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Malaysia to send protest note to Singapore over Seletar Airport landing system


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will issue a protest note to Singapore over the operation of the instrument landing system (ILS) to be used by Seletar Airport near its border with Johor, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pic).

The protest note by Wisma Putra comes in wake of Singapore's decision to start broadcasting the ILS at Seletar Airport early next year despite Malaysia's decision not allow it on grounds that it will infringe the nation's sovereignty and airspace near Pasir Gudang, Johor some 2km away.

"The broadcast is against the principle of national sovereignty as accorded under the Convention of Civil Aviation 1944.

"The government, through Wisma Putra, will issue a protest note immediately to Singapore in connection to the breach of this principle of sovereignty," he said when answering a question raised by Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) during Minister's Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday (Dec 4).

Loke informed MPs that the ILS would affect development in Pasir Gudang as there would be height restrictions imposed on structures and also affect shipping activities at the Pasir Gudang port.

"The government had decided not to allow Singapore to broadcast its ILS, with this decision conveyed to Singapore on Nov 28 and 29," he said.

However, despite this, Loke said Singapore would begin broadcasting its ILS on Jan 3.

"The government is committed towards defending our sovereignty and to ensure that the nation's interest is safeguarded," Loke said to thumps of approval from lawmakers.

Loke also said that Malaysia had informed Singapore that it would be taking back its delegated airspace in phases, which was accorded to Singapore in 1974 under the Operational Letter of Agreement Between Kuala Lumpur And Singapore Area Control Centres Concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures And Overflight (LOA 1974).

He said the nation's airspace would be reclaimed between 2019 and 2023.

To a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Loke said that Malaysia would not take a confrontational approach over the issue but would engage Singapore in further discussion.

   

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