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Kalla's popularity campaign: 'War against Malaysia' JAKARTA - Current vice-president Jusuf Kalla is working hard to promote himself for the upcoming presidential elections on July 8 as it seems. He is talking tough to Malaysia about an apparent border incident concerning the Malaysian navy. Nationalist feelings are flaring up once again as Malaysia is threatening Indonesian sovereignty once again, at least in Indonesian eyes.

"Kalau negara kita sudah terganggu, dengan siapa saja kita bisa berperang. Kalau memang ada pelanggaran, tentu kita akan bertindak tegas. Dan itu memang harus ditindak tegas. Saya akan check pada TNI, mengenai sejauh mana pelanggaran itu. Apakah hanya berlayar-layar saja atau memang sudah melanggar teritorial, nanti akan kita lihat."

What happened? A Malaysian warship has apparently crossed the border of Indonesia in the Ambalat Block, which is an oil-rich area in the border region of Malaysia and Indonesia. It happens regularly that ships - from fishing boats to navy ships - accidentally cross the invisible border in the region which Malaysia and Indonesia lay claims on, where Indonesia has the unique rights to draw a border according to the UN.

The dispute between the two Southeast Asian nations amounted to a minor skirmish between the two navies several times. In March 2005, a Malaysian navy vessel, KD Renchong, of ramming into its military ship, KRI Tedung Naga. The incident caused minor damage to both vessels.The Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak however refused making any apology. He even hinted that strong military actions may be necessary to bring Ambalat under Malaysian authority.

So in fact Jusuf Kalla makes the same statement as the Minister of Defense, exactly at a time when it is needed most. Many Indonesians feel the pain of the Indonesian economy is growing less and nationalist feelings are raising again. With Megawati Soekarnoputri as a strong nationalist candidate for the upcoming elections and Yudhoyono being supported by a majority of the people, Kalla has little options but to show off with his own nationalist feelings.



Posted in Military @ 02 June 2009 07:21 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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