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China’s intrusion into Malaysia airspace: Answers needed

With carefully thought out, vibrant foreign policies, we should have enough courage to stand up against any military infringement

China's controversial "nine-dash line", the Spratly Islands and Malaysia's exclusive economic zone

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RMAF fighter jets scrambled to intercept 16 People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in airspace over Malaysia’s maritime zone on 31 May 2021.

While we may be busy counting the dead and infection rates caused by our much-to-be-desired response to the Covid crisis, the serious intrusion by China’s military may have escaped the people’s attention.

But it is serious. When a conflict breaks out far away, between Israel and the Palestinian territories, we immediately swing into action, burning flags and mocking Israel.

But when the RMAF confirms that the Chinese Air Force planes that violated the airspace over Malaysia’s maritime zone were Ilyushin Il-76 and Xi’an Y-20 strategic transport planes, which can carry out various military missions, the reaction is subdued.

These planes are used to transport material, weaponry or personnel over long distances. Typically, this involves airlifting the required items between two airbases that are not in the same vicinity. These planes allow commanders to bring items into a combat theatre from a point on the other side of the planet.

The Xi’an Y-20 is a large military transport aircraft. The Il-76MD-90A can carry 126 paratroopers with parachutes, 145 personnel in the single-deck version and 225 in the double-deck version.

These planes can transport and land modern infantry fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, self-propelled guns and other equipment for troops.

Will our home minister please address the nation urgently? Will Malaysians rise in defence of the “maruah” (dignity) of this nation? Or shall we pretend nothing is brewing?

Suppose the RMAF flew military planes in airspace over China’s maritime zone without notice, how would China react?

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Not only is this latest infringement worrisome, we must consider other factors too, in our determination to protect the nation.

China is now a major source of foreign direct investments in Malaysia. In 2020, investments from China totalled RM18bn. Their presence here needs no further expose.

The argument that we are a small nation and cannot stand up to the big powers is a sham. If we had a strong, democratically elected government, we should be able to protect the interests of the nation.

With carefully thought out, vibrant foreign policies, we should have enough courage to stand up to any form of military infringement, whether by air, sea or land.

Our patriotic spirit won us independence from the British. We prevailed in the Japanese occupation. We overcame a communist insurgency.

So we must now demand answers from the Malaysian government. And China owes us an immediate official explanation.

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Paul Lim
Paul Lim
6 Jun 2021 2.30am

It is good to see that Aliran publishes such an article. Aliran appears to be basically interested in domestic issues that affect people directly. It is time for the Malaysian public to take an interest in Malaysian foreign, security and defence polices. This should not be left to the experts. It will be nice to see a civil Society organisation devoted to foreign issues such as the South China Sea. This is an important issue close at hand. One cannot be worked up by Palestine and not with the South China Sea. Just imagine standing on the shores of Sarawak and Sabah and looking out at sea not far away are the claimed Chinese waters and lands. China has become your next door neighbour out of the blues.

Phua Kai Lit
Phua Kai Lit
5 Jun 2021 8.50am

In olden times, the Son of Heaven sent his fleet of warships into the South China Sea. In current times, the President-for-Life sends his fleet of warplanes. Admirers of “Big Brother” and his neo-communist regime getting ready their Bunga Emas yet ?

I remember the words of the German philosopher who said that : history repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce.

Gram Massla
Gram Massla
4 Jun 2021 4.06am

Ask Hishamuddin Hussein to comment on his fawning “big brother” appellation in Beijing now. What a gutless wonder: he who bullies all within Malaysia and is but an obsequious pussycat in the presence of his overlords in China. Malaysia needs leaders with steel in their backbones as the “China bully”, true to form, becomes a reality. For the first time a country, rapacious to acquire the wealth of the SCS, is laying claim to a whole ocean. It is time for the US to take its jackboot off the neck of Japan and let it rearm. For it is the only nation capable to confronting the endlessly predatory CCP.

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