A Peek into Singapore’s Heart and Soul

Seven journalists from major Indonesian media visited Singapore in May, in search of a deeper insight into the island city.

One of the highlights for the senior journalists from Indonesia was an informal Bahasa-English dialogue with Singapore's Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli (center).

Seven senior journalists from major publications in Indonesia visited Singapore under the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Journalist Visit Programme from 6-10 May.

Their visit programme provided a comprehensive overview of Singapore and its key areas of strength. Among the highlights were an informal Bahasa-English dialogue with Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, dinner at the residence of HE Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Singapore, Andre Had, and a briefing by PUB spokesperson George Madhavan on Singapore’s water plan. They also picked up some strong insights on Singapore’s urban challenges of public transport, public housing, urban planning and waste management – all challenges faced by their own home city of Jakarta.

The visiting journalists represented Jakarta Globe, Antara, Jakarta Post, Kompas.com, CLEO Indonesia, Reader’s Digest, Indonesia, and Jawa Pos.

Part of their trip was about being introduced to sides of Singapore that they had not experienced before, from the country’s growing social enterprise scene and SIF volunteers to community-level work on interfaith understanding and palliative care leadership. They met local journalists, social entrepreneurs, SIF partners and sponsors, and inter-faith/inter-racial grassroots and community champions.

To sample some of the island’s gastronomic offerings with a difference, the group dined at socially-conscious eateries such as Dignity Kitchen and Eighteen Chefs.

SIF has been facilitating journalist visit programmes since 2000. We aim to introduce the heart and soul of Singapore to these journalists and ultimately better their understanding of our country and its people. We highlight areas in which Singapore is a thought-leader, such as transport, waste and water management, public services, sustainability and urban solutions. We also turn the spotlight on the softer aspects of the country such as local culture, diversity, creativity and humanitarian work.

We have also been working with communities in Indonesia for more than 20 years. Through our programmes, Singaporeans and Indonesians from different cultures and backgrounds have been journeying together to share knowledge, skills and resources for over two fruitful decades.

View photos here.

This account of our Journalist Visit Programme, Indonesia was contributed by SIF staffer Zina Alam.

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