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Naming ship after MacDonald House bombers reflects "callousness", "disrespect"

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Friday decried Indonesia's decision to name a warship in honour of two marines who bombed MacDonald House on Orchard Road in 1965, saying it reflects "callousness and disrespect". 

SINGAPORE: Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Friday decried Indonesia's decision to name a warship in honour of two marines who bombed MacDonald House on Orchard Road in 1965, saying it reflects "callousness and disrespect".

On his Facebook page, he said his father worked in MacDonald House, but the bombing happened to take place on his day off.

The attack left his father shaken.

Mr Tan said many Singaporean lives have been permanently scarred by the incident, including the victims of the attack and their families.

Of Indonesia's latest move, he said it is "one thing to remember your heroes from your wars of independence, or those who have built your nation".

But he felt that it is another thing altogether when "those who had acted in a brutal and cowardly manner" are celebrated.

Mr Tan added that there is nothing heroic about killing innocent civilians.  

The row started on Tuesday, when a Kompas article said Indonesia was planning to have a new ship named the "KRI Usman Harun" - to honour the marines.

On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam registered Singapore's concerns, asking Indonesia to consider the implications of the moves, especially to the families of the victims.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean, and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also raised the matter with their Indonesian counterparts.

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