BBC Monitoring Service: Deputy PM urges Malaysians not to retaliate after Indonesian demos: “…demonstrations by Indonesians who went overboard in opposing Malaysia's award of oil and gas concessions in two blocks in the Sulawesi Sea to Shell” (ShellNews.net) 9 March 05
Text of report in English by Malaysian news agency Bernama web site
London, 9 March: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on Malaysians to be patient and not to do anything foolish in the wake of the demonstrations by Indonesians who went overboard in opposing Malaysia's award of oil and gas concessions in two blocks in the Sulawesi Sea to Shell.
The deputy prime minister said the citizens of both countries should act wisely and leave it to their leaders to resolve the issue through negotiations.
He said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had spoken on the issue and both had agreed that it be settled through talks.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had been asked to go to Jakarta as soon as possible to start friendly talks with his Indonesian counterpart, he told Malaysian journalists here.
Najib arrived here Tuesday [8 March] for a six-day official visit to the United Kingdom.
Najib, who is also defence minister, said the people of both countries should not get emotional and should refrain from taking extreme actions like burning their neighbour's flag because such action would not resolve any problem.
"I hope that the Indonesians feel likewise because if we demonstrate we cannot solve this problem. We are only firing sentiments and firing sentiments will not benefit any party, including Indonesia.
"Don't let's be carried away by emotions to the extent that we lose our good sense. Burning the Malaysian flag and making anti-Malaysia slogans are not the actions of responsible citizens," he said.
Najib is, however, confident that Malaysians are wiser and will not retaliate.
It was reported yesterday that Indonesians continued to stage anti-Malaysia demonstrations in several provinces, stepping on and burning Malaysian flags to protest Petronas' move to award oil and gas exploration concessions to Shell in two blocks in the Sulawesi Sea.
Apart from the hundreds of protesters who demonstrated in front of the Malaysian embassy in Kuningan for the second day yesterday, hundreds held similar protests in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
Indonesian television footage showed at least four Malaysian "Jalur Gemilang" flags being burnt by the protesters.
Flag-stepping of Malaysia's Jalur Gemilang also happened in Ambon, Maluku and in front the Malaysian Consulate in Pontianak, Palu and Central Sulawesi.
The television stations also showed archived visuals of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno's speeches during the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia in the 1960s.
Source: Bernama news agency web site, Kuala Lumpur, in English 0000 gmt 9 Mar 05
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