Hishammuddin: Code of Conduct best way to govern South China Sea territorial claims

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein called for intensified consultations to ensure expeditious establishment of an effective Code of Conduct to govern competing claims over the South China Sea. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein called for intensified consultations to ensure expeditious establishment of an effective Code of Conduct to govern competing claims over the South China Sea. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

BEIJING, Oct 17 — Malaysia remains convinced that a Code of Conduct (COC) is the best way to govern the competing territorial claims over the South China Sea.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in expressing this, also called for intensified consultations to ensure expeditious establishment of an effective COC.

He said such efforts would be the key instrument in ensuring proper management of vital sea lanes and open skies.

“Malaysia’s position is that problems over the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully via multilateral platforms,” he said.

He said this at the first plenary session, ‘Asia Pacific Security Trends: Challenges and Opportunities’, of the sixth Xiangshan Forum, here today.

Hishammuddin also stressed that the concept of moderation must continue to be championed, as problems including extremism and state conflict often stem from ignorance.

“A more balanced and moderate approach, not only in our dealings with each other but in how we manage ourselves can prevent many of the problems we face today,” he said.

He said moderation had been consistent in Malaysia’s foreign policy orientations and was accepted as “an Asean way” during the 26th Asean Summit in April this year.

“Moderation has its roots through the concept of Islam Hadhari and Wasatiyah espoused by both our present and former Prime Ministers. Islam, after all, is and has always been a religion of peace and liberation,” he said. — Bernama