KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia should send a diplomatic protest to China and the United Nations over China’s military activities in the South China Sea, says Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
The Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said the recent increase of incidents where Chinese vessels encroached on Malaysian waters demonstrated the superpower’s lack of respect for its neighbours.
"The Malaysian government must summon the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, and we must immediately request for a United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting to find a solution to the South China Sea emerging military conflict," he said in a statement here Saturday (Oct 2).
Kitingan said while he acknowledges that the issues are delicate and that there are other interests that both governments, particularly Malaysia, must consider, he believed that Malaysia’s lack of action would send the wrong signal.
"Even though China is one of our largest trading partners, we will lose our stability if we do not address this situation and defend our sovereignty,” he said.
"While trade deals are good, they are meaningless if they require us to always be on guard and fear losing our territory one day," he added.
Furthermore, Kitingan stated that if Malaysia does not speak up, other countries may interpret the country’s silence as a sign that it is acting as a proxy for China.
He believed that Malaysia needed to remain neutral and transparent for the sake of its own political and economical security.