Tensions between Singapore and Malaysia rekindled by the collision of Polaris-Piraeus in the disputed waters of Tuas

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The tension between Singapore and Malaysia has risen again, as Singapore once again firmly calls for Malaysia’s ship from the Malaysian ship Polaris and the Greek-registered bulk carrier to Piraeus after the collision The disputed waters were removed on Saturday (February 9).

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 A spokesperson representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore (MFA) released a message on Sunday (February 10): "The collision between Piraeus and the Malaysian government ship Polaris occurred in Singapore's territorial waters near Tuas and in one Out of scope Malaysia’s 1979 territorial claim, Singapore has never been recognized.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added: "Singapore once again called on Malaysia to withdraw its vessels from the region because the continued existence of its vessels clearly threatened the safety of navigation in the region."

“As we said before, Malaysia will be responsible for any bad conditions caused by the continued deployment of the vessel to the area,” the MFA warned.

The MFA spokesperson also pointed out that the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority is currently investigating the collision.

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 Singapore Maritime and Singapore Port Authority (MPA) said on Sunday (February 9) that Piraeus was heading from Singapore to the next port of call for Tanjung Pelepas before the incident.

MPA added, "Deeply concerned about the restrictions on the existence of unauthorized vessels in Singapore's ports will cause confusion and threaten navigation safety in the international shipping community in Singapore."

According to reports, the Malaysian Marine Department (Jabatan Laut Malaysia or JLM) contradicted the statement of the Singapore MPA, saying the incident occurred in Malaysian territorial waters.

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 Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its commitment to take action "Take appropriate measures to maintain its territorial integrity, interests and safe navigation of the ship."

JLM Director General Baharin Abdul Hamid tell Ma Xinshe"The incident occurred in the waters of Johor Bahru, Johor… There is no problem of invading Singapore's territorial waters.

"We have appointed Polaris [in the maritime area] Monitor the safety of vessels sailing in the area. That is our port," he said.

Datuk Baharin added that the JLM multi-purpose buoy tender ship Polaris remained stationary in the area, while Piraeus went to the Tanjung Bin for cleaning.

"In the conversation with MV Polaris, MV Piraeus responded that it would avoid MV Polaris.

“Despite the clear communication and clear instructions, the collision occurred on the first contact until the two ships cleared each other at 2:36 pm,” the ministry said.

On Saturday (February 9), the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that JLM “detained Greek vessels and crew for preliminary investigations” in accordance with Section 334(1) of the Malaysian Shipping Regulations of 1952.

JLM reached an agreement with Wisma Putra, "It is strongly recommended that Johor Bahru, Johor, located in Malaysia's territorial waters, restrict vessels from acting cautiously to avoid unfortunate incidents in the waters as a result of this incident."

As of today, MV Polaris is still in controversial waters.

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