DPM Teo Chee Hean responds to Indonesian marines dressed as bombers

A fresh diplomatic row has erupted between Singapore and Indonesia over a 1965 bombing in the city-state, after the Indonesian navy dressed two marines as the perpetrators at a defence exhibition.

Singapore is "concerned and disappointed" after the two men appeared at the event in Jakarta this week dressed as Indonesian marines Usman Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun Said, who were executed for the bombing, the foreign ministry said in a statement late Thursday.

Three people were killed and 33 others injured in the bombing of MacDonald House, downtown Singapore, in March 1965.

This is the statement released on Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean's Facebook account:

DPM Teo Chee Hean confirmed that Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs ACM(Ret) Djoko Suyanto telephoned him this afternoon regarding the Indonesian marines who posed as the MacDonald House bombers at the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue (JIDD) exhibition on 19 March 2014.

Coordinating Minister Djoko expressed regret over the inappropriate conduct by the soldiers, and assured DPM Teo that there was no such policy to do this.

These views were also repeated by Indonesian Defence Minister Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro who telephoned Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen the same afternoon. Dr Purnomo added that Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, Admiral Marsetio, had launched investigations to determine who was responsible for this inappropriate act.

Both DPM Teo and Dr Ng thanked their counterparts for this important clarification. They reiterated that the naming of the ship had reopened old wounds because innocent Singaporeans were killed and injured in the bombing, and said that it would be helpful if this were recognised.

Both DPM Teo and Coordinating Minister Djoko expressed their common desire to continue working together to have good bilateral relations.