ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Next Indonesian govt must focus on maritime issues
Publication Date : 21-05-2014
Indonesia's Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Marsetio has urged the next government to pay more attention to addressing maritime issues since Indonesian is widely known as one of the largest archipelagic countries in the world.
He said Indonesia was prone to hijacking, natural-resource smuggling, transnational crimes and people smuggling. "The maritime era is becoming even more prominent," he said in his keynote speech at a national maritime leadership seminar at the Borobudur Hotel, Central Jakarta.
Despite increased multilateral naval activities -- such as the 2014 Multilateral Naval Exercise held in the Riau Islands province – Marsetio insisted that the current government was still focused on developments on land instead of developing the nation’s maritime potential.
Currently, the Indonesian Navy is in the middle of procuring several vessels in accordance with its second strategic plan (Renstra), also known as the second stage of the Minimum Essential Force (MEF), which is slated for 2015 to 2019.
The first Renstra was implemented between 2010 and 2014.
Defense University lecturer Salim Said advised the Navy to push the next government to create a coordinating maritime ministry because he felt that there were too many maritime issues for the maritime affairs and fisheries ministry to handle.
Furthermore, he said the establishment of such a ministry would be beneficial because Indonesia's defense lay in the hands of the Navy.
Chairman of the Association of Retired Naval Officers (PPAL) Admiral (ret) Achmad Soetjipto said he hoped the 2014 presidential candidates would highlight maritime issues during the upcoming presidential election campaign.
"During the legislative elections, there was very little talk about maritime issues. I hope that the presidential candidates will bring more focus on these issues because of their importance to Indonesia," he said.