As the Republic of Indonesia and Singapore celebrate their 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations in 2017, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia together with Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) kicked off the year-long series of commemorative events by holding the Indonesia – Singapore Business Partnerships 50 Years and Beyond seminar on 17 January 2017. This was graced by Dr. A. M. Fachir, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Ministry of Trade & Industry of Singapore. The event also launched the commemorative pin of the 50th Anniversary.
This was followed, on 10 February 2017, by the official launch of the RISING50 logo, by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi together with Singapore’s Foreign Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan; this logo was used throughout the year to commemorate the Golden Jubilee. RISING50 comprises RI (Republic of Indonesia) and SING (Singapore) and the number 50 reflects the years we have shared in the past half century and the future we need to chart for the next five decades and beyond.
Since then, almost every month the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia together with different institutions in Singapore co-organised events to celebrate the strong bilateral ties among the two nations. These commemorative activities held throughout the year covered all aspects of cooperation and reached out to different communities and institutions. Be it military, government, women empowerment, youth entrepreneurs and even children through books and story telling – all these events were specifically curated to enhance the partnership, bridge differences, establish mutual understanding and interest, as well as to strengthen the people-to-people interaction of the two nations.
One of the successful events that the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia worked on together with Sun Media was a conference on the role of women titled Ibu Power! Prominent women speakers shared views and experiences, as well as the message of emancipation and empowerment to the Indonesian and Singaporean audience.
Back-to-back with Ibu Power!, the Embassy teamed up with Fortune Times magazine to co-organise the RISING50 Women’s Empowerment Award. This award was given in acknowledgement of Women Entrepreneurs of Indonesia and Singapore who have dedicated their work and business to empower other women in these two countries.
Aiming to share different daily life activities and cultures among youth and children, the Embassy along with the National Book Development Council of Singapore launched two bilingual children’s books that were cowritten and co-illustrated by Indonesian and Singaporean authors and illustrators. The launch was jointly done by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya who also did an impromptu reading of the two books – Sayur! Sayur! and CindeRilla.
Emphasizing the important role of youth in creating a stronger and enduring partnership of the two countries, the Embassy also supported events that were specifically curated to empower youth in the area of entrepreneurship. A coding competition called Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) was enthusiastically participated in by more than 450 university students who spent three days in groups of 10 to crack codes and established a start-up in the area of fintech, digital health and in the trade logistics sector.
Furthermore, to empower young designers and entrepreneurs in the fashion industry of the two countries, a collaborative project called RISING Fashion was held in Jakarta on August 2017. Twelve young designers from Indonesia and Singapore collaborated to open a fashion pop-up store for one month in one of the biggest malls in Jakarta.
Still to empower young entrepreneurs and SMEs, the Embassy teamed up with National Design Centre and organized the RISING50 Design Bazaar on 3 – 5 November 2017. Presenting more than 20 SMEs from Indonesia and Singapore, a three-day bazaar was officially opened by Minister Yaacob Ibrahim and Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya. The public was able to also enjoy entertainment from both countries during the bazaar.
Another event that was curated to reach out and engage youth was RISING50 Goes to Campus – a series of public lectures and talks by Ambassador Ngurah Swajaya in schools and universities, both in Singapore and Indonesia.
And let’s not forget that the very first Indonesia – Singapore Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue and Exchange was inaugurated by Minister Lukman Hakim Saefudin, Minister of Religious Affairs of Indonesia and Minister Tan Chuan Jin, then Minister for Social and Family Development of Singapore. Leaders of different religions from Indonesia and Singapore got together and shared views and experiences on promoting tolerance and harmony, as well as establishing constructive networks for future interfaith cooperation.
All of these celebrative activities culminated at the Leaders’ Retreat of President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore, on 7 September 2017. Other milestone activities that took place during the Retreat were the official launch of Indonesia-Singapore Business Council (ISBC), combined fly past by Indonesia’s TNI AU and Singapore RSAF displaying formation 50 involving 22 fighter planes, and a new partnership on digital economies.
And last but not least, as a finale event of the year-long commemorative activities, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia held the RISING Jubilee Run in Fort Canning Park, on December 2017. This 5.0 km heritage trail run was open to the public with a targeted participation of more than 2,000 people. At the end of the run, a festive carnival that showcased music, dances and the food of the two countries was held to entertain the public.