PETALING JAYA: A Warisan MP has called for “stronger action” from Putrajaya and the defence ministry over China’s encroachment in the South China Sea, particularly in Sabah waters.
Papar MP Ahmad Hassan pointed out that since early April, China’s latest J-20 fighter jets had been found conducting regular patrols and drills over the South China Sea.
He said the Royal Malaysian Navy had reported 23 cases of intrusions in 2021 alone.
“The threat to the nation’s sovereignty has affected economic activities. Since last year, China’s maritime enforcement agency has intruded in the Kasawari gas field in Malaysian waters, thus affecting Petronas’ works.
“The continuous intimidation from around 300 Chinese maritime ships that patrol the South China Sea has also affected small-time fishermen from Sabah.
“Therefore, I urge for stronger action from the federal government to defend the nation’s sovereignty, particularly with Sabah being directly involved in this territorial dispute,” he said in a statement today.
Last year, former Sabah chief minister Salleh Said Keruak had urged Putrajaya not to take China’s encroachment lightly, saying the country’s actions were a clear message that it wanted to control the waters of the South China Sea.
On May 31 last year, the Royal Malaysian Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept some 16 “suspicious” People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) planes over Malaysian airspace.
Just four days later, a Chinese coast guard vessel then encroached Malaysian waters near Beting Patinggi Ali near Miri.