June 15, 2010 National War College Review // United States Naval War College
TheMalacca Strait is a narrow waterway that extends nearly six hundred nauticalmiles
fromthe Andaman Sea to the South China Sea, betweenMalaysia
and Indonesia. The strait provides a vital shipping lane for vessels sailing from
Europe and the Middle East to East Asia, as well as smaller vessels on local voyages.
Unfortunately, when we think of the Malacca Strait, images of a waterway
infested with pirates often spring to mind.
While this image could arguably have been justified in the past, it is now rather
outdated. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which produces
quarterly and annual reports on piracy and
armed robbery against ships, there were only three successful
and four attempted attacks by pirates on shipping
in the Malacca Strait in 2007. While piracy has certainly been a concern in the waterway
in the past,with reported attacks reaching seventy-five in 2000, the number
of cases has been falling since 2005, largely as a result of a number of countermeasures
introduced by the three littoral states of Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
This decrease in attacks was achieved despite a 10 percent increase in
This article will discuss the reduction in pirate attacks in the Malacca Strait
and how the attacks themselves have changed over the last decade. Themeasures
attributed to the reduction will then be discussed, as well as the underlying principles
and attitudes that have shaped these initiatives. Particular attention will
be given as to how the issue of sovereignty, a principle of utmost importance in
Southeast Asia, has impactedmultilateral and bilateral cooperative efforts to address
the transnational problem of piracy, including a series of International
Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings convened to tackle pressing issues affecting
the safety and security of shipping in theMalacca Strait. The conclusions
will make recommendations regarding issues that require further action....
September 22, 2009 Stanford Journal of International Relations // Stanford University
Piracy in the Straits of Malacca is a large and growing concern for the world. Not only does it cause economic havoc in a critical region, but this piracy may also have connections to terrorism and has the potential to cause an ecological disaster. However, attempts by outside states to establish security regimes have repeatedly run into sovereignty concerns from the coastal states in the region: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. Instead of persisting in this failed strategy of externally imposed solutions, interested parties should focus on aiding the creation of an internal security regime through aid and logistical support. Building the capacity of the local navies to patrol the region is the most acceptable and effective solution towards ending piracy in the long run....
June 6, 2008 Turkish Journal of International Relations
Though terrorism has existed for more than 2,000 years, the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. brought
international repercussions unlike any previously experienced. In response to the attacks, the U.S.
immediately attempted to build a broad-based anti-terrorism coalition in what is known as the “War
against Terrorism” (WAT) or “War on Terrorism.” Malaysia has its own experiences with terrorism,
such as during the ‘communist emergency’ of the 1950s. In light of Malaysia’s unique history in
overcoming terrorism and the present-day WAT, this study aimed to explore Malaysian’s perceptions
of the WAT. Findings from the study indicate that Malaysians hold mostly negative views on the
WAT, i.e.: they doubt the intentions of the US government; they view the WAT as a fight against
Muslims and as a means for US control; they view the military approach as ineffective; they perceive a
conscious effort to link terrorism to Islam; they view the Western media as being insensitive to non-
Westerners and they believe that the WAT has had little impact on reducing terrorism due to hidden
political agendas. Qualitative findings from the study stress the need for counter-terrorism policy
makers to identify the root-causes of terrorism in order to develop appropriate socio-economic
programs for the poor, marginalized, discontented and discriminated groups in societies....
December 21, 2007 Jebsen Center for Counter-terrorism Studies
It has been five years since the devastating terrorist attacks by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Bali
killed some 202 people, making it the most lethal terrorist attack since 9/11. In the three
years that followed, JI perpetrated attacks on an annual basis. Since the most recent attacks
in October 2005, JI has suffered a string of defeats, including the November 2005 killing of
its master bomb-maker, Dr. Azahari bin Husin. Since then, JI has not been able to perpetrate
a major terrorist attack against western targets, though it has reached advanced stages of
planning before being thwarted. In June 2007, JI’s two senior-most leaders, Abu Dujana
and Nu’aim, were arrested, a blow that raised questions about the group’s future.
This article, the first in a series on the state of terrorism and insurgency in Southeast Asia, will
identify JI’s prospects in the coming years and explain the group’s resiliency....
May 31, 2007 Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity
To the extent that Horizontal Inequalities (HIs), or inequalities between groups in access to economic, social and political resources, are an important source of conflict, then correcting them should form a significant aspect of policy design in the post-conflict period. The paper reviews what this might mean in relation to policies towards group access to assets and incomes; to social services; and political participation. It argues that the types of policies aimed at correcting group inequalities, in fact are fairly common in ethnically divided societies, sometimes taking the form of corrections to unfair processes, and sometimes of quotas and targets. Moreover, in some cases (including Malaysia and N. Ireland) they seem to have been effective in sustaining or promoting peace. Yet, despite their importance in many post-conflict situations, they rarely form an explicit part of the post-conflict development agenda. This is illustrated in this paper by reviewing general statements about post-conflict policies, and through examining two case studies - Mozambique and Guatemala. In each of these cases, HIs were one of the sources of conflict. Yet in Mozambique these have been ignored in the post-war era, and in fact most policies have tended to accentuate them, while in Guatemala some of the peace protocols did contain provisions which would have helped correct the HIs but these mostly have not been put into effect. Political obstacles can prevent such policies being adopted, such as in Guatemala. Moreover, the policies need to be adopted with political sensitivity as they can become a source of conflict themselves, as arguably occurred in Sri Lanka....
