Malaysia supports Indonesia’s ASEAN leadership in securing SCS

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Presiden Jokowi di Natuna
Jokowi visited the Natuna islands to assert Indonesia’s sovereignty over its waters. (Source: Setpres)

Jakarta, IO – Malaysia encourages Indonesia to lead the Southeast Asia nations bloc ASEAN in maintaining security in the South China Sea (SCS). This support was conveyed by the Economic Director in the Prime Minister’s Office Shahril Sufian Hamdan because the role of Indonesia is deemed crucial in dealing with tensions between ASEAN countries and China in the disputed waters.

“Indonesia’s position as Chair of ASEAN in 2023 is an opportunity to emerge with leadership to ensure once again [ASEAN] being an organization that guarantees regional security,” CNN Indonesia reported Shahril as saying, Saturday (2/7).

Shahril said he understood that Indonesia’s position in the SCS dispute is different from other Southeast Asian countries. Indonesian waters, he said, are not directly adjacent to Chinese waters.

However, he noted that the territorial dispute is not a matter that must be handled by one or two ASEAN countries. According to him, all ASEAN countries need to show a firm stance on China.