Indonesia and Malaysia are like brother and sister, often fighting but in their hearts they love each other. This is probably because they come from the same family, so they feel like they have a sibling. Although sometimes, there are also some fights that make each country angry.
Well, one example is the Ambalat problem. Yes, several times the two countries had quarreled, even almost went to war. Luckily it didn’t happen because each country values peace. Then why can it be as tense as the conflict? Here’s the full review.
Ambalat that has always been a struggle for two countries
Ambalat, which is located in the territory of Indonesia, has indeed made a long history because it has been the cause of contact with Malaysia several times. To be precise, it started in 1979, when the neighboring country tried to claim Ambalat as its territory. Previously, Malaysia had taken Sipadan and Ligitan from Indonesia.
This is because when submitted to the international party, Indonesia lost the number of votes so it had to give up the two islands. Not wanting to be missed again, Indonesia is now increasing its defense against Ambalat, which was once the target of Malaysia. The struggle over these islands actually resulted in different interpretations regarding the determination of the territory during independence. Each country interprets territorial boundaries with their respective perspectives.
Why is Ambalat contested
The struggle for the Ambalat islands is not without reason. The existence of extraordinary natural resources is one of the factors that each country is adamant about its decision. Starting from the potential for abundant fish to oil and natural gas that makes the country that owns it prosperous.
Reporting from the CNN page, Ambalat has more than nine mining points with an extraordinary number. In fact, there is one mining point that has the potential of 764 million barrels of oil and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas. These natural resources can be utilized for up to thirty years. With wealth like this, which country wouldn’t be interested in it.
A hot allegation with Ambalat that had happened
Indonesia has had several disputes with Malaysia over this Ambalat issue. However, the hottest one may have occurred in 2005. How could this not be, when an Indonesian warship ambushed the Malaysian Royal Rencong Ship in order to move aside from Ambalat.
Even so, the TNI commander asked the Indonesian warship crews not to fire their cannons first, then when Malaysia started, they could strike back. In 2009, the same thing happened again. There were 13 ships and fighter planes from the neighboring country that entered the Ambalat area, but were successfully expelled by KRI Suropati.
How are things there lately?
Because the Ambalat area itself is very close to the border, it is possible that there will be a violation of territorial boundaries. Most have been driven away by the navy on patrol. However, there are also those who escape inspection and end up encroaching on the territory.
Those caught doing so will be immediately arrested and interrogated. As happened in May 2022, some Malaysian fishermen were caught crossing the border without a permit and had to be secured. Yes, heated exchanges have never occurred between the two countries in Ambalat, but small violations committed by fishermen are still common.
READ ALSO: Losing the Dispute and Belonging to Malaysia, Here’s the Situation of Sipadan and Ligitan Islands Now
The ownership of Ambalat itself has actually been stated in the law and international law as the property of Indonesia. Therefore, our country will fight for it because it is proof of national sovereignty. Even so, Indonesia will not forget to put forward the principle of peace.