Singapore Straits Piracy Attempt Foiled
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Indonesian and Singaporean navies foiled a piracy attempt on the Singapore Strait on September 1. According to reports, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a distress call from the Malaysian-flagged tugboat M/V Permata 1 at 9:07 am local time.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) immediately deployed its Fearless-Class patrol vessel, RSS Resilience, and the pirates were apprehended. The Resilience escorted the Permata 1 to Singapore. No crew members on the tug were harmed in the incident.
Southeast Asian piracy has become a hotbed of activity this year. In July, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) said that incidents of piracy and armed robbery had risen by 18 percent in 2015 compared to the same period last year. There have already been 106 incidents reported between January and June 2015 compared to only 90 in 2014.
Malaysia and Indonesia recently established a joint rapid response deployment team on August 21. The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) now has a base on Batam Island and Malaysia has a similar base in Johor.
In a statement, RSN Rear Admiral Frederick Chew said: “I am heartened to see the good cooperation between Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian enforcement agencies in disrupting the sea robbery attempt on the Permata 1. In particular, the close cooperation between the RSN and TNI AL is a reflection of the strong ties between our navies. We need to continue working closely together to keep up the pressure on sea robbers and to bring sea robbery incidents down.”