KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The government safeguards the nation’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interests including over areas in the South China Sea, by ensuring that patrol and activities are conducted by the related enforcement agencies.
However, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said, at the same time, the government adopts a cautious approach to avoid any action which may lead to rising tension and unwanted incidents in the country’s waters.
“During the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from Sept 9 to 12, the government once again reaffirmed Malaysia’s stand on the South China Sea and the issue must be amicably resolved through a diplomatic approach in line with international legal principles,” he said.
He said this in response to a question from Senator Datuk T Mohan on the steps taken by the government in curbing the ongoing intrusion of the Chinese navy and maritime enforcement agencies in the country’s waters, during the Dewan Negara sitting today.
Kamarudin said the presence of large number of warships in a specific maritime area such as in the South China Sea has the potential to cause rising tensions and pose a threat to national security and stability.
“This matter has been raised at the regional and international levels and the government has taken a diplomatic approach, stressing that the South China Sea should remain as a sea of peace and trade,” he said.
In addition he said, Malaysia would also ensure that the Code of Conduct (COC) to manage the South China Sea, to be finalised between Asean and China, would be adhered to, so that the country’s sovereign rights is maintained