KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 27): The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) today clarified that Beting Patinggi Ali belongs to Malaysia and that the ministry has never recognised any claim by any party as the area is located in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Malaysia.
In a statement on Friday, Mindef said geographically, Beting Patinggi Ali is located 84 nautical miles (155 km) from the coast of Miri (specifically in Tanjung Baram), Sarawak and is located within Malaysia's EEZ waters.
“The sovereignty of the country will continue to be preserved and will always be a priority of Mindef and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF),” it said.
Last Wednesday, Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan stressed that the MAF has sufficient assets to monitor the disputed area around Beting Patinggi Ali.
He said the move was taken to monitor the presence of China’s Coast Guard vessel in the area and because it was important for Malaysia to place its military assets in the area which has overlapping claims to prevent other countries from claiming its ownership.
It was previously reported that a Royal Malaysian Navy-owned patrol ship, KD Kelantan, had been deployed to Beting Patinggi Ali waters to monitor the presence of China’s Coast Guard vessels there.