Indonesia blocks Malaysian submarine optical cable project

General-Gatot-NurmantyoPETALING JAYA: A Malaysian firm’s submarine optical cable project on the Riau islands has come under scrutiny by the Indonesian military, which says the company has been operating with an expired permit.

General Gatot Nurmantyo told The Jakarta Post that PT Sacofa had resumed work on March 23 despite its permit expiring on Nov 26 last year.

“Under Law No.17/1985 on the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Indonesia gives opportunities to companies to carry out submarine optical cable instalment. To do so, they must obtain permission from the country,” he was quoted as saying.

As such, he told the daily that the project was a violation of Indonesia’s sovereignty and demanded that PT Sacofa cease operations.

He added that the project would endanger Indonesia’s security system as the fibre optic cables and servers would be directly connected to a satellite.

“If more devices are added to the system, the technology will sense all vibrations from sea surface or submarines,” he told The Jakarta Post.

According to the paper, PT Sacofa’s servers and fibre optic cables are located in West Tarempa village in the Siantan district of Riau Islands.