TARAKAN (Indonesia): The Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) arrangement between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines has officially been launched.
"The main objective of this initiative is to ensure that militant threats such as the Islamic State (IS) do not use the Sulu Sea to gain entry into our countries, more so following the Marawi city incident," said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein after the launch here in Indonesia on Monday.
He was joined by his counterparts from Indonesia and the Philippines, Ryamizard Ryacudu and Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana.
Along with the initiative, the TMP has established set procedures that have been agreed by the three countries.
It includes information sharing and improved communications.
Hot pursuits into the waters of the three nations will also be streamlined via the Maritime Command Centres (MCC), which was launched on Monday.
The three MCCs are at Tarakan, Tawau in Sabah and Bongao in the Philippines.
The TMP also creates joint air and sea patrols by the three nations.
The agreement states that air patrols will be done on a rotational basis, while ships on patrol are required to be on a constant state of readiness to react to emergencies in the Sulu Sea.