Mindef video shows Malaysian vessels intruding Singapore's waters

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Thursday (Dec 6) Malaysia should "back off" after he revealed that in the past two weeks, there have been 14 incursions by Malaysian government vessels into Singapore's waters.

"My main message today is... Back off. Leave our waters while we pursue sit-down dialogues and try to resolve it" he said.

Three of these vessels were still in Singapore territory yesterday, he told the media.

A video by Ministry of Defence (Mindef) posted on The Straits Times Facebook page showed the vessels.

(Story continues after video)

There have been 14 intrusions by Malaysian vessels into Singapore's waters, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed....

Posted by The Straits Times on Thursday, 6 December 2018

On Oct 25 this year, Malaysia issued a federal government declaration that would extend the Johor Baru Port limits into Singapore's territorial waters.

However, Mr Khaw called on Malaysian government vessels to "cease their intrusions and return to the status quo before 25 Oct 2018".

In response to the intrusions, Singapore has extended its own port limits

"Our security agencies will continue to patrol the area, and respond to unauthorised activities on the ground. They have so far responded with restraint against aggressive actions by the Malaysian Government vessels," said Mr Khaw.

"But Singapore cannot allow our sovereignty to be violated, or new facts on the ground to be created. Therefore, if it becomes necessary, we will not hesitate to take firm actions against intrusions and unauthorised activities in our waters to protect our territory and sovereignty."

Mr Khaw noted that since at least 1999, Singapore has been exercising its jurisdiction in the waters now covered by the recent extension of the Johor Baru port limits.

"Malaysia has never laid claim to these waters, or protested our actions there. Now, out of the blue, Malaysia is claiming these territorial waters that belong to Singapore," he said.

"This is a blatant provocation and a serious violation of our sovereignty and international law."

On Wednesday, Malaysia argued that Singapore cannot claim the area as its territorial waters on the basis of its reclamation works in Tuas in recent years.

But Mr Khaw responded that Malaysia had published a map in 1979, when no reclamation in Tuas had taken place. The new, purported, Johor Baru port limits now extend even beyond Malaysia's own territorial claim line, into Singapore's waters.

Read the full story at The Straits Times.

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