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.
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.