Thursday, July 21, 2005

Malaysian PM warns foreign navies to keep out of Malacca Straits

Accroding to the The Jakarta Post:
Malaysian leader Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Thursday warned foreign navies to keep out of the Malacca Straits, an apparent message to the United States which has proposed sending an elite U.S. unit to help secure the piracy-prone waterway.

"We will view any uninvited presence as an intrusion and a sign of disrespect for our independence and our sovereignty," Prime Minister Abdullah told delegates at the annual congress ofthe ruling United Malays National Organization party.

Malaysia has said it is capable of guarding its portion of the narrow, 885-kilometer Malacca Strait, which it shares with Indonesia and Singapore. The strait is a key maritime route for a third of the world's trade and half of the world's oil supply.

More than 50,000 vessels ply the waterway each year.

"We are firm in our stand that it is our responsibility to safeguard the Straits of Malacca. We will not allow foreign troops to patrol these straits," Abdullah said.
Surprise. Not.

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