President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked for coordination with the Singaporean government regarding the fate of 13 Indonesians on board a Singaporean boat, the MT Gemini, which was hijacked by Somali pirates.

“This is under the authority of another country,” presidential spokesperson, Julian Aldrin Pasha, said in Jakarta yesterday.

He said the government expected Singapore to take immediate action and assure the safety of the entire crew. “We’ve communicated this to the government,” he said. President Yudhoyono received the report last Monday from the ministers who convened at the President’s home.

However, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa, the Singaporean government has not confirmed whether the MT Gemini was hijacked by Somali pirates. Marty was unable to confirm what efforts would be made to free the 13 Indonesians on board. “Singapore said it had lost contact with the boat,” he said during the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum at Hotel Ciputra, Jakarta yesterday.

The MT Gemini tanker, carrying 25 crew members, was hijacked on April 30. The tanker was transporting 28,000 tons of crude palm oil from Indonesia to Mombasa, Kenya. According to the boat company management, Glory Ship Management, the MT Gemini was hijacked leaving Kenyan waters heading to Somalia. The boat left Kuala Tanjung Port, North Sumatra, on April 16. The crew includes 13 Indonesians, five Chinese, four South Koreans and three Burmese. The hostage occurred one day before Somali pirates released PT Samudera Indonesia’s boat, the MV Sinar Kudus, along with 20 crew members.

Foreign department spokesperson Michael Tene, said the government was working hard to release those on board. “We will not ignore this,” he said yesterday. The ministry has also reported this to the families of the 13 crew members. Michael refused to provide a list of the crew members.

SBC + Agencies