Bangkok, Tuesday, 11 April 2017
Maritime crimes can neither be addressed by a single agency nor country. The need for comprehensive cooperation and collaboration between maritime law enforcement agencies in and between countries in the region is necessary in addressing the issue. Organised crimes like smuggling/trafficking, illegal fishing and piracy/armed robbery require land and sea enforcement agencies to work together to break the logistics chain of the syndicates. Whilst MIMA has championed the need for a Single Maritime Point of Contact (SMPOC) for every member of ASEAN, Malaysia is yet to have an SMPOC. To facilitate this, MIMA arranged a visit to the Thailand Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre (Thai-MECC) with a special focus on inter agency cooperation and maritime resource management. Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) were part of the Malaysian delegation for the visit.
The visit was headed by the MMEA Deputy Director General (Operations), Vice Admiral (Maritime) Dato’ Zulkifli Abu Bakar. First Admiral (Maritime) Kamaruzaman Abu Bakar from ESSCOM, and Captain Martin A. Sebastian RMN (R) from MIMA were part of the delegation. The delegates from Malaysia were received by Admiral Luechai Ruddit RTN, Director of Thai-MECC and his team.
Admiral LuechaiRuddit, RTN and Vice Admiral (Maritime) Dato’Dzulkifli with Thai and Malaysian Delegation
On completion of the courtesy call on Adm. Luechai, the delegation commenced discussions on cooperation and collaboration.Both parties discussed and shared best practices while opening opportunities for improvement to cooperate and collaborate towards sharing of common interest to address maritime crimes related issues.
Capt. Martin presenting the MIMA plaque to Admiral Luechai
Vice Admiral, Director General Naval Operations Department and Director of Policy and Planning Thai MECC and Vice Admiral Dzulkifli Co-Chairing the meeting between Thai-MECC and the Malaysian Delegation. VadmPakorn requested for enhanced cooperation between Thailand and Malaysia which could include simulation exercises on maritime law enforcement agencies. MIMA took the opportunity to inform on the existing cooperation between MIMA and a maritime security simulation centre in Cyberjaya.
Vice Admiral PakornWanich, RTN and Vice Admiral (Maritime) Dato’Dzulkifli Co-Chairing meeting between Thai-MECC and Malaysian Delegation
The highlight of the visit was the site visit to Thai-MECC operation centre which not only showed the capability of the Thai-developed Maritime Information Sharing Centre (MISC), but an indigenously set up structure and venue to cater for inter-agency cooperation, an important aspect for SMPOC. Thai-MECC also showcased how they managed migrant workers in the fishing industry, an important aspect for ESSCOM.
The opportunity for enhanced cooperation between Thai-MECC, MMEA and ESSCOM will be further developed by MIMA through planned activities. A reciprocal visit to Malaysia is being planned. The visit brought new insights in the understanding on how the maritime domain can be effectively managed, not only to deter and disrupt maritime crimes, but to enable calibrated responses.
Wishing a Happy Songkran to our Thai friends.