Press Statement : Dato Sri Anifah Hj Aman On the situation in the South China Sea.

Press Statement : Dato Sri Anifah Hj Aman
On the situation in the South China Sea.

Since last weekend, I read with great interest the many reports and articles on the South China Sea, in particular the presence of a flotilla of Chinese vessels within Malaysia’s maritime areas.

As I have stated many times, both during and after my time as the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, South China Sea is of strategic importance to Malaysia as it relates to the issues of sovereignty, sovereign rights, economic activities, as well as peace and security of the whole region.

As more and more details are laid bare by national, regional and international news portals, I cannot help but notice the deafening silence on the part of the Government of Malaysia on the matter.

To say nothing about the activities undertaken by the Chinese survey vessel within Malaysia’s maritime areas is a great disservice to the nation.

Safeguarding, protecting and promoting Malaysia’s strategic interests must be the guiding principle, and trump any other consideration.

We must not be indecisive in defending our rights and interests in accordance with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Our inaction may be construed as acquiescence by interested parties and would be detrimental to our strategic interests. Our inaction may compel other parties to take certain actions which would further complicate matters and jeopardise peace, security and stability in our maritime areas and the region as a whole.

A consistent principled position on South China Sea would stand us in good stead in the long term. This is what it was in the past, and what it should be now, as well as for the future.

YBhg Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman

23 April 2020
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