NEW DELHI: India has asked Malaysia to keep the Straits of Melaka, one the world’s busiest waterways, safe for international passage and sought help to tackle regional terrorism.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh mentioned this to visiting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak when he spoke on the country’s security concerns during a two-hour meeting in the Indian capital on Wednesday.
“India briefed us about their concern on terrorism, especially after the Mumbai attack (Nov 26, 2008) and they hope we can cooperate with them on matters relating to the exchange of intelligence.
“India also expressed that they want us to make sure that the Straits of Melaka is safe for international passage,” Najib, who is on a four-day visit here, told the Malaysian media yesterday.
Security featured predominantly during the dialogue with Najib, signalling a significant shift from the normal trade talks between both nations, which amplify Malaysia’s critical importance in the region.
About a quarter of the world’s traded goods and oil supply pass through the straits, the second busiest in the world, after Egypt’s Suez Canal, and about 50,000 international vessels ply the sea lane annually.
Asked to comment on news reports yesterday on the arrests of 34 people, including businessmen, political aides and government servants for alleged involvement in selling sand to a neighbouring country, Najib said he would leave the investigation to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“Let the MACC conduct its investigation.
If there is (an element of) corruption or misuse of power it is up to the MACC and the Attorney-General to decide if there is a case or not.
“Those found guilty would have to face punishment, let’s wait for the outcome of the investigations,” he added.
Najib was scheduled to leave for Chennai yesterday for the second segment of his visit to India. — Bernama