74 percent of country's land border with neighbouring nations finalised — Dr Jayakumar

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BANGI (April 22): Malaysia finalised 74 percent of its land border distance with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei last year, said Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.

He said it covered 2,431 kilometres of 3,257 km through the project that demarcated and measured the country’s land and international borders.

The rest of which is about 826 km or 26 percent has yet to be finalised as the negotiation process is still in progress as there are issues of territorial claims overlapping with neighbouring countries, he said.

"Negotiations are aimed at resolving issues of land boundaries in nine areas that are still a dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. Negotiations have shown a positive impact,"  Dr Jayakumar told reporters after presenting the ministry’s 2018 excellent service awards, here today.

Still under discussions are an area in Sabah-North Kalimantan, and four more in the Sarawak-West Kalimantan sector, he said.

For the Malaysia-Thailand border, there were four kilometres in the Bukit Jeli area that had yet to be resolved and negotiations were still underway between the two countries.

He added that demarcation and surveying works were being carried out jointly on the Malaysia-Brunei border, he said.

In the meantime, the Minister said the Government had finalised the maritime boundary of 3,990 km or 69 percent of the total 5,749 km while the rest were still under negotiations due to overlapping maritime territorial claims.

"The Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (Jupem) has faced severe challenges in charting the country's sovereign border over Malaysian waters such as the South China Sea, Straits of Melaka and the Sulawesi Sea.

“The nation's sovereignty in these areas will always be challenged by neighbouring countries because the waters here are rich in petroleum and natural gas," added Dr Jayakumar.

At the event, 854 officers from departments and agencies under the ministry received the excellent service awards and they included 21 officers who received awards for long service.

There were also two projects which received the Minister's Special Award for contributing to public and national services.

They were the project to demarcate and measure state and international boundaries including the new map of Malaysia and the formulation of the National Water Resources Bill project.