KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reassured the nation that the recently signed maritime border settlement agreement between Malaysia and Indonesia does not compromise Malaysia’s interests, rights, and sovereignty. Anwar emphasized that Malaysia would never sacrifice its sovereignty and that the demarcation agreement was carefully crafted, taking into account the opinions of relevant parties and only involving agreed-upon areas without infringing on each country’s rights.
During the Minister’s Question Time session in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday, Anwar responded to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s query about the comprehensiveness of the agreement in safeguarding the nation’s maritime rights and sovereignty. Anwar explained that before the agreement was signed, the government sought the input of various experts from the Maritime Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Surveying and Mapping, National Hydrographic Center of Malaysia, and the Attorney General’s Office.
“After a thorough examination and a final meeting with me, we were satisfied that we had reached an agreement. This continued when I met with President Jokowi in January. As neighboring countries, it is our responsibility to resolve matters that have been ongoing for 18 years. “That is why on June 8, we reached an agreement based on our interests, uncontested border points, and international law, particularly the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he stated.
Anwar clarified that the recently signed agreement excludes areas that are still under negotiation, such as Sebatik Island, Sabah, and the South Sulawesi Sea boundary line, as those negotiations are ongoing. He also addressed concerns raised about the port area of Tanjung Pelepas Port, stating that it is not included in the agreement. In response to a question from Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan regarding consultation with relevant parties, Anwar confirmed that Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor had been informed about the agreement.
“Tuanku Sultan Johor has been informed that this boundary (Johor waters) is three nautical miles from Johor’s coastal area, which is far beyond Johor’s boundary,” Anwar explained. Regarding Sabah, Anwar stated that the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, had been informed that negotiations regarding Sebatik Island and the Tawau area had been postponed until a new agreement is reached. Anwar also addressed Takiyuddin’s question about the 2009 border agreement signed by Singapore and Indonesia.
He mentioned that the Malaysian government has consistently opposed that agreement and had conveyed their objection to President Jokowi. Anwar emphasized that the agreement signed on June 8 between Malaysia and Indonesia did not include the disputed areas covered by the Singapore-Indonesia agreement. Anwar criticized Takiyuddin’s statements and questions about the Malaysia-Indonesia maritime border agreement, labeling them as politically motivated and aiming to gain cheap political points.
He asserted that the government has never made decisions that disregard the country’s rights. Furthermore, Anwar expressed his hope that the issue of Malaysia’s relationship with Indonesia would not be politicized. He stressed the significance of the Malaysia-Indonesia relationship beyond being neighboring Muslim-majority countries, highlighting the importance of cultural, educational, economic, and trade ties. Anwar emphasized that Malaysia’s interests in the border area would not be compromised in any way.
As Malaysia’s Prime Minister affirms the country’s commitment to protecting its rights and sovereignty, the government remains steadfast in its position regarding the recently signed maritime border agreement with Indonesia.