Two NSFs pulled from annual bilateral exercise with Indonesia

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Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) released a statement this morning (Nov 13), stating that two full-time national servicemen who are Singapore Permanent Residents have been withdrawn from a joint exercise.

The bilateral tie-up between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) takes place yearly.

The exercise called Safkar Indopura was held in Magelang, Central Java, over 500 km from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.

Mindef's statement said:

"The two NSFs, who are Singapore PRs, were part of the unit participating in an annual bilateral exercise between the SAF and the TNI to enhance military ties.

However, they were withdrawn from the exercise and brought back to Singapore. They did not participate in the bilateral exercise."

MINDEF's announcement comes after Indonesian news outlet, Detik News, reported that an Indonesian Foreign Ministry official said that two Indonesians have taken part in a joint military exercise with TNI.

The Straits Times reported that under Indonesian law, Indonesian citizens who served in foreign militaries risk being stripped of their citizenship.

The law however does state that considerations will be given to those who serve in countries that have mandatory national service. 

Major-General Fuad Basya, the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) spokesman speaking to Straits Times said: "Going forward, Singapore will not send Indonesians to a joint exercise here. We have asked them that, and they are agreeable." 

Sources: MINDEF, Antara News,, Straits Times