Following a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the chiefs of the defence forces in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have announced a joint initiative for combating piracy in the Malacca Strait called “Eye in the Sky”. This new initiative supplements the joint waterborne patrolling by adding aerial anti-piracy surveillance of the Strait. The initiative of the three states shows good leadership and the will to progress in the right direction without compromising national sovereignty.
The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) stressed the delicate nature of the co-ordinated fight against piracy for the three states involved, which include issues relating to national sovereignty and territorial integrity between the three countries as well as in relation to other governments. Furthermore, the uneven distribution of attacks on merchant vessels, with the majority occurring in Indonesian waters, necessitates a will to extend and receive assistance between the three countries.
The Joint War Committee of Lloyds has, after an analysis of the situation, recently added the Malacca Strait to the listed areas where an increased risk for transiting ships is perceived to exist. The initiatives and leadership shown by the three littoral countries to address such risks, combined with the decreasing frequency of such attacks in the region, will hopefully soon enable the JWC to remove the Strait from the listed areas. The effective combating of piracy requires co-operation between the countries involved, co-operation between the law enforcement agencies and co-operation between the different methods of surveillance and response.