Zahid: Small air space no excuse for intrusion

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has reminded Singapore not to give the excuse of its small air space to violate into this country’s air space.

“We know that Singapore is Malaysia’s nearest neighbour, its air space is very small and we understand why they encroach into our air space, but that shouldn’t be made as an excuse for Singapore to intrude into our air space.

“Their actions will be more aggresive if our air force planes fly into their air space without permission, but because we are neighbours in the Asean community and participate in the Five Power Defence Agreement, we understand that,” he told reporters after officiating the Perak state-level headmasters’ education convention, here yesterday.

Yesterday, Ahmad Zahid, in his written reply to Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (BN-Rembau) in the Dewan Rakyat, said a total of 2,508 air space encroachments by Singapore air force planes over Malaysia’s air space were detected since 2008, and Malaysia had made diplomatic protests over the air violations.

Ahmad Zahid said the diplomatic protests by Malaysia showed that the government was always monitoring all air movements by the republic’s armed forces.

He said Malaysia had tolerated Singapore on several matters with the hope that the spirit of neighbourliness would be made as a benchmark not to make military provocations. — Bernama

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