Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Piracy drop in the Straits of Malcca

Heightened maritime security along the Straits of Malacca has seen a drop in piracy over the last two years.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish said only one case was reported so far this year compared to three and 12 cases recorded last year and in 2007 respectively.

Mohd Amdan attributed the drop to the improved security in the straits by way of increased patrols and surveillance by the multinational maritime force under the Malacca Straits Sea Patrol.

“We plan to establish closer cooperation by focusing on security zones that are under surveillance within our respective waters,” he told reporters after officiating the inaugural International Seminar on Legal Aspects of Border Security in a Maritime Environment here yesterday.

He also said Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines were set to expand cooperation to coordinate sea and aerial surveillance.

The cooperation between the maritime enforcement agencies of the three countries would include exchange of information and joint efforts to deal with transnational crimes and other maritime threats.

“Such an approach is vital as the maritime boundaries cover a large area that include exclusive economic zones, fishing zones and air space,” he said.

Some 20 senior maritime officers from the three countries are attending the seminar with the United States participating as a moderator in the proceedings.

The three-day seminar is jointly organised by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and Kuala Lumpur-based Defence Institute of International Legal Studies.

Source: The Star

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