PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's position on enhanced trilateral security partnership, known short as Aukus, remains and wants all parties to fully respect and comply with its existing national regime in relation to the operation of nuclear-powered submarines in its waters.
The regime include those under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, and the Asean Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (Zopfan).
According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) on Tuesday (March 14), Malaysia further underscored the importance of promoting transparency and confidence-building among all countries and refraining from any provocation that could potentially trigger an arms race or affect peace and security in the region.
The statement came on the heels of the details announced on the enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom on Monday by US President Joe Biden, and Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Australia – Rishi Sunak and Anthony Albanese respectively.
The statement also said the Malaysian government took note of the latest Joint Leaders' Statement by the three leaders.
New details on Aukus emerged on Monday in which Australia will be the first to buy the three American Virginia-class submarines in the early 2030s, with the United States and the United Kingdom stationing a number of nuclear-powered subs at RAN base in Perth, Western Australia, from 2027 onwards.
According to international media reports, Biden stressed that the boats would not have nuclear weapons and would not jeopardise Australia's commitment to being a nuclear-free country.
Bernama reported the US Department of State's Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel J. Kritenbrink as saying the bottom line of the established pact has always been nuclear weapon free, despite the concerns expressed by Southeast Asian nations about nuclear proliferation, reported Bernama.