Increased tension in the South China Sea area has made Indonesia wary. The problem is, Indonesia’s outermost region, the Natuna Sea, is in direct contact with the conflict-prone South China Sea area. Even the Natuna Sea area is also included in the nine-dash line claim made by the People’s Republic of China.
This of course makes Indonesia have to show its strength in the area which serves to show its sovereignty in the region. A report from CNN Indonesia stated that the Indonesian government prepared funds of 12.2 trillion rupiahs or around 867 million US dollars to increase strength in the Natuna Sea. The funds will be used for the improvement of local facilities, procurement of new defense equipment, and other military needs. The expected impact of the disbursement of these funds is to create a deterrent effect and show Indonesia’s sovereignty in the Natuna Sea.
Besides the military, the presence of the Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla) was also increased. Since Bakamla was formed during the Joko Widodo administration, the institution has been assigned as Indonesia’s front line in maritime security, in addition to the navy, water police, and other components of Indonesia’s maritime security.
Still from CNN Indonesia, the latest news says that The District Government of Natuna, Riau Islands, has donated a total of 2 hectares of land to the Bakamla. The land will be built for the Natuna base and early warning system (SPD). With the donated land, it is hoped that Bakamla’s presence will increase in the Natuna Sea area and increase surveillance of the area by interference from other countries such as illegal fishing, smuggling activities, and other maritime law violations that may harm Indonesia.