South East Asia is heading for greater regional peace with leaders of Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia allowing each other to access their sea territories, with the exception of Singapore.
In a press release by Malaysia, President Duterte, Prime Minister Najib and President Jokowi collaborated on sea piracy and Indonesian and Malaysian navies will be allowed to pursue criminals in their waters.
Malaysia is targeting Philippines-based terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, which repeatedly kidnapped Malaysians from Sabah to demand ransoms.
“The hot pursuit is a new development. This has been agreed by Duterte and Jokowi, and now with us. We need to stamp out the kidnap-for-ransom groups. It is affecting us, Sabahans and foreigners who visit us. We have to continue to pursue and interdict them.”
In the meantime, Singapore still do no have access to Indonesia’s waters and just a week ago, 10 Singaporeans were arrested by the Indonesian navy for fishing near Riau islands. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is apparently left out of the peace talk despite being the leader of ASEAN.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has recently been stepping toes of other countries since his father died in March 2015. China was angered by Lee Hsien Loong’s rhetoric calling for them to respect the Hague’s ruling on the South China Sea islands when Philippines is willing to take concessions. Lee Hsien Loong also angered new US President Trump by directly comparing his win to Brexit.