INTRODUCTION aggression and other elements that can

INTRODUCTION

Malaysian
region was surrounding by 80% of sea. From
the geographical view, the position of Malaysia is unique and surrounded by a
large number of islands including the coastal areas. Thus, the geographical aspect is one of the sources of
wealth for the country. For
example, the Malacca Strait is the busiest waterways in the world and a
strategic link in trade between west and east. Besides
that, it provides a shortest distance for the ships travel from the west to the
east. As we are aware, Malaysia
is developing country in the South East Region and the sea is the main trading
method where merchandise being transported by the merchant ship. Furthermore, the existence of the islands around
Malaysian waters also a source of income to the local fishermen. Thus, there are many resources available in Malaysia
maritime that we need to protect from of any kind of threat.

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DEFENCE
CAPABILITIES AND MARITIME OPERATIONS

The
unique geographic conditions in Malaysia provide a route for marine
transportation, marine resources, trade and tourism are invaluable to people. Therefore, Malaysia needs a strong defense to protect the
maritime waters of the State of piracy, aggression and other elements that can
threaten national security. The
Lahad Datu intrusion by a group known as ‘Royal Sulu Sultanate Army’ in 2013
with approximate strength about 200 to 400 people originated from the southern
Philippines. They have invaded and
entered the country an aiming to claim citizenship rights as a citizen. This issue should be taken seriously and stern action
should be implemented so that the sovereignty of the State is guaranteed in the
interests of its citizens. In
addition, we have to avoid the Malaysian waters to become a strategic platform for
certain elements in developing an illegal activities such as smuggling and so
on. Therefore, it is clearly
very important that territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) to be
strictly protected and sustained. Similarly
maritime resources in the State and areas of oil that has a high value must be
maintained.

To
determine the safety of maritime security, maritime defense capabilities and
existing operations need to be at the highest level and ready at all times. National maritime defense capability must in line with
the current development of defense strategy to ensure Malaysia and the
neighboring regions-a neighbor has a maritime defense capabilities in addition
to strengthening the good relations between the countries involved.

COOPERATION
BETWEEN COUNTRIES – ASEAN

The
risk of maritime threats against a country can be determined by various
elements which require urgent action to curb such crimes. These threats include drug smuggling, piracy and others
illegal activities. The
threats is increasing widespread extent of maritime defense needs fully
conscription to monitor and deal with the threat. In improving the maritime defense capability, multilateral
approach must be used. This
is where the government has established maritime defense cooperation with
neighboring countries or the participation of various countries to address
maritime security risks. Fair
to say that the response to security threats will succeed only be done
effectively through international cooperation as the core character of maritime
security threats do not respect the concept of national and state boundaries. The maritime environment is not limited by physical
boundaries or barriers but it requires a multilateral approach to
security and the solid cooperation among countries of the region. This method of approach is important because the reaction
and dealing with cross-border threats at sea can not be taken by one country show.

However,
a multilateral approach is also an issue to the international community,
whether the countries of Southeast Asia working to maintain security in the
region’s waters. This issue was debated in
various forums and international meetings. The
attention of the international community is more focused on maritime lanes of
the Straits of Malacca, which is the busiest commercial shipping lanes and
strategic in the world. However
in recent years the development in political, economic or maritime defense
strategy in Asian countries had changed the perception of the international
community in the ability of Asian countries in general and Malaysia in
particular. Furthermore, the
development has increased cooperation among the countries of ASEAN in maintaining
regional maritime security. Cooperation
is clearly seen in combating smuggling, piracy and others illegal activities. The collaboration has triggered solidarity among ASEAN
countries in addressing the issue of maritime safety. Thus, it shows the countries in the region has recognize in
dealing with the maritime threat the cooperation between countries and sharing of resources or
information and capabilities between countries must be strong. The examples of cooperation among Asian countries in
maintaining maritime security are:


Sharing of information and consultation among the foreign ministers and the    security agencies.


Joint monitoring maritime safety and security made through initiatives such as Eye in the Sky involving sea and air
patrols involving security agencies three         littoral
            states.

• Joint
naval exercises among ASEAN countries bilaterally as MALINDO between          Malaysia and Indonesia and at the multilateral
level as Elsindo between        Malaysia,
Singapore and Indonesia.


