With place in worldwide aviation body secure, Malaysia seeks to retain maritime seat

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Nov 2019

PUTRAJAYA: After being re-elected to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) council, Malaysia is now setting its sights on retaining its seat in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) council.

Malaysia has been on the IMO council since 2006, and it will defend its seat for the eighth consecutive term at the council elections at the end of November in London.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pic) said by being on the IMO council, Malaysia is able to play a role in formulating international laws related to the maritime industry.

"As a council member, we will have our own voice on international maritime laws and the setting of world shipping standards.

"Membership on the council is highly coveted by many countries. Malaysia hopes that it can retain its seat as it is important for the development of our own maritime industry," said Loke at a press conference after attending his ministry's monthly assembly and Deepavali celebrations.

Loke said Malaysia's location between important sea routes meant that the economy is highly dependent on the maritime sector.

"We are placed in the middle of the Straits of Melaka and the South China Sea, where many ships would pass through.

"The maritime sector contributes a lot to the country's economy. Our exports and imports rely a lot on the maritime sector.

"We have many ports that are highly competitive and have the potential to grow further. This is why our profile as a council member of the IMO is important for the development of our maritime industry," he said.

The IMO is an agency under the United Nations, which sets the global standard for the safety, security and environmental sustainability of international shipping.

Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair, effective, and adopted as well as implemented universally.

The IMO general assembly is held every two years and the election of IMO Council members is also held during the assembly.

Last October, a delegation led by Loke successfully lobbied for the re-election of Malaysia to the ICAO council for 2019-2022 term, making it the fifth consecutive term since 2007.

The election was held on Oct 1 during the 40th ICAO general assembly at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, where Malaysia received 143 votes (81%) of the total votes cast.
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