KUALA LUMPUR – The Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft C-130 was not intercepted by Tentera Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara jets on Saturday.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement yesterday, that two Indonesian air force F-16 jets merely made visual identification of the RMAF MEGA 207.
An interception would have meant forcing down the MEGA 207. This did not happen. “It was a mere visual identification of our aircraft,” said Hishammuddin.
He had received a “detailed brief” from RMAF Chief, General Tan Sri Roslan Saad on the incident which occurred when the Malaysian aircraft was on a scheduled training mission.
Hishammuddin said: “This incident will not be taken lightly … we will continue to use this route without any reservations”.
“As far as Malaysia is concerned, MEGA 207 conducted the scheduled training mission on a pre-determined flight route, in accordance with a flight plan that has been sent using the usual standard operating procedure.”
According to a treaty between Malaysia and Indonesia, Malaysia has the right of “continuous, expeditious and unobstructured overflight” through the airspace, said Hishammuddin.
He said he would bring up the issue with Indonesian Defence Minister Gen Ryamizard Ryacudu next month in Jakarta to convey Malaysia’s concern.
“While we share a close relationship, issues like this must be discussed in the open to ensure mutual understanding at all levels in both countries,” he added. â€” Bernama