Rapid response team formed to fight SE Asian pirates

In response to the growing threat posed by robbers and pirates in the region the Malaysian and Indonesian navies have formed a joint rapid deployment team. The Malaysian side is based in Johor and includes a helicopter and the Indonesian side is based on Batam Island opposite Singapore.

The new joint force was formed four days ago and comes as calls grow to tackle the growing piracy scourge in the region that has made Southeast Asia the world’s hotspot for piracy over the past 18 months. This past weekend as many as six ships were attacked, leading one UK security firm, Dryad Maritime, to come out and urge authorities in the region to establish a permanenet presence on the `Singapore Strait.

“Although local VTIS have broadcast reports of incidents, there has been very little involvement from regional security forces. The response of deploying a patrol boat to the area after the event can be seen as too little, too late,” Dryad commented in a report issued this week.

“These events show a need for a permanent security presence in this area during the hours of darkness and, until this has been put in place, these boardings and robberies can be expected to continue unhindered.”

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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