Maritime axis vision needs development of various aspects: Lemhanas

Maritime axis vision needs development of various aspects: Lemhanas

Rear Admiral TNI Untung Suropati. (tnial.mil.id)

Jakarta, Dec 26 (Antara) - An expert of the Indonesian National Defense Institute (Lemhannas) said the concept of maritime axis concerns development of various aspects to guarantee success.

Defense, political, economic, security , cultural and legal aspects need to be strengthened to support implementation of the maritime axis vision, an expert staff of Lemhannas Rear Admiral Untung Suropati said here on Friday.

Untung said he appreciated the decision of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to sink fishing vessels found illegally operating in Indonesian waters.

However, the ship sinking and sea toll road project are only small part of steps toward the realization of the maritime axis vision of President Jokowi, he said.

Jokowi spoke for the first time about sea toll road and maritime axis in his political campaigns that helped him win the presidency.

Sea toll road project includes development of new ports and modernization of existing ports to facilitate sea transport between the countrys western and more backward eastern regions.

Sea toll road project is his way of eliminating the lopsidedness in economic prosperity and strengthening connectivity and integration of the far flung archipelago.

Untung said maritime axis concept could not be implemented if the government skipped state defense development in building sea toll road project, he said.

He said strong state defense would guarantee smooth and effective operation of sea toll roads.

"The foundations of maritime axis - political, legal, economic and state defense aspects must be parallel," he said.

He said Indonesia has four of nine chokepoints --geographical feature at sea such as a strait-- in the world including the Malacca strait, Sunda strait, Makassar strait, and Lombok strait.

However, the government has not succeeded in maximizing potential political and economic gain from the check points, he said.

"The four points are very important. Imagine if we close the four points. The world economy would be jolted," he said.

He said the government of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla has been right in promoting maritime axis for the national interest.

However, coordination between government agencies needs to be strengthened to bring to reality the vision, he said, adding the weak point is in coordination.
(Uu.H-ASG/A014)

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