Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore ten­sions flare up af­ter boat col­li­sion

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - AGEN­CIES /

Malaysian govern­ment ves­sel col­lided with a ship in wa­ters dis­puted by Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, spark­ing a fresh flare-up of mar­itime ten­sions on Sun­day be­tween the neigh­bours. Malaysian au­thor­i­ties im­pounded the Greek-flagged bulk car­rier, the Pireas, and de­tained its crew af­ter the col­li­sion on Satur­day with the Malaysian boat Po­laris.

The neigh­bours have had testy re­la­tions since Malaysia evicted the is­land from the Malaysian Fed­er­a­tion in 1965, end­ing a brief and stormy union of the for­mer Bri­tish colonies. Ties have gone up and down over the years but have been shaky since Malaysia's Ma­hathir Mo­hamad -- who has long had a prickly re­la­tion­ship with Sin­ga­pore -- re­turned to the premier­ship with a shock elec­tion vic­tory last year.

Mar­itime ten­sions be­gan ris­ing late last year when Sin­ga­pore ac­cused Malaysia of ex­tend­ing its claims in the strait that sep­a­rates the neigh­bours into what had long been ac­cepted as the city-state's ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters. The city-state, one of the world's busiest cargo ports, said Malaysian ves­sels were re­peat­edly en­croach­ing into its wa­ters -- an ac­cu­sa­tion de­nied by Malaysia.

Both sides claimed Satur­day’s col­li­sion off Tuas, in Sin­ga­pore, had hap­pened in their wa­ters. The ac­ci­dent did not cause any in­juries or lead to an oil spill. Ac­cord­ing to Malaysia's for­eign min­istry, the boats com­mu­ni­cated be­fore the ac­ci­dent, and the Greek car­rier had said it would steer clear of the Malaysian boat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.