Naming of ship is ‘final decision’

Naming of ship is ‘final decision’

Indonesia's armed forces chief said it was incorrectly reported that he had made an apology.

This comes after it was reported he had apologised over the naming of a navy frigate after two Indonesian marines behind a 1965 bombing in Singapore.

General Moeldoko told reporters in Indonesia yesterday that his comments, made in an interview with Channel NewsAsia which was aired on Tuesday, were misunderstood.

"Saying sorry that the naming of the Usman Harun is our final decision, does not mean saying sorry. If things are twisted, that's normal for reporters," he was quoted by The Straits Times as saying.

He added: "There was no apology. What I meant was: 'Sorry, the naming of the Usman Harun is our final decision'."

Gen Moeldoko's latest remarks come after he was criticised for saying sorry.

Marines Osman Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun Said were convicted for the bombing at MacDonald House on Orchard Road that killed three civilians and injured 33.

Earlier this year, Indonesia decided to name a ship after the men, sparking off tensions.

In the TV interview, Gen Moeldoko said: "We have no ill intent whatsoever to stir emotions. Not at all."

On Wednesday, Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcomed Gen Moeldoko's comments, and said the Singapore military will resume bilateral cooperation with Indonesia.

This article was published on April 18 in The New Paper.

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