Indonesia has unambiguously reminded us who and what they really are. We had it good with Suharto but he could only rule and live for so long. What we can expect from them most of the time, thinking in probabilities comes from their history and culture. We had conveniently forgotten that those two marines remain war heroes. We failed to juxtapose this against how Germany view the Nazis - no war heroes from there except shot by Hitler.
To be realistic could we expect otherwise? No. Was it right for the Indonesians to regard those marines as war heroes? I think so. They were just carrying out orders as any soldier would. Civilian targets? Don't be a hypocrite, war is damn dirty. Just check what is going in Syria now. That's why we should only resort to fighting as a last resort but carry it a big stick and talk softly as the first resort.
And why do I demand that our leaders should never pussy foot but tell us with with a bold face what the issues are. We will be swallowed up if we are timid. From their reaction of us complaining to them about the haze, I am afraid they increasingly think we can be bullied. Perhaps it is time to send a clear message. We don't want anyone to get hurt.
The Indonesian just delivered us a learning opportunity. I hope we learn all its lessons well. Kim Jung Un would look for an opportunity to sink that frigate but I think we can do much better than that. Question is do we have the gumption to use our options? If we are timid we wouldn't even be able to recognize them.
Update: Feb 8 10:00 am
I agree with Dr. Koh. Perhaps we should consider if it would be effective to make Thohari persona non grata in Singapore. He can forget about spending weekends here shopping and worse coming here to see our doctors.
His colleague Tan Chuan Jin connects better but the more strategic thinker is this fellow. In other words Singapore is prepared to burn bilateral relations if necessary. We all lose from such actions but sometimes keeping relations only lead you to losing even more. I am afraid we are dealing with a stupid and irrational neighbor. Stupid people cannot think and you need to bring a stick with you to knock some sense into them. But this is not easy and we have to be mindful of collateral effects and unintended consequences.
Update: Feb 8 3:55 pm
Just caught this off PAP Facebook how Channel 5 presented it.