On 7 September 1967, Singapore established formal diplomatic relations with Indonesia. It came about a year after Indonesia had officially recognised the sovereignty of Singapore and ended its policy of Konfrontasi (or Confrontation, 1963–1966) with Malaysia. Following Indonesia’s recognition of Singapore as an independent nation in June 1966, Jakarta offered an exchange of diplomatic representatives. However, Singapore requested to put the exchange off until Indonesia and Malaysia had resumed diplomatic ties. Nonetheless, Singapore proceeded to set up a liaison office in Jakarta in December 1966. The office, which was headed by former First Secretary to the Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur Ridzwan Dzafir, was tasked to handle trade matters between Singapore and Indonesia.
After Malaysian-Indonesian diplomatic ties were fully normalised, Singapore and Indonesia proceeded to resume similar ties. This was finalised during then foreign minister S. Rajaratnam’s visit to Jakarta in early September 1967 to sign an agreement with his Indonesian counterpart on the exchange of diplomatic representatives at the ambassadorial level. The establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia was officially announced on 7 September 1967. The resumption of full diplomatic ties between Singapore and Indonesia came at a time when there was an increased emphasis among Southeast Asian nations to secure regional peace as a basis to increase regional cooperation between them. This was exemplified by the formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 8 August 1967. It’s founding members were: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
With diplomatic relations established at the ambassadorial level, former acting Director of Broadcasting P. S. Raman was appointed as Singapore’s first ambassador to Indonesia in June 1968.
1. Now it's full ties with S'pore. (1967, September 8). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Sam, J. (1966, June 5). Indonesia recognises Singapore. The Straits Times, p. 1; Confrontation ends. (1966, August 12). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Sam, J. (1967, September 1). Full S'pore-Indon ties tomorrow? The Straits Times, p. 1; S'pore 'yes' to exchange of envoys with Jakarta. (1966, June 7). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Singapore liaison team for Jakarta. (1966, December 21). The Straits Times, p. 13. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Pestana, R. (1967, September 3). Full ties' welcome for Rajaratnam in Jakarta tomorrow. The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. The Straits Times, 8 Sep 1967, p. 1.
7. A step nearer return to S’pore Jakarta ties. (1967, August 15). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
8. Agreed – it's Asean. (1967, August 8). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Singapore names envoy to Indonesia. (1968, June 20). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.