INTRODUCTION aggression and other elements that can
INTRODUCTION Malaysianregion was surrounding by 80% of sea.
Fromthe geographical view, the position of Malaysia is unique and surrounded by alarge number of islands including the coastal areas. Thus, the geographical aspect is one of the sources ofwealth for the country. Forexample, the Malacca Strait is the busiest waterways in the world and astrategic link in trade between west and east. Besidesthat, it provides a shortest distance for the ships travel from the west to theeast. As we are aware, Malaysiais developing country in the South East Region and the sea is the main tradingmethod where merchandise being transported by the merchant ship. Furthermore, the existence of the islands aroundMalaysian waters also a source of income to the local fishermen. Thus, there are many resources available in Malaysiamaritime that we need to protect from of any kind of threat.
DEFENCECAPABILITIES AND MARITIME OPERATIONS Theunique geographic conditions in Malaysia provide a route for marinetransportation, marine resources, trade and tourism are invaluable to people. Therefore, Malaysia needs a strong defense to protect themaritime waters of the State of piracy, aggression and other elements that canthreaten national security. TheLahad Datu intrusion by a group known as ‘Royal Sulu Sultanate Army’ in 2013with approximate strength about 200 to 400 people originated from the southernPhilippines. They have invaded andentered the country an aiming to claim citizenship rights as a citizen.
This issue should be taken seriously and stern actionshould be implemented so that the sovereignty of the State is guaranteed in theinterests of its citizens. Inaddition, we have to avoid the Malaysian waters to become a strategic platform forcertain elements in developing an illegal activities such as smuggling and soon. Therefore, it is clearlyvery important that territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) to bestrictly protected and sustained. Similarlymaritime resources in the State and areas of oil that has a high value must bemaintained. Todetermine the safety of maritime security, maritime defense capabilities andexisting operations need to be at the highest level and ready at all times. National maritime defense capability must in line withthe current development of defense strategy to ensure Malaysia and theneighboring regions-a neighbor has a maritime defense capabilities in additionto strengthening the good relations between the countries involved. COOPERATIONBETWEEN COUNTRIES – ASEAN Therisk of maritime threats against a country can be determined by variouselements which require urgent action to curb such crimes. These threats include drug smuggling, piracy and othersillegal activities.
Thethreats is increasing widespread extent of maritime defense needs fullyconscription to monitor and deal with the threat. In improving the maritime defense capability, multilateralapproach must be used. Thisis where the government has established maritime defense cooperation withneighboring countries or the participation of various countries to addressmaritime security risks.
Fairto say that the response to security threats will succeed only be doneeffectively through international cooperation as the core character of maritimesecurity threats do not respect the concept of national and state boundaries. The maritime environment is not limited by physicalboundaries or barriers but it requires a multilateral approach tosecurity and the solid cooperation among countries of the region. This method of approach is important because the reactionand dealing with cross-border threats at sea can not be taken by one country show. However,a multilateral approach is also an issue to the international community,whether the countries of Southeast Asia working to maintain security in theregion’s waters. This issue was debated invarious forums and international meetings.
Theattention of the international community is more focused on maritime lanes ofthe Straits of Malacca, which is the busiest commercial shipping lanes andstrategic in the world. Howeverin recent years the development in political, economic or maritime defensestrategy in Asian countries had changed the perception of the internationalcommunity in the ability of Asian countries in general and Malaysia inparticular. Furthermore, thedevelopment has increased cooperation among the countries of ASEAN in maintainingregional maritime security. Cooperationis clearly seen in combating smuggling, piracy and others illegal activities.
The collaboration has triggered solidarity among ASEANcountries in addressing the issue of maritime safety. Thus, it shows the countries in the region has recognize indealing with the maritime threat the cooperation between countries and sharing of resources orinformation and capabilities between countries must be strong. The examples of cooperation among Asian countries inmaintaining maritime security are: •Sharing of information and consultation among the foreign ministers and the security agencies. •Joint monitoring maritime safety and security made through initiatives such as Eye in the Sky involving sea and airpatrols involving security agencies three littoral states.
