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Country Profile and Bilateral Relationship

Singapore















PROFILE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE


Official Name : Republic of Singapore
Capital : Singapore
Head of State : President Tony Tan Keng Yam
Head of Government : Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Foreign Affairs Minister : K.Shanmugam
Location :

Located in the southeastern part of Asia which is at 136.8 km north of the equator, between latitudes 103 '38' East Longitude and 104 '06' east longitude, and an island that lies between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Border :

Singapore is located at the end of the Strait of Malacca, a strategic port city adjacent to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Area :

Total area of Singapore with 60 smaller islands that surround 712.4 km2. The islands are inhabited and have economic value is Tekong Island, Sentosa Island, Pulau Besar Bukum, Pulau Ayer Chawan and Pulau Merlimau. In 1997 the Singapore government put Pedra Branca island which was still in dispute with Malaysia to the official map of the Republic of Singapore.

Climate : Tropical with high humidity
Total Population : 5.1 million(Department of Statistics, 2011)
Forms of State : Republic
National Day :

August 9 (August 9, 1965 is Independence Day in Singapore after a break away from the Federation of Malaysia)

Ethnic Groups : China (76.7%), Malay (14%), India (7,9%), Others (1,45%)
Official Language : Mandarin (official), Malay (official and national), Tamil (official), English (language of instruction in the workplace and educational institutions and government)
Religion : Buddhism, Islam, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Confucian
Currency : Dollar Singapore: the symbol S$



MAP OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE


Singapore Map



A BRIEF HISTORY

Singapore's name comes from the Sanskrit word meaning Lion City, which is becoming known in general since the end of the first century. Previously known as the Tumasik (Sea Town) which is found in the Negarakertagama manuscript written by Prapanca in 1365 for the establishment of the Majapahit empire under the reign of King Hayam Wuruk (1350-1389). After the decline of the Majapahit kingdom, Singapore is part of the Sultanate of Malacca founded by Prince Iskandarsyah of Palembang and Admiral Hang Tuah.


In the mid-17th century, the ruling British colonial government in India considers necessary to be able to support the smooth harbor cruise fleet in the trade with China, as well as to hinder the Dutch forces in the Far East. On January 29, 1819 Raffles landed in Singapore and on February 6, 1819 signed a treaty on the establishment of Singapore's trade representative with the ruler at that time, the Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong Abdurrachman based in Singapore. Since then, Singapore developed into an important trading center in the region and linking Asia – Eastern Europe. In 1824, Singapore became a British after the treaty between the Dutch - English, Dutch withdrew all objections to British rule in Singapore. The increasing prosperity of Singapore under British rule has attracted the Chinese, Indians and Malays from the Peninsula Melaya to emigrate to Singapore.


At World War II, Singapore fell under Japanese occupation during 3.5 years. In 1945 Britain returned to power in Singapore and established a separate colonial government of Malacca and Penang. In 1957 the British government approved the Singapore became a self-governing state, but the problem of foreign relations and defense still held by Britain. To implement this, in 1959 the first election was held to choose Singapore’s House of Representatives, and on June 5, 1959 has been set up self-governing state of Singapore with Lee Kuan Yew as Singapore's first Prime Minister.


PM Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed to strengthen political and security cooperation, Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963 - 1965 consisting of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. Indonesia under President Soekarno was strongly opposed to the time and carry out political confrontation against the formation of Malaysia. Singapore out of the Federation 2 years after the ideological conflict between the state government led by the People's Action Party with the Federal Government in Kuala Lumpur. Singapore's sovereign officially on August 9, 1965. Yusof bin Ishak was sworn in as President of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew remained prime minister.




GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL SYSTEM
  1. System of Political Parties

    Singapore has a multi-party system with 23 registered political parties. But in a January 2, 1997 election only six registered political parties following the elections to choose members of parliament are:


    • People’s Action Party (PAP)
    • Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)
    • Worker’s Party (WP)
    • Singapore People’s Party (SPP)
    • National Solidarity Party (NSP)
    • Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)


  2. Parliament

    Singapore is a country shaped by the Republic of parliamentary system of government. Institutions that hold the executive, legislative and judicial branches are listed in the Constitution of Singapore. Singapore Head of State is a President. Administration carried out by a cabinet led by a Prime Minister. Prime Minister and his cabinet members appointed by the president among members of parliament. All members of the cabinet are responsible to parliament.


  3. Government System

    Singapore adopts a parliamentary democracy with a form of government of the Republic. The country led by a President chosen by Act of the President which became effective since November 30, 1991. The Act states that the Presidential election is done once in six years through a general election. Prime Minister as leader of the cabinet who underwent daily administration selected from party leaders who hold the majority in Parliament. With a majority of seats in parliament from January 2, 1997 election results, the People's Action Party (PAP) government continues to rule Singapore since 1959.



