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Foreign Naval Vessels Being Monitored, Says Hisham

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KUALA LUMPUR: The navy and air force will monitor any foreign naval vessels detected in Malaysian waters, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said diplomatic protest notes will also be sent to the respective country if the vessels do not follow the right maritime routes.

“The presence of navy vessels or normal ships are not deemed as intrusion in our waters.

“The presence of these ships are outside 12 nautical miles from Malaysian shores,” Hishammuddin said in a written response from Ng Wei Aik (DAP-Tanjong) in Parliament.

Ng had asked the Defence Ministry to state the number of intrusions of warships from China and other countries in Malaysian waters over the past five years, and the actions taken by the armed forces to defend the sovereignty of the country.

Hishammuddin said over the past five years, there have been 83 vessels from China and 74 from other countries that were detected outside the 12 nautical miles from the Malaysian waters.

These vessels, said Hishammuddin, were duly monitored by the Navy.

Last Friday, it was reported that the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, was summoned by the Foreign Ministry following reports that a large number of Chinese-flagged fishing vessels were sighted in Malaysian waters.

The ministry, in a statement said, it had called up Dr Huang last Thursday to seek clarification and to register Malaysia’s concern over the issue.

Wisma Putra said based on reports received from relevant authorities, the Chinese-flagged fishing boats, while navigating in Malaysia’s maritime areas in the South China Sea, were accompanied by Chinese Coast Guard vessels.

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