Malaysia’s defense policy in the case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait


In International Relations field, security is as one of the ambiguous and complex term within IR itself. It is impossible to make sense of international politics without being reference into security. Because as we know, there are so many people somewhere around the world who are being killed, raped, tortured, imprisoned, or even denied education in the name of security itself. Also, it cannot be avoided that all of the images about security or insecurity which always happening in the world politics always flash across some medias such as in television, internet, and newspaper columns almost every time. This is as a proof that security itself is as the most important thing or topic in today’s world.

Some scholars, especially from International Relations scholars are trying to find an exact or concrete definition about security itself. Ian Bellany stated that security is as freedom from a war, which means that if there is no war in some places, it means that we feel secure. And this kind of definition can be categorized into a traditional understanding. Compare with Walter Lippman, he stated that if we tried to sacrifice our core values in order to avoid conflicts (wars), it means that we feel secure and there will be no threats. As for core values themselves, they can be included as national interests or sovereignties within a state or nation. Thus, it will be possible that those core values of a nation or state will be different from time to time based on the situation within a state or nation.

And this is as a proof on the possibility for state’s or nation’s core values to change from the old ones will be happened where we can see on the shifting of the condition on our global politics in the international system nowadays that based on our international trade, which most of the International Relations’ actors (both states and non-states actors) conducted are over 90 percent travelling through the ocean. And because of this condition, it brings both the positive and negative impacts from the use of ocean as important tool for doing international trade. On the positive impact, in order to increase state’s power projection, the government from certain states started to implement their good governance on the sea by increasing more both domestic and international maritime trade itself along with its maritime traffic, for instance is through establishing sea toll like what Indonesia’s government under Jokowi plans on. However, with the increasing of using sea for doing the trade, the rise of non-state and transnational threats to the national and international security through the ocean cannot be avoided as well, where one of those threats that were reflected in our international sea today is the acts of piracy or stowaway on the ocean.

Thus, for preventing the threats that coming on the sea, maritime security indeed is really needed to be implemented. Before describing and explaining further about the principles on maritime security, we should have to know first on the development of the concept for maritime security itself as the continuation for the concept of security as what had been mentioned before. Related to the basic principle of post-structuralism school of thought, there will be different perceptions on describing concrete definition on what actually maritime security is. And this is what International Relation’s scholars are trying to explain about maritime security itself. A. T Mahan defines that maritime security is as the ability for all states around the world on the use and control of the sea in order to achieve or even protecting their national interests that is considered also as their core values on the sea itself. And this is as a great factor for those states to make great history in the world in order to make the people inside their countries to become more prosperous because of the achievement of these core values. This condition can be learned based on the history of the rise of British Empire’s Naval Power during European colonialism era, where at that time it was considered as the Great Power country in European countries after attacking Spain and France by using preemptive strike strategy which mostly happened at that time on the ocean because of its conduct on controlling the sea itself. This is as a proof that maritime security indeed already used since in the European colonialization era with its primary concern was on military confrontation and conflict that is coming on European countries. Next is the concept of maritime security from Ed Tummers, where his definition on maritime security is the same with what Mahan had stated before, but specifying more about state’s control on the sea itself. Ed stated that maritime security is considered as a process of maintaining stability in international system that is on, over, under and from the sea, where what he means with his statement that the country should have to improve its ability to maintain stability and controlling the surface of the ocean (sending out more naval ships to protect the surface), over the surface of the sea (joint military operations with state’s military air forces), under and from the sea (by providing more the submarines for maintaining security inside the ocean). And then, as the summary for these two scholar’s perception about maritime security, this concept had been implemented more by United Nations by stating that maritime security is considered as the process on protecting and maintaining stability on the sea as a medium for trade and communication from those threats and intentional unlawful acts by combining both preventive and responsive measures based on the regulations and policies focusing more on the maritime transportation system like IMO, UKMTO, Port Facility Security and so on.

