A flight of 16 China air force planes intruded into Malaysian air space last week.

PETALING JAYA: The issue of national sovereignty and reforms to the country’s defenses and security must be bipartisan, says the Pakatan Harapan supreme council.

In a joint statement by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu they said they believe the intrusion of 16 China air force planes into Malaysian air space recently “was not done in good faith”.

The incident has also highlighted a few issues, including the need for an action plan in handling such matters.

There was also a need to upgrade the capabilities of the Malaysian Armed Forces based on the Defence White Paper tabled in Parliament in 2019, they said.

They added that the Pakatan Harapan security committee had proposed to the defence minister on June 3 that an official bipartisan dialogue be held together with the chiefs of the armed forces and the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

They also noted that the Chinese ambassador’s response to Malaysia’s diplomatic note of protest was of concern. The ambassador had said that the 16 planes were on routine flight training and that they had the freedom to enter the air space.

The PH leaders said the action of the Chinese planes refusing to attempt contact with Kota Kinabalu air traffic control, was a danger to the airspace and “was not done in good faith”.

“When foreign planes are identified flying in tactical in-trail formation at 60 nautical miles from Malaysia’s maritime zone, this is suspicious and not in line with rules based on international orders.”

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“Pakatan Harapan views this incident very seriously and stands by Malaysia’s rights to receive a proper explanation from China.”



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