Malaysia invites Myanmar to be MSP observer to combat piracy in Malacca Strait

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has invited Myanmar to be an observer in the Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP) initiative to combat piracy in the busy strait.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammudin Tun Hussein said the MSP was a coordination of marine and air patrols between the littoral states to combat the threat.

“The move will hopefully help Myanmar further develop its knowledge of maritime security, as well as enhance the existing MSP cooperation,” he told a press conference in conjunction with the visit of the Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu to Wisma Perwira Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (Malaysian Armed Forces headquarters)here today.

Hishammuddin said he had informed Indonesia of Malaysia’s offer to Myanmar to be an observer in the MSP.

The MSP which was launched on April 21, 2006, comprises the Malacca Strait Sea Patrol (MSSP), Eyes in the Sky (EiS) and the MSP Intelligence Exchange Group (MSP IEG).

So far, only four nations are involved in the MSP – Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

The visit of the Indonesian Defence Minister is aimed at strengthening ties in defence issues, and ensuring that the stability and security of the region is preserved.

Besides the MSP, Indonesia is also collaborating with Malaysia in patrolling the waters off Sulu in the South China Sea. – Bernama