EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
Increasing Cooperation Between The
Indonesian And Australian Parliaments
Head of Commission 1 of the Indonesian Parliament, Kemal Azis Stamboel, was on a working visit to Canberra and Melbourne on 15-18 March 2010 to hold a meeting with his Australian counterparts in Parliament, Australian high officials, Indonesianists, and agencies that routinely coordinate with Commission 1 in the fields of foreign affairs, defense, security, communication and intelligence.
While in Australia, the Head of Commission 1 had meetings with Senator John Faulkner, Australian Defence Minister; Honorable Greg Combet MP, Minister of Defence for Personnel, Materials and Science; Senator Michael Forshaw, Head of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade; Harry Jenkins MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abu Rizvi, Deputy Secretary of the Australian Communications Ministry; Dr Stephen Gumley, CEO of the Defence Materiel Organization; John Carlson, Director-General for the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office; and Tim Lindsey, Head of the Australia-Indonesia Institute. The Head of Commission 1 also held discussions with six Indonesianists from the Australian National University such as Dr Harold Crouch, Dr Greg Fealy, Dr Marcus Mietzner, and Dr Chris Manning.
On this visit, the Head of Commission 1 also took part in a working lunch with Australian officials such as the Director-General for Southeast Asia Affairs Hugh Borrowman, the Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism Bill Patterson and the People Smuggling Ambassador, James Larsen. The chairman and vice-chariman of the Inter-parliamentary group on Indonesia, Jim Turnour MP dan Senator Allan Eggleston also held a dinner for Mr. Stamboel, attended by the Indonesian Ambassador in Canberra and several Australian Parliamentarians who will be visiting Indonesia soon. On those occasions Mr. Stamboel explained about developments in Indonesia, then collected insights and information for improving the role of Commission 1 and for increasing cooperation in the fields of foreign affairs, defense, intelligence and communications.
The meetings were successful and created a positive outlook for further parliamentary cooperation, specifically in the fields related to Commission 1. All parties conveyed their praise and appreciation for the visit of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to Australia on 9-11 March 2010, which they say left a deep impact on the government and people of Australia. The President’s historic address at the Australian Parliament moved many Australians’ views on not only the two countries’ role in bilateral, regional and global affairs but also providing a new way to look at Indonesia. Australians and Indonesians should leave behind old ways of looking at each other, because a mutually beneficial partnership can overcome future issues facing the two nations.
In those meetings, the Head of Commission 1 noted the important role of the parliaments, specifically Commission 1 in supporting the comprehensive partnership of mutually respect, equality, and ready to implement the resolve shown during the President’s visit. Mr. Stamboel noted that there is huge potential for further cooperation. On the strengthening of parliamentary cooperation, the Head of Commission 1 and Senator Michael Forshaw agreed that other members of Commission 1 can come and meet their counterparts in June of 2010, as a way of maintaining the momentum of the President’s visit. The upcoming visit of Commission 1 will be be prepared extensively so that it can produce concrete results for both countries. The visit of the Head of Commission 1 is seen as a blessing in disguise because it was held only four days after the President’s visit.
Speaker of Parliament Harry Jenkins reiterated to Mr. Stamboel that there is no other choice than to increase the beneficial partnership between the two countries, and he believes the bilateral relations will remain strong no matter which party governs Australia. Harry Jenkins says he will personally support the growth and consolidation of the partnership between Indonesia and Australia.