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Indonesia and Malaysia must collaborate to defeat piracy

Indonesia and Malaysia must collaborate to defeat piracy

Singapore: Alan Chan, one of the shipping industry's most vocal experts regarding piracy, has hit out at Malaysia and Indonesia's obsessions with borders as the primary reason why the scourge of piracy continues to affect the Malacca Strait.
Chan, the chairman of Petroships, who famously had one of his ships, Petro Ranger, hijacked eight years ago, said that the fragmentation in coverage of the Malacca Strait was the biggest problem fighting piracy. While commending initiatives such as surveillance from the sky, Singaporean Chan said 'the concept of sea borders in terms of sovereignty is too much of an obsession - too rigid. We need a more integrated patrol.' Currently it is impossible for patrols to cross borders when in hot pursuit of a pirate. 'A greater dialogue, understanding and open mind is needed to standardize the situation,' he said.
Just last week, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) officially launched its Information Sharing Centre (ISC) in Singapore. This marks the first time cooperation among regional governments, against piracy and armed robbery at sea, is institutionalised in a permanent body with full-time staff.
While 10 Asian nations have signed up to the initiative the notable absentees are Malaysia and Indonesia. Chan blasted their absence as making the whole effort 'pointless as these are the main players. These two countries need to be coaxed.'  [04/12/06]

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