Malaysia will fight to protect its waters

(Bernama) – The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is always ready to utilise existing assets to safeguard the country’s waters and sovereignty, said Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari.

He said Mindef always adheres to what is written in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) and will protect the country’s sovereignty based on the law.

“The most important thing for us at Mindef is to protect the waters and sovereignty of the country, that is what we focus on, China may have their view but as mentioned by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) in his mandate, we will defend every inch of our land and our sovereignty,” he said today.

He spoke to reporters after meeting with veterans of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) at the Muar Branch of MAF Veterans Office here. Also present was Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association (PVATM) president Datuk Sharuddin Omar.

On Monday, the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources issued the “China Standard Map Edition 2023,” which also covers the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) maritime areas of Malaysia near Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, as well as several areas in India.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said that Malaysia does not recognise China’s claims in the South China Sea, and the map holds no binding authority over Malaysia.

The government would also send a protest note to China over the latter’s claims.

Meanwhile, Adly urged 100,000 non-pensionable veterans to immediately register with the Department of Veteran Affairs (JHEV) to facilitate the distribution of any form of aid.

He said this included the payment of Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) of RM300 per month to non-pensionable veterans scheduled to start this month.