Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) monitoring has recorded 23 cases of Chinese ‘Big Brother’ ship intrusion in 2021.
In a parliamentary response yesterday, Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the China Coast Guard (GCC) had been detected in the country’s waters since 2013.
“The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMDL) has assigned TLDM warships to be in these waters on an ongoing basis and interspersed with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMMA) assignment of ships to strengthen the country’s sovereignty through of the implementation of Operation SATRIA and Operation SINAR SAMUDERA.”
“The regular deployment of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) aircraft also helps to monitor and defend the sovereignty of the Malaysian Maritime Zone in the South China Sea.”
He said the Chinese ships were also often seen near the Luconia Shoals located in Malaysia’s EEZ off the coast of Sarawak.
On July 14, 2020, the National Audit Department revealed that Malaysia recorded 89 cases of invasion by the GCC and the People’s Liberation Army (PLAN) in national waters between 2016 and 2019.
The Auditor General also pointed out that the Chinese government has repeatedly ignored the notice of protest against the invasion.
To alleviate the problem, Hishammunddin, who was the Foreign Minister at the time, claimed that the Chinese coast guard and navy were no longer in Malaysian waters.
“Recently, in 100 days of leading Wisma Putra, the Chinese ships in our waters are no longer,” he said on July 15, 2020.
Several parties have questioned the validity of Hishammuddin’s statement.
About a year later, in April 2021, Hishammuddin was again hit by controversy for his statement calling China a “Big Brother”.
“You (China) will always be my Big Brother,” Hishammuddin said at a news conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.