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Enhance Effectiveness Of Malacca Straits Petrol – S'pore Chief Of Defence Force

by April 21, 2016 General

By Massita Ahmad

SINGAPORE, April 21 (Bernama) — Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia must continue to find new ways to enhance the effectiveness of the Malacca Straits Patrol (MSP) to deal with new threats, says Singapore Chief of Defence Force, Major-General Perry Lim.

“Our navies could start exploring how they can better share information and work together to avert any maritime terrorism incident occurring in their waters,” Lim said in his speech at the 10th Anniversary of the MSP held at Information Fusion Centre, Changi Naval Base Thursday.

Also present at the event were Admiral Ade Supandi, Chief of Naval Staff, Indonesian National Defence Forces; Admiral Na Arreenich, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy; Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han, Chief of Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy; and Vice Admiral Datuk Anuwi Hassan, Deputy Chief of Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy.

“Indeed, over the past two weeks, the abduction of Indonesian and Malaysian citizens have shown how transnational threats can reach across borders and threaten regional maritime security,” he said.

Lim noted that the threat of ISIS or Daesh was also reaching the shores from the Middle East, presenting a “clear and present danger to us all.”

“So, let us continue to innovate and strengthen our mutual cooperation, and continue to ensure that the MSP arrangement stays relevant and effective into the future,” he said.

Lim said that the Malacca Straits is an important strategic waterway that connects the four littoral states – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand – to the rest of the world.

Almost half of the world’s total annual seaborne trade tonnage and 70 per cent of Asia’s oil imports pass through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, he said.

“Our economies depend to a large extent on unimpeded global commerce plying through these key regional waterways. Keeping the Straits of Malacca and Singapore safe and secure is critical for the well-being of our countries.

“Hence, the importance of the MSP arrangements,” Lim said.

The official MSP Standard Operating Procedures was signed on April 21, 2006, formalising the cooperative efforts among the countries’ armed forces.

The MSP was further boosted in 2008, when Thailand joined as a member.