November 22, 2023
SINGAPORE – President Tharman Shanmugaratnam conferred Singapore’s top military award on Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto at the Istana on Nov 21.
The Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera), or Distinguished Service Order (Military) award, was conferred on Mr Prabowo “for his significant contributions towards strengthening the close and longstanding bilateral defence relations between Indonesia and Singapore”, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement.
The ceremony was attended by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, Senior Minister of State for Defence Zaqy Mohamad, and Chief of Defence Force Aaron Beng, as well as other senior government officials and military officers from Singapore and Indonesia.
Mindef noted that it was under Mr Prabowo’s leadership that the Defence Cooperation Agreement between the two countries was ratified, which it said “represented a significant milestone in bilateral defence relations”.
The ministry added that Mr Prabowo has promoted closer collaboration between both defence establishments, including overseeing the conduct of key bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Exercise Safkar Indopura and Exercise Super Garuda Shield, as well as high-level visits.
Both defence establishments also worked together on multilateral platforms such as the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus.
Mr Prabowo, who is in Singapore from Nov 20 to 21, called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong following the ceremony.
He was also hosted to lunch by Dr Ng, during which they discussed regional security developments and ways to further strengthen the two countries’ bilateral defence relationship.
More than 205 million people are eligible to vote in the presidential election on Feb 14, 2024, to decide who will succeed Mr Joko Widodo, who is leaving after a decade in power.