From the Financial Times-
Indonesia’s often prickly relations with Singapore have hit another thorny patch as Jakarta has shelved defence co-operation and extradition agreements that the countries signed six months ago.Indonesia, a nation of 234 million people, feeling threatened by a country of 4.5 million people, is just silly. Even economically based on GDP, Indonesia outpaces the smaller Singapore.
Separately, Indonesia’s business competition supervisory commission, the KPPU, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that investigators had found “strong indications” that Temasek, Singapore’s state investment fund, had violated Indonesia’s anti-monopoly laws.
The developments follow moves by Indonesia earlier this year to ban sand and, briefly, granite exports to Singapore. The island state has also expressed concern at Indonesia’s failure to prevent forest and peat fires from smothering it with polluting haze for long periods.
Jakarta-based analysts believe that creeping xenophobia, particularly among legislators, is driving Indonesian policy.
Hassan Wirajuda, Indonesia’s foreign minister, said on Tuesday that the defence agreement would be put aside until “the situation is conducive to proceed”. Since the agreement was signed as a package with the extradition treaty, the latter will not go into effect either.
Legislators complained that Indonesia was ceding sovereignty to Singapore by allowing the tiny country access to sea and air space for military exercises.
As for Tempasek, they own a large share of Indonesia's two biggest cellular companies. Is that really anti-competition? How did Tempasek acquire their stake? I'm assuming none of happened overnight, or in the months since the treaty ratified.
Bottom line- I think Indonesia is acting both irrationally based on some unfounded jealousy for Singapore. If Indonesia wants to continue growing as a power in both the region and the world, they need to put things in proper perspective so far as their neighbors go. What does a tiger have to fear from a fly?
Linked to- Right Voices, Right Wing Nation, Stuck on Stupid, Third World County,