Malaysian Police Arrests Indonesian Maritime Officers, Deny Shooting

By : webadmin | on 5:12 PM August 15, 2010
Category : Archive

Jakarta. Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto has confirmed the arrest of three Indonesian Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry officers by the Malaysian police but denied that they had fired at the three Indonesian officers.

“The Malaysian police fired warning shots to alert the Indonesian officers to their presence,” he said here on Sunday adding that he had reported the incident to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Djoko said he had also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia and the Indonesian Consulate General in Johor Baru to coordinate to release the three officers being held by Malaysian Police.

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s Director General for Surveillance and Control Aji Sularso also called for the release of the officers.

He explained the incident happened on Friday when an Indonesian patrol boat with several officers on board apprehended a Malaysian fishing boat operating in Indonesia’s Bintan waters.

When the three Indonesian officers entered the fishing boat, a Malaysian patrol ship which was nearby fired warning shots.

“Since the Indonesian patrol boat was not armed, the Malaysians towed the patrol boat to the nearest port along with three officers. Malaysian police then took over the fishing boat and arrested the three Fisheries and Maritime Ministry officers,” Aji said adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still making diplomatic inquiries with the relevant Malaysian authorities to effect the release of the three officers.

Malaysia's maritime show of strength has angered some Indonesian legislators.

Sudin, a legislator from the Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDIP) said what the Malaysian police had done was a form of humiliation of Indonesia’s sovereignty.

“That means that Malaysia has underestimated us. Who is Malaysia? We are better than Malaysia,” he said.