DAP calls for immediate government action to protect the life, property and livelihood of Malaysians fisherman from armed Indonesian pirates
My colleague, Sdr. Phung Teik Hwa, the Perak DAP State Assemblymen for Lumut, whose constituents include the fisherman at Pangkor Island, has again written to Government urging the authorities to take positive action to protect the life, property and livelihood of Malaysian fisherman from harassment and piracy of armed Indonesian patrol boats.
As a result of armed piracy by Indonesian naval personnel in the high seas, Malaysian fisherman have cowed from going to sea, for they cannot get any protection from Malaysian marine police or navy. Consequently, Malaysian fisherman throughout the West Coast of Malaysia, including the fisherman in Malacca, are facing grave hardship and suffering.
It is indeed shocking that the Government has to date taken an indifferent attitude to the plight of Malaysian fishermen. The Government has made great claim about the sovereignty of Malaysian territory, and here we have our own citizens being harassed by Indonesian armed pirates with our government refusing to lift a finger to stand firmly behind our own people.
This is a very grave matter, and the DAP has decided to press this issue in Parliamentary when it meets on August 8.
I am giving notice that I will be asking the Prime Minister whether:
1. He is aware of the increased incidence of harassment and extortion of Malaysian fisherman in the Straits of Malacca by armed, uniformed Indonesian naval patrols who detain the fishing, net , gear and other payment of exorbitant ransom money;
2. Whether he is aware that repeated appeals by the Malaysian fisherman to the Government for protection against such piracy in the high seas had been met with indifference and disregard, forcing Malaysian fishermen to stay inshore for fear of encountering the Indonesian armed marauders, leading to the loss of their incomes and the increase of their hardships;
3. What steps the Government has taken to protect the right, life and property of Malaysian fishermen in the Straits of Malacca against such piracy by naval patrols of a friendly neighbour;
4. Whether the Government could publicly give an assurance and pledge to the Malaysian fishermen that in such cases of harassment and extortion by some naval patrols of a neighbouring country, it would unflinchingly stand by Malaysian fishermen and get for them justice and fair play;
5. Whether the Malaysian Government has ever protested taken up the matter with the Indonesian Government, either through our Ambassador to Indonesia or other official channels, to put a stop to such harassment and extortion of Malaysian fishermen and to make compensation for incidence already occurred; and
6. What positive action the Government propose to take, particularly at the government-to-government level with the Indonesian government, to end once and for all such piracy by naval personnel of a neighbouring country in the Straits of Malacca.
The Malaysian Government is duty-bound to take immediate action to protect the life, property and livelihood of Malaysian fishermen, and should energetically and vigorously uphold the honour of Malaysian citizens.