KUALA LUMPUR, 10 June 2009: Malaysian and Indonesian naval vessels should apply the rules agreed upon in a 2002 memorandum of understanding (MoU) to avert tension until the Ambalat territorial issues is resolved, retired Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) vice-admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Ramli Mohd Nor said today.
Ramli, who is now Maritime Institute of Malaysia (Mima) chairperson, said the memorandum on “Prevention of Incidents at Sea (Incsea)” between the RMN and the Indonesian navy spelt out the boundaries for both nations’ vessels.
“With the Incsea MoU, the naval vessels of both countries know what they can and cannot do so as not to raise tension,” he told reporters.
In this connection, he supported a proposal by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday that the naval vessels of Malaysia and Indonesia stay out of the disputed Ambalat waters until the issue was resolved.
Ramli said the important thing now was to find a solution.
The Ambalat waters, located east of Indonesia’s Kalimantan and southeast of Malaysia’s Sabah, are an oil-rich territory claimed by both countries since the 1960’s.
So far, 13 rounds of discussions at the technical level have been held between both countries to find a solution.
Ramli also said that the sixth Mima international conference on the Straits of Malacca, on the theme “Charting the Future”, would be held on 23 and 24 June here.
He said the conference’s objective was to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation among the littoral states of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore and straits users. The issues covered would be the waterway’s management as well as safety of navigation, security and environmental protection.
“The conference will feature speakers from the littoral states as well as the users of the straits and those from China, India, Japan and the US,” he added. — Bernama