Conceptual Framework and Settings

As had been mentioned before, by maintaining stability on the sea from the intentional unlawful acts is indeed really important for all states around the world because of its function as a medium for trade and communication. However, aside from that, there are other three important functions on the use of the sea that also considered as the principles of maritime security itself. And these principles are categorized based on some threats that the world is facing today with the primary concern for the maritime security is coming from non-traditional or non-military threats instead on the military ones (the complexity of maritime security). The first principle is the use of the sea as source of wealth, where the threats that related with this principle is coming from people’s smuggling and illegal fishing from other countries because with the appearance of these threats, that will disturb economic development of certain countries in order to get their blue economy plan who have bigger roles on the sea (since those people usually conducting these crimes by exploiting important natural resources within the sea without following the international regulation on the use of sea’s resources). Next is the function of the sea as life support system which means that the most important resource on the sea is coming from the function on the use of the water in the sea itself (water security), and some issues that considered will threatening this function are the case of water pollution, climate change, accidents and even from the use of ships or vessels which sometimes bring cargos that containing oil and another mining that will affect important resources on the sea (relates on the marine environment’s safety). The third one is as a medium for peace and security on the sea, with issues that usually relate on this principle are the case of human trafficking, arms proliferation and inter – state disputes (threatening states’ national security on the sea). And the last principle is as the medium for trade and communication where piracy and terrorist acts are considered as the most dangerous trade that will affect this principle on the sea. Based on those principles that had been mentioned above, we can put it into a summary that with the appearance of threats related on the principle of maritime security itself will affect the national interests, security and even strategy of certain countries who have major roles on certain places on the sea, where eventually it will influence the use of defense policy within those states. However, before explaining further about a systematic change of certain state’s implementation of its defense policy that is influenced by maritime security on the sea along with a specific case study, we should have to know first the main concept of defense, policy, implementation and policy implementation which then the explanation about conceptual framework of defense policy itself.

The first concept is the defense concept. Generally, the definition of defense can be described as the action that conducted by someone as a form of resistance against attack that obviously will threat the security within himself or herself.[1] However, to put it specifically in International Relations’ field, the definition of defense itself can be described as an action that conducted by state, as the highest authority in international system (based on Realism school of thought) and as a representative of people’s needs, on resisting the attacks and threats that are coming from both outside and inside of its territorial integrity which will give impact on the state’s national values and its national security.[2] To understand the concept of defense deeper on the state level, states are usually practicing the concept of defense as a form of coordinating use of multiple security countermeasures in order to reach their goals on improving and maintaining the security from those kinds of threats and on the same time protecting the integrity of national assets and resources within the country itself. Military measures is considered as the main strategy from those multiple security countermeasures that usually used by state, so it will be hard for the enemy to defeat a complex and multi-layered defense system than to penetrate a single barrier.[3] [4] Second concept that will be described is the concept of policy. Like what had been explained before about concept of defense, the general concept of policy can be defined as the principles for guiding decisions and achieving the rational outcomes that usually stated by senior executive of governance body that including the government, ruler, or political parties and then being implemented through the adoption of procedures or protocols that conducted by the executive officers.[5] In understanding the concept of policy deeper, it can be described as sets of decision that generally should have to be passed on through three main phase, they are decision-making process that contains on government’s decision towards an ultimate course of action, implementation process as continuation of decision-making process that would be put into practice and evaluation process as an assessment on the =effectiveness of the policy that had been practiced earlier             based on the responses that receive from society, whether the impact on the outcomes and results of this policy is a success or a failure. However, different from the decision, the use of policy is usually oriented towards a long-term purpose in the particular problem and being applied to certain states as a whole rather than to certain parts within those countries.[6]

Based on the explanation about the concept of defense and policy, it can be seen the application of defense policy in the conceptual framework based on the definition of those concepts that already explained earlier, where defense policy is described as a guideline or course of state’s action and behavior that defined by senior executive leadership such as the government or the ruler who intends to influence and determine decisions, actions and other matters relating to the conduct of military enforcement as had been stated before the policy itself is taken into account that consistent with the analysis of the security environment, national values and security objectives, defense objectives and defense mission or levels of ambition. The implementation of state’s defense policy that is influenced by the appearance of maritime security as a specific analysis of the security environment can be seen on the implication of development of Malaysia’s defense policy on facing the case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait, which will be explained on the next part.

