Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014
I am disturbed by Indonesia's decision to name a frigate KRI Usman Harun in memory of two Indonesian saboteurs who killed and maimed civilians in Singapore in 1965.
It calls into question the weight that Indonesia puts on bilateral relations with Singapore, given the painful history and political sensitivities of this episode, as well as of its statesmanship in the region. One may further ask what this says about their stand on state terrorism today.
Singapore should not allow KRI Usman Harun into its waters. It should not have any military exercises with Indonesia involving the warship.
We want good relations with Indonesia for the stability and progress of this region, but KRI Usman Harun is neither a symbol of good bilateral relations nor of stability in the region.
Instead, it is a harbinger of unpredictability, putting at risk the many years of hard work by both countries to build a more predictable security environment in the region.
It is an important element of our nation's history that all of us must remember from a historic and 'nationalistic' perspective: Alex Yam.
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