    • Executive Power (President)

      According to the constitution, the President is the Head of State elected for 6 years. President has a veto power over the state budget proposed by the government. In addition, the President also has the authority to appoint state officials. Under the Internal Security Act (ISA), the President can supervise the administration and investigation on issues of corruption. In his role, President is assisted by the Advisory Board of the President if the President will carry out its functions such as the lifting of government officials.


      The Cabinet led by Prime Minister (PM) appointed by the President and members of parliament by a majority decision in the parliament. Ministers are appointed by the President through the PM’s proposals selected from among the members of parliament. The Cabinet is responsible to Parliament for all government policies. The Cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Minister, and ministers in charge of the ministries.


    • Legislative Authority (Parliament and President)

      Legislative power is held by the Singapore Parliament and the President. Parliament adopts a single room (unicameral). MPs numbered 84 people, comprised of 83 elected members of parliament and a member of the opposition who were given seats in parliament. The elected MPs are representatives of the constituencies namely Group Representation Constituencies (GRC). Establishment of GRC is intended to accommodate the representation of ethnic minorities in Singapore (majority of Singaporeans are Chinese, while minorities are Malays and Indians). All members of the GRC must be a member of a political party or may be independent. Each GRC must have at least one candidate from a minority group.


      In parliament there are also appointed members of parliament (NMP: Nominated Members of Parliament), which is intended to reflect the independent views of groups who are not members of political parties. NMP was appointed by the President for a term of 2 years after considering the proposal of a special commission on elections in the parliament. Appointment of NMP in parliament meant that the opposition parties that did not get a seat can also be represented in parliament.


      Parliament has a term of 5 years starting from its first session. However, it can also be dissolved before the expiration of his tenure. Elections should be held three months after parliament was dissolved. Requirement to vote is a Singapore citizen whose ages of 21 years and comply with the provisions of the constitution. Every citizen who has been 21 years can use their right to vote in secret and compulsory nature.


    • Judicial Power

      The highest judicial power in Singapore is at the Supreme Court of Executive influence. The judges in performing their duties are guaranteed by the Constitution.


  4. Justice System

    Justice agencies in Singapore, among others:


    • Supreme Court

      Supreme Court consists of the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal. Chief Justice and other judges are appointed by the President and acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. Today there are eight judges (including Chief Justice) on the Supreme Court.


    • Subordinate Court

      Subordinate Court consists of the District Court, Magistrates, Juneville Court and Coroners Court.


      District Court is authorized to hear criminal cases that has a penalty not more than 10 years. In the case of a civil case, the court is authorized to examine and make decisions on matters that have a value of not more than S $ 50,000.


      Magistrates Court is authorized to hold a first degree examination of all cases filed in which there is a chance to bring his case to the High Court. Magistrates Court the authority to hear civil cases that have a value of between S $ 2,000 until S $ 10,000 and criminal cases that have a penalty of not more than 3 years.


      Juneville Court is authorized to examine cases / offenses committed by children aged below 16 years.


      High Court has jurisdiction to try all criminal and civil cases. All criminal cases that are pleasing to the Capital Punishment should be tried by the High Court. High Court to check the criminal and civil cases that have been handled by the lower courts (Subordinate Court).


      Court of Appeal examines against a civil case that has been overcome by the High Court. The appeal is in the form of reharing. Court of Appeal may order the examination to be held back.


      Judicial Committe of the Privny Council is the highest appeal court in Singapore, the activities undertaken in the UK to examine appeals from the Court of Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal.


      Syariah Court established under the provisions of Muslim Law Act according to Islamic law and adjudicate matters which are involved are citizens who are Muslims and issues related to marriage, divorce and related matters. Syariah Appeal Court's decision should be made to the Appeal Board. The Appeal Board consists of a Chairman and two members appointed by MUIS (Singapore Islamic Scholars Council) and the decision of the Appeal Board is final.






BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN INDONESIA – SINGAPORE



Singapore is one of the nearest neighboring country that has significance role for Indonesia's national interests and the region’s interests. Geographically, the two countries have direct borders, thereby encouraging the establishment of relations and cooperation in various sectors. On the other hand, the proximity of the geographical position also raises a variety of challenges that can directly affect the national interest of Indonesia.


Since diplomatic relations between Indonesia - Singapore officially opened at the Ambassador level, on 7 September 1967, bilateral relations have been developing in a good, positive, and constructive way. This is reflected in the intensity of exchange of visits between leaders and high officials of both countries are increasing since 2004. In addition, Indonesia and Singapore have a solid mechanism of bilateral relations in the form of an annual meeting of the Heads of State to review and direct the bilateral relations, Minister-level meetings, working groups and mechanisms to enhance cooperation between the two countries.


In terms of the region’s interests, Indonesia and Singapore are the two important countries in Southeast Asia as a founding member of ASEAN. Indonesia needs to give priority and attention to fostering and strengthening relations, cooperation, and solidarity of ASEAN, especially in strengthening the process of transformation into an ASEAN Community by 2015.


