PUTRAJAYA, September 18 – YAB Prime Minister, Dato ‘Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday received a phone call from the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison. The Prime Minister of Australia informed and provided an explanation to Malaysia on the establishment of trilateral cooperation between Australia – United Kingdom – United States known as AUKUS. Among the purposes of its establishment was to help Australia acquire nuclear -powered submarines.
Dato ‘Sri Ismail Sabri took note of the matter and stressed Malaysia’s stand on the establishment of AUKUS. The Prime Minister of Malaysia expressed concern over the AUKUS cooperation which will catalyze the nuclear arms race in the Indo-Pacific region. At the same time, it will provoke other powers to act more aggressively in the region, especially in the South China Sea. As a country within ASEAN, Malaysia holds the principle of maintaining ASEAN as a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN).
Dato ‘Sri Ismail Sabri stressed the importance of respecting and adhering to Malaysia’s existing stance and approach to nuclear-powered submarines operating in Malaysian waters, including under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. the Sea – UNCLOS) and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Agreement (SEANWFZ). In addition, the two leaders also reached an agreement in renewing their mutual commitment to maintain international peace and security, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia urged all parties to avoid any provocation and arms competition in the region, besides emphasizing the importance of respecting and adhering to the existing stand and approach. Malaysia and Australia agreed to strengthen cooperation and consultation in various aspects, including in the field of defense under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.