• Jointnaval exercises among ASEAN countries bilaterally as MALINDO between Malaysia and Indonesia and at the multilaterallevel as Elsindo between Malaysia,Singapore and Indonesia. •Declaration on cooperation in the field of maritime security such as the SouthChina Sea Declaration signed in 1992, which stressed the importance ofresolving the issue of the territorial sea safely. •The establishment of institutions such as the Workshop of the South China Sea (SCSWorkshop) is intended to reduce the possibility of conflicts among countries in the South China Sea region, theCouncil for Security Cooperation in theAsia Pacific (CSCAP) and the Working Group on Maritime Security APEC. Thesebodies are established with the aim of addressing security issues in Southeast Asia in the context ofexpanding Asia-Pacific region.
Withthe establishment of these partnerships would be able in showing the Asiancountries is seriously in efforts to prevent and address the issues and threatsthat exist in the maritime waters of Asian region. It also shows that more Asian people have agreed to unitefellow Asian countries in order to maintain the maritime environment safe andfree from the threat of elements irresponsible. Itwill reflect to the integrity of the spirit of solidarity among ASEAN countriesin addressing regional issues without interfering in national issues memberstates. Cooperation comradeshipborn of ASEAN is also ‘not just lip service’ but lead to operationalizethe concept of security cooperation involving business and the specificlevel among the countries of this region.
Suchcooperation is not only changing the perception of the international communityto maritime defense capabilities ASEAN countries but also can be an example toother countries in addressing the issue of maritime security threats. THREATOF MARITIME STRATEGIC AREAS Maritimesecurity of a country is often associated with piracy. As we know, the Straits of Malacca is among the searoutes that plays a large role in trade and economic growth in this region. The strategic location of routes, particularly theStraits of Malacca have put it as one of the critical waters and have acritical value to the littoral states and the country’s international trade.
Globalization and world without boundaries put theinterests of sea lanes of the more critical in giving way to trade istransported through this route. Viewing from the perspective ofinternational trade, the importance of the Straits of Malacca demonstrated byits function as the main route of oil transportation from the Middle East toEast of Asia, especially the two economic powers of the region, namely Chinaand Japan, which is estimated at 11 million barrels of oil exported to East ofAsia from the Middle East every day. Italso shows the importance of safety fairway country is maintained. Any obstruction to the passage of this communication willinvite negative consequences not only for Malaysia but also to other countriesthat have an interest in using the same route.
Accordingto the World Maritime Organization or the International Maritime Organization(IMO) Strait of Malacca area includes the west coast of Malaysia and Thailandin the northwest and on the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The estimated distance along the strait is 520 miles andhas a width of 11 miles at the most southern point and 200 miles at the mostnortherly point. The only area of the straits(excluding South China Sea) shows the challengers facing by the country inmonitoring the route or sea boundary while maintaining the level of maritimesafety. The forming threat to thesecurity of the State waters must be addressed on an ongoing basis. For example, in recent years, threats to the shipssailing through the Strait of Malacca is increasing, especially threats rampantpiracy and demanded international attention to the issue of security.
Eventspirate attacks on ships and fishing trades cases is increasing today. The threats todayis not coming from the piracy but it is also from the terrorist where thepossibility of ships passing through the waters of the country will be thetarget of terrorist attacks also can not be denied. As a country that dependson the sea routes trades in development of economic and strategic interests,the State should focus on the issue of maritime safety in the waters of thiscountry. Since the events of 11thSept at the United States, maritime security analysts argued that terroristshave the capability and can use the maritime as a base to launch theiroperations.
If this happens, it cancause an adverse effect on regional and global interests. In addition, piracy is most apparent in the Gulf of Aden,where it was a strategic area that facilitates the transport of large amounts incrude oil trading. Itattracted the attention of the international community since it became theworld’s interest in ensuring the security of the strategic maritime region. Theinternational community has undertaken various efforts to address the threat ofpiracy in these waters in order to guarantee the security of ships along theirsailing.
These efforts back bone bythe United Nations (UN) when it has approved a revolution that allows navies ofvarious countries including Malaysia to send their warships to the area toaccompany the trading ships and to deal directly with the pirates. Although this effort was well received by the entireinternational community, but it may affect the constellation of geo-strategicmaritime waters not only in the strategic waters, but throughout the world,particularly the Straits of Malacca. Piracyis not specific to the Gulf of Aden, but it is also occurs in many coastalareas around the world such as the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean. This includes the littoral states where Straits ofMalacca was also facing the same situation since centuries. However,coastal states in Strait of Malacca had taken various initiatives to addressthe piracy.