As one of the nearest neighboring country, the cooperation between the two countries manifested in various sectors, in particular that stands out is in the economic field. Singapore is main trading partner, the largest source of foreign investment and also the origin of the largest foreign tourists to Indonesia. Good relations between the two countries are also reflected in the solidarity of the government and people of Singapore to help Indonesia in dealing with disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes, ranging from relief to rehabilitation and reconstruction phase.





  • Politics and Security

    Bilateral relations between Indonesia - Singapore generally run well and show progress in a more positive and constructive to the development of the new cooperation of mutual benefit and the process of resolving some outstanding issues. This is driven by intensive communication, and people to people relations are dynamic. Since 2007 there have been several meetings between the two heads of state, visits between parliamentarians and senior officials meeting between the two countries. This in turn will strengthen the relationship, enhance mutual understanding and foster confidence and mutual trust. Increased comfort level is reflected in the substantive achievements, among others, the completion of maritime boundary between the two countries on the Western region of the Singapore Strait (P. Nipah - Tuas).


  • Economics

    Economic relations between Indonesia - Singapore continues to grow since the complementarity of economic interests of both countries are very large. Indonesia has a natural and mineral resources are abundant and the availability of a competitive workforce, while Singapore has capability in the knowledge sector, networking, financial resources and technological advance. This is partly indicated by the increasing volume of trade, investment and tourism.


    Main export products of Indonesia to Singapore, such as : components and electronic goods, ships and ship parts, aircraft parts, steel, petrochemical and chemical materials. Meanwhile, opportunities can still be improved its market share is an electronic component, spares ship, chemicals, agricultural products, especially vegetables and fruits, processed food products, fishery products, and hospitality equipment.


    Singapore also has a very strategic area of investment because it is a reference to more than 5,000 representative offices of multinational companies that will develop business in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, business groups in Singapore are also beginning to explore investment opportunities "beyond Jakarta", among others, in West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, East Kalimantan and Riau Island and Riau mainland.


    Economically, Indonesia is the fourth largest trading partner for Singapore. While Singapore is the third largest trading partner for Indonesia, after Japan and the United States. In 2010, total trade value between the two countries reached US$ 33.9 billion, up 31.5% of the total trade value in 2009 reaching US$ 25.8 billion. While the January-November 2011 Total trade value two countries reached US$ 41.08 billion, up 33% of which Indonesia had a deficit of US$ -6.63 billion.


    In the field of investment, for Singapore, Indonesia is the fourth largest investment destination after China, the UK and Malaysia. As for Indonesia, in recent years, Singapore is the largest source of foreign investment. In 2010, reaching an investment value of over US$ 5.1 billion in 537 projects. In 2011, Singapore remained the largest source of foreign investment with an investment of US$ 5.1 billion in 754 projects.


    In the field of tourism, Singapore is the largest country of origin of foreign tourists in Indonesia. In 2010 from a total of 7 million tourists visiting Indonesia, 1.2 million tourists were from Singapore.


    In the field of employment, Singapore is one of the main destinations for the placement of Indonesian workers, not only from the informal sector, but also the formal sector. Currently from 197,970 Indonesian citizens registered in Singapore, about 117,146 workers, 16,909 ABK, 14,767 Indonesian professionals working in various companies and students numbering 24,560.


    Both countries are expected to increase investment promotion trips and capacity development cooperation. This can be promoted as an effort to accelerate the realization of ASEAN Connectivity, which is also a major focus of Singapore's foreign policy.


  • Social and Culture

    Development of relations in the culture field needs to be done for achieving a better perspective between the two countries with a broader spectrum. It is expected to reduce the inappropriate perception of each country and can bridge the common interests between people in both countries.


    Improved socio-cultural relations will continue to be encouraged through the framework of the Indonesia-Singapore Friendship Association (ISFA), which was formed in April 2005, which has been recorded to aid reconstruction of a collapsed school in Padang earthquake. Cooperation in the education, Indonesia and Singapore already has MoU on cooperation in education in 2005, which is updated at Leader’s Retreat meeting in Bogor on the beginning of March 2012.


  • Consular and Citizen Services

    Improved quality of services and protection of citizens and law are to be a top priority. The embassy should consistently implement the basic principles of public service systems that emphasize friendly service, cheap, fast and transparent, also protection of citizens who adhere to the principles of caring and alignments.


    Noting the large number of Indonesian citizens in Singapore, Indonesian Embassy has made concrete steps in an effort to improve public services and protection, including ISO 9001:2008 certification for the three main services, namely in the field of providing services relating to immigration passport and visa; in the fields of transportation that associated with the service sign on and sign off for the sailors Indonesia and facilitating the extension of employment contracts PLRT; forward the principle of care and protection efforts in the alignments in the form of 24-hour hotline facility to accommodate a variety of complaints and problems of the people who require protection measures; providing temporary shelter for PLRT who face problems with adequate facilities, legal assistance for the citizen is under sentence of death.



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