Singapore offered its help to Indonesia in the wake of the AirAsia crash as part of a humanitarian effort, and will continue providing its assistance professionally, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said yesterday in response to Jakarta’s deployment of KRI Usman Harun, the naming of which sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries last February.
Indonesia media reported that KRI Usman Harun, a Bung Tomo-class corvette, was deployed because it is equipped with advanced underwater sonar capabilities — the Thales Underwater Systems TMS 4130C1 hull-mounted sonar.
A MINDEF spokesperson said: “Singapore offered its help for this humanitarian effort arising from a tragic accident of AirAsia flight QZ8501 which has befallen our Indonesian neighbour. We offer our deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the passengers and crew. The Singapore Armed Forces will continue to assist in this search effort professionally.”
Jakarta’s decision to name the ship after two marines who carried out a bombing at MacDonald House in 1965 had led the Singapore Government to send a Third Person Note — a formal diplomatic note — to its Indonesian counterparts to register its regret.
Subsequently, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the KRI Usman Harun would not be allowed to dock in Singapore and the Republic’s navy would not sail with it in joint exercises.