August 17, 2010

Malaysia Fisherman Indonesia Officer kidnapped Riau Flag Batam Release Burn Work Together

7 fishermen kidnapped in Riau

By Jassmine Shadiqe and Ahmad Othman

KOTA TINGGI: Seven fishermen are believed to have been kidnapped by a group of Indonesian Fisheries Department officers on Friday, about four nautical miles off Tanjung Punggai, in Pengerang, near here.

In the 9.45pm incident, which happened in Malaysian waters, 15 fishermen in five boats were stopped by several men who were in a boat painted with "Perikanan" (fisheries) on its side.

Three of the men, wearing Indonesian Fisheries Department uniform, boarded the fishermen's boats and forced them to follow them into Indonesian waters, about 14 nautical miles away near the republic's Batam island.

At 10.40pm, members of the Southern Region Marine police spotted the five boats and the Indonesian boat and instructed them to stop.

The Indonesian boat, however, sped off into Indonesian waters with seven of the 15 men on board.

Three of the Indonesians who were on board the fishermen's boat were stranded. The marine police detained the Indonesians.

Kota Tinggi police chief Superintendent Osman Sebot said the case has been classified as kidnapping.

The seven abducted men have been identified as Boh Kee Soo, 63; Chong Ah Choi, 58; Roszaidi Akub, 29; Faisal Mohamad, 39; Ghazali Wahab, 41; Lim Kok Guan, 32; and Mulimin Mahmid, 53.

"We are now increasing our efforts to locate and bring our fishermen back to safety. We are using diplomatic channels to ensure their release," said Osman.

Check on the three Indonesians in police custody, aged between 26 and 41, indicated that they were genuine Fisheries Department enforcement officers. They have been remanded until Wednesday to facilitate investigations.

Pengerang Fishermen Association chairman Abu Bakar Mohammad said the fishermen were in Malaysian waters and the Indonesians had encroached on Malaysian waters.

He also claimed that there had been cases in the past where the Indonesian Fisheries Department had demanded a ransom for the return of fishermen who had encroached on their waters.

"We hope the authorities would bring back the seven men safely. As for now, our association will try to ensure the welfare of their families."

In Jakarta, Bernama reports that the Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia has been contacted by the Indonesian marine and fisheries minister to find a solution to the case.

"I have informed Kuala Lumpur of this development and the need to find the best solution immediately so that it will not affect Malaysia-Indonesia ties which are in the best position since the past few years," ambassador Datuk Syed Munshe Afzaruddin Syed Hassan said.

Media reports quoted the Indonesian director-general of the Marine Resources and Fisheries Monitoring and Supervision Department, Marine and Fisheries Ministry, Aji Sularso, as saying that the incident occurred in the waters off Bintan, Riau.

Syed Munsye Afzaruddin said the Malaysian embassy here was now gathering details of the incident, particularly the location where the detention took place.

Malaysia, Indonesia work to free fishermen

By Evangeline Majawat, Ahmad Fairuz Othman and Ben Tan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Indonesia are working together to secure the release of seven Malaysian fishermen who were detained by Indonesian authorities on Sunday.

In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said all detainees would be released once their statements had been recorded.

Following the incident, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had spoken to his Indonesian counterpart Dr R. M Marty M. Natalegawa, and both expressed their hope to resolve the matter amicably and immediately.

Fifteen fishermen in five boats were fishing near Tanjung Punggai in Pengerang, Johor, when they were stopped by men wearing Indonesian Fisheries Department uniform in the weekend incident.

Three Indonesian men boarded the fishermen's boats and forced them into Indonesian waters, near the republic's Batam Island.

The seven men have been identified as Boh Kee Soo, 63; Chong Ah Choi, 58; Roszaidi Akub, 29; Faisal Mohamad, 39; Ghazali Wahab, 41; Lim Kok Guan, 32; and Mulimin Mahmid, 53.

The Southern Region Marine police gave chase but failed to stop the men. The three men wearing Indonesian Fisheries Department uniform were then taken into custody.

In Kota Tinggi, Pengerang member of parliament Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who visited the detainees on Batam Island yesterday, said the Malaysian fishermen were treated well.

"They are being treated well. Those fasting were allowed to have their sahur and breaking of fast. We hope they would be released soon. I hope they would be back within two or three days," she said.

"The families of the detainees were allowed to see them, while some were allowed to telephone their families. I hope the matter would be resolved soon, and I believe it is something that often occurs at the borders of two countries and stems from misunderstanding."

During the visit, Azalina's entourage managed to buy a few Indonesian newspapers, which showed their focus on the three Indonesian men stranded in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the wife of one of the detainees, Aslinah Mohamad, 29, urged the Indonesian government to return her husband, Roszaidy Akub, and his other fishermen friends.

"Please do not do anything to my husband. I have been praying for his safe return.

"He usually goes out to sea at about two in the afternoon, and returns the next day. I had packed some tenggiri fish curry for him that day. He is a good man and will never intentionally break the law."

In Jakarta, Antara news agency reported Natalegawa as saying that the case of the seven Malaysian fishermen would be settled through due legal process.

"Their case is being handled by the relevant authorities," he told newsmen after attending President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's state address at the House of Representatives.

Some 50 members from a non-governmental organisation, Laskar Merah Putih, protested in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta.

The 21/2-hour protest was to demand the release of the three personnel from the Indonesian Marine and Fisheries Department who were detained by the Malaysian authorities.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Association of Malaysian and Indonesian Journalists (Iswami) pro-tem chairman Datuk Ahmad A. Talib, in a statement, appealed to all the parties involved to stay calm.

He said Iswami understood that individuals and organisations had their freedom of speech, but regarded the latest development at the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta as something unexpected.

He added that Iswami did not wish to see the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia affected due to some irresponsible parties.

Indonesia releases seven Malaysian fishermenThe Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 08/17/2010 10:32 AM

The Indonesian maritime affairs and fisheries ministry released on Tuesday seven Malaysian fishermen who have been detained for illegally fishing in Riau waters.

In exchange for the release, Malaysia freed three Indonesian officers it held as hostages during the Riau waters fishing incident.

Antara news agency reported that the seven Malaysian fishermen had departed from Batam at 8.30 to Johor Baru, Malaysia.

Malaysia releases three Indonesian officers

The Jakarta Post | Tue, 08/17/2010 10:02 AM

Malaysian Police finally released three Indonesian officers on Tuesday after keeping them as hostages following an incident involving two countries' officers in Riau waters. reported that Malaysia had no enough evidences to further detain the three Indonesian officers.

Pontianak maritime affairs and fisheries monitoring station head Bambang Nugroho said that the three officers were expected to participate in the ceremony of the 65th anniversary of Indonesian Independence at the Indonesian consulate general in Johor later on the day.

The three officers - Asriadi, Erwan, Seivo Grevo Wewengkang - were among other officers who captured Malaysian fishermen illegaly operating in Riau waters on Friday, but they were then detained by Malaysian Police who chased them and tried to stop the arrest of Malaysian fishermen.

70 Malasyian flags burned in Batam

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 08/17/2010 11:18 AM

As many as 70 Malaysian flags were burned on Tuesday in Batam by a local youth organization.

The organization called Pemuda Pancasila burned the flags as a protest to Malaysia for breaching Indonesian territory.

The incident took place at the Batam Center, the International ferry terminal.