PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has announced its candidacy to be a council member (category C) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for a ninth term, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (April 14) Dr Wee said this was the first time he had met with IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim (via video conferencing) since he was appointed Transport Minister.
"I am grateful to HE Lim for sharing his feedback and insights on several maritime topics during our hour-long conversation.
"I pledged again Malaysia's commitment as a member state and council member of the IMO and took the opportunity to announce Malaysia's candidature as IMO council member category C for the ninth term (2022-2023) since becoming a council member in 2005," he said adding that this year marked the 50th anniversary of Malaysia as an IMO member.
He also said that Malaysia, as a littoral state in the Straits of Malacca, played an active role in protecting the straits as a vital international shipping lane, especially in light of the recent Suez Canal incident.
"To this end, Malaysia has been steadfastly committed to the success of the cooperative mechanism for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," said Dr Wee.
He said this had been has been recognised as a successful model of littoral states' cooperation to ensure the safety of navigation within straits used for international navigation.
He also said the Vessel Traffic System (VTS) installed along the Straits continued to enhance the coverage of shipping channels and serves to safely guide ships transiting through it or calling at Malaysian ports.
"The system further facilitates the smooth and safe transit of shipping traffic within one of the world's busiest straits, which saw 81,380 ships traverse it in 2020,83,724 in 2019, and 85,030 in 2018," he said.
Dr Wee also reaffirmed Malaysia's commitment to the effective implementation of IMO instruments, with Malaysia formally joining the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (Imsas).
He said this served as an assessment for Malaysia to address any possible gaps and improve its implementation of legislative, policy, institutional, and enforcement of instruments under the auspices of the IMO.
"(We) deeply appreciate HE Lim's validation of Malaysia's contributions to IMO and I look forward to more in-depth discussions on collaboration between IMO and Malaysia," said Dr Wee.