Workers' Party expresses 'grave concern' over Singapore-Malaysia maritime dispute

A Malaysian government vessel (left) and a Singapore Police Coast Guard vessel in Singapore territorial waters off Tuas on Dec 6, 2018.
A Malaysian government vessel (left) and a Singapore Police Coast Guard vessel in Singapore territorial waters off Tuas on Dec 6, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has criticised Malaysia's ongoing incursion into Singapore territorial waters off Tuas as "unnecessary" and "provocative", and said it stands by the Singapore officers who have been deployed to deal with the situation.

In a statement on its website on Saturday (Dec 8), the WP wrote: "The Workers' Party notes with grave concern the deployment of Malaysian Government vessels into Singapore waters off Tuas West.

"As fraternal neighbours with a wide-ranging bilateral relationship, both Singapore and Malaysia cooperate on many fronts, including the military front, with exercises and visits by senior personnel to each other's countries and training areas.

"There is a deep economic relationship between both neighbours with much more to be potentially reaped for both Malaysians and Singaporeans through economic collaboration. The people of both countries are deeply invested in each other through ties of family and friendship.

"In view of this unique and deep bilateral relationship, any disagreement/s on any matter between both countries can be resolved either through bilateral negotiation or through a third-party adjudication process.

"Escalatory actions like the unilateral deployment of vessels to engender new facts on the ground are not only unnecessary and provocative, they do not set the right tone for Singapore-Malaysia relations for our people and in particular, the younger generation of Singaporeans and Malaysians.

"The Workers' Party stands by our men and women in all our security and enforcement agencies who have been activated to deal with the incursion of Malaysian vessels into Singapore waters. They have our full support."