SINGAPORE - In a strongly worded statement in Parliament, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Tuesday (Feb 26) that Singapore "will not allow any foreign government to assert any authority in our waters".
He was replying to Nominated MP Walter Theseira, who had asked about a collision between Malaysian vessel Polaris and Greek bulk carrier Pireas in Singapore's territorial waters off Tuas earlier this month.
The collision took place on Feb 9 afternoon when the Pireas was on its way from Singapore to its next port of call at Tanjung Pelepas in Johor.
Dr Balakrishnan told the House that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), having determined that the incident was not a "very serious marine casualty", allowed the vessel to proceed to its next port of call.
He also said the vessel was not detained by the Malaysian authorities, as it was in Singapore's territorial waters.
Dr Theseira also asked what mariners should do if they were given instructions by Malaysian vessels in Singapore waters.
Dr Balakrishnan said the waters have been designated Singapore port limits and hence, all vessels passing through these waters should take instructions from the MPA.
"If there are any attempts to assert authority or take any unauthorised actions, our agencies and our vessels and our forces will take appropriate measures," he said.