A Malaysian government vessel collided with a Greece-registered bulk carrier in Singapore waters on Saturday (9 February) afternoon.
The incident involving the Malaysian vessel Polaris and Greek carrier Piraeus took place at 2.28pm “within Singapore Port Limits off Tuas”, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in a statement.
At the time, the Piraeus was on its way from Singapore to its next port of call at Tanjung Pelepas.
“MPA is deeply concerned that the presence of the unauthorised vessels in our port limits can cause confusion for the international shipping community and threaten navigational safety in our waters,” said the authority, adding that it is investigating the incident.
In response to media queries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) noted that the collision took place “in an area that goes beyond Malaysia’s territorial claim of 1979, which Singapore has never recognised”.
“Singapore reiterates its call for Malaysia to withdraw its vessels from the area, as the persistent presence of its vessels clearly poses a threat to safety of navigation in the area,” said the ministry.
“As we have said previously, Malaysia will be responsible for any untoward situations on the ground that arise from continued deployment of its vessels into this area.”
According to a Straits Times report, the Polaris is a Malaysian Maritime Department vessel and was allegedly anchored at the time of the collision.
No injuries were reported and both vessels were cleared of each other within minutes of the incident. Currently moored at the port of Tanjung Pelepas, the Piraeus and its crew have also been detained by Malaysian authorities for questioning.