Dispute Over Natuna: Susi Pudjiastuti Urges Gov't to Act Firm

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Former Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, continues to urge the government to remain consistent in upholding the law in terms of punishing illegal fishermen entering Indonesia's maritime borders. 

    Commenting on how the government initially handled China's vessels breaching into Natuna waters, Susi asserted that enforcing the law against thieves is in contrast with maintaining a country's relationship or investment climate. 

    "Treat the fishing thieves by enforcing the law on them, on what they have [violated]," said Susi Pudjiastuti in her Twitter account on Saturday, January 4, 2020. 

    Similar to Susi Pudjiastuti, executive director of The Center for Maritime Studies for Humanity Abdul Halim called for the maritime affairs ministry to drive local fishermen to actively fish over the Natuna seas in order to repel further border breaches by Chinese vessels. 

    "In international diplomacy, presence is key to be won," said Abdul Halim. 

    In reslation to China's coast guard ship entering Natuna to guard its fishing boats, Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan suggested the government to purchase an ocean-going vessel to safeguard Indonesia's maritime borders. 

    However, unlike Susi Pudjiastuti's iconic boat-sinking punishment - which is no longer practiced by the current administration -, Luhut urged the public not to exaggerate the incident. 

    ANTARA