WITH another report of China encroaching Malaysian shores, an academic opined that the former is taking the latter’s sovereignty for granted.
“I feel that China is testing Malaysia as it perceives us as weak. This boils down to military strategist Sun Tzu’s teachings which the country follows extensively.
“Among the ideas Sun Tzu espoused was, if you want to know your enemy’s strength, test them. Singapore follows the same example where they used to create issues to test our response in the past,” HELP University Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting and Institute Crime and Criminology senior lecturer R Paneir Selvam told FocusM.
Earlier today, the Borneo Post revealed that China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel has been detected encroaching Malaysian waters near Beting Patinggi Ali, about 84 nautical miles off the coast of Miri.
Miri’s Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) head Captain Md Fauzi Othman said a report on the encroachment was received on June 4.
“Yes, I can confirm that we had received a report on the CCG encroaching into our waters on June 4. Our assets including from TLDM (Royal Malaysian Navy) have been monitoring the situation closely,” he was reported saying.
This is the second incident of China’s intrusion within a short span of time, as last week, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) intercepted 16 Chinese military aircraft for flying “suspiciously” near Beting Patinggi Ali (Luconia Shoals).
The Chinese embassy later denied the planes posed any threat, saying the incident involved aircraft in “routine training”.
The result of Hisham’s diplomatic bungle
On the latest report, Paneir Selvam said the series of border breach could be attributed to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s blunder in calling China “big brother” during an official visit in April.
“I think we are seeing the after-effects of Hishammuddin’s diplomatic gaffe. Following his statement, China may think that our Government will just entertain its whims and fancies,” he stated.
Paneir Selvam then urged the Government to put its foot down on the matter and stand firm on its commitment to neutrality, as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
He added that Malaysia and other Southeast Asia nations must make a clear stand that everyone should respect their sovereignty, superpower or not.
“Even if you’re our close ally with strong bilateral ties, one should respect our territorial boundaries just as we respect yours.
“Our Foreign Ministry must send a strong diplomatic protest on this without fail. Let us also see how China responds to the latest incident,” Paneir Selvam remarked. – June 8, 2021.