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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Philippine fishermen had encroached into Msian waters, clarifies Foreign Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR - The three Philippine fishermen detained by the Royal Malaysian Navy earlier this month, had encroached into Malaysian waters.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican said the trio were not detained in Philippines territorial waters in the disputed Spratlys, as reported yesterday.

“The incident happened in the Commodore Reef located in northern Sabah. When the Malaysian navy detected them, they were within 10 nautical miles off the reef, within the Malaysian maritime boundary,” he said, adding that the navy acted within the law.

“Nevertheless, the navy is currently carrying out an investigation on claims of poor treatment accorded to the fishermen," he said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) in parliament today.

Reezal was commenting on the action taken by navy personnel, who gave chase to the fishing vessel and detain the fishermen for encroaching into Malaysian waters.

The trio were handed over to the Philippines armed forces stationed on the Commodore Reef a few hours later. The fishermen had claimed that they were punched and kicked by the navy men.

The Spratly Islands, which is rich with natural resources including oil and gas, is a subject of overlapping claims by several countries including China, Brunei, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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