Malaysia-Singapore tension flares up after boat collision

KUALA LUMPUR:A Malaysian government vessel has collided with a ship in waters disputed by Singapore and Malaysia, sparking a fresh flare-up of maritime tensions on Sunday between the neighbours.

Malaysia-Singapore tension flares up after boat collision

Kuala Lumpur, February 10

A  Malaysian government vessel has collided with a ship in waters disputed  by Singapore and Malaysia, sparking a fresh flare-up of maritime  tensions on  Sunday between the neighbours.

Malaysian  authorities impounded the Greek-flagged bulk carrier, the Pireas, and  detained its crew after the collision with the Malaysian boat Polaris.

 The  neighbours have had testy relations since Malaysia evicted the island  from the Malaysian Federation in 1965, ending a brief and stormy union  of the  former British colonies. Ties  have gone up and down over the years but have been shaky since  Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, who has long had a prickly relationship  with Singapore,  returned to the premiership with a shock election victory last year.

 Maritime  tensions began rising late last year when Singapore accused Malaysia of  extending its claims in the strait that separates the neighbours into  what had long been accepted as the city-state’s territorial waters.

The  city-state said Malaysian  vessels were repeatedly encroaching into its waters, an accusation  denied by Malaysia. — AFP

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