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Singapore bars Indonesian frigate named after bombers

Singapore - Indonesia's decision to name a navy ship after two marines convicted of a deadly blast in the city state almost 50 years ago was a major setback in relations between the two South-East Asian neighbours, Singaporean media reported on Wednesday.

Singapore was angered by Indonesia’s decision this month to name the frigate after Osman Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun Said.

The Indonesian marines were convicted of the bombing of the MacDonald House building in Singapore that killed three people in 1965.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told parliament Tuesday that Singapore would not allow the frigate KRI Usman Harun to dock at ports and naval bases in the city state, the newspaper Today reported.

Singapore’s military would also not take part in exercises with the warship, he said.

The bombing took place during tensions between Malaysia and Indonesia when Singapore was still part of Malaysia.

"A ship named Usman Harun sailing on the high seas would unearth all the pain and sorrow caused by the MacDonald House bomb blast, which had been buried and put to rest," Ng said.

He added that Indonesia’s decision had set back "many decades of relationship building in defence ties.

DPA


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