Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
has historically been an unresolved threat to ship owners and the mariners who ply the 900 km-long (550 miles) sea lane. In recent years, coordinated patrols by Indonesia
, and Singapore
, along with increased security on vessels have sparked a dramatic downturn in piracy, according to the International Maritime Bureau
(IMB)."Watchdog hails improved security in Malacca Strait;Increased patrols and other measures have cut number of pirate attacks", The Straits Times
, January 23, 2007.
The geography in the Strait of Malacca makes the region very susceptible to piracy. It was, and still is, an important passageway between China
, and was used heavily for commercial trade. As for modern times, the Strait is on the route between Europe
, the Suez Canal
, and the oil-exporting countries of the Persian Gulf
; and the busy ports of East Asia
. The strait is narrow, contains thousands of islets, and is an outlet for many rivers, making it an ideal location for pirates to hide and evade capture.
Historically, piracy in the Strait of Malacca was not only a lucrative way of life, but also an important political tool. Rulers relied on the region's pirates to maintain control. One example was the 14th-century rule of the Palembang
. It was through the loyalty of pirate crews made of the Orang Laut
people that Parameswara survived expansion attempts of... Read More