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Malaysia eyes pact to stop illegal fishing by Vietnamese
Published on: Monday, February 17, 2020
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KUANTAN: Malaysia intends to enter into an agreement with the Vietnamese government to overcome encroachment of deep-sea fishermen from the republic into the country’s territorial waters, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. 

He said such an agreement had been signed between Malaysia and Indonesia and that a similar agreement could also be signed with Vietnam as a follow-up to the letter of intent signed in August last year as an agreement to resolve the problem.

“We take it (encroachment) seriously because lately there has been an increase in the number of foreign fishing boats encroaching into Malaysian waters in the east coast, with most of them from Vietnam,” he said, adding that 141 Vietnamese fishermen were detained last year for encroaching into Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

He said Vietnam had given a positive response to the matter as the republic was aware of the problem.

Saifuddin, who is also Indera Mahkota Member of Parliament, said this to reporters when met at the Balok Fisherman Integration Program, here, Sunday, which was also attended by Pahang Malaysia Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) Director Rashima Baharuddin.

On efforts to bring back the remaining Malaysia citizens in Hubei and Wuhan, following the Covid-19 outbreak in China, he said, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) was working to bring back about 30 Malaysian citizens still in the republic.

He said the Malaysian Embassy and Consulate offices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan would continue to operate as usual to help look into the wellbeing of Malaysians there as only certain Malaysian staff would be brought home with their spouses and children.

On the Asean-China Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Laos this Feb 20, Saifuddin said the meeting would discuss efforts on addressing Covid-19.

“The objective of the meeting is to strengthen cooperation between Asean and China’s in addressing Covid-19 infection.

“The meeting will also enable us to exchange notes and experiences (in addressing the outbreak of the disease) and hear briefing by the Chinese Foreign Minister on the latest development in the Covid-19 outbreak,” he added.


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