Johor MB denies entering Singapore waters during visit to maritime border

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BATU PAHAT (Jan 11): Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian has refuted reports from several news portals in Singapore which claimed that he had entered Singapore waters during his visit to the Malaysian-Singapore maritime border area here on Wednesday.

He said his visit to the area was to see how the Malaysian security forces carried out their duties.

“We, when visiting MV Pedoman, are well aware of the maritime border areas of the two countries...we were sure that we did not enter their (Singapore) area because we respect the laws of both sides.

“So, I think the area I visited was not the Singapore area because our own police could not go in, the purpose of the visit was not to provoke but just to observe our security team at work,” he told reporters after opening Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Suria Perdana and its Back To School Program here today.

He said this in response to Singapore news portals yesterday which claimed that five Malaysian authority vessels were seen entering Singapore waters on Wednesday, just a day after the two countries agreed to set up working groups to address maritime disputes and airspace issues.

The five vessels were allegedly used by Osman’s entourage when they visited MV Pedoman.

Osman said that according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's comments on Youtube and Facebook, it clearly stated that there were indeed Malaysian surveillance vessels in the area.

“So, I do not think I need to tell Singapore about the visit because we did not enter the country,” he said.