Declaration on cooperation in the field of maritime security such as the South
China Sea Declaration signed in 1992, which stressed the importance of
resolving the issue of the territorial sea safely.


The establishment of institutions such as the Workshop of the South China Sea          (SCS
Workshop) is intended to reduce the possibility of conflicts among countries in the South China Sea region, the
Council for Security Cooperation in            the
Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and the Working Group on Maritime Security APEC.          These
bodies are established with the aim of addressing security issues in        Southeast Asia in the context of
expanding Asia-Pacific region.

With
the establishment of these partnerships would be able in showing the Asian
countries is seriously in efforts to prevent and address the issues and threats
that exist in the maritime waters of Asian region. It also shows that more Asian people have agreed to unite
fellow Asian countries in order to maintain the maritime environment safe and
free from the threat of elements irresponsible. It
will reflect to the integrity of the spirit of solidarity among ASEAN countries
in addressing regional issues without interfering in national issues member
states. Cooperation comradeship
born of ASEAN is also ‘not just lip service’ but lead to operationalize
the concept of security cooperation involving business and the specific
level among the countries of this region. Such
cooperation is not only changing the perception of the international community
to maritime defense capabilities ASEAN countries but also can be an example to
other countries in addressing the issue of maritime security threats.

THREAT
OF MARITIME STRATEGIC AREAS

Maritime
security of a country is often associated with piracy. As we know, the Straits of Malacca is among the sea
routes that plays a large role in trade and economic growth in this region. The strategic location of routes, particularly the
Straits of Malacca have put it as one of the critical waters and have a
critical value to the littoral states and the country’s international trade. Globalization and world without boundaries put the
interests of sea lanes of the more critical in giving way to trade is
transported through this route. Viewing from the perspective of
international trade, the importance of the Straits of Malacca demonstrated by
its function as the main route of oil transportation from the Middle East to
East of Asia, especially the two economic powers of the region, namely China
and Japan, which is estimated at 11 million barrels of oil exported to East of
Asia from the Middle East every day. It
also shows the importance of safety fairway country is maintained. Any obstruction to the passage of this communication will
invite negative consequences not only for Malaysia but also to other countries
that have an interest in using the same route.

According
to the World Maritime Organization or the International Maritime Organization
(IMO) Strait of Malacca area includes the west coast of Malaysia and Thailand
in the northwest and on the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The estimated distance along the strait is 520 miles and
has a width of 11 miles at the most southern point and 200 miles at the most
northerly point. The only area of the straits
(excluding South China Sea) shows the challengers facing by the country in
monitoring the route or sea boundary while maintaining the level of maritime
safety. The forming threat to the
security of the State waters must be addressed on an ongoing basis. For example, in recent years, threats to the ships
sailing through the Strait of Malacca is increasing, especially threats rampant
piracy and demanded international attention to the issue of security.

Events
pirate attacks on ships and fishing trades cases is increasing today.  The threats today
is not coming from the piracy but it is also from the terrorist where the
possibility of ships passing through the waters of the country will be the
target of terrorist attacks also can not be denied. As a country that depends
on the sea routes trades in development of economic and strategic interests,
the State should focus on the issue of maritime safety in the waters of this
country. Since the events of 11th
Sept at the United States, maritime security analysts argued that terrorists
have the capability and can use the maritime as a base to launch their
operations. If this happens, it can
cause an adverse effect on regional and global interests. In addition, piracy is most apparent in the Gulf of Aden,
where it was a strategic area that facilitates the transport of large amounts in
crude oil trading. It
attracted the attention of the international community since it became the
world’s interest in ensuring the security of the strategic maritime region.

The
international community has undertaken various efforts to address the threat of
piracy in these waters in order to guarantee the security of ships along their
sailing. These efforts back bone by
the United Nations (UN) when it has approved a revolution that allows navies of
various countries including Malaysia to send their warships to the area to
accompany the trading ships and to deal directly with the pirates. Although this effort was well received by the entire
international community, but it may affect the constellation of geo-strategic
maritime waters not only in the strategic waters, but throughout the world,
particularly the Straits of Malacca. Piracy
is not specific to the Gulf of Aden, but it is also occurs in many coastal
areas around the world such as the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean. This includes the littoral states where Straits of
Malacca was also facing the same situation since centuries.

