National Day Rally 2018: Singapore has to strengthen ties with Indonesia, other Asean partners

Leaders of the Asean countries doing the Asean Wave at the 32nd Asean Summit.
Leaders of the Asean countries doing the Asean Wave at the 32nd Asean Summit.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

SINGAPORE - Singapore has to work on its relationships with all its Asean partners, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, given the uncertainties in the rest of the world, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday (Aug 19).

Speaking at this year's National Day Rally, Mr Lee noted that Indonesia will hold elections next year and has just decided on the presidential candidates.

"They will be preoccupied with election campaigning for the next few months," he said.

"I have worked well with President Jokowi. We have wide-ranging and mutually beneficial cooperation with Indonesia and I hope this will continue."

Indonesia is holding parliamentary and presidential elections in April next year.

Earlier this month, President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, named Indonesia Ulema Council chairman and influential Muslim figure Ma'ruf Amin as his running mate.

Mr Joko will face off against Gerindra Party chief Prabowo Subianto, whom he defeated in the last election in 2014.

Mr Lee noted that in October, Mr Joko will be hosting him to their annual Leaders' Retreat in Bali, where they will be discussing ways to do more together.