Indon daily told to make open apology to Malaysia

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 17 Apr 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: The Deputy Prime Minister has asked Indonesian daily Kompas to make an open apology to Malaysia for an “unethical and baseless” report that he had apologised to Jakarta over Sunday’s incident involving two warships of both countries. 

In a statement, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he was taken aback and was disappointed when he read the report by the daily, which he described as “totally untrue, made-up and irresponsible”. 

The report on Friday said that Najib had made a verbal apology to Indonesian defence attaché in Malaysia Kol Hartind Hazrin over the incident in which the warships had “brushed” against each other while on patrol at a disputed part of the Sulawesi Sea. 

Najib said he had not held a meeting nor a discussion with the defence attaché on the incident involving the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) patrol vessel KD Rencong and Indonesia’s KRI Tedung Naga

“Therefore, it does not arise whether I had asked the military officer to convey my apologies to the Indonesian government, whether verbally or in writing. 

“Furthermore, there is no reason for me to apologise for the incident as the presence of the RMN vessel at the area which is disputed by both countries, is not an offence. 

“The Royal Malaysian Navy vessel has the right to be at the area at any time just as the Indonesian navy,” he added. 

The Deputy Prime Minister further pointed out that both countries had agreed to resolve the dispute of overlapping claims in the oil-rich area at the discussion table. 

“Following the irresponsible report Kol Hartind Hazrin, who was named as a source in the report, will be asked to give an explanation to Defence Intelligence director-general Leftenan Jen Datuk Wan Abu Bakar Omar very soon,” Najib added.  

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