Development of Malaysia’s Defense Policy in the case of Maritime Piracy in Malacca Strait

Before explaining further about the process of the development of Malaysia’s defense policy in facing maritime piracy in Malacca Strait, we should have to know first about the basic geographical potentials of Malaysia itself that considered as Malaysia’s national power for developing and implementing its national defense policy based on its national interests towards the strategic values on Malacca Strait geographically that will be explained also later on. As for basic geographical knowledge of Malaysia, it is located in Southeastern part of Asia continent which divided into two distinct parts such as Peninsular of Malaysia that stretched to the west and Eastern part of Malaysia that stretched to the east. As for Peninsular of Malaysia, it is bordered with southern part of Thailand, northern part of Singapore, and eastern part of Indonesian island of Sumatera, while for East Malaysia it is located on the island of Borneo (Kalimantan) and shares borders with Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia. The total of the land of Malaysia is measured around 2,669 kilometers with its coastline is 4,675 kilometers (Peninsular Malaysia is around 2,068 kilometers and East Malaysia around 2,607 kilometers).[1] As for Malaysia’s maritime territorial sea, it is stretched around 12 nm with Economic Exclusive Zone is around 200 nm with its continental shelf is 200 meters to the depth of exploitation that specified its boundary in the South China Sea. With total population around 30.073.353 that has 1.47% growth rate, Constitutional Monarchy as its government type with the capital ci ty is in Kuala Lumpur, middle income country with $229.3 billion as the GDP growth of Malaysia in purchasing power parity (2004 estimation), 2.03% of GDP on its military expenditures which was around $1.69 billion with military branches are Malaysian Army (Tentara Darat Malaysia), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentara Laut Diraja Malaysia or TLDM) and Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentara Udara Diraja Malaysia or TUDM), Malaysia is considered as one of strategic location in Southeast Asia that located along the Strait of Malacca and southern part of South China Sea.[2] In terms of its natural resources, Malaysia has abundant natural resources in minerals and petroleum that categorized as the next exporter (especially in petroleum) such as tin, timber, copper, iron, ore, natural gas and bauxite. Another resource also coming from the forestry, since Malaysia geographically is covered by the forest with a mountain range running to the length of the peninsula by providing ebony, sandalwood, teak and other stuffs that produced from the wood of its forest along with timber (timber products amounted around MYR 23.4 billion in 2007).[3]


Next is the geographical location of Strait Malacca. Geopolitically, Malacca Strait falls on a number of different territorial and maritime jurisdictions where in generally it is located between Peninsular of Malaysia (with small portion of Thailand) that has an area around 65,000 square kilometers with 800 kilometers long an d is funnel-shaped and a width only 65 kilometers in the southern part that broadens northward into some 250 kilometers between We island of Sumatera island in Indonesia and the Isthmus of Kra on the mainland that because of this position, it limits bordering Singaporean and Indian territorial waters.[4] Based on the International Hydrographic Organization, it defines maritime location of Malacca Strait in the west, east, north and southern parts into different borders. In western part, it stretches from the northernmost point of Sumatera (Pedropunt) and Lem Voalan on the southern extremity of Phuket Island, Thailand, while on the east it is located from the Tanjong Piai on the Malaysian Peninsula and Klein Karimoen, Indonesia. In northern part, Malacca Strait is bordered with The Southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula and in southern part it is located on the northwestern coast of Sumatera to the eastward city of Tanjung Kedabu to Klein Karimoen, Indonesia.[5]  The name of Malacca from Strait of Malacca is derived from trading port of Melaka that located on the Malay coast, which is as a place for exporting rubber and copra and was considered as a strategic port for trade center and base for Muslim missionaries during in 16th and 17th centuries.[6]


Malacca Strait is considered as the most critical global trade artillery, with some of the heaviest traffic of any maritime chokepoint worldwide since until now there are around more than 60,000 to 94,000 shipping vessels that passed through the strait annually, which carrying about a third of global trade (considered the strait has three times more general traffic than the Panama Canal and twice as much as the Suez Canal.[7] Because of the strategic location of Malacca Strait as major trading place for almost all developed countries around the world, it is becoming an obligation for Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia to secure and maintain the safety on the strait from some threats and challenges that coming towards the strait itself. That is why the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore have attempted and implemented numerous measures for creating a more secure atmosphere in the Malacca Strait, especially on the case of maritime piracy and armed robbery.

