KUALA LUMPUR: Pirate attacks in Malaysian waters recorded a slight drop during the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, from seven to five cases.
Intensified patrols by law-enforcement agencies, especially the marine police, was cited as a main reason for the decrease, Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureaus (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre said in its second quarter report released yesterday.
However, we urge the authorities to continue stepping-up their rounds as recent assaults on local fishermen is a cause for concern, said the centres regional manager Noel Choong, adding that attacks had often been brutal, leaving victims injured or killed.
The most vicious case occurred on April 10, off Pangkor Island where heavily armed pirates shot at a fishing boat, killing one fisherman and injuring two others.
Waters surrounding the island are also piracy-prone and mariners have been urged to be on guard when transiting the area, IMB said.
Overall worldwide, piracy attacks in the first six months of this year increased by 37%, to 234 cases, compared to 171 during the corresponding period in 2002.
Indonesia again recorded the highest number of attacks globally, accounting for more than a quarter of the worlds total with 64 incidents.
Violence in the attacks also continued to show an increase, with 16 seamen killed and 52 injured this year, up from six and 21 respectively last year.