Malaysia ponders armed guards onboard ships

In response to the ongoing threat of piracy, Malaysian deputy home minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has suggested that closer cooperation between countries and having armed guards on merchant ships are among ways being considered to improve maritime security in Southeast Asia.

Gerry Northwood, coo at maritime security firm MAST, commented: “Responsible governments, like the Malaysians and Indonesians, are taking an increasingly proactive approach to maritime security because they recognise that national wealth is intrinsically linked to good management of their territorial waters and economic zones.

“Regional cooperation and allowing armed security teams on vessels transiting through SE Asian waters will help improve a layered defense system that includes the deployment of rapid response teams announced by Malaysian and Indonesian authorities in August after a spate of attacks. Admittedly it can take time before it becomes an effective measure, but this is a move in the right direction.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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