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Johor MB: I did not 'intrude' into Singapore's territorial waters

The Star Online logo The Star Online 13/1/2019 By REMAR NORDIN
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JOHOR BARU: Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian has insisted that he did not trespass into Singapore's territorial waters last week.

He said his visit to the MV Pedoman vessel was within Malaysian waters and that the postponement of the annual Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) over the alleged intrusion was nothing more than an excuse for the island republic.

He said that the JMCIM meeting, that was supposed to be held on Monday (Jan 14), was "purposely" postponed for the island republic to bring out other issues after facing objection from Malaysia regarding the territorial waters and air space dispute in Pasir Gudang.

“I do not have any intention to provoke anyone, it is my usual visit to send food supply to our civil servants who are in MV Pedoman because we have previously sent supplies such as rice, sugar and oil, every two weeks.

“There are 23 crewmen on board in that vessel, and they could not go anywhere to find supplies, so that is why I decided to go there,” he said to reporters after launching the Lantern Festival at Taman Impian Emas here on Saturday (Jan 12).

He said as Mentri Besar, he had every right to go there to offer his help, and to get a clearer picture of the territorial dispute.

“This is just my action as the head of the state government to see the work that had been done by our civil servants, and to express my gratitude to them."

The Kempas assemblyman said that he had no intention of intruding, even if Singapore feels that he had trespassed.

“Let me be clear, I have no intention of causing trouble, let alone to trespass,” he said.

Osman added that Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya had been notified of the visit.

Osman also said that he had yet to receive any official notification from Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and the Foreign Minister over the JMCIM postponement.

The Malaysian delegation for the meeting was supposed to have been led by Azmin, Osman and other Johor state leaders. 

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