The Indonesian Military (TNI) has blocked a submarine optical cable project being undertaken by a Malaysia-based communications company, PT Sacofa, because it considers it a violation of Indonesia’s sovereignty.
TNI commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo inspected PT Sacofa’s servers and its fiber optic cables located in West Tarempa village, Siantan district, Anambas regency, Riau Islands, on Wednesday. He demanded the company shut down operations.
“Under Law No.17/1985 on the ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea [UNCLOS], Indonesia gives opportunities to companies to carry out submarine optical cable installment. To do so, they must obtain permission from the country,” Gatot said in Anambas.
The military commander claimed that PT Sacofa’s permit expired in Nov, 26, 2016, but the company resumed operations on March 23.
Gatot said the company’s project must be halted as it would endanger Indonesia’s security system.
“The fiber optic cables and servers will be directly connected to a satellite. If more devices are added to the system, the technology will sense all vibrations from sea surface or submarines,” Gatot said.
Previously the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Ministry forbad PT Sacofa from resuming the project, alleging it would make an impact on Indonesia’s sovereignty.