Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Number Of Pirate Attacks In 2006: International Maritime Bureau Claims At Least Ten, Malaysia Says Only Two!

Malaysia is denying figures showing it encountered more pirate attacks last year, despite data showing a sharp drop in piracy along the Straits of Malacca.

According to the international piracy watchdog, the number of attacks in Malaysia went up from three to 10 last year. Pirates armed with pistols, knives, machine guns and even grenades, successfully boarded nine vessels and hijacked one carrier in Malaysian waters last year. The attacks were mostly mounted on vessels anchored along the east coast, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

But the Malaysian authorities have disputed the figures, saying there were only two attacks last year.

Abdul Manaf Othman, Deputy Commander, Malaysia Marine Police, said: "Under our definition, it's just a matter of theft because it happens in the internal waters. But for the IMB, any reported cases which happen on the sea are considered as piracy. For us, the act of piracy is only on the high seas."

Since last year, Malaysia has stepped up patrols with neighbouring countries like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines to keep its waters safe. Speaking after a recent joint exercise off Langkawi near Thai waters, the Thai marine police assured the Malaysians that there had been no new cases since the arrest of five pirates last year. In that incident, five armed pirates attacked two Malaysian fishing boats and kidnapped three crew members who were later released.

According to IMB, for every 10 piracy cases reported, at least another five went unreported.

Malaysian authorities say that in order to win the battle against piracy, the shipping community must first help to provide the true picture by reporting any incident of attacks or attempted attacks. Abdul Manaf Othman, Deputy Commander, Malaysia Marine Police, said: "We advise those shipping agencies or the captains of the vessels to report any cases committed on board the ship so that maritime agencies stationed along the coast can give us opportunity to respond faster."

With greater awareness and increased government response, Malaysia hopes to bring the piracy cases down, not just along the Straits of Malacca but also its surrounding waters. (Channel Newsasia)

***** On one side you have 'maritime super power' wannabe Malaysia, claiming that only two cases of piracy took place last year, the other attacks being classified as 'theft.' On the other the
International Maritime Bureau says that at least 10 and possibly more acts of piracy have occurred. Whom should we believe, the international organization or our Marine Police?
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5 Comments:

Blogger kittykat46 said...

The "big guys" who have vital national interest in shipping in these waters - US and Japan - are pushing the line - if you can't take care of maritime security around here, we are going to do it for you.
The Malaysian government is trying very hard to resist pressure to take accept these guys escalating their naval presence near our waters. Most Malaysians won't like having more foreign warships around, but we shouldn't resort to "dressing up" the data just for this purpose.
Fix the problem, don't cook the data.

2:06 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

kittykat46, you have very concisely and precisely summed up the Malaysian dilemma on the issue as well as our tendency to fudge statistics.

2:15 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction! Should be Zero! In order to qualify for Piracy Category, the pirates must raise Skull and Bones flag before commencing attack.

6:25 PM GMT+8  
Blogger mob1900 said...

anon is right! They tell you otherwise unless the Jolly Rogers flag strung up high.

6:34 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

under Un Convention on Law of the Sea, piracy only happens in high seas. If the act of violence or attack against a ship happened in territorial water or internal water of a state it is not piracy. Merely sea robbery. So Malaysia is correct when they said only two cases happened because other cases happened in our internal water. As such they are not piracy. It is not matter of trying to "dressing up " data.

2:22 PM GMT+8  

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