KUALA LUMPUR: The incident where five Malaysians were abducted allegedly by Tentera Nasional Indonesia (TNI) in the Wong Rangkai forest near the Serian-Kalimantan border on Dec 11 will not affect military relations between the two countries.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said Malaysia and Indonesia had built strong bilateral relationship in all areas, especially defence, and should there be any problem they would be discussed at the negotiating table.
“Cooperation between the two nations have always been good and we will not allow the incident to jeopardise our relationship,” he said in a press conference after yesterday’s 52nd Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Affairs Corporation (Perhebat) convocation ceremony.
Mohamad was commenting on a report that five locals aged between 15 and 64 were kidnapped in the forest located about 400m from the Serian-Kalimantan border.
It was reported that the Malaysians were held up by several armed men dressed in military fatigues who claimed they had cut down trees in the forest area.
They were, however, released a few days later following negotiations at the border.
Malaysia has sent a protest note to Jakarta condemning the mistreatment and detention of its citizens by the Indonesian security forces.
Earlier, Mohamad presented certificates to 400 soon-to-be military retirees and veterans who completed the Diploma Programme in Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning, Aircraft Maintenance Technician Training and Perhebat Transitional Training.
At the event a memorandum of understanding was signed between Perhebat and Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Perbadanan Perwira Niaga Malaysia, 7-Eleven and Port of Tanjung Pelepas.
Earlier, Mohamad also read out Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s speech at the event.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir called for the private sector’s involvement towards the well-being of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) veterans, especially in job placement to qualified individuals.
He said such a move would not hurt the private sector as the new generation of ATM veterans had vast experience and expertise in various fields – from the food manufacturing sector to aerospace.
He said job placement of the veterans and their children would help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign workers.
Dr Mahathir said the government hoped the private sector, especially multinational companies, would be willing to offer special training programmes to ATM personnel who were about to retire as well as the veterans. — Bernama
Did you find this article insightful?