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Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, and Singapore are Three Most-Respected Countries by Indonesians: Study

Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, and Singapore are Three Most-Respected Countries by Indonesians: Study

According to a new study, Singapore's economic success, safety, and cleanliness position it alongside Saudi Arabia and Turkey among the most admired nations by Indonesians. However, the United States and Europe performed worse than Russia, while China's suspicions made it the least admired nation.

The Indonesia National Survey Project conducted by the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute reported that 89.1% of 1,620 respondents ranked Singapore third in terms of respect, behind Saudi Arabia (95.7%) and Turkey (90.1%).

Saudi Arabia ranked top when asked which country is essential to Indonesia, with 97.4% of respondents selecting it. This was followed by Singapore, with 90.8%, and Turkey, with 90.4%.

According to Dr. Burhanuddin Muhtadi, a visiting fellow in ISEAS' Indonesia Studies Programme, Saudi Arabia's popularity originates mostly from its location as the site of Islam's two holiest places, the Kaabah in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

"Each year, Muslims from all over the world visit our nation for pilgrimage," said Dr. Burhanuddin, one of the three academics who contributed to the poll. Turkey's high position is also a result of its status as a Muslim nation.

Singapore's attractiveness to Indonesia resides in its safety, cleanliness, and economic success, according to PermataBank's chief economist Josua Pardede, who added, "Indonesians have a favorable impression of Singapore because it is regarded a tourist destination and is geographically the nearest country." Additionally, Singapore offers a safer, cleaner urban environment and law enforcement."

"In terms of economic development, Singapore is a developed nation in Asean, which might serve as a model for Indonesians." In 2021, bilateral commerce between Singapore and Indonesia reached $59.1 billion, a 21 percent rise from the previous year. In 2021, Singapore's investments in Indonesia were US$9.4 billion (S$12.5 billion). Since 2014, Singapore has also held the top rank on Indonesia's investor list.

In July of 2022, face-to-face interviews were held in all 34 Indonesian provinces. The publication occurs once every five years.

Drs. Siwage Dharma Negara and Hui Yew-Foong, who also coordinate the ISEAS Indonesia Studies Programme, are the other two researchers. The authors of the survey discovered that Russia was perceived more favorably than the United States and the European Union. According to the data, 86.8 percent of respondents expressed admiration for Russia, compared to 81.8% for the United States and 86.5 percent for the European Union.

Anti-American and anti-Western emotions, according to Dr. Burhanuddin, are among the reasons why Indonesians value Russia over the West. "These views stem from the perception that the United States and the West have treated Muslims unfairly," he said, citing foreign policy in the Middle East, notably the Israeli-Palestinian issue. China was the least admired nation, with only 78.2% of respondents expressing admiration.

34.1 percent of respondents viewed China's impact on Indonesia as unfavorable, while 27.1% viewed it as good, according to the report.

"As China assumes its newly-acquired position as a global economic giant, Indonesians tend to remain wary of China's advances," Dr. Hui explained.

The study revealed that 60.3% of respondents viewed China's Belt and Road Initiative negatively. Creating a contemporary version of the ancient Silk Road trade route from Asia to Europe is the goal of the multitrillion-dollar investment plan.

Some Indonesians may view the project as a "financial debt trap for other nations," including Indonesia, which would leave them deeply indebted to China.

"Domestically, Indonesians may be cautious of Chinese foreign workers, who account for about half of all foreign laborers in Indonesia," Dr. Hui continued.


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