Defence ministers agree to enhance maritime security

maritime security

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines have agreed to further explore the possibility of conducting ‘hot pursuits’ into neighbouring maritime waters as part of an effort to address current security challenges in the region.

The three countries would also look into a higher level of intelligence-sharing as well as trilateral maritime security exercises in the maritime areas of common concern.

These points were contained in a joint statement issued following a trilateral meeting of the defence ministers of the respective countries in Bali today.

The meeting was attended by Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Indonesian Defence Minister Gen (R) Ryamizard Ryacudu and the Philippines’ National Defence Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana.

“The ministers raised concerns over the repeated incidents of armed robbery at sea and kidnappings by radical groups in the maritime areas of common concern,” the statement said.

It said the ministers reaffirmed the commitment and the need for collective responses of the three countries to address such threats.

They agreed to further explore the standard operating procedure (SOP) governing transit corridors, sea marshals, the concept of the Melaka Straits Patrol (MSP) and the concept of Eyes in the Sky.

The three countries were also eyeing the possibility of the mandatory installation of Automatic Identification Systems on all vessels navigating through transit corridors.

The matter of conducting coordinated trilateral activities among their armed forces would also be looked into, the joint statement said.

Also to be further studied was placing liaison officers in their respective military command centres for coordination, information sharing and maritime domain awareness.

In addition, the ministers reiterated their stand to combat violent extremism and terrorism conducted by organisations like Islamic State/Daesh.