The relationship between Singapore and Malaysia has been tested under Malaysia's current government led by Mahathir Mohamad (Dr. M). While ministers from both countries committed to working together, the relationship is not perfect.
A netizen has shared how his friends were accosted by an unmarked foreign vessel claiming to belong to the Malaysian customs authorities.
According to the netizen, the incident happened while his angler-friends were fishing near the Frontier beacon on 13 June 2019.
An 'officer' from the unmarked vessel wanted to perform checks on their cargo, and confiscate the friends' vessel, for allegedly fishing in Malaysian waters. The friends protested the charges and urged the officer to check the GPS and AIS (Automatic Information System). The officer didn't do so.
This was then reported by the anglers to the Police Coast Guard, who responded quickly.
The unmarked Malaysian vessel backed down.
The Singapore government has to demand an answer from their Malaysian counterparts. Regardless of whether it was truly a Malaysian government vessel or a not, there must be accountability as to why the said vessel entered Singapore waters and conducted illegal checks on a Singapore leirsure-fishing vessel.
For the avid anglers who loves fishing onboard vessels, be mindful that you may be targeted. If faced with similar circumstances, contact the PCG as early as possible.