September 8, 2023
JAKARTA – Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto praised ASEAN for its success in keeping Southeast Asia peaceful and prosperous in response to reporters’ queries about the tensions swirling ahead of the 18th East Asia Summit, which opens on Thursday.
Prabowo pointed out that before ASEAN was founded, tension was rife in the region, including Indonesia’s past conflicts with Malaysia and Singapore.
Though he did not specifically refer to any incidents, Indonesia was rigidly opposed to the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, which included Singapore and regions in Borneo. This era, which involved Indonesia launching armed offensives against the fledgling nations, lasted until 1966 and became known as Konfrontasi (confrontation). In March 1965, Indonesian operatives bombed MacDonald House in Singapore, driving a wedge between the two neighbors.