KUANTAN, Feb 15 — The government, through the Foreign Ministry, is discussing with its Indonesian counterparts for the release of a fishing boat detained by the neighbouring country’s authorities yesterday, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman.
He said they had sufficient evidence to show that the boat did not commit any cross-border violation, and was instead in overlapping waters between the two countries.
“According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in 2012, both parties have no right to make any arrests in the area.
“Nevertheless, an arrest was made even though there was no encroachment or violation of the law. We are in communication with them to resolve the matter and ensure the arrest incident does not recur,” he told a press conference here today.
Mohd Azis had earlier officiated the 14th anniversary celebration of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), with the theme “Empowering the Maritime”, at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy here.
Also present were the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim, and MMEA director-general Admiral Maritime Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abu Bakar.
Yesterday, MMEA issued a statement saying a local fishing boat, with registration PKFB 1689 from Pantai Remis, Perak, was still in Malaysian waters at Pulau Talang, Perak, before it was pulled into Indonesian waters and led towards Medan.
MMEA, however, added that the four crew members, comprising a Thai and three Cambodian nationals, had been rescued.
Earlier in his speech, Mohd Azis said MMEA was expected to acquire three coastal patrol vessels by next year to strengthen its efforts to enforce the law and preserve the sovereignty of the country’s waters.
He said they would also construct new infrastructure, like the MMEA base here and in Miri, Sarawak, in stages as well as adding more surveillance cameras out at sea, especially in the east coast of Sabah to monitor intrusions. — Bernama