December 11, 2006 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars // Environmental Change and Security Project
A narrow waterway dividing Sumatra and western Malaysia, the Strait of Malacca is a hub of global trade and one of the world's busiest sea lanes. But piracy and terrorism may jeopardize the safe transport of freighters, potentially threatening the region's energy security and increasing the risk of pollution from security measures like controlled burns for land clearing. Summary, presentations, and video online.
February 16, 2010 Forced Migration Review // University of Oxford // Refugee Studies Centre
The striking fact that for the first time in human history there are now more people living in towns and cities than outside them is not in itself a reason for FMR to be covering urban displacement. Behind that fact, however, lies the multiplicity of reasons why people have been moving into urban environments and the reality that for many of them it is not a matter of choice.
In their introductory articles in this issue of FMR, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka emphasise the complexity of the challenges faced by those displaced into urban areas and by those seeking to protect and assist them, and argue for the need for a radical rethinking of approaches. The articles that follow address some of the practical and policy issues that urban displaced people face and that affect providers too. They also reflect the diversity of analysis and geography that is to be expected given the global nature of urbanisation....
Profile: Facilitated transfer of al-Qaeda money used in Jakarta Marriott bombing in 2003; Slated to be a suicide bomber in an aborted post 9-11 al-Qaeda attack targeting Los Angeles; Captured with Hambali; He was one of 14 key al-Qaeda operatives and associates transferred from CIA custody to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006; Attended Polytechnic University in Malaysia in the mid-1990s and earned a degree in architecture.
Profile: Would-be suicide bomber selected by Hambali for attacks in Los Angeles; Trained al-Farouq camps in 2000 and 2001; Transferred funds from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to Jemaah Islamiya operatives; Held degree in electronics telecommunications; He was one of 14 key al-Qaeda operatives and associates transferred from CIA custody to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2006
Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. As many as several thousand women from Thailand, Indonesia, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Cambodia, and Burma are trafficked to Malaysia for commercial sexual exploitation. Additionally, some economic migrants from Indonesia who work as domestic servants and as laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors face exploitative conditions in Malaysia that meet the definition of involuntary servitude. Malaysian women (primarily of Chinese origin) are trafficked to Western Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan....
After World War II, Malaysia began a new federalization program which included laws that stated that non-Malays could only qualify as citizens if they had lived in the country for 15 of the past 25 years and had to prove proficiency in either Malay or English. The new laws did not sit well with Malaysia's significant Chinese minority, as the new laws would have essentially made them second-class citizens. They then began to turn to the Malaysian Communist Party who began establish guerrilla cells in the jungles of the Malay Peninsula and beginning in 1948, they began sporadic attacks, mainly bombings against rubber estates and elsewhere. ...
Coveted for its hydrocarbon resources and its geographical location on the main international sea routes, the Spratly archipelago is a focus for the ambitions of the southeast Asian countries. By unilaterally asserting its sovereignty over the greater part of the China Sea, in a law adopted in February 1992, China sought to strengthen its great-power credentials and its control of the region. Sources : Virginie and Sonia Raisson, Lépac, Paris.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has rejected a proposal by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) to tap the services of the Bishop-Ulama Conference (BUC) in monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire between the government and the Moro revolutionary group. In a statement posted on the website www.luwaran.com, Khaled Musa, deputy chairman of the MILF Committee on Information, said the government’s proposal was “cheap” and “a let-down to men of faith like the bishops and the ulamas.”...
Decades of irregular migration to Sabah in eastern Malaysia have resulted in large numbers of undocumented children of migrants from the Philippines and Indonesia who are potentially at risk of statelessness. Undocumented migrants in Malaysia are targets for arrest and deportation, which in some cases has left their children alone on the street. Children of migrants who are born in Malaysia may be undocumented if they do not possess a birth certificate. In addition, if a child's parents have been deported and they have no other family ties in Malaysia, it may be difficult for them to trace their heritage back to their parents' country of origin in order to apply for a passport. If no government recognizes these undocumented children as nationals, then the children are vulnerable to statelessness.
June 1, 2007 Singapore Institute of International Affairs
This week, a deal was signed that might just change the destiny of some East Asian countries.
The deal involved a US$7 billion 300 km pipeline to be laid across northern Malaysia (from Kedah state on the northwestern coast to Kelantan state in the northeast) that will divert up to a third of oil now being carried through the Malacca Strait. Work will begin next year looking for completion in 2014. Expectations are that the pipeline would be made profitable by the demand from oil-hungry China.
The challenge now is to determine whether it is cheaper to transport oil by the proposed pipeline or by tankers to Singapore. Another issue raised is whether Islamic insurgencies in Southern Thailand which is a stone's throw away from the pipeline would be as destabilizing as piracy in the Straits of Malacca. Many in the industry will be watching closely....
