As Somalia calms down, the Straits of Malacca and Singapore has seen a drastic increase in piracy and armed robbery. Malaysian and Indonesian navies have reacted to the rising threats caused by robbers and pirates in the South-East Asian region by jointly forming a rapid deployment team. The Malaysian side is equipped with a helicopter with its base in Johor while the Indonesian side has its base on Batam Island opposite Singapore.
For more than a year and a half, Southeast Asia has become the world’s hotspot for piracy. As a means to overcome the challenges posed by the piracy scourge in this region, the new joint force was established four days ago. With little security prevailing in the Singapore Strait, nearly six ships were attacked by pirates last weekend. This has lead to the insistence of beefing the security system. Dryad Maritime, a UK security firm has urged the authorities to establish a permanent presence of security in this region.
In a weekly report, Dryad commented, “Although local VTIS have broadcast reports on incidents, there has been very little involvement from the regional security forces. The response of deploying a patrol boat to the area after the event can be seen as too little, too late. These events show a need for a permanent security presence in this area during the hours of darkness and, until this has been put in place, these boardings and robberies can be expected to continue unhindered.”