SINGAPORE — Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) aircraft had entered Malaysian airspace this month as part of a two-week military exercise hosted by Malaysia, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in response to a Johor parliamentarian's claims.
Responding to queries from Yahoo News Singapore about Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim's claims that Singapore aircraft had breached his country's airspace, a MINDEF spokesperson noted on Tuesday (19 October) that the city-state was one of five countries that took part in Exercise Bersama Gold from 4 to 18 October.
It was a Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) exercise, involving assets and personnel from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. It was hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces and conducted in the FPDA’s traditional exercise area over Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and adjoining waters.
MINDEF noted that the countries’ respective aircraft had obtained the requisite approvals to enter Malaysian and Singapore territorial airspace, including the airspace over Southern Johor. Information on the aircraft activities was publicly announced by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on 9 and 10 September respectively.
On Tuesday, Hassan had called on both the federal and state governments to investigate what he claimed to be incursions of Singapore military aircraft into Malaysian airspace.
He said that RSAF had been flying its planes low over his constituency, as well as the Tebrau parliamentary constituency, and that the frequency appeared to be increasing after calls for a review into the ownership of Pulau Batu Puteh.
Last month, Malaysian police confirmed that one of its helicopters had flown near Singaporean airspace for official purposes. They added that they had not been alerted by Singaporean authorities of any breach into the city-state’s airspace.
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