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Ministers urge Jakarta not to 'reopen old wounds'

Decision to name ship after bombers ignores impact on victims: Ministers

Published on Feb 7, 2014 7:04 AM

Three Singapore ministers have responded to Indonesia's decision to name a Navy ship after the Indonesian marines who bombed an Orchard Road building in 1965, leaving three people dead and 33 people injured.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday joined Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam in asking Indonesia to consider the feelings of Singaporeans, saying naming the ship after the two men who were hanged in Singapore for their actions would reopen old wounds and leave Singaporeans asking what message Indonesia was trying to send.

But Indonesian leaders said marines Osman Mohamed Ali and Harun Said were considered heroes and there would be no changing the plan to name the navy frigate the KRI Usman Harun.

Singaporeans reacting to the news yesterday said the naming was insensitive and unfriendly, but many Indonesians defended their country's right to honour the two men.

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