Indonesia Disputes Ambalat With Malaysia

Updated On: Oct 23, 2008

Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) lodged a protest yesterday against Malaysia’s armed forces for the alleged violation of territorial borders, particularly in Ambalat, off East Kalimantan’s coast.

DPR chairman Agung Laksono confirmed to the Antara news agency that the lawmakers had lodged a protest against Malaysia’s alleged infringement of Indonesian borders. He said that Malaysia’s actions were against the Asean Charter, according to Antara.

The protest came a day after Indonesia’s National Defence Forces (TNI) Commander, General Djoko Santoso, said elements of Malaysia’s armed forces were frequently committing territorial violations in Ambalat, Antara reported.

According to Bernama news agency, the disputed Ambalat region is known as Block ND6 and Block ND7 in Malaysia, the borders of which are presently under negotiation by teams of technical experts from both countries.

Gen Djoko was quoted by Antara as saying that Malaysia has continued to claim the Ambalat region as its territory. “This can be seen in the copy of a Malaysian diplomatic note on the process of TNI forces deployment in the Ambalat block,” he said.

The 15,235-sq-km Ambalat region is rich in oil and gas reserves which could be exploited for 30 years, Antara reported.

The dispute erupted in February 2005, after Kuala Lumpur granted oil exploration rights to energy giant Shell in the Sulawesi sea near Malaysia’s Sabah state and Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province. Navy vessels from the two sides had then collided, causing tensions between the two ASEAN neighbours.

Source: TODAY October 23, Indonesian lawmakers protest alleged territorial violations by Malaysia, http://www.todayonline.com/articles/283086.asp

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