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19 October 2020 (closed)
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After suspending cooperation with US multinational banking and financial services firm JP Morgan Chase (for the underweight rating, a double downgrade), Indonesia has also suspended military ties with Australia after 'offensive training materials' were seen at the Special Air Service base in Perth where members of the Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus) were doing military training. Major General Wuryanto, Indonesian military spokesman, said on Wednesday (04/01) that all forms of cooperation between the Indonesian and Australian military have been suspended.
Major General Wuryanto stated that military cooperation can resume after matters have been resolved between both sides. However, he declined to give details about the exact reason that led to the suspension. He added that there exist ups and downs in every cooperation between two national forces and therefore this case is not unique. Cooperation between both sides, which includes military exercises, education and exchange programs, were already put on hold in December 2016, but the news reached the media on Wednesday 4 January 2017.
Local media in Indonesia, however, report that the Indonesian forces that were training in Australia were offended by certain training materials ("laminated material") found at an Australian base. According to a Kopassus instructor these materials are offensive to Indonesia's founding principle of Pancasila. Pancasila are the five principles that form the foundation of the Indonesian state.
1. Belief in one supreme God
2. Justice and civility among peoples
3. Unity of Indonesia
4. Democracy through deliberation and consensus among representatives
5. Social justice for all the people of Indonesia
Diplomatic Relations Australia-Indonesia
Although Indonesia and Australia are key allies there have been a serious of incidents that caused diplomatic tensions between both nations. This suspension of military cooperation is the first serious problem between both neighbors since Malcolm Turnbull became Australia's prime minister in 2015.
For example, the "spying scandal" that emerged in 2013 when allegations were made that the Australian Signals Directorate attempted to monitor activity on the mobile phones of then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and several senior government officials.
Another major diplomatic fallout occurred when - despite Australian authorities requesting for clemency - Indonesia executed two Australian citizens (members of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug trafficking ring) in May 2015.
Lastly, Australian live cattle exporters objected strongly when Indonesia implemented barriers to cattle imports from Australia in mid-2015, slashing total cattle imports by 80 percent. The Indonesian government made this move in a bid to boost domestic beef production. However, it led to soaring local beef prices in Indonesia and good gains for the so-called "beef mafia", referring to certain groups that deliberately hold on to the beef supply in order to raise prices.