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The Straits Times
Oct 25, 2022
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has refuted allegations circulating online about Malaysian fishermen being chased away by Police Coast Guard (PCG) officers for fishing in Malaysian territorial waters.
The police said on Tuesday that the allegations were wholly untrue as the incident had happened in Singapore’s territorial waters off Lim Chu Kang.
Two videos of a verbal altercation between the fishermen and PCG officers in the incident on Sunday have been circulating online.
In the videos, the fishermen are shown on several motorboats surrounding a PCG patrol vessel while arguing with the PCG officers.
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The fishermen told Malaysian media that the PCG officers had verbally abused them and chased the group of 10 fishermen away from waters around Pasir Laba, near the Second Link bridge.
Malaysian media had earlier reported that the fishermen were there to catch shrimp, and that the PCG officers had allegedly used abusive language on them.
In its statement, the SPF said that on Sunday, at about 4pm, PCG officers were patrolling Singapore territorial waters when they spotted a group of Malaysian fishing vessels entering and exiting the live firing area off Lim Chu Kang.
As unauthorised vessels are prohibited from entering the live firing area, the PCG officers approached the Malaysian fishing vessels and used the public address system on the PCG boat to advise them to leave the area for their own safety.
The SPF said that at about 5.30pm, several Malaysian fishing vessels approached the PCG officers, and their crew expressed unhappiness at being asked to leave the area.
The SPF said: “Our officers explained that unauthorised vessels were prohibited from entering the area, and asked them to leave for their own safety.
“After a verbal exchange, the Malaysian fishing vessels returned to Malaysian territorial waters at about 5.37pm. This exchange also took place entirely in Singapore territorial waters.”
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Iskandar Puteri district police chief Rahmat Ariffin confirmed in a statement on Facebook on Monday that a police report had already been lodged by a representative of the fishermen, and the Malaysian police were investigating.
In his statement, he also advised the public to refrain from speculating about the incident.