The case of maritime piracy in Malacca Strait already complicated the sovereignty conditions of these three littoral states because most of them putting the  lives of hundreds of crewmembers and sailors at risk by conducting violent assault or bloodless incidences of robbery. By seeing this crime over open water, it stated that there are still some practical limitations on the international law and exposing the lack of capacity of these three countries within the Southeast Asia region. The case of maritime piracy on Malacca Strait already cost these three states an estimated around US$30 to US$50 billion in 2003, with Indonesia and Malaysia are suffering more from the act of piracy towards the crewmembers of the ship while Singapore as the most adversely affected sinc e it is as a major hub for shipping and cargo exchange and an important oil refinery location.[8] However, with the increased trilateral efforts by Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia on securing the strait through sea patrols, the piracy case already reduced from 2003 up to until in 2008. But, started from 2011 until 2014, the case of maritime piracy is getting increased again, even becoming the most dangerous place for ships to pass on for doing the trade rather than in South Chin a Sea. It can be seen on the report from ReCAAP that so far there are almost 129 sea attacks that happened in 2014 on the strait in some places, especially in Malacca Strait (with 117 actual attacks and 12 others considered as an attempted attacks) with common crime is ship robbery by attacking small speed boats or fishing vessels and then rob them directly on that place.[9] Because of this increasing on crime of piracy acts, it makes these three littoral states to develop their military strategies through implementing their defense policies for solving the problem in order to secure their national interests and objectives on the Malacca Strait, mainly for Malaysia.


By taking a look on the situation that is happening today, Malaysia started to put major concern to tackle non-military or asymmetric threats in order to undermine regional security and stability as a challenge for the Malaysian government itself, including threat on maritime piracy in Malacca Strait. That is why the defense on its national interest is indeed very important as a fundamental towards its sovereignty and independence which is in line with the principal objective of Malaysia’s National Defense Policy on protecting and defending Malaysia’s interests and territories from domestic and external threats. Basically, there are three geographical interests of Malaysia, such as the core areas, offshore economic interests and strategic waterways and airspace. As for the core areas encompass Malaysia’s landmass of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Serawak along with the territorial waters and airspace above them that should have to be protected from external threats. Then, as for the offshore economic areas, they are on the nation’s EEZ and continental shelf such as in South China Sea that abundant with fisheries and hydrocarbon resources that contributed significantly on its national economic growth. The last is Malaysia’s strategic maritime and airspace lines of communication such as the maritime and airspace lines of communication connecting to Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Serawak, Malacca Strait and its approaches and Strait of Singapore and its approaches. For Malacca Strait, it is considered as one of the main international maritime routes and services on almost the entire East-West maritime transportation which also as a host of Malaysia’s major ports and business centers and is the transportation route for 80% of Malaysia’s exports and imports.[10] That is why Malaysia considered any kind of encroachment into the strait as a threat for its national interests, defense and sovereignty. Also, with the appearance of developed states to pass through the strait on doing the trade lead them for controlling the place and eventually will become a conflicted area between major powers in order to increase their national economic growth on the strait that affecting the security and defense of Malaysia there. That is why Malaysia stated to protect the Malacca Strait from external powers’ involvement also by developing Malaysia’s defense policy that based on three main principles, they are the ability to be independent (self-reliance strategy), regional cooperation and external help. However, up until now the focus on the development of Malaysia’s defense policies that relates on the maritime piracy in Malacca Strait are on self-reliance and external help. As for self-reliance strategy, as a free and sovereign nation, Malaysia realizes that in order to secure its national interests, it should have to develop its independent ability or self-reliance in terms of its armed forces on national scale that involves not only the battle ready troops buit also a suporting logistic force which can be induced through military industry which goes in line with the national development program. However, the term of self-reliance for Malaysia is based on the specific condition, which is self-reliance on having the ability to act alone in defending the sovereignty of its territory from external and internal threats from immediate territories whether at medium level of threat or low level threats through the external help from nations outside the region, which the aids include moral and physical support, training facilities, division of technology and utilities support as the continuation of external aids strategy. Even though the nation is responsible towards Zon of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality, this does not mean the nation should set aside the need to  request for help in the form of resources from outside of the region when needed especially when the level of threats that mostly coming from outside (e.g. Malacca Strait on maritime piracy) exceeding the ability of Malaysia’s local forces.[11]


