SABAK BERNAM – The Transport Ministry will revive the issue of Malaysian fishermen who are still detained in Indonesia for allegedly encroaching into the waters of that country in the next Cabinet meeting, its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
He said appropriate action should be taken to expedite the liberation process as some of the fishermen should have been back home before this year’s Chinese New Year celebration.
“We are very much concerned and committed to bringing back our fishermen from Indonesia.
“I will raise this issue again at the Cabinet meeting and then ask the Foreign Ministry to contact the Indonesian authorities to speed up the release of the Malaysian fishermen,” he said in a press conference after a ceremony to hand over the Kuala Sungai Sekinchan beacon here today.
Earlier, one of six Malaysian fishermen who are still in custody in Indonesia was released on Thursday (Feb 15).
The fisherman, Low Siang Huat, 59, from Pulau Ketam, who was detained on Feb 16, 2017, was released on Thursday, the result of an agreement reached by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during the Malaysia-Indonesia 12th Annual Consultation in November.
According to the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, five more Malaysian fishermen were still under Indonesia’s custody, namely, Chia Kee Chan, 52; Kamaruzaman Awi, 47; Abdul Rashid Nik, 53; Mahabob Hasimat, 55; and Leong Bian Seng, 61.
On another note, Liow said 11 beacons costing around RM10 million would be built along the Straits of Malacca this year as a guide and safety to fishing boats and merchant vessels.
He said six beacons would be constructed as a guide to fishing boats coming out and entering fish catch landing jetties, while enhancing the safety of the boats.
He said five more beacons would be built specifically to improve the safety of shipping vessels.
Among the areas to be developed with beacons are Sungai Haji Dorani, Sungai Besar and Sungai Chuah in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan; Sungai Tiang, Perak and Sungai Duyung, Melaka. – BERNAMA