Intense wooing of IMO delegates

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 26 Nov 2009

LONDON: Malaysia has stepped up its bid for an International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council post.

The past four days have seen the 16-member Malaysian delegation, led by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat campaigning fervently in their effort to seek endorsement for the country’s candidacy.

The group has attended no less than 35 functions and numerous meetings to canvass support for Malaysia’s re-election to the council for a third time.

Ong has been labouring tirelessly to ensure Malaysia secures a seat in the council’s C category, which is for nations with maritime and navigational interests.

Much of the campaigning has focused on seeking outright support from member states that are not contesting as well as quid pro quo arrangements with those bidding for posts.

“We have to work very hard to obtain as many votes as possible,” said the Malaysian High Commis-sion’s maritime attaché Raja Datuk Malik Saripulazan.

The other members of the delegation include Port Klang Free Zone chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, Penang Port Commission chairman Tan Cheng Liang and Transport Ministry’s Under-secretary (maritime division) Abdullah Yusuff Basiron.

Twenty-six countries, including Malaysia, are vying for 20 seats in category C in the elections tomorrow.

Malaysia was first elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2007, receiving 103 votes on both occasions.

More than 1,000 delegates from IMO’s169 member states as well as international and non-governmental organisations attended its 26th assembly at its headquarters here.

In his address to the assembly, Ong urged the IMO to continue playing a leading role in ensuring the safety and security of international shipping.

“In doing so, it should endeavour to seek as much participation as possible from its 169 member states,” he said.

He said Malaysia acknowledged that a lot more needed to be done if international shipping was to continue to be safe and secure and the marine environment well protected.

Ong said Malaysia would continue to stay committed to the IMO’s cause as it strongly believed that any initiative to develop shipping standards should be on a global basis.

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