Shahidan: No meeting between Najib and Chinese premier planned


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 9 Jun 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: There will be no meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chinese president Xi Jinping over an alleged intrusion into the South China Sea, said Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

"I am only in charge of maritime enforcement. If it involves encroachment of our waters, it is up to the leaders to resolve," said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department on Tuesday.

He was referring to a foreign media report saying Malaysia would take diplomatic action over the intrusion of a Chinese coast guard vessel at Luconia Shoals off the shores of Bintulu, Sarawak.

However, he said any foreign vessel found encroaching into Malaysian waters will have a diplomatic protest note issued against the country of its origin.

Shahidan added information was being gathered over the incident where a vessel was spotted a kilometer from Luconia Shoals, also known as Gugusan Beting Patinggi Ali last Wednesday.

"A foreign vessel is allowed to have innocent or friendly passage in an areas after notifying the authorities.

"We are still trying to determine if the vessel was anchored or merely passing through the area," he said in an interview at his office in Parliament.

He said the matter would be discussed by the Cabinet as it involves the issue of sovereignty.

"We don't want to create the wrong perception if we allow this to continue," he added.

Shahidan, who did not name the nationality of the vessel, said that only inferences could be drawn from several photographs on his Facebook.

The photographs were taken when Shahidan, who is in-charge of the Maritime Enforcement Agency, was on an official visit to the area about 84km from the coast of Miri, Sarawak.

The photographs showed a bird's eye view of the shoal and a foreign coast patrol vessel bearing the words "China Coast Guard" which seemed to be anchored near the shoal.

The navy and maritime agency have been sent to the shoal to monitor the area.