KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed today expressed regret that his personal view on the South China Sea issue had been misconstrued as the government’s official position.
He said the statement he made at a conference had been reported inaccurately and “simplified” to the point that it appeared that he was advocating for a joint development of resources in the South China Sea.
Nur Jazlan said he had been speaking about marine assets and its sustainability besides the need for the corporation of all countries to replenish declining stock of marine produce.
He said what he had spoken about could not be taken as the government position on the South China Sea disputes as such disputes had nothing to do with his ministry.
All matters pertaining to disputes in the South China Sea, he said, fell under the purview of the Foreign Ministry.
He said the Malaysian government’s policy and position on the issue was clear and consistent.
“Malaysia is committed to addressing matters relating to the South China Sea through peaceful means, and calls on all countries to ensure peace, security and stability, to avoid the threat or use of force, to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and to refrain from action that erodes trust and confidence, complicates the situation and escalates tension.
“Malaysia upholds the supremacy of the rule of law and reaffirms that all claims in the South China Sea must be based on and resolved in accordance with international law, including in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he said in a statement.
Nur Jazlan was speaking in relation to a news portal’s report about statements he made at the 6th Maritime Institute of Malaysia Conference two days ago.
He said the portal had also misquoted him, saying he had never mentioned that China had made a claim on “almost the entirety of the resource-rich waters, which is an important shipping route with trade value of about US$5 trillion per year”.