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Monday, August 01, 2005

Malacca Littoral States Meet on Security

Reported here,
Foreign Ministers from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are meeting on Monday and Tuesday in Batam to discuss the issue of safety and security in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

The Malaysian and Singapore navies are already discussing cooperation in maritime air surveillance.

Another topic that may surface is the hiring of private armed escorts by some ship-owners to protect their crew and cargo.

The arrest of 10 pirates, who tried to hijack an oil tanker off the Malaysian resort island of Langkawi, has been hailed as a rare victory for Malaysia's navy and marine police.

The pirates, armed with sub-machine guns and parangs, surrendered after a 12-hour siege on the high seas.

But with at least half a dozen other successful attacks in the Malacca Strait in the past three months, ship owners meeting in Kuala Lumpur say more needs to be done.

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