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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Malaysia Looks to the Air for Help in Malacca Strait

New Straits Times reports here:
The international community can help reinforce security in the Straits of Malacca by providing maritime surveillance aircraft.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the aircraft would be operated by security forces of the littoral States and the assistance would be regarded as "capacity-building".
There are major differences between the Malaysian position and that taken by Indonesia as noted here. See also this and this:
However, if the international community was willing to assist, "it must not run counter to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the littoral states".

"The primary responsibility of the security and safety of the Straits of Malacca lies with the littoral states," he said.
International law is more in favor of the pirates than of the adjacent governments which are worried over their territorial integrity. Using aircraft won't help much unless there is a real effort at cooperation at the boat on boat level. Otherwise, it's all hot air.

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