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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unfriendly Indonesia-Singapore Relations?

PICTURE: Welcoming the bodies of  Usman and Harun, after executed in Singapore 1968.
Singapore showed its anger on Indonesia's decision to designate name for three newly purchased Indonesian frigates from UK, which  one of three warship will be named with 'Usman-Harun'. Then, what's the problem? Usman-Harun actually was two Indonesian marines who had been sent to Singapore to sabotage vital targets in this former Malaysian region during Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. In 1965, Usman and Harun have blown up The McDonald House at Orchard Road. The McDonald House was considered as important target for Indonesia.  At that time, this building was used as office complex as well as representative office of High Commission of Australia and also Japanese Consulate. (Detik Magazine, 17 February 2014).

Singapore found Indonesia as mastermind behind 'terror' attack in Singapore. Finally, Singaporean authority captured Usman and Harun, but those two Indonesian marines weren't treated as prisoners of war. In 1968, Usman and Harun were sentenced  to death by Singaporean courthouse and their bodies sent to Jakarta afterward.

For Singaporean, Usman and Harun are terrorists, because they did bombing that killed three civilians. While Indonesians regard them as hero, because their action is 'justified' by confrontation time that was realized by both parties. Indonesia and Singapore agreed to close this confrontation, which is marked by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew visited Indonesia in 1973 and scattered flowers on the graves of the two marines.

This perspective is not something weird, it also happened in many countries that ever had confrontation with their neighboring country. Good deeds is bad deeds in opposing perspective. It depends on subject's position while event was occurring. I believe everyone could understand it. Even, Netherlands-made Indonesian warship was named with hero's name that against Dutch colonialist in Indonesia, but Indonesia received no protest or concerns from Netherlands.

In  Singaporean Minister of Foreign  Affairs (MoFA) said :
"...naming of the navy ship and the impact this would have on the feelings of Singaporeans, especially the families of the victims."

Somehow it looks naive to me. As independent state Indonesia has prerogative rights to give name to their own properties with whatever name they want. It has nothing to do with other state. Even more this showed arrogance of Singaporean government by intervene internal policy of Indonesia.

What if I say, Indonesians also have concerns on Singapore's protection of Indonesian corruptors, and this not only has impact on the feelings of 200 millions of Indonesian, but also disturb our national development?

So, who turns out to evil now?

It's a sly move by Singapore. It managed to  fail Indonesia-Singapore Extradition treaty by bringing Defence treaty inside of it. Of course Indonesia will never let Singaporean military presence on its Archipelagic Waters territory. Thus, I questioned Singapore's good faith and willingness to cooperating in criminal eradication, especially in corruption.

Extradition itself is an opportunity to get rid of criminals in both countries, no need to coincide it with defence treaty. By bringing 'unacceptable conditions' it was 'a refined rejection' by Singapore. Nevertheless, I could understand that tiny state is lack of natural resources, therefore they provide 'dirty money' deposit service from other 'Big Countries'.

Singapore has moved its initiative first by cancelling invitation of Indonesian officials at Singapore Airshow 2014 and banning 'Usman-Harun'  to call at its ports and naval bases. Theoretically, Indonesia doesn't need Singapore to develop its economy, because Indonesia has everything that it need inside its natural resources. Whether Singapore accepts or not, Usman-Harun will always be regarded as heroes for Indonesia, the ball is on Singapore side, its move determine how far escalation will goes. Eventually, truth belongs to those who believe in. Every nations will do anything to achieve their interest. Back to the basic nature law, those who stronger will defeat the weaker one.

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An ordinary man with extraordinary dreams. Glad to criticize, more delighted to be criticized with constructive criticism.


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