Malaysia must protest China military bullying, says DCM

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia should send the strongest diplomatic protest to China and the United Nations over China’s military activities in the South China Sea.


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the recent increase of incidents where Chinese vessels encroached on Malaysian waters demonstrated the superpower’s lack of respect for its neighbours.

“The Malaysian government must summon the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, and we must immediately request for a United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting to find a solution to the South China Sea emerging military conflict,” he said in a statement here today.

Kitingan said while he acknowledges that the issues are delicate and that there are other interests that both governments, particularly Malaysia, must consider, he believed that Malaysia’s lack of action will send the wrong signal to the threatening side.

“Even though China is one of our largest trading partners, we will lose our stability if we do not address this situation and defend our sovereignty. We cannot remain silent in the face of this latest intrusion.

“While trade deals are good, they are meaningless if they require us to be always on guard and fear losing our territory one day,” he said.

Furthermore, Kitingan stated that if Malaysia does not speak up, other countries may interpret the country’s silence as a sign that it is acting as a proxy for China.

He believed that Malaysia needed to remain neutral and transparent for the sake of its own political and economical security.

Simultaneously, he urged the federal governemnt to increase the Malaysian military readiness and be prepared to protect the Sabah and Sarawak regions.

“The China flyby incident in June of this year should serve as a reminder to us to increase our preparedness for similar incidents in the future.

“If the South China Sea is lost, Sabah and Sarawak will be the first targets of these attacks. To be honest, we are feeling rather vulnerable and exposed right now,” he said.

Therefore, Kitingan urged the federal govenrment to take a firm stance on the issue and state unequivocally that the territory belongs to Malaysia, regardless of the short-term economic consequences.

“If China is wrong, then they are wrong. No more of this nonsense entering our seas or airspace. The world’s superpowers, including those from the West, must stop using our region as a proxy to fight their war.

“If you have disagreements with one another, resolve them among yourselves. Don’t use the South China Sea to demonstrate your might. Leave our region, our people, our economy and our future to our own device.

“The people of Southeast Asia should be the ones to chart our own course for the future. Not anyone else, and especially not some foreign entities claiming to be ‘big brother’,” he concluded.

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