Singapore Defence Minister Calls for Integrative and Collaborative Deterrence Against Piracy

Singapore Navy Landing Ship Tank RSS Persistence. Photo: Singapore MOD

“The piracy situation in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia is a clear illustration of how insecurity in one part of the world has global ramifications” said Teo Chee Hean, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence.

“It demonstrates again that contemporary security challenges can no longer be solved by a single country or a small exclusive group of countries acting on its own.” He added

Singapore Navy Landing Ship Tank RSS Persistence. Photo: Singapore MOD

According to Mr. Teo Chee Hean, cooperative approach was effectively demonstrated in improving the security in the Malacca Straits, by conducting regular maritime patrols sharing elements from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. “The Malacca Straits Patrols have contributed substantially to bringing piracy levels down in regional waterways, through collaborative deterrence, information-sharing and sense-making, as well as coordinated responses at sea. Such operational groupings help to translate policy dialogue into ground action.”

“While naval action to deter and disrupt the pirates is critical to restoring immediate order and confidence in this important maritime artery, the situation in the Gulf of Aden is much more complex. Issues such as the prosecution of pirates under capture