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Indonesia could have avoided row with Singapore: Jakarta Post

Indonesia could have avoided the diplomatic row with Singapore over the naming of a naval ship if it had been a little more sensitive towards its neighbour, said an editorial in the Jakarta Post on Saturday.

SINGAPORE: Indonesia could have avoided the diplomatic row with Singapore over the naming of a naval ship if it had been a little more sensitive towards its neighbour, said an editorial in the Jakarta Post on Saturday.

It noted that Singapore has said naming the vessel after the two marines who planted a bomb in Singapore in 1965 would hurt the feelings of Singaporeans, particularly relatives of victims who died in the bombing.

"The decision to name this naval ship must surely have been the result of lengthy deliberations, and those involved must have known that this would upset Singapore," said Jakarta Post.

"A review or an apology would have been lauded as a stately gesture, but that is not liable to happen while nationalist sentiment is reaching fever pitch in Indonesia in this election year," it noted.

Describing the row as unfortunate, the article commented that relations between the two countries would return to normal, though it may not necessarily be soon.

It commented that Indonesia often accuses its neighbours of lacking sensitivity toward its feelings

"Officials and politicians, helped by the media, do not hesitate to raise hell and mobilise public opinion, scoring a few political points along the way, by lashing out at foreign countries for their perceived insensitivity," added the article.

It said an important lesson should at least be drawn from the latest episode.

"In the future, can we be more sensitive?" asked the Jakarta Post editorial.

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