KUANTAN: Non-littoral countries interested in the safety of the Straits of Malacca can help Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore maintain security by providing training.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general Admiral Datuk Mohamad Nik said Malaysia and Indonesia were both capable of providing maritime security in the Straits.
“This also involves the protection of our sovereignty,” he said.
“As such, there is no need for foreign intervention,” he told reporters at a ceremony to mark the agency’s first anniversary at MMEA's eastern regional office in Indera Mahkota here yesterday.
Mohamad said that user countries had asked about helping to beef up security.
“One aspect is sending people for training in the user countries,” he said.
“In this way, user countries can make their contribution to safeguard the Straits without having a physical presence in the area,” he said.
An estimated 50,000 vessels navigate the Straits every year, carrying half the world’s oil and a quarter of its sea-borne goods.
The 900km Straits is the main sea link between East Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Among the active user countries are Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
Regarding his recent announcement that besides offshore patrol vessels the MMEA had also set aside an allocation to buy helicopters for patrols and search-and- rescue operations, Mohamad said its air unit would be set up by the end of the year.
He added that some RM100mil would be set aside to purchase aircraft such as medium lift and light medium helicopters.
Regarding joint Malaysia-Indonesia patrols, he said it was working well with both sides showing strong commitment to maintaining security in the busy waterway.
Earlier, in his speech, Mohamad said from November 2005 to Feb 14 this year, the agency handled 233 cases involving various offences.