The implication of its main strategies on Malaysia’s Defense Policy is being renewed again in 2010, where its national defense policy is covering four main tasks such as to educate all-citizen national defense concept that combines the power of government, NGOs, private sector, and people in order to defense the country, to enhance the capacity of Malaysia’s Armed Forces while on the same time increasing a sense of patriotism, to cooperate with regional countries and major powers by establishing close military diplomacy through bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation and to set up a defense policy committee to oversee the task of defense policy formu lation progress.[12] These tasks on its national defense policy should have to be conducted in order to achieve its modernization of the Armed Forces and to improve armed forces’ combat capability in terms of challenges from non-traditional security, especially on tackling Somali pirates that operated mostly in Malacca Strait. Due to Malaysia’s primary concern on protecting its coastal water and expanded economic zones like in Malacca Strait, the major beneficiaries on the military modernization program obviously will come towards the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Navy with the establishment of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a Coast Guard-type organization to provide sea-going maritime constabulary services to ensure on the safety of any type of vessels that passing through Malaysian waters along with establishment of Eyes in the Sky (EIS) initiative which stated by Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia on the Shangri-la Dialogue on July 2005 that providing a maritime air operation for surveillance over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore by other two littoral states and Thailand, they are Singapore and Indonesia.[13] The implementation of this policy can be seen on the procurement of submarines from external powers like from France by purchasing two Scorpene-class submarines and a refitted French submarine for training purchases that commissioned in 2002 worth RM7 billion, 2 patrol boats to whip up 298 complaints that worth RM943 million, 18 Sukhoi jet fighters worth RM3.5 billion and the 12 Euro-copters EC275 helicopters in 2008 worth RM2.3 billion.[14] [15] This is a proof that Malaysia’s military spending increased by 3.1 percent started from 2002 until in 2013, with 13 percent higher than in 2004, even though there is still a big gap between the plan for maximizing this modernization program with the actualization for developing them, mainly on Malaysia’s armies (especially for Malaysia’s naval forces and air forces) along with its lack of transparency on defense contracts about its financial spending and arms procurement.[16]

Country Finance Personnel Operations Arms Procurement
Malaysia The percentage of the budget allocated to secret items is still unknown and they are not believed to be audited with no official information regarding the extent of off-budget spending A Code of Conduct is not publicly identifiable and nor is anti-corruption training or outcomes of the prosecutions of personnel Still lack of anti-corruption military doctrine, training, and monitoring that had been assessed with no information to indicate that corruption risks in contracting on operations are guided through guidelines or training The procurement cycle is not disclosed and parliamentary scrutiny is lacking, with defense purchases are only being made on public ex post facto


For the implication of Malaysia’s procurement on military equipment from external powers and military spending of the weapon system, they are being reflected from the capability of Malaysia’s defense budget to take out the defense policies and along with on how to implement them. Even though Malaysia’s defense budget sets the limits within which defense planning has to take place like other ASEAN countries, its defense budget is considered as the modest comparing with those countries since it is based mostly on a percentage of annual government expenditure and not pegged more on its GDP. However, the allocation of its defense budget should have to depend on the affordability of the government himself. On the process of managing the defense funds, the actors that involve within the process are being given towards Ministry of Defense that entrusted with task on managing defense funds, Secretary General of the Ministry as the Controlling Officer, the Federal Treasury who controls the purse and the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Ministers’ Department then will make the final decision on major defense development programs. Every single cent spend on defence is subject to parliament’s approval and examined by the Federal Auditor. Occasionally, the Public Accounts Committee summons senior defence officials to appear before it to explain on alleged improprieties in defence spending based on Federal Auditor’s Annual Report.[1] The data below shows about the process of the budgeting on Malaysia’s defense development program and the actors within the country based on formal five-year planning structure on its budgeting system.



