Malaysia protests alleged trespassing by Singapore coast guard into its waters

Malaysia protests alleged trespassing by Singapore coast guard into its waters

Singapore denies that incident between its coast guard vessel, Malaysian fishing boat, took place in Malaysian territorial waters

By Necva Tastan

ISTANBUL (AA) — Malaysia's coast guard on Monday protested an alleged entry into the country's territorial waters by Singaporean forces last week.

Datuk Saiful Lizan Ibrahim, acting director-general of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, said that in a police report, a fisherman alleged that the Singapore Police Coast Guard hit his vessel's trawl net in an area within Malaysian waters, according to The Star, an English-language daily based in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The fisherman said the incident took place 0.2 nautical miles (0.37 kilometers) southwest of the western-most road crossing between Malaysia and Singapore, in an area that Kuala Lumpur assessed to be within its national territorial waters, Saiful Lizan added.

The official added that the accident had resulted in losses for the fisherman due to the damaged fishing equipment, reported The Star.

In a separate statement on Sunday, the Singaporean coast guard had asserted that the engagement took place in the city state's waters, not Malaysia's.

The police coast guard said its officers were patrolling in Singaporean waters when they spotted the Malaysian fishing vessel and approached it in order to tell it to leave the area, according to the daily Straits Times.

It said that while the coast guard boat was reversing in an attempt to avoid entering Malaysian waters, its propeller became tangled with the fishing vessel's net, which was damaged in efforts to untangle it from the propeller.

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