Indonesia blames Malaysia for poor coordination after fishermen kidnapped off Sabah

Tambisan in east coast Sabah, where 5 Indonesian fishermen were abducted last week. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Indonesian government yesterday accused Malaysian authorities of “ineffective coordination” after five Indonesian fishermen were abducted off Sabah last week.

“We truly regret that these sorts of incidents keep repeating. It seems to have been caused by ineffective coordination among Malaysian authorities, among other things,” said deputy foreign minister Mahendra Siregar, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

He said Jakarta has asked Malaysia to strengthen efforts to protect Indonesian fishermen operating in its waters.

The five Indonesian fishermen were abducted in the waters off Tambisan, Lahad Datu, last Thursday.

The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) said Abu Sayyaf members had boarded their fishing vessel before overpowering them. Three other fishermen jumped into the sea and escaped.

The Abu Sayyaf group had targeted Indonesian sailors in 2016, and the Jakarta Post reported that as many as 39 people had been abducted before Thursday’s incident.