President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Singapore Botanical Garden - Photo by President Office
JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia has send a diplomatic notes to Singapore  Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on the issue on online sale of Indonesia maids.
“Today, our embassy has send a diplomatic notes to Singapore foreign ministry. We asked for their attention, so this kind of thing will not happened again,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs A.M. Fachir told reporters in State Palace on Monday (17/09).
According to him, the minister Retno Marsudi is continuing to communicate with Balakrishnan on the case. From the information he got, Fachir stated, Singapore authority has investigated the issue.
Fachir explained that the victims of online sale advertisement of maids are not only Indonesian citizens. There are also the citizens of other countries who experience the same issue.
“Not only our citizens, but we are the one who protest against it first,” he said. Currently, the Singapore manpower ministry is investigating cases of household helpers are being sold online in Carousel website.
The relationship between Indonesia and Singapore have come a long way from their uncertain beginnings in the mid-1960s to their present. The uneasy beginning is exemplified by the trial and hanging of two Indonesian marines in October 1968 convicted for the bombing of McDonald House in 1965, which led to the ransacking of the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta.
Tension remained until Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s visit to Indonesia in 1973, during which he scattered flowers over the graves of the marines.
More significantly, Lee and Suharto established a personal rapport that underpinned the close and friendly relations that bloomed over the next three decades, despite occasional tensions over security issues.
Among them was Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor in 1975, on which Singapore abstained from the United Nation resolution that condemned Indonesia’s occupation while other Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states voted against.

Certain undercurrents persist in Indonesia – Singapore relations such as the trans-boundary haze from Indonesia, issues surrounding the status of Indonesian assets parked in Singapore, and demand by certain Indonesian quarters for control of the airspace over the Riau and Natuna Islands.

Both countries also face common challenges from the regional strategic environment and the growing assertiveness of extra-regional powers. China’s claim over most of the South China Sea, for example, potentially affects the freedom of navigation and overflights of the international waterway which both countries rely on.

Moreover, the ensuing great power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific has driven a wedge in ASEAN and undermined its hard-earned cohesion. That said, China’s 21st Century Belt and Silk Road initiative offers avenue for both countries to pursue new economic opportunities.

Singapore has a common interest in Indonesia’s vision to play its role as a “Maritime Fulcrum” along the revived Maritime Silk Road connecting the western Pacific with the Indian Ocean.

Written by Staff Editor, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com

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