Singapore Media Values Prabowo to Increase Indonesia’s Role in ASEAN

Jakarta, Hilton News

Singaporean media, The Straits Times, highlighted Prabowo Subianto’s potential to bring Indonesia to a more active role in ASEAN. This is stated in an article entitled ‘Optimism in ASEAN as Prabowo Presidency Heralds a More Active Role for Indonesia’, which was released on Saturday (17/2).

In the article, Executive Director of Asialink Business in Melbourne, Leigh Howard, said Prabowo often advocated a more balanced foreign policy and sought to partner with many countries, including Asian countries.

“As defense minister, Prabowo is known for advocating a more balanced foreign policy and seeking partnerships with many countries, including Asian countries. As a presidential candidate, he touched on the need for strong maritime defense capacity to defend Indonesia’s interests,” he said in a written statement on Sunday (18/2).

Given the fact that Prabowo is a former general who has good relations with a number of neighboring countries and superpowers, analysts also predict that Prabowo will take a more active diplomatic role.

Moreover, Prabowo is also committed to prioritizing Indonesia and ensuring the interests of 280 million Indonesians will not be interfered with by foreign powers.

Howard stressed that Prabowo’s leadership role in ASEAN and globally will depend on his ability to build consensus in the region, his priorities on a number of international issues, as well as the foreign policy team he will form in his government.

“Therefore, the thing that needs to be considered is the composition of Prabowo’s cabinet, and which foreign officials will be retained,” he stressed.

The Straits Times writes that policymakers in Southeast Asia may be satisfied with Prabowo’s commitment to sustainability.

This is shown by the nomination of President Joko Widodo’s son as his vice presidential candidate. Indonesia’s stable and prosperous condition is seen as a boon to all parties in diplomatic circles.

On the other hand, Associate Fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Andreyka Natalegawa, is also optimistic that Prabowo can bring Indonesia to play a more active role in ASEAN.

He said Prabowo had the opportunity to direct Indonesia to play a more active role in ASEAN, as well as restore the relevance and centrality of the organization in the region.

However, the whole thing depends on Prabowo’s ‘patience’ in dealing with a number of institutional processes and ASEAN decision-making which he said was indeed sluggish.

“Prabowo may place a higher priority on maritime security and assertion of Indonesia’s rights in the South China Sea, including by supporting some coordination efforts among claimants in Southeast Asia,” he said.


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