Fishermen’s release: MP says he has played his part

Kevin meeting up with Salahuddin Ayub.

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kevin Yii praised “the good efforts of the different Ministries” in the release of the 14 fishermen along with their boat, Nemo, by the Indonesian authorities.

The fishermen arrived here today.

In a press statement made available here today, Dr Yii said as soon as he was told of the arrest of the fishermen, he contacted the relevant ministries to “push for this matter to be resolved amicably”.

“This included meeting the Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Minister of Defence to try to resolve the matter.

“I also contacted the Foreign Ministry to follow up on their negotiations with the Indonesian government especially to secure the release of our fellow Malaysians on board and also the two boats,” Dr Yii said.

According to Dr Yii, he was made to understand that there were two boats involved, Nemo and another one which was intercepted by the Indoonesian authorities a day earlier. Nemo had 13 Malaysians on board.

“I was informed that they (ministries) are making all efforts to secure the release of the other fishing boat including efforts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on top of efforts by the Minister of Agriculture, who I am informed will seek a meeting with the Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti to discuss this matter as well as all other maritime disputes so a better understanding can be achieved for present and future cases,” he said.
Dr Yii said both boats were alleged to have encroached into Indonesian waters even though the coordinates provided by both boats at point of arrest were said to be within Malaysian waters.

“In an event of dispute, it will be responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with their Indonesian counterparts especially to secure the release of fellow Malaysians back to our country.

“In the case of the two boats, the fishing boat Nemo was intercepted by the Indonesian Navy while the other fishing boat was caught by the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries,” he added.