is optimistic that the defense cooperation framework will facilitate mutually beneficial military cooperation while respecting the sovereign integrity of both countries.

“This defense cooperation framework will also facilitate military collaboration between Indonesia and Singapore. The scope of cooperation is very broad. There are 8 areas of cooperation that are regulated and all of them are structured in a framework to provide benefits for both countries,” he said. 

In his final remarks, Luhut praises personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, and the three military branches of the TNI.  

“I would also like to specifically express my appreciation and gratitude to all parties involved who have worked hard in the process of enacting these three agreements. I hope the same spirit and determination will prevail so as to ensure that the their implementation runs effectively and optimally,” said Luhut.

Gusty da Costa

Journalist

 

Editor

 

Interview

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