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Chan Chun Sing disappointed with Indonesian leaders over warship naming row

Singapore's Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has expressed disappointment with the Indonesian government's decision to name a warship after two marines who bombed MacDonald House on Orchard Road in 1965.

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has expressed disappointment with the Indonesian government's decision to name a warship after two marines who bombed MacDonald House on Orchard Road in 1965.

Mr Chan, who is also Second Minister for Defence, said that he was disappointed with the reactions of Indonesian leaders who have spoken on the issue so far.

In a post on his Facebook page on Friday, Mr Chan said that the statements reflected either a lack of sensitivity, a lack of care for the bilateral ties, or both.

He said: "The relations between the two countries were carefully built up over many years.

"Despite the dark episode of the Konfrontasi and MacDonald House bombing, our leaders Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Pak Suharto demonstrated great statesmanship to bring closure to the difficult moments and worked together to usher in a new era of cooperation for mutual benefit."

He added that he hoped the new generation of Indonesian leaders will display similar wisdom and leadership to put the bilateral ties foremost, and refrain from doing anything to reopen old wounds and hurt relationships that have been carefully built up.

Mr Chan had spent two years in Jakarta as Singapore's Army Attache there, and he said he had made many Indonesian friends during that time.

He said in his post: "Indonesians have shown me that they are able to appreciate the fine sensitivities of a relationship. I am thus disappointed with this episode. I hope the Indonesian leaders will not sacrifice our bilateral relations, so carefully built up, to (sic) domestic politics or through carelessness." 

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