Usman-Harun, The Warship That Makes Tense
Naming of the Usman-Harun for Indonesia Navy battleship make Singapore in taut. Two Indonesian Marines bomber at The MacDonald House was immortalized as the name Indonesia warships. Old wounds unfolds.
Singapore’s Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam immediately grabbed the phone after hearing the news about three new warships belong to Indonesia. That soon on his phone was the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa on Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
Shanmugam complain that the passage of warships in the Strait of Malacca in the range from June to October 2014, respectively. Instead of crossing that makes Singapore’s Minister filed a protest, but a warship name Usman-Harun.
For Singapore, the two heroes of Indonesia had opened wounds that it hurts. “This Designation will hurt the feeling of the people of Singapore, especially families of the victims,” said Shanmugam as reported by Channel News Asia.
Sergeant (Posthumous) Janatin Usman bin Ali Hasan and Corporal (Posthumous) Harun Said bin Mohammed Ali exploded the MacDonald House in Orchard Road, Singapore, on March 10, 1965. In the pouring rain, at 15:03 local time, 10 floors building was devastated by the bomb.
The Straits Times on March 11, 1965 noted that a bomb placed near the lift of the office of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC). Radius of the bomb damage caused quite extensive. Shops around the MacDonald House badly damaged, while cars were parked in front of the building was thrown up into the middle of the road.
It is time supper tea, HSBC Bank close early but two employees, Suzie and Julie Goh Choo were still in office. The two men died instantly on the spot. Other fatalities, Mohammad Yasin Kassim, was not able to survive during the treatment. In addition, 33 people were injured.
Although the incident was already 48 years passed, Singapore still felt poignant. “Up to now still feels painful,” said daughter Suzie Choo, Janet Ng, in an interview with Singapore television station, MediaCorp TV HD5. Janet felt memories about his mother still feels if she crosses the MacDonald House.
Kenny Yeoh, victim injuries with 366 stitches and blind right eye, as well as Minister of manpower Singapore Tan Chuan Jin, whose father suffered a trauma over the incident, also voiced objections. They don’t want for ship naming thus resolved old wounds.
Then, so “Usman-Harun” of the name of Indonesia battleship, Singapore does not stop with just giving a statement object. While the protest was queries, Singapore more reactive. On Saturday, February 8, 2014, the Singapore Defense Ministry cancels all meetings agenda with Indonesian.
Deputy Defense Minister Chan Chun Sing Singapore cancels a meeting with Indonesia Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin.
Invitation to the Navy Chief of staff Admiral Marsetio to attend the Singapore Air Show on February 11 – 16, 2014 was also canceled. Cancellation of invitations also carried out over 100 ARMY officers. Jupiter, the team the flyers of The Indonesia Air Force, will entertain with the attractions of the air.
Got a hard reaction, Indonesia responded with loud in anyway. TNI Commander General Moeldoko reply cancel his coming to Singapore even though he didn’t on the list of the invitation in Singapore. He sure isn’t going to change the name of KRI Usman-Harun. “Still, nothing to change,” said Moeldoko.
Singapore may consider Usman and Harun as terrorists. But Indonesia has established two soldiers as heroes. They devote to the homeland and the nation with the task of running the Government of Indonesia led by Soekarno on the confrontation with Malaysia called ‘Ganyang Malaysia‘. Then, in 1965, Singapore was still part of the Federation of Malaysia. Usman and Harun placed in Base X Sub-basis II on the island of Sambu. Both served with the other volunteers, Gani bin Arup, under the command of Captain Paulus Subekti. His mission is to infiltrate the Singapore and do sabotage.
Usman and Harun book of First Lt. (Navy) Murgiyanto, published by Navy Personnel Care Directorate, mentioning that Usman, Harun and Gani cross to Singapore on 8 March 1965. Their target is very strategic MacDonald House, the building on Orchard Road.
MacDonald House is one of the relics of the United Kingdom (Commonwealth Nations). In 1965, the building was used as a private office and High Commission Australia representative office and the Consulate of Japan. They placed the bomb near the elevator floor 10th, Office of HSBC Bank.
