The incident involving China’s military planes entering our airspace on 31 May 2021 is very serious.
Our ministers do not seem to view the seriousness of the incident as members of Patriot do. Otherwise, a senior minister of the National Security Council or the foreign minister should have already issued a statement within hours of the incident to register our strongest protest.
Along with the strong statement of protest, a marching order for China’s ambassador should have been issued.
News reports have stated that 16 of China’s military planes flew in tactical formation to about 60 nautical miles off the coast of Sarawak at an altitude of between 23,000 and 27,000 feet. They breached our Malaysian maritime zone.
Also, the altitude that the foreign aircraft were flying along posed a serious safety threat to our commercial aircraft flying along the Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu flight path.
China has disregarded our nation’s sovereignty. It has intruded into our airspace. Issuing the strongest protest and demanding an official apology is in order. Nothing less.
It matters not if we badly need China’s Covid vaccine, or it being our largest trading partner, or if one of our ministers viewed his counterpart as an “elder brother”. Our nation’s sovereignty and our national pride is at stake.
Will Putrajaya do something?
Retired Brigadier General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)