Johor MB says no need for Foreign Ministry 'blessings' to perform duty

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 20 Jan 2019

Datuk Osman Sapian. -Bernama filepic

KOTA TINGGI: Datuk Osman Sapian (pic) says that he does not need the "blessings" from the Foreign Ministry in executing his duty as Johor Mentri Besar.

"I have said it earlier, and I will say it again, my visit to MV Pedoman was because the crewmen had been there for more than a month.

"I was acting in my capacity as the state leader and the visit was within Johor waters even though the Foreign Ministry claimed that it did not have their blessing.

"Let's say if I wanted to make a visit within the Johor district, do I need permission from the Home Ministry?

"So I think there's contradiction in the Foreign Ministry statement," he said during a Johor Corporation (JCorp) event here on Saturday (Jan 19) night.

The Foreign Ministry had in a statement on Jan 18 denied that its minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah gave Osman his "unofficial blessing" to visit the Johor Baru port in Malaysia's territorial waters.

Osman, who is Kempas assemblyman, also questioned that if his visit had indeed "trespassed" into Singapore waters, why wasn't any action taken.

Osman reiterated that he did not trespass into Singapore waters and that all he did was watch Malaysian security teams do their job.

On Friday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Singapore overreacted to the recent visit by the Johor Mentri Besar to the disputed waters between the two countries.

Dr Mahathir said Singapore’s reaction to the visit was quite severe “as if they are going to war”.

While he acknowledged that Osman’s visit was without the federal government’s approval, Dr Mahathir said the MB had thought it was Johor waters.

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