macdonald house

Jakarta expresses regret at Indonesia marines posing as bombers, launches probe

Indonesian leaders yesterday contacted their Singaporean counterparts to express regret over Wednesday’s incident where Indonesian marines posed as the MacDonald House bombers at the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue exhibition. The Indonesian authorities have also launched investigations into the incident, a statement issued by the office of Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in response to media queries.

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Wise and strong leaders needed to avoid conflict: Chan Chun Sing

COUNTRIES need wise and strong leaders who appreciate that there is more to gain through cooperation than conflict, said Second Defence Minister Chan Chun Sing. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Security Conference on Monday, he said: "We also need courageous leaders who do not succumb to domestic pressures or nationalistic pursuits against the greater good of the region, including to right historical wrongs and perceived wrongs when the conditions are still premature." These leaders must not succumb to the notion that "might is right...The mark of a powerful country is not how it is able to use its might to get its way. The mark of a truly powerful country is how it is able to restrain itself and not have to use its might to get its way and yet convince others to come along its side."

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The Indonesian government should rein in its navy for its own sake

Four decades on, it comes as a puzzle why this issue is being given the opportunity to resurface, given that the Indonesian navy would not be short of worthy – and less controversial – historical figures to commemorate. It is possible that the navy, unlike the dominant army that has long enjoyed close ties with its Singapore counterpart, had less compunction about broaching this potentially sensitive issue. Unfortunately, given that it is an election year, the issue could gain traction domestically with Singapore being the usual target for politicians looking to burnish their nationalist credentials.

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S'pore raises concerns over naming of Indonesian ship after convicted bombers

A KOMPAS newspaper article on February 4 said the "KRI Usman Harun" will be the last of three frigates to be delivered to the Indonesian navy this year. It is named after two Indonesian marines -- Osman Hj Mohd Ali and Harun Said -- who were convicted and executed in Singapore for the March 10, 1965 bombing of the MacDonald House. The bombing took place during the Indonesian Confrontation against Malaysia during 1963-1966.

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