Malaysian vessels will stay put in disputed waters, says Dr M

(MMO) – Malaysian vessels will stay put in the disputed waters along the Malaysia-Singapore maritime border, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said they will continue to be there until the negotiation process on the maritime border between the two countries is settled.

“We will talk to them (Singapore); we do not want a confrontation with Singapore sometimes there are overlapping (claims) but we can settle this via negotiations.

“At the moment, because there are no decisions, the vessels are there. Singapore vessels are there; Malaysian vessels are there,” he told reporters after closing the Anti-Corruption Champions: Sharing Session with Winners of the Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards 2018, here.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

Friction arose between the neighbours when Singapore claimed that the expansion of the Johor Bahru port limits had encroached into its waters in Tuas whereas Malaysia countered that it was Singapore that extended its maritime boundary off Tuas into Malaysian waters.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke was reported as saying that Malaysia found the Singapore version inaccurate because the changed port limits for Johor Bahru in no way overlapped into Singapore waters.

Dr Mahathir said the talks would be expedited by the Foreign Ministry.

Asked when they would take place, Dr Mahathir replied: “Now, as soon as possible.”