Do not use Malaysia-Indonesia Maritime Border Treaty as issue to score political points - Zambry

22 Jun 2023 06:05pm
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

PUTRAJAYA - The recently concluded Malaysia-Indonesia maritime border settlement agreement should not be used as a political tool to garner voter support ahead of the upcoming State Elections (PRN), said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He stated that every leader, regardless of their party affiliation, should act responsibly when it comes to matters conveyed to the voters.

"It is deeply saddening and unfortunate when crucial issues concerning national sovereignty are manipulated in such a way to seek and gain political support, which we understand may be due to the upcoming PRN.

"If any doubts arise, the parties involved can refer the matter to Parliament or the government. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also provided an explanation in the recent Dewan Rakyat session," he said during a Joint Media Engagement Session regarding the Maritime Border Treaty in the Southernmost Area of the Melaka Strait and the Partial Maritime Border Treaty in the Sulawesi Sea between Malaysia and Indonesia, held here on Thursday.

Also present were the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Datuk Amran Mohamed Zin, and the Director-General of Survey and Mapping (JUPEM), Mohammad Zaki Mohd Ghazali.

He stated that even though the Prime Minister has provided factual information based on what was previously signed, it is still being used as political tool and social media content to portray a bad image, as though the current government is sacrificing Malaysian territory to Indonesia.

Zambry also said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) had lodged a police report last week regarding the dissemination of a Memorandum from the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Resolution of the Malaysia-Indonesia Maritime Border Issue, which he deemed to be fake.

"We take this matter seriously because there are untruths presented in that document. Additionally, the use of confidential maps was obtained, along with inaccurate storytelling and a narrative that falsely portrays it as a note from the Foreign Minister when, in reality, it is fake."

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"The government is taking this matter seriously because it involves the confidentiality of information that cannot be disclosed, including the dissemination of false information (which is) claimed to be (coming) from the ministry and the minister," he said.

He stated that the police report was filed to enable an investigation into the dissemination of the memorandum.

"They have acted irresponsibly. This is not the work of ordinary individuals. That's why we see it written in such a technical manner. Those who do not understand these aspects may believe all the content presented," he said.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Zaki said that Malaysia expects the issue of the maritime boundary in the Sulawesi Sea, specifically the eastern coast of Pulau Sebatik, to be finalised by June 2024.

"There are ongoing discussions that cannot be disclosed. In the area of Pulau Sebatik, there is an area of 1.8 kilometers that we have not reached an agreement on; it has not been jointly agreed upon yet.

"If the dispute regarding the 1.8-kilometer boundary line cannot be resolved by June next year, we will continue the negotiations, and the negotiation should be based on existing international laws," he said. -Bernama

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