I was at Batam beach facing the island of Singapore sometimes in the year 2000, I could see chain of high rise buildings on Singapore soil. I had never been there, but i was so sure that time, Singapore is so much different from any place in Indonesia.
Singapore, for most Indonesians is merely a shopping paradise. Singapore welcomes more than 10 million tourist last year bringing in $14.5 billion of money, you can imagine a country with 4 million population hosting tourists tripe its population, it's like Indonesia is welcoming 500 million tourists.
For a small country like Singapore (sized only half size of Gunung Kidul regency in Yogyakarta), it is really a great achievement. Great great one.
However, Singapore is not only a tourist destination. Singaporeans did not get this wealthy merely from tourist pockets. GDP percapita of this tiny nation is $52,000, a level even developed nations find it difficult to catch up with. Many of us don't know that the architect of Singapore's economy was Dr. Albert Winsemius, a Ducth economist who was Singapore's economic adviser from 1961-1984. Dr Albert was involved in designing the industrialization of Singapore. He changed Singapore from a entrepot (transit point) to be world class manufacture center. Singapore is home to many industries world many billions of dollar. It is where the world's largest oil refinery is located, it is a place of 130 international banks setup their biz, a country with world class and most advanced facilities in all sectors.
What can we do from here?
1. We can benefit from Singapore's wealth for sure. Investment, export destination, tourism, to name a view. 2. We can actually replicate the way Singapore developed itself to our cities. Imagine if Indonesia has 8-10 cities like Singapore. 3. We can also establish more free-trade zone in regions sharing border with Singapore.
Any other idea?