Petronas will continue exploration project in the South China Sea said PM

STATE Petroleum firm Petronas will continue its exploration project in the South China Sea despite overlapping claims from China in certain areas.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Petronas considered the area – where the exploration was taking place – as part of Malaysia’s territory, but said China are welcome to negotiate the matter if they believed they owned the area.

“In any case, if China considers this to be their right, we are open for negotiations, but in the meantime, for exploration efforts, we will continue.

“I do not want to avoid negotiations because this is ASEAN’s stand. For ASEAN, all overlapping claims should be resolved through negotiations, but until now, Malaysia insists that this (exploration project) is in Malaysia’s area or territory,” he told Parliament during the Minister Question Time today.

Anwar was responding to a question from Perikatan Nasional’s Kota Bharu MP Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, who wanted to know whether the Prime Minister discussed regional security issues during his recent official visit to China, especially with the presence of the Chinese navy in the South China Sea.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its territory via a “nine-dash line” on its maps, which cuts into the exclusive economic zones of South-East Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. – TMR / pic Muhd Amin Naharul