However,
coastal states in Strait of Malacca had taken various initiatives to address
the piracy. The piracy activities also
pose a danger to the crew and assets such as the vessels or the cargo carried. Thus, it had increased the transportation cost of various
goods and operation costs of the shipping companies affected by the pirate
attacks.  The cost will increase due to
insurance coverage, disruption of the delivery item and production or supply
chain. It is clear that the piracy
activities had given an impact to the country in maritime security, political,
economic and others. So
it is natural that crime has highlighted the pirates to maintain and increase
the level of maritime defense, especially Malaysia. In addition, the cooperation of ASEAN countries need to
be strengthened to improve the relevant maritime defense programs and
safeguarding national sovereignty among ASEAN countries ranked highest either
on the ground or even a country. With
the maritime defense programs, it can improve the maritime defense and security
of the country for the future challenges.

We
need to go along these concerns and improve the business and cooperate with the
international community to manage the Fairway State. Additionally, in order to improve maritime security of
the State, trilateral cooperation between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
involving naval surveillance coordinate the three countries is necessary. Thus, the State can improve the confidence of the
international community over the safety of maritime routes in particular
countries and the Strait of Malacca.

SEIZE
THE MARITIME TERRITORY

Despite
efforts to maintain maritime security in the country have been carried out, but
the challenges in maintaining maritime security of the country does not end
here. Despite various
declarations signed by the countries in the region, the various possibilities
that can cause conflict in a sea of fellow countries. The implications of the dispute in the ocean in the
region has the potential to tip over into a serious conflict since the
strategic waters of the countries in the region.
For
example, the maritime territorial dispute over the overlapping claims on Pulau
Batu Puteh in Malaysia and Singapore. This
issue has been long established that since 1979 when Malaysia published a new
official map, by entering Pulau Batu Puteh in territorial waters. If you look at a map, the distance of Pulau Batu Puteh is
closer than the closest point of mainland Malaysia 14.3 km (7.7 nautical miles)
from Johor (Cape Penyusop, Mukim Pengerang) compared to Singapore which is
located 46 km (25 nautical miles) from the nearest point of mainland Singapore
(Changi). Various forms of the
allegations and arguments have been voiced by both the country to claim
ownership over the island. Up
to now this issue is still warm in talking about, even the appearance of both a
naval power in the powerful waters of Pedra Branca who patrol again sparked
ketagangan that can lead to good bilateral relations of the country affected.

Such
challenges include the roles of both the power of the leadership of Malaysia
and Singapore in restoring the spirit of neighborhood countries. In addition, the public opinion of both countries should
be improved towards more positive to strengthen the spirit of friendship
between the two countries. Besides
the issue of annexation, other threats such as piracy, terrorism, rebellion or insurgency,
maritime trans-national crime and environmental pollution also have the
potential to cause regional tensions if not addressed in a compromise according
to the principles of diplomacy and respect for your fellow neighbor.

Seizing
the maritime area is not only happening among neighboring countries, but also
involves major world powers, namely China. Contentious
issues Spratlys Islands in the South China Sea, for example, can be a thorn in
the flesh among the countries that require it should not be solved rationally. Any conflict would bring about adverse effects on the
efficient movement of maritime trade and merchant ships sailing in the ocean. There were also fishermen from the coastal countries has
also impacted maritime territory dispute this struggle. Accordingly, approval ASEAN and China through the declaration
of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea disputes claims gives hope
that between them can be resolved peacefully without spread to the dispute.

In
October 2013, local newspaper had published that the President of China, Xi
Jinping said that the country’s territorial disputes with Southeast Asia to be
solved ‘peacefully’. His
words were an attempt to improve relations chilled with some countries in the
region. He was in Jakarta to hold a
series of first visit to Southeast Asia since taking power in March last year
also said that he tried to address the issue of maritime disputes in relation
to the overall Beijing claims the South China Sea. He also said that China require Indonesia to play a
leading role in ASEAN and is willing to work with all member states to make
decisions for our common prosperity.

