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Malaysia 'out of patience' after Indonesia protests
Wed, Aug 25, 2010
AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Malaysia said Wednesday it had run out of patience and sent a protest letter to Indonesia after a demonstration triggered by a maritime dispute saw human faeces flung at its embassy in Jakarta.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said he had spoken to his Indonesian counterpart and sent a protest note to its embassy over the detention of Malaysian seven fishermen by Indonesian maritime officials in disputed waters.

He said the note also objected to the rowdy protest at the Malaysian mission in Jakarta on Monday and reported threats by a nationalist group there to "clear" Malaysians from the country.

"I don't think we would encourage such activities in Malaysia... we would stop Malaysians from doing so if they did," Anifah told a press conference.

"(Indonesia) has its own internal political problems but we don't want Malaysia to end up being the victim.

"They seek our understanding while solving problems internally, to assist them not to make this issue worse," he said.

"But in helping them, we should not lose out... we have come to a point where it's now beyond our patience."

The protests broke out after three Indonesian maritime officers were detained by Malaysian authorities in disputed waters a week ago, and later released.

Accounts of the incident are in dispute, but the seven Malaysian fishermen were detained a week ago in waters off southern Malaysia by Indonesian authorities who accused them of encroaching into their waters.

Three of the Indonesian officials were detained by Malaysian maritime authorities who intercepted the group as they were being taken back to Indonesia.

All those involved have now been released.

Anifah said the latest spat between the neighbours, who have a history of squabbles, was a result of their ill-defined maritime borders and that although a committee had been set up on the issue, there was still no solution.

"Even if you have a defined boundary, there will be times when Indonesia is going to encroach in our waters whether intentionally or not and vice versa," he said.

"So the issue here is while we have to define our boundaries clearly to determine who is right, who is wrong, but at the same time we must manage this crisis because we are neighbours.

"What is happening today does not bring us any happiness." --AFP

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