Federal govt must pay attention to Beting Patinggi Ali territorial sea

Datuk Paul Igai

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Sept 3: Senator Datuk Paul Igai raised the issue that the Malaysia territorial sea at Beting Patinggi Ali was often encroached by foreign fishing boats and navy armed forces.

“The area is located only 80 nautical miles from Tanjung Baram in Sarawak and under the Malaysia Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area.

“Based on the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, the provisions clearly stated that countries with coasts have right to claim EEZ areas and continental shelves up to 200 nautical miles,” he said in his Royal Address debate in Parliament today.

Paul thus emphasised the need to pay attention to the nation’s sovereignty so that any issue on the claim in the nation’s waters will not be used as reason for countries with great power to wage war.

“We also understand that the war ships of the United States and China have been in that area,” he added.

Meanwhile, Paul also asked if the government intends to build an army headquarters near where two nation’s important assets namely the mega Bakun Hydro Dam and Murum HEP were located.

“The area is also near to the Batang Ai HEP in Lubok Antu which is also near to the border of Sarawak with Kalimantan, Indonesia,” he said.

He extended gratitude to the federal government, in particular the Health Ministry, for the announcement of a new hospital to be built in the area.—DayakDaily