The Straits of Malacca: Malaysia’s Threat Perception and Strategy for Maritime Security
Malaysia’s threat perception towards the Straits of Malacca is very much in line with those of other key players in the region. Yet managing security in the Straits remains a complex matter for it and the other two littoral states bordering it, Indonesia and Singapore. Malaysia is fully aware of its share of the interdependent responsibility to secure the Straits, ensure its navigational safety and maintain its environmental well-being. To meet the demand and help uphold the confidence of users of the Straits, Malaysia has adopted a coordinated approach domestically to security management and participated in collaborative security initiatives at multiple levels within and without the region. This study examines how Malaysia, in the process, adapts to the constant challenge of striking a balance between the Straits as territorial waters and as an international waterway, between its national strategic concerns and other players’ interests and calculations, and between technical and financial needs for regional and international cooperation on security in the Straits and its apprehension over the potential of “internationalisation” of the Straits.