The seizure of two MISC vessels Bunga Melati Dua and Bunga Melati Lima earlier last month by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden (a narrow shipping lane between Somalia and Yemen), and the holding of its crew for the purpose of ransom, is to be condemned by the entire world community. The Gulf of Aden is reported to be the world’s most dangerous, and also one of the world’s busiest shipping lane.
The incidence of piracy apparently is not a recent phenomena. Rather, it has taken the toll on many passing ships over several years. It is unbelievable that such incidence have been allowed to occur without any concerted measure to seriously curb the piracy threat to the international shipping community.
The dispatch of three RMN ships by the Malaysian government to the affected area recently, I believe is but only an immediate measure. What plans and strategies will be put in place for long term measure, is not known.
The government must not see this problem as being its own. Unilateral action is not the answer. Rather, it is one that requires an international solution, as it affects the international shipping community. Hence, there ought to be an integrated international effort to fight this lingering security threat that is badly affecting the shipping community.
I suppose an international organization like the UN, should begin the initiative to gather countries whose ships are affected by this threat, to seek and adopt an effective operating arrangement, to protect and ensure the safe passage of commercial vessels passing through the Gulf of Aden.
But as an immediate and effective means to counter these warring pirates, I suggest a military option to seek and destroy the source of the threat, wherever it maybe. I would further suggest that all commercial vessels deploys armed marshals on board, just like the air marshals on board US commercial planes today, following the September 11 destruction of the New York World Trade Centre.