Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia follows its own criteria, rules, procedures, and regulations in declaring a person as a hero or in naming its naval ships after its proclaimed heroes, stated a senior minister here on Thursday.

"The Indonesian government, in this case the Indonesian navy (TNI AL), has the authority on this matter and mature contemplation has been carried out before arriving at the decision of naming a number of its warships after the names of its heroes, including Usman Harun, as a mark of respect and dedication," Coordinating Minister for Political, Security, and Legal Affairs Djoko Suyanto noted in response to Singapores protest against the countrys decision to name its new warship as KRI Usman Harun.

Usman and Harun were the members of the Indonesian Marine Corps, earlier known as KKO, who were executed in Singapore on October 17, 1968, after they were convicted of bombing the McDonald House on the Orchard Road, which claimed the lives of three people, during the confrontation with Malaysia in 1965.

Djoko Suyanto pointed out that no other country should interfere in the countrys decision over the issue.

"Certainly, the decision to give them a heros title and honor was made after considering the services they had rendered to the nation," he emphasized.

"Different perceptions towards the governments policy by another country (Singapore) must not discourage or stop us from going ahead with our decision," he added.

The minister stated that in 1973, Singapores then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, had also paid his tribute at the graves of Usman and Harun at the Hero Cemetery in Kalibata.

"So, this should have not become a problem now. I have already explained to Singapores deputy prime minister, Theo Chee Hean, about the countrys position and argument in this case," he noted.

It was earlier reported that Singapores foreign minister, K. Shanmugam, had complained to Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa about Indonesias decision to name its new naval ship KRI Usman Harun.

As quoted by Channel News Asia, Shanmugam emphasized that the decision had hurt the sentiments of the Singaporean people, especially the families of those killed in the bombing.

Reporting by Syaiful Hakim

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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