The piracy activities alsopose a danger to the crew and assets such as the vessels or the cargo carried. Thus, it had increased the transportation cost of variousgoods and operation costs of the shipping companies affected by the pirateattacks. The cost will increase due toinsurance coverage, disruption of the delivery item and production or supplychain. It is clear that the piracyactivities had given an impact to the country in maritime security, political,economic and others.
Soit is natural that crime has highlighted the pirates to maintain and increasethe level of maritime defense, especially Malaysia. In addition, the cooperation of ASEAN countries need tobe strengthened to improve the relevant maritime defense programs andsafeguarding national sovereignty among ASEAN countries ranked highest eitheron the ground or even a country. Withthe maritime defense programs, it can improve the maritime defense and securityof the country for the future challenges. Weneed to go along these concerns and improve the business and cooperate with theinternational community to manage the Fairway State. Additionally, in order to improve maritime security ofthe State, trilateral cooperation between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesiainvolving naval surveillance coordinate the three countries is necessary. Thus, the State can improve the confidence of theinternational community over the safety of maritime routes in particularcountries and the Strait of Malacca.
SEIZETHE MARITIME TERRITORY Despiteefforts to maintain maritime security in the country have been carried out, butthe challenges in maintaining maritime security of the country does not endhere. Despite variousdeclarations signed by the countries in the region, the various possibilitiesthat can cause conflict in a sea of fellow countries. The implications of the dispute in the ocean in theregion has the potential to tip over into a serious conflict since thestrategic waters of the countries in the region.
Forexample, the maritime territorial dispute over the overlapping claims on PulauBatu Puteh in Malaysia and Singapore. Thisissue has been long established that since 1979 when Malaysia published a newofficial map, by entering Pulau Batu Puteh in territorial waters. If you look at a map, the distance of Pulau Batu Puteh iscloser than the closest point of mainland Malaysia 14.3 km (7.
7 nautical miles)from Johor (Cape Penyusop, Mukim Pengerang) compared to Singapore which islocated 46 km (25 nautical miles) from the nearest point of mainland Singapore(Changi). Various forms of theallegations and arguments have been voiced by both the country to claimownership over the island. Upto now this issue is still warm in talking about, even the appearance of both anaval power in the powerful waters of Pedra Branca who patrol again sparkedketagangan that can lead to good bilateral relations of the country affected.
Suchchallenges include the roles of both the power of the leadership of Malaysiaand Singapore in restoring the spirit of neighborhood countries. In addition, the public opinion of both countries shouldbe improved towards more positive to strengthen the spirit of friendshipbetween the two countries. Besidesthe issue of annexation, other threats such as piracy, terrorism, rebellion or insurgency,maritime trans-national crime and environmental pollution also have thepotential to cause regional tensions if not addressed in a compromise accordingto the principles of diplomacy and respect for your fellow neighbor. Seizingthe maritime area is not only happening among neighboring countries, but alsoinvolves major world powers, namely China. Contentiousissues Spratlys Islands in the South China Sea, for example, can be a thorn inthe flesh among the countries that require it should not be solved rationally. Any conflict would bring about adverse effects on theefficient movement of maritime trade and merchant ships sailing in the ocean. There were also fishermen from the coastal countries hasalso impacted maritime territory dispute this struggle. Accordingly, approval ASEAN and China through the declarationof Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea disputes claims gives hopethat between them can be resolved peacefully without spread to the dispute.
