I read with interest the article titled Indonesia: Big nation led by small minds (The Jakarta Post, Feb. 17).
It seems to have escaped the writer that Singapore has struck hard bargains throughout its history and likes to set the agenda. It was to its dismay that it found Jakarta no longer dancing to its tune.
Remember that it was Singapore who tried to tie the security/defense pacts with that of the extradition treaty, and they tried to deal with these as a package. This was their idea and Indonesia was obliged to comply with this set-up.
The action taken by Indonesia is very courageous because of the fact that Singapore has been dragging its feet on the extradition treaty as well as other outstanding issues.
It is an apparent fact that Singapore harbors over 500 Indonesian citizens who are charged with corporate crimes in their own country. The total wealth taken out of Indonesia and deposited in Singapore banks totals US$30 billion. Here we see the real reason for Singapore's lack of interest in making the extradition treaty work.
I'm sure Singapore can afford to buy sand from other places at a premium price with the $30 billion it is "safekeeping" for the Indonesian criminals that are living the high-life in Singapore.
Indonesia must not fall for the stick and carrot game that Singapore likes to play. Indonesia must also not shy away from its right to get these criminals back home to stand trial and to recuperate the lost wealth that left with them.
Singapore needs to be made aware of its moral obligations and should not be surprised when it is at the receiving end of someone else's grievances.