Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad Wednesday advised Malaysian fishermen to increase their catch and thus reduce poaching by foreign fishermen in Malaysian waters.
“We get angry when others poach in our waters. Our fishermen build boats but stay at home instead of going out to fish.
“If we ask others to fish for us, they sell the catch at sea and do not bring it back to shore,” he told Malaysian journalists after concluding his three-day official visit to Vietnam.
Mahathir said Malaysian waters are rich in marine resources.
He said poaching by foreign fishermen, including Vietnamese fishermen, in Malaysian waters was among the issues discussed during his meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Mahathir said the Malaysian authorities have taken action against the foreign fishermen who poached in Malaysian waters but this has not fully resolved the issue of poaching because the Malaysian fishermen must also play their role.
It has been reported that 748 Vietnamese fishing boats and 7,203 skippers and crew have been detained for intrusion into Malaysian waters.
Mahathir’s visit to Vietnam is at the invitation of the Vietnamese prime minister.
The last time that Mahathir made a working visit to Vietnam was in 1998, to attend the Asean Summit.
Malaysia and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1973.