Selangor Journal
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin will visit Hong Kong from September 12 to 14 to participate in the 8th Belt and Road Summit. — Picture by BERNAMA

Sulawesi Sea Treaty excludes Ambalat block, says Wisma Putra

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 — The Sulawesi Sea Treaty signed by Malaysia and Indonesia does not involve the Ambalat block; only territorial sea borders between both countries in the area, said Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin.

“We have yet to discuss the area known as Ambalat, 200 nautical miles off what is called the exclusive economic zone. Not negotiated and haven’t been discussed,” he said at a media conference here today following a statement by Tungku assemblyman Assafal Alian at the August 10 Sabah assembly that Malaysia had handed Ambalat to Indonesia.

Overlapping claims by Malaysia and Indonesia over the waters of the Sulawesi Sea between East Kalimantan, Indonesia and the southeast of Sabah have been an issue since Malaysia published a map in 1979 showing the maritime border of Ambalat within Malaysia’s waters, which Indonesia objected to.

Wisma Putra issued a clarification on June 20 that the Sulawesi Sea Treaty, signed on June 8 in Putrajaya during Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s working visit to Malaysia, did not involve maritime borders in the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf between both countries.

“In other words, the treaty does not involve areas referred to as Block ND6 and Block ND7 by Malaysia, or Ambalat by Indonesia,” Wisma Putra said.

Mohamad said Putrajaya is cautious about maritime border treaties, adding that every decision made was based on maritime law conventions or the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

“(It also involves) experts from Malaysian and Indonesian governments and the Sabah government. Not once did the issue of Ambalat come up,” he said as he reiterated the unity government and the Sabah government are committed to defending the country’s sovereignty.

“As a Sabah MP, I will never allow Sabah’s sovereignty to be compromised… I will defend the state’s waters and its sovereignty … This is my commitment,” the Kimanis MP said.

He said Assafal’s statement on Ambalat confused the public and was slanderous, and urged the latter to issue an apology.

“Refer to Wisma Putra and don’t make statements that confuse the public … don’t simply (speak about) nonexistent issues and cause public concern,” he said.

— Bernama

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