InOctober 2013, local newspaper had published that the President of China, XiJinping said that the country’s territorial disputes with Southeast Asia to besolved ‘peacefully’. Hiswords were an attempt to improve relations chilled with some countries in theregion. He was in Jakarta to hold aseries of first visit to Southeast Asia since taking power in March last yearalso said that he tried to address the issue of maritime disputes in relationto the overall Beijing claims the South China Sea. He also said that China require Indonesia to play aleading role in ASEAN and is willing to work with all member states to makedecisions for our common prosperity. DECLARATIONAND RULE OF REGIONAL Increasedefforts of the countries of Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia instrengthening the region’s maritime safety whether economically, politicallyand socially has paved the way towards greater collaboration among countries inthe region in the field of maritime safety. However,this does not preclude the existence of some obstacles such as sensitivity tothe issue of sovereign rights or sovereignty, the attitude of suspicionamong the regional countries, competition for maritime exploit naturalresources, political and socio-economic development level of inequality in theregion. Naturally our society asiaalways open and has a neighborly spirit high in assisting each other inmaintaining the safety of ocean-East Asia, there are still many challenges tobe faced in overcoming the obstacles mentioned above previous level of maritimesecurity in the region can be considered as fully controlled. Inorder to achieve the mission of independent maritime security threats, it isimportant to regional countries have to compromise and set aside differences inperspective between them, as long as it does not cause negative effects on thenational interests of each.
Consensusand cooperation that has existed in this region for bilateral and multilateralmust be strengthened in order to achieve regional objectives. Bodies such as the Association of Southeast AsianNation (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEANRegional Forum (ARF) should be used as a platform or a catalyst to developnew initiatives and strengthen existing efforts to develop dialogue, to processdeclarations and improve the sharing of information. They must also cooperate with international bodies andinstitutions such as the International Maritime Organization, or IMO. The approach to maritime security initiatives introducedby external forces such as the International Ship and Port Facility SecurityCode (ISPS Code) and the Container Security Initiative (CSI) is an effort that should be retained to strengthenmaritime security cooperation with the international community. However,maritime security initiatives introduced by external forces should bethoroughly evaluated by the regional countries.
Itis feared that it might be a hidden agenda in the new security initiatives suchas the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robberyagainst Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) and the Proliferation Security Initiative(PSI), which can be challenging national and regional sovereignty. Indeed external forces have the agenda to exploit acountry wants something different and maritime security initiatives in theregion is based on an international framework to facilitate the protocol tailoredto their interests. Sucha thing is not liked by the regional countries that do not want to be involvedin initiatives that are legally binding legislation or sponsored byforeign powers. The fact that a poweroutside of Southeast Asia will become a new front in what he calls a”global war against terrorism ‘is proof his cunning to lead the maritimesecurity initiatives in the region to fulfill their agenda alone. CONCLUSION Conclusion,the countries of Southeast Asia have shown the determination to create anenabling environment for cooperation in the field of maritime security amongthem strengthened. However,maritime security challenges in this region that are unconventional andincreasingly unpredictable demands of the regional countries not to becomplacent and always be ready for any eventuality.
Regional territorial issues should be discussed with theutmost care and finish with a rational and practice tolerance among regionalcountries. This is to avoid itbecoming a source of interference of external forces which indeed have anagenda to their interests. Weas Malaysians should be more open in dealing with the issues of maritime safetyand are not obsessed by self-interest and could lead to the prolonged conflictin the neighboring region. Inaddition, a wide range of maritime security issues may arise due to amisunderstanding between each other. Therefore,efforts should be undertaken to understand the society and the process ofintegration with each other should be extended.
Inaddition, the black history of the State as of May 13 the nature ofself-interest should be a lesson to avoid conflicts that might occur rankedAsian region following the seizure of maritime territory in the interests of acountry. Conflict like this not onlyleft a bad impression to the country’s economic and political life even morepeople will suffer asia security even when defendants are in their own country. But as we can see today, the regional economicdevelopment allows more resources allocated to fund initiatives to strengthenthe safety of maritime. Nationalinterests of various countries are increasingly gravitating towards the samepoint that led to the establishment of a regional perspective in the field ofmaritime safety. Ithas been proven that the efforts of bilateral and multilateralmuch fruitful in enhancing the safety of the ocean in this region.
Parable ‘stick shaftis stronger than a stick’ should be used to foster and enhance the core closercooperation among the countries of Southeast Asia to guarantee maritimesecurity in the region and this strategic dynamic. It is clear here thatmany challenges exist to maintain maritime security in a country. It lies on theshoulders of the leaders and people of a country to understand and deal withthese challenges. Wisdom is needed inthe face of these challenges for the future of the country is booming and soremain competitive on the world stage.