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Putrajaya refutes MB Osman’s claim he received “unofficial blessing” for Pedoman visit

Bless him.

Photo: The Malaysian Insight

Malaysia’s foreign ministry (MFA) – also known as Wisma Putra – said today (Jan 18) that it did not sanction Johor’s chief minister Osman Sapian visit last week to the disputed waters off Tuas.

Osman said yesterday (Jan 17) he had the “unofficial blessing” of Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and his deputy before visiting the vessel.

“They did not stop me at all from visiting the area,” he said, according to the Malay Mail.

According to MFA Malaysia, the ministry “immediately and repeatedly contacted the menteri besar’s (chief minister) office and conveyed a message not to proceed with the visit.”

It added that when contacted, Osman was already on board a vessel and headed to the Johor Bahru port.

“The ministry was concerned that such a visit would be counter-productive after the positive and constructive outcome of the bilateral meetings between (Malaysia’s) foreign minister and the Foreign Minister of Singapore just the day before. On January 8, both ministers agreed to establish a working group that will study and discuss the legal and operational matters in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground, and to provide a basis for further discussions and negotiations.”

– Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As a result of Osman’s visit, Singapore sent a diplomatic note to Malaysia, protesting Osman’s actions, and consequently postponed the 14th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM), initially scheduled for Monday (Jan 14).

On Jan 8, Malaysia and Singapore agreed for both sides to immediately and simultaneously suspend Malaysia’s permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang and Singapore’s implementation of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedure for Seletar Airport.

Also read: Understanding the JMCIM and how Johor’s Chief Minister may have just sabotaged it

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