Sabotage was performed well. However Singapore act quickly over this tragedy. They do security so that the comb Usman, Harun and Gani difficulty out of Singapore. All three agreed to split up in order not suspected.
Bad luck for Usman and Harun. Their escape attempt failed. First, they infiltrate the kitchen staff of ships Begama destination to Bangkok. However the captain caught them and forced down from the ship.
Second, they seized a ship belonging to a local fisherman. But the ship broke down in the middle of the sea and Singapore Police arrested them. Singapore courts do not enforce them as prisoners of war. The High Court of Singapore to drop three charges to Usman and Harun, i.e. violation of controlled areas in International Security Act, killing of three people, and violation of article about explosives. Both were sentenced to death penalty on 10 October 1965.
Legal efforts through Federal Court and Privy Council experienced a stalemate. Usman and Harun had to undergo the death penalty on October 17, 1968.
Approaching the day of execution, Indonesia deployed throughout his diplomatic powers to ask for pardons for Him and Aaron. On June 4, 1989, Foreign Minister Adam Malik asked the Ministry official met with Singapore’s Foreign Minister to convey Rajaratnam petition for remission. The letter was reciprocated, the request for remission was not acceptable.
President Soeharto is not silent, he sent Abdul Rahman Ramly to seek the liberation of Usman and Harun. But Ramly also deadlocked.
In the book Soeharto: The Untold Story, Ramly met with Singapore President Yusuf Ishak to get pardons over Usman and Harun.
But Yusuf advised Ramly to meet Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as the Government because the Presidency is only a symbol of the country, instead of executing the policy. Soeharto then entrusts a letter through to Lee helped Indonesia Ramly get pardons for Usman and Harun.
“Clemency petition filed Usman and Harun can be given good judgment and punishment they can commuted to prison for life,” Soeharto’s letter sounds as recorded in Pikiran Rakjat daily edition on October 17, 1968. The letter was not received Lee because being on leave and was in Tokyo. The role of the Government is run by Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee. While Lee, when it finally can be found only in Tokyo promised to consider this appeal.
Singapore Government’s answer is still the same. Usman and Harun must executed on 10 October 1968 6.00 AM local time. Soeharto directly sign Presidential Decree Number 050/TK/1968 of the granting of the title of national hero to Usman and Harun on that day as well.
Execution was made angry Jakarta. Repatriation of the corpses of Usman and Harun got tremendous welcome as a hero. Off it, a massive demonstration was held in front of the Singapore Embassy. This demonstration was spreading into a riot.
Five houses belonging to Singapore were burned in Jakarta, among other Office Embassy of Singapore, Singapore representative office in Indramayu, Singapore’s Ambassador’s residence in P.R. Raman Imam Bonjol, as well as two representatives of the Singapore staff building at Jalan Maluku and Jalan Jambu.
Indonesia’s relationship with Singapore also stiffen until 1973. At that time Lee Kuan Yew intend to visit Indonesia. Suharto gave conditions: Lee sow flowers above Usman and Harun stones. These requirements are met, and polemic Usman-Harun has been completed.
Malaysia confrontation or often called Dwikora Operations supported by 21 million civilian volunteers. The Navy has sent 300 troops forces of Navy Corps Command to support this operation. Shanmugam claimed to restore the 45 prisoners of war during the confrontation.
He admitted his Government has its own considerations for not freeing Usman and Harun. It was weak because the condition in Singapore left the United Kingdom. His country did not have a convincing defence capabilities.
But Singapore offset the execution with the return of the prisoners. Two prisoners of war returned by Singapore is Stanislaus Krofan and Andres Andea. Both creep into Singapore via the Tanjong Rhu in 1945. But they were arrested for carrying explosives was found to weigh about 20 pounds. “We free them,” he said.
Over the objections of immovable of Singapore. Naming of the Usman and Harun is the internal of Indonesia. Singapore does not need to be interfering in the matter. The Coordinating Minister for political, law and Security Djoko Suyanto assumed the Navy battleship naming considerations have been deep enough. This objection does not need to be a little stubborn.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa was merely noting the objection of Shanmugam. Indonesia was experiencing the dark turn of the regime when the bombing took place. The two countries are both currently injured, no need to get that issue again.
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