Thailand in the past stay quiet on the straits of Malacca patrol request just because US PACOM want to promote Regional Maritime Security Initiative (RMSI) in the region but Malaysia and Indonesia strongly oppose this idea.
But finally, Thailand decides to join its ASEAN member Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to patrol the straits of Malacca, begining next year.
Thailand joins 4-nation joint patrol of straits of Malacca
BANGKOK, Sept 18 (TNA) – Thailand on Thursday signed an agreement with three partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) — Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – to conduct joint sea and air patrols of the Straits of Malacca starting from 2009.
Thai Supreme Commander Gen. Boonsang Niempradit and his counterparts from the three ASEAN nations signed two accords in the Thai capital, the Terms of Reference (TOR) and the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) agreements.
Gen. Boonsang said after signing the agreements that the combined cooperation would ensure safety for international shipping in and around the Straits, a vital conduit of much of the world trade, particularly of oil bound for Japan and Korea.
He said Thailand would begin its air patrols in January while sea surveillance would start in October 2009.
Hailing the coordinated patrol agreement, Malaysian military chief Tan Sri Abdul Aziz said coordination would be carried out in a centre in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.
Since joint patrols began in the Straits of Malacca and their approaches by Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia in April 2006, the number of piracy incidents in the area had declined sharply, he said. In 2007, only one incident was reported.
Thursday’s signing by Thailand followed cabinet approval on August 19 authorising the Royal Thai Navy to be responsible, with the government providing some Bt110 million annually to conduct the programme. (TNA)