Semporna abduction: "No reason for anyone to sour China-Malaysia relations" - Academician

Semporna abduction: "No reason for anyone to sour China-Malaysia relations" - Academician
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak suggesting the possibility, there is no reason for any party to attempt to sour Chinese-Malaysia relations, according to a local academician specialising in China.

"Why should one plan to do such a thing? I don’t think there are any hidden hands, it is just purely speculation. Straining these two country’s relations will not benefit any country," said Universiti Malaya Department of International and Strategic Studies lecturer Dr Roy Anthony Rogers.

Roy Anthony was was commenting on reports that the abduction of two women, one a Chinese national, at a resort in Semporna on Wednesday could have been a deliberate attempt to further strain the ties between two countries that is already being tested amid the MH370 crisis.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reportedly said Thursday: “There may be those who are attempting to drive a wedge between us and China. They may be trying to take advantage of the situation.”
Roy Anthony said that for both countries, which has had 40 years of bilateral relations since 1974, this incident was considered “nothing”.

“We have gone through harder times. Even at the height of the cold war, the Malayan Communist Party still existed, and China was kind of supporting them. Despite that both nations pulled through,” said Roy Anthony.

He called the current strain in relationship issue merely a “dot” or a “phase” in the relationship of both countries.

“I understand that emotions are high in the MH370 incident, in this uncertain time, the families are in limbo, and it is painful and torturous for them.

“But I believe this would not be considered friction even, as the leaders of both countries are wise and relations are still solid and strong. As much as KL needs China’s economic support and trade, China also needs KL in trade and diplomatic and political relations especially on the Spratly islands,” he said.

Roy Anthony added that the area where the abduction took place has always been volatile even before the disappearance of Flight MH370.

“Remember the other person is a Filipino, and a few months ago there was a Taiwanese person as well. So for me this is all a coincidence, just like how the Uighur were initially linked to the airplane,” he said.

Chinese tourist Gao Huayuan, 29, Filipina resort employee Marcy Darawan @ Mimi, 40, were abducted by armed gunmen from the Singamata Reef Resort, off Semporna at about 10.30pm on April 2.