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Piracy, Maritime Terrorism and Securing the Malacca Straits

Graham Gerard Ong-Webb

Publication Year: 2006

Maritime piracy continues to persist as a significant phenomenon, revealing a range of social, historical, geo-political, security, and economic issues. Today, the waters of Southeast Asia serve as the dominant region for the occurrence of piracy and the challenges it poses to regional security and Malacca Straits security in particular. As a second instalment within the Series on Maritime Issues and Piracy in Asia by the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University, and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, the authors of this volume add fresh perspectives to the ongoing debate about piracy, the threat of “maritime terrorism”, and the challenge of securing the Malacca Straits today.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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Introduction: Southeast Asian Piracy: Research and Developments

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pp. xi-xxxviii

Maritime piracy continues to persist as a phenomenon in itself and as one that both directly and indirectly manifests a range of related social, historical, geo-political, security and economic issues. While piracy has permeated the world’s maritime domain throughout history, in...

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1. Piracy, Armed Robbery and Terrorism at Sea: A Global and Regional Outlook

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pp. 1-22

Piracy has always been romanticized by writers and film-makers and many people often harbour visions of bearded renegades sailing seas of endless blue, something akin to a maritime “Robin Hood” of sorts. In truth, modern day piracy (in whatever form) is a violent, bloody, and...

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2. Transnational Threats and the Maritime Domain

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pp. 23-36

On the night of 22 July 2004, a United States Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Kennedy, collided with a wooden dhow while conducting operations in the Arabian Gulf.2 The wooden dhow was no match for the 82,000-tonne aircraft carrier. Search and rescue teams found no survivors and only a...

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3. Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Philippines

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pp. 37-51

Southeast Asia, with its complex littoral regions where the mixture of overlapping jurisdictions, thousands of miles of coastlines, and a challenging environment, has provided a fertile area for the growth of transnational threats like terrorism, human and drug trafficking, and piracy....

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4. Political Piracy and Maritime Terrorism: A Comparison between the Straits of Malacca and the Southern Philippines

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pp. 52-67

Since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York (9/11), the threat of a terrorist attack targetting the maritime sector has gained considerable attention, both in the international media and in international fora such as the International Maritime Organization...

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5. Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea along the Malacca Straits: Initial Impressions from Fieldwork in the Riau Islands

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pp. 68-83

The Franco-Spanish singer and political activist Manu Chao is very often a victim of piracy, but of the Internet kind rather than in the maritime realm. His famous Latin song “Welcome to Tijuana”, which like many popular songs today, is constantly pirated over the Internet in infringement of the laws...

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6. The Politics of Anti-Piracy and Anti-Terrorism Responses in Southeast Asia

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pp. 84-102

Since the events of 11 September 2001, the fear of linkages between pirates and “terrorists” in Southeast Asia has been reflected in the mass media and government policy statements, both within and outside the region.2 But some argue that piracy and terrorism have different causes, motives,...

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7. Private Military and Security Companies in the Fight against Piracy in Southeast Asia

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pp. 103-133

We live in an increasingly privatized world. Private education, private airlines, private telephone companies, and private healthcare are only a few examples of the increasing impact of privatization on our daily lives. Designed to stay competitive in the global market, private companies...

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8. Unilateralism and Regionalism: Working Together and Alone in the Malacca Straits

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pp. 134-162

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) declared categorically in 2003 that, “maritime cooperation between and among ASEAN member countries shall contribute to the evolution of the ASEAN Security Community”.1 This perception of the key role that...

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9. Maritime Piracy in Southeast Asia: The Evolution and Progress of Intra-ASEAN Cooperation

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pp. 163-189

Although maritime piracy is not a new phenomenon, it is one that has, over the last two decades, received increasing amounts of both media and political attention. This has been in part due to the transformation of security issues at the closing end of the Cold War and the spectacular rise...

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10. The Rhine Navigation Regime: A Model for the Straits of Malacca?

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pp. 190-200

To a landlocked state, the issue of its accessibility to the sea can be as crucial as the right of innocent passage over the territorial water of other countries. Both kinds of issues can become a potential source of conflict if they are not handled carefully and judiciously with the other neighbouring...

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11. Whither the Malacca Straits? The Rise of New Hub Ports in Asia

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pp. 201-220

The Straits of Malacca is an important shipping lane connecting the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is said that 50,000 or more cargo ships a year transit this lane to carry the goods traded between the Atlantic and the Far East—carrying half of the...

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12. Piracy, Seaborne Trade and the Rivalries of Foreign Sea Powers in East and Southeast Asia, 1511 to 1839: A Chinese Perspective

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pp. 221-240

Maritime piracy1 in East and Southeast Asia is as old as the seaborne trade, which it preys upon. Before the advent of European colonizers in early sixteenth century, the relation between piracy and seaborne trade was simple: The pirates were the predators and the merchant ships...

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Conclusion: Building Upon the Research Agenda

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pp. 241-248

The insights generated in this volume can be clustered around the issues of regional piracy, the threat of maritime terrorism and the security of the Malacca Straits. First, it is clear that piracy is a multi-faceted phenomenon that has evolved in form and interpretation throughout history, as chiefly...


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pp. 249-266

E-ISBN-13: 9789812305909
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812304179

Page Count: 266
Publication Year: 2006

Edition: 1

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Piracy -- Southeast Asia.
  • Pirates -- Southeast Asia.
  • Navigation -- Southeast Asia -- Safety measures.
  • Maritime terrorism -- Southeast Asia.
  • National security -- Southeast Asia.
  • Malacca, Strait of -- Navigation -- Safety measures.
  • Southeast Asia -- Foreign relations.
  • Malacca, Strait of -- Strategic aspects.
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