Through BACKSTORY we bring you stories of people, the paths they take, and the destinations they arrive at. IndoConnect spoke to Indonesian diplomat Rizki Kusumastuti, the First Secretary at the Embassy of Indonesia in Singapore, Pensobud – Information, Social and Cultural Affairs Department. She shared her story of a childhood dream to work outside Indonesia which has become a way for her to serve her country
RIZKI Kusumastuti, First Secretary at the Republic of Indonesia Embassy in Singapore (Pensobud) born and raised in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. She grew up with the childhood dream to work and live abroad, not knowing what was the career path that could become a gateway to achievin her dreams of working and living abroad. During her time to choose a study programme to apply to a university, she was clueless of what to pursue. She attended several alumni talks which gave her an eureka moment of studying International Law. Not knowing then that it would be the first step towards her achieving her childhood dream. She accidentally came to know about the test to get into government service – CPNS (Calon Pegawai Negeri Sipil). While she was working in the private sector, she took the exam and as luck would have it she cleared all the steps and landed a job in the foreign service.
Rizki’s entry into the foreign services in 2009 marked the beginning of an enriching journey. Her first posting in Finland presented a stark contrast to Indonesia’s warm climate, introducing her to a different climatic conditions and way of life. Her husband who she lauds for “dependability and committment” was willing to be trailing spouse but he was ascending on his career path and Rizki he thought it would be unfair for him to leave Indonesia at that point. She along with the two children arrived in Finland to promote and represent the interests of Indonesia and got help from her parents and sister. The two young boys Wisanggeni Anwar and Antasena Anwar, were with her in Finland in their early years of their childhood. Rizki navigated the complexities of balancing a demanding career with family responsibilities, emphasising the importance of shared responsibilities in marriage. Her husband, Anwar Sadat, is now with her in Singapore as a trailing spouse. She says her husband is very understanding and hopes more men would be able to step in for their wives if the career demands. Her story underscores the societal need for equal participation in parenting responsibilities, especially for women pursuing demanding careers.
She likes Singapore for its cleanliness and safety and while promoting ties between Singapore and Indonesia she has ease of bringing up her children with the support of her husband. “I like how my childhood dream of living abroad has created opportunities for my family. I am proud to represent Indonesia in Singapore. I want to invite Singaporeans to explore our rich vast beautiful country. Singaporeans should look beyond Bali. While we are very proud of the contribution of domestic workers Singapore companies can explore into the large talent pool of young Indonesians and for investors the policies have been simplified and streamlined. Come work with us.”