Highly appreciate all the efforts of all the relevant federal ministries for the release of Malaysian fishing boats

I was made aware of the case of 2 fishing boat, one boat registered under the name Nemo who had 13 Malaysians on board and another fishing boat that was intercepted by the Indonesian authorities on the 13th March and 12th March 2019 respectively on allegations that both boats have encroached into Indonesian waters even though the coordinates provided by both boats at point of arrest were said to be within our Malaysian waters.

I immediately contacted the different relevant Ministries in order to push for this matter to be resolved amicably. This include meeting the Minister of Agriculture YBDato’ Haji Salahuddin bin Ayub and Deputy Minister for Defence YB Liew Chin Tong to discuss and try to resolve the matter. I also contacted the Foreign Ministry to followup on their negotiations with the Indonesian government especially to secure the release of our fellow Malaysians on board and also the 2 boats.

In an event of dispute, it will be responsibility of Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with their Indonesian counterparts especially to secure the release of fellow Malaysians back to our country. In the case of the 2 boats, the fishing boat Nemo was intercepted by the Indonesian Navy while the other fishing boat was caught by the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Thanks to the good efforts of the different Ministries, the Nemo fishing boat with 14 crew members on it has been released by the Indonesian authorities and is arrive in Sarawak today(15/3/2019).

I was informed that they are making all efforts to secure the release of the other fishing boat including efforts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on top of efforts by the Minister of Agriculture who I am informed will seek a meeting with the Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti to discuss on this matter as well as all other maritime disputes so a better understanding can be achieved for present and future cases.

I highly appreciate all the efforts of all the relevant federal ministries and hopefully this issue can be resolved as soon as possible and our fellow Malaysians and boats be brought back to our country.

Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
Media statement by Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen in Kuching on Friday, 15th March 2019