KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian government has received a US$6mil (RM25.4mil) fund to manage security and environmental matters in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abd Aziz Kaprawi said the US$6mil was handed over to Malaysia as it was the country's turn to host the Aids of Navigation Funds for a three-year period.
The Aids of Navigation Funds was created as an avenue to receive financial contribution from other user states for the maintenance of navigational aids in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
A total fund exceeding US$20 mil had been collected since 2008 through the initiative from various countries including Japan, Australia, China, Greece, Germany, United States and Saudi Arabia.
"We will use this fund to improve security using the latest technologies in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," Abd Aziz said when launching the 10th Cooperation Forum on Monday.
The five-day forum will discuss vital matters relating to the straits and will see the exchange of information and ideas on how to better manage them.
Some 150 delegates representing more than 45 states and organisations are attending this forum.
He said the fund will also be used to manage environment-related matters in these waters.
Abd Aziz said the Straits of Malacca and Singapore need to be looked after well as these waterways are among the busiest in the world.
"These waters see more than 130,000 vessels passing through every year. It is a major east-west shipping lane where a quarter of all oil shipments are transported annually.
"At such, the straits are not only important to the littoral states of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore but also other states and stakeholders," Abd Aziz added.
Also present were Marine Departments Malaysia director general Datuk Baharin Abdul Hamid, Sabah Ports Authority deputy general manager Mohd Tahir Lasuki, Singapore Maritime and Port Authority chief executive Andrew Tan, as well as Nyoman Sukayadnya, the directorate-general of Sea Transportation for the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.