Ready for Romeo

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Stop! Pay toll: Japan body urges security fee for Malacca Straits

How about a "security fee?" says Japan here.
Users of the Malacca Straits should pay a fee to boost security on one of the busiest seaways in the world, a major sponsor of maritime safety said.
Yohei Sasakawa, president of Japan's Nippon Foundation, also said cooperation was essential to reduce the risk of piracy and terrorism, industry newspaper Lloyd's List reported.
Speaking at the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) headquarters in London late on Tuesday, Sasakawa said there was "a need to re-evaluate our traditional thinking that safety on the seas is always offered free of charge".
The Nippon Foundation, a philanthropic body which has given tens of millions of dollars to improve maritime safety in the Malacca Straits, said security in the strategic waterway was too difficult to be tackled by individual governments.
"In high-risk areas where the safety of navigation incurs high costs, we need to examine a new system where the burden should be borne not only by the coastal countries by also by the users," he said of the channel.
Perhaps there could be floating toll booths at Strait entrances...

I am always reminded of the tool booth scene in the movie "Blazing Saddles" - described here:
Jim, Mongo, and Bart set up a toll booth outside of the fake town with a red and white striped gate crossing, and a sign which reads: "Gov. William J. Le Petomane Thruway. Toll 10 cents." It even has an Exact Change Lane, but none of the gang have dimes, so Taggart orders: "Has anybody got a dime? Somebody's gotta go back and get a ****load of dimes." Each one of the riders waits patiently as they proceed through the booth - one at a time. Of course, neither Taggart or his men notice that the toll booth is in the middle of the expansive desert and that they could easily ride around the gate crossing. (edited for this site - the entire movie contains something that will offend virtually everyone and you have been warned)
Who will enforce a fee?

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