DECLARATION
AND RULE OF REGIONAL

Increased
efforts of the countries of Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia in
strengthening the region’s maritime safety whether economically, politically
and socially has paved the way towards greater collaboration among countries in
the region in the field of maritime safety. However,
this does not preclude the existence of some obstacles such as sensitivity to
the issue of sovereign rights or sovereignty, the attitude of suspicion
among the regional countries, competition for maritime exploit natural
resources, political and socio-economic development level of inequality in the
region. Naturally our society asia
always open and has a neighborly spirit high in assisting each other in
maintaining the safety of ocean-East Asia, there are still many challenges to
be faced in overcoming the obstacles mentioned above previous level of maritime
security in the region can be considered as fully controlled.

In
order to achieve the mission of independent maritime security threats, it is
important to regional countries have to compromise and set aside differences in
perspective between them, as long as it does not cause negative effects on the
national interests of each. Consensus
and cooperation that has existed in this region for bilateral and multilateral
must be strengthened in order to achieve regional objectives. Bodies such as the Association of Southeast Asian
Nation (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN
Regional Forum (ARF) should be used as a platform or a catalyst to develop
new initiatives and strengthen existing efforts to develop dialogue, to process
declarations and improve the sharing of information. They must also cooperate with international bodies and
institutions such as the International Maritime Organization, or IMO. The approach to maritime security initiatives introduced
by external forces such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security
Code (ISPS Code) and the Container Security Initiative (CSI) is an effort that should be retained to strengthen
maritime security cooperation with the international community.

However,
maritime security initiatives introduced by external forces should be
thoroughly evaluated by the regional countries. It
is feared that it might be a hidden agenda in the new security initiatives such
as the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery
against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) and the Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI), which can be challenging national and regional sovereignty. Indeed external forces have the agenda to exploit a
country wants something different and maritime security initiatives in the
region is based on an international framework to facilitate the protocol tailored
to their interests. Such
a thing is not liked by the regional countries that do not want to be involved
in initiatives that are legally binding legislation or sponsored by
foreign powers. The fact that a power
outside of Southeast Asia will become a new front in what he calls a
“global war against terrorism ‘is proof his cunning to lead the maritime
security initiatives in the region to fulfill their agenda alone.

CONCLUSION

Conclusion,
the countries of Southeast Asia have shown the determination to create an
enabling environment for cooperation in the field of maritime security among
them strengthened. However,
maritime security challenges in this region that are unconventional and
increasingly unpredictable demands of the regional countries not to be
complacent and always be ready for any eventuality. Regional territorial issues should be discussed with the
utmost care and finish with a rational and practice tolerance among regional
countries. This is to avoid it
becoming a source of interference of external forces which indeed have an
agenda to their interests. We
as Malaysians should be more open in dealing with the issues of maritime safety
and are not obsessed by self-interest and could lead to the prolonged conflict
in the neighboring region. In
addition, a wide range of maritime security issues may arise due to a
misunderstanding between each other.

Therefore,
efforts should be undertaken to understand the society and the process of
integration with each other should be extended. In
addition, the black history of the State as of May 13 the nature of
self-interest should be a lesson to avoid conflicts that might occur ranked
Asian region following the seizure of maritime territory in the interests of a
country. Conflict like this not only
left a bad impression to the country’s economic and political life even more
people will suffer asia security even when defendants are in their own country. But as we can see today, the regional economic
development allows more resources allocated to fund initiatives to strengthen
the safety of maritime. National
interests of various countries are increasingly gravitating towards the same
point that led to the establishment of a regional perspective in the field of
maritime safety.

It
has been proven that the efforts of bilateral and multilateral
much fruitful in enhancing the safety of the ocean in this region. Parable ‘stick shaft
is stronger than a stick’ should be used to foster and enhance the core closer
cooperation among the countries of Southeast Asia to guarantee maritime
security in the region and this strategic dynamic. It is clear here that
many challenges exist to maintain maritime security in a country. It lies on the
shoulders of the leaders and people of a country to understand and deal with
these challenges. Wisdom is needed in
the face of these challenges for the future of the country is booming and so
remain competitive on the world stage.