At the merdeka Palace Jakarta on August 13, in conjunction with the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Indonesian independence, President Joko Widodo awarded medals of honour to a number of citizens for their exceptional services to the nation.

At the ceremony attended by Vice President Mohamad Jusuf Kalla, ministers of the Working Cabinet and head-of-state institutions, 22 individuals received Mahaputra Stars, 14 received Jasa Stars, two democracy enforcers received Penegak Demokrasi Stars, and eight received Budaya Parama Dharma Stars for their services rendered in art and cultural activities.

On this special day, President Joko Widodo also awarded the Mahaputra Adipradana Star to former Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian NationalArmedForcesTNIGeneral (ret)Dr Moeldoko for his extraordinary services to the Motherland in areas outside the military.

Then, on September 22 General (ret) Moeldoko was given Singapore’s highest military award: the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) (Distinguished Service Order (Military) by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a 32 ceremony held at the Istana, the official residence and office of the President of Singapore.

The Distinguished Service Order (Military) award is for Moeldoko’s role in forging good ties between the Singaporean armed forces and their Indonesian counterparts during his term as Commander-in-Chief from September 2013 to July 2015. Under his leadership, both armed forces participated in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus Counter Terrorism Exercise and the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise in 2013, and he worked closely in operations such as the Malacca Strait Patrols to ensure the security of the Straits of Malacca. The SAF and TNI also conducted regular bilateral exercises such as Ex Safkar Indopura and Ex Elang Indopura, as well as various professional exchanges during his tenure.

To the Javanese-born retiree, the award is recognition on the effectiveness of the steps taken so far as a team. “It's an honour for us all and I represent all of us,” said the modest man. Present at the investiture at the Istana were Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Chief of Defence Force Major-General Perry Lim and senior government officials from Singapore and Indonesia.