Efforts to promote “deradicalization,” or to rehabilitate
detainees charged with terrorism-related
offenses, have taken multiple forms in a wide range
of countries, often as part of broader counterradicalization
strategies that seek to prevent the
adoption of violent extremist ideologies or
behaviors in the first place. Some are more formal
rehabilitation programs, with well-defined agendas,
institutional structures, and a dedicated full-time
staff, while others are a looser combination of social
and political initiatives. Programs vary in their
objectives, their criteria for participation, and the
kinds of benefits and incentives they might offer.
The cumulative lessons learned from several states’
experiences in dealing with violent extremist
groups are of growing interest to countries now
facing similar challenges.
With its global membership, neutral “brand,” and
powerful convening capacity, the United Nations
has the potential to play a powerful role in setting
global norms and shaping international legal
frameworks regarding counterterrorism, as well as
in providing a platform for the exchange of
information and technical assistance for practitioners
This paper draws lessons learned from case
studies of deradicalization initiatives in eight
Muslim-majority countries, which corroborate the
experiences of countries in other regions that have
grappled with violent extremist groups. The paper
concludes by making recommendations
concerning how the UN could help to facilitate the
provision of knowledge and resources to key
stakeholders interested in establishing or strengthening
their own rehabilitation programs....
Malaysia has taken significant steps forward in improving refugee rights. In the past year, there have been no reported attempts to deport Burmese refugees to the border with Thailand and a decrease in immigration raids and arrests of registered refugees. But these advances have not yet been codified into written government policy, leaving refugees considered
“illegal migrants” and subject to arrest and detention. The Government of Malaysia should build on this progress by setting up a system of residence and work permits for refugees. The international community should mobilize additional funds for the UN Refugee Agency
(UNHCR) and non-governmental agencies to leverage this opportunity to improve refugee rights....
Deradicalizing Islamist extremists may be even more important than getting them to simply disengage from terrorist activities, according to a new RAND Corporation study that examines counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Although there has been much research about the radicalization and recruitment of Islamist extremists, there has been little study until recently about how one deradicalizes those who have been recruited into the Islamist extremist movement.
A key question is whether the objective of counter-radicalization programs should be disengagement (a change in behavior) or deradicalization (a change in beliefs) of militants. A unique challenge posed by militant Islamist groups is that their ideology is rooted in a major world religion, Islam.
The RAND study indentifies and analyzes the processes through which militants leave Islamist extreme groups, assesses the effectiveness of deradicalization programs and summarizes the policies that could help to promote and accelerate the processes of deradicalization....
June 15, 2010 United States Naval War College // Newport Papers
Beginning in the early 1980s,
commercial shipping became a prime target of pirates, first off West Africa and then
slowly spreading into Southeast Asia. Throughout the 1990s, and especially after the
Soviet Union’s collapse, piracy increased dramatically. Reports of piracy tripled during
1991–2001: of 335 reported cases in 2001, ninety-one were in waters claimed by Indonesia,
twenty-seven by India, twenty-five by Bangladesh, nineteen by Malaysia, eight by
Vietnam, and eight by the Philippines; another seventeen reported attacks occurred in
the Malacca Strait, bordering on Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. This monograph is intended as a contribution to both scholarship and professional
naval thinking; it is an academic and comparative examination of twelve selected case
studies from maritime history used to illuminate a range of concepts and uses of piracy
suppression. The twelve case studies provide the basis for the conclusions, an approach
that provides a more thorough understanding of the uses and limitations of naval
antipiracy operations in the context of new maritime technologies and within a wider
range of modern national policy goals than might otherwise be achievable. Above all,
this collection provides a sound basis for comparative analysis of varying historical
experiences that can stimulate new and original thinking about a basic but often
overlooked naval duty....
June 8, 2010 European Coalition of Oil in Sudan // Fatal Transactions
From 1983 to 2005, Sudan was torn apart by a civil war
between the Government and Southern armed groups.
Oil was a factor in the outbreak and exacerbated war
from the mid-1990s. This report is concerned with the
injustice perpetrated on victims and the role of oil companies
and their home governments during the oil wars. Between 1997 and 2003, international crimes
were committed on a large scale in what was essentially
a military campaign by the Government of Sudan to
secure and take control of the oil fields in Block 5A. As
documented in this report, they included indiscriminate
attacks and intentional targeting of civilians, burning
of shelters, pillage, destruction of objects necessary
for survival, unlawful killing of civilians, rape of women,
abduction of children, torture, and forced displacement.
Thousands of people died and almost two hundred
thousand were violently displaced. Satellite pictures
taken between 1994 and 2003 show that the Lundin
Consortium’s activities in Block 5A coincided with a
spectacular drop in agricultural land use.
The actual perpetrators of the reported crimes were the
armed forces of the Government of Sudan and a variety
of local armed groups that were either allied to the
Government or its main opponent, the Sudan People’s
Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). Nonetheless, the
evidence presented in this report calls into question the
role played by the oil industry in these events. ECOS believes that Lundin, Petronas and OMV, as a
matter of international law, may have been complicit in
the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity....