Respond to Indonesia’s criticism of abduction of 5, Hisham tells Putrajaya

Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Malaysia’s reputation has been tarnished.

PETALING JAYA: Former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has questioned Putrajaya’s silence despite the Indonesian government’s criticism of the security of Malaysian waters after five of their nationals were kidnapped by suspected Filipino militants last week.

Hishammuddin said it had been two days since Indonesia’s deputy foreign minister blamed the ineffective coordination for the abduction.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu must be responsible and play his role in defending Malaysia’s prestige, he said.

“He can go to tens of countries, including Iran, after being appointed defence minister.

“But now it has been two days since the Indonesian government criticised our security forces.

“Yet, we are still not informed whether our minister has met or contacted Indonesia to clear the air. Malaysia’s name has been tarnished internationally,” Hishammuddin wrote in his Facebook post.

The Indonesian government has accused Malaysian authorities of “ineffective coordination” after the five Indonesian fishermen were abducted off Sabah last week.

Three other fishermen jumped into the sea to escape and later reported the matter to the authorities.

“We truly regret that this sort of incident keeps 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. They were reported to be employed by a local company there.