After a succession of sour patches in bilateral ties between Jakarta and Canberra, thereâ€™s now a sweet breeze in the air in the Australiaâ€“Indonesia relationship. But what can be done to help it survive the next squall which could blow things off course? One way to help would be by bringing in close and trusted neighbours to help stabilise the mix. Manis is the Indonesian word for â€˜sweetâ€™. It also could symbolise a grouping of maritime partners on the southern edge of Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore. A MANIS regional maritime cooperation forum (PDF), could address a vast range of concerns for the member countries. A MANIS Regional Maritime Cooperation Forum could be organised in a number of ways, depending on the consensus of the participating nations. With a view to the sensitivities of Indonesia and others, it would be best to start slowly. Over time, the forum could generate goodwill and political momentum to grow. Ideally the political leadership of participating states would see the utility of gradually building up the forum and associated networks of contacts and issues covered, broadening and deepening the range of issues shared and addressed collaboratively.
|Commissioning body||Strategic and Defence Studies Centre|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|