SINGAPORE: Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam has called for more cultural and student exchanges between Singapore and Indonesia to enhance bilateral people—to—people ties.
"It is the young people — Indonesia and in Singapore — that represents the true hope for our two countries. I’m happy that Gadjah Mada University has a very deep interaction with our universities in Singapore," said Dr Tan during his visit to Gadjah Mada University, one of Indonesia’s top institutes of higher learning.
The Singapore president was speaking in Central Java, the final—leg of his five day state visit to Indonesia.
President Tan also visited Borobudur Temple in Magelang, which dates back to the 9th century.
He said the ancient Buddhist temple had a special significance not only for Indonesia but also for the world, adding that more cultural exchanges between Singapore and Indonesia should be encouraged.
"I believe we can do more to encourage cultural exchanges between Indonesia and Singapore. Singapore has a number of developments which can be used to showcase some of the Indonesian cultural heritage," said Dr Tan.
Singapore can help showcase Indonesia’s arts when the Singapore National Art Gallery opens in 2015, he added.
Dr Tan also visited Dukun, a village in Magelang located 15km from the foot of Mount Merapi.
Mercy Relief, a Singapore Non—Governmental Organisation (NGO), has been performing humanitarian work in the village since 2006.
It was the only foreign NGO that helped villagers evacuate and subsequently rebuild their lives after the 2008 Mount Merapi eruption.
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