Based on the case of piracy and armed robbery in the Malacca Strait, it can be seen that the security and stability on the strait itself is obviously influencing Malaysia’s National Defense Policy even until today. The process of the development on Malaysia’s Defense Policy because of this piracy acts on Malacca Strait can be structured systematically. As we can see, the analysis from every state on seeing the condition of our international environment today is indeed really important, where as we know that different with what happened in 1980s and 1990s, the political condition in our international system at that time was coming from the expansion of imperialism and communism values which considered as the biggest threat and risk for all states around the world, since those threats will obviously influencing the peaceful and security of their sovereignty and territorial integrity, while compare with the political condition in 21st century that is affected by globalization, the threats and risks that are giving impacts on each state mostly coming from Non-Traditional Security (NTS) instead from the traditional ones where most of those threats are coming towards the sea. That is why nowadays each country around the world started to put their concern more on the maritime security for stabilizing the ocean in order to protect their national interests on the place that obviously will influence the national security within their countries, including Malaysia on securing geographical location of Malacca Strait.

On what already explained before, one of threats and risks that considered the maritime security of Malacca Strait is the acts of pirates on the sea. With strategic location of Malacca Strait as Sea Lines of Communication for not only these three littoral states (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) but also for major power states, the act of piracy and armed robbery on the sea will affecting the functions of Malacca Strait itself, which is also based on the principles of maritime security in general. In terms of Malacca Strait’s function as a source of wealth, by conducting piracy in the Malacca Strait that is considered as one of major trade route in the world will be categorized as their source of wealth itself since the act of piracy and armed robbery towards some cargo ships (especially from Singapore) can make them getting important resources and even the money from the crew members of the ship. And it will influence the security of certain vessels (mainly for the cargo ships) even for fisherman from these three littoral states including other Southeast Asia nations that considered Malacca Strait as their life support system, since basically most of these states depend their economic growth mostly on the fishing industry (e.g. Indonesia and Malaysia). Thus, by the appearance of pirates on the strait, it will influence their goals to achieve blue economy on using the strait as their life support system. After that, the act of pirates on the strait will disturb the activities of certain states on doing international trade and communication through the strait, since Malacca Strait also considered as International Sea that being regulated based on some security regulation and policies such as like IMO (this is as the main principle that is mostly being threatened from the piracy acts), while eventually it will influence the peace and security principle of maritime security in Malacca Strait because it will influence the world’s trade system from almost every countries around the world who passed on this strait.

By taking the threat into an important issue, Malaysia then began to perceive that the act of piracy in Malacca Strait will influence one of its national geographical interests, which is about its strategic maritime and airspace lines of communication on the Malacca Strait and its approaches. Because as we know, Malaysia as a member of littoral states is considered as one of the major host for protecting the security of Malacca Strait from those non-traditional threats in terms of its main way for exporting and importing goods and services on the Melaka port. Then, with the appearance of piracy on part of its sovereignty in Malacca Strait, it will be affected on Malaysia’s National Security in terms of military and non-military aspects (externally and internally). As for military aspect internally, with the appearance of piracy on the strait will influence the capacity of Malaysia’s Naval and Air forces along with some of its military equipment on the maritime and airspace areas, since until today Malaysia just focusing on increasing its armies due to high tension of its internal conflicts without taking into consideration about threats that also can come from the outside of the country. As for the non-military aspect, internally it would affect mostly on its economic growth related to Malaysia’s trading activities (doing export and import) which always passing on the strait from its main port in Melaka as what had been mentioned before. Then, on the external one, in military aspect the threat will affect mainly the capability of Malaysia’s Navies and Air forces along with the military equipment that used by them for securing the place because of its government lack on taking out decision for improving the capacity of its navies and air forces and increasing more new military weapon system by replacing the old ones (as continuation of its internal military effect) along with the disturbance on conducting military and defense diplomacy with other countries through joint training on the sea. As on the non-military aspect, the act of piracy will affect economic growth of Malaysia from its international trade with major powers in terms of its import from the strait itself. To put it into summary, the act of piracy in Malacca Strait can be considered as an Azymuthal Threat for Malaysia’s national security.

That is why Malaysia then started to implement its national strategy as a continuation of its national objectives and security, Malaysia began to take out three main principles of its national strategy which refers to national’s strategic importance, the principles of defense and the concept of defense through the development of its self-reliance (depending on its own resources and capabilities to secure its sovereignty and territorial integrity by possessing the ability of Malaysia’s Armed Forces on responding to any enemy military hostility), total defense or HANRUH (involving many government agencies, private sector, NGOs and the civilian in all circumstance on defending Malaysia’s national security to assist the MAF) and defense diplomacy (conducting confidence building measures, transparency, construction of positive norms and establishment of channels of communication through joint exercises, information sharing, senior officers’ visits, exchange of officers and the provision of military education and training facilities on its bilateral and multilateral cooperation (with ASEAN and major power countries) for maintaining stability and security of South East Asia Region.[2] The strategy itself are being improved through Malaysia’s military modernization program as its national security system, where there are some actors (they are MAF, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Ministry of Defense, Secretary General of the Ministry and Ministry of Finance), legislation (the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Ministers’ Department , Parliament that consist of the Senate or Dewan Negara and House of Representative or Dewan Rakyat and Prime Minister’s Department that consists of The National Security Council, The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Affairs Division and The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) and institution (Malaysia’s military companies Boustead Naval Shipyard and Sapura along with French defense company DCNS) that involve on the program, along with the improvement of the military budget on achieving this program.[3] [4] The realization of this security system leads into the formation of Malaysia’s Defense Policy that has four main tasks which had been mentioned on the previous part. Eventually, the policy will be taken into account through the deployment of its force structure in terms of Malaysia’s weapon acquisition with its manpower on navies and air forces along with its military strategy.

Sources of Wealth

(Conducting acts of piracy on Malacca Strait towards cargo vessels considered as thei sources of wealth)

Life Support System

(Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery will threatening fisherman from Malaysia who use small boats as its Life Support System in Malacca Strait)

Medium for Trade and Communication

(The appearance of Pirates on the strait will disturbing international trade and communication activities for certain countries that considered as part of International Sea)

Peace and Security

(Influencing the peace and security principle of maritime security in Malacca Strait by distracting its World’s Trade System because of piracy acts)

References :

[1] Pal Singh, Ravinder. 2000. Arms Procurement Decision Making Volume II : Chile, Greece, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa and Taiwan. New York : Oxford University Press (SIPRI). pg 81,82,83,84,85.

[2] Malaysia’s National Defense Policy. Paper. pg 15,17.

[3] Jazlan Mohamad, Nur. Malaysia’s Defence Policy and the Defence Budgeting. Malaysia : Member of Parliament for Pulai Datuk (UMNO). pg 2,3.

[4] Liew, Chin – Tong. The Role of Parliament and National Security Policy Formulation : Country Study Malaysia. Malaysia : Member of Parliament. pg 3,6.

[1]Geography of Malaysia” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[2]Malaysia’s Geography” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[3]Malaysia” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[4]Strait of Malacca” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[5] Umana, Felipe. 2012. Threat Convergence : Transnational Security Threats in the Straits of Malacca. Washington, DC : The Fund for Peace (FFP). pg 4.

[6]Geography of Malacca” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[7] Ibid. pg 5.

[8] Ibid. pg 7.

[9]Malacca Strait rampant with Pirates” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[10] Malaysia’s National Defense Policy. Paper. pg 3,4.

[11] Faisol Keling, Mohamad cs. 2011. The Malaysian Government’s Efforts in Managing Military and Defence Development. pg 185.

[12]Malaysia’s New National Defense Policy” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[13]Security in the Straits of Malacca” in, accessed on February 3rd, 2015

[14]The Submarine Race in the Malaccan Strait” in, accessed on February 2nd, 2015

[15]Corruption : Bane of Malaysian National Security” in, accessed on February 3rd, 2015

[16] Perlo, Sam. 2014. Military spending and regional security in the Asia – Pacific. Oxford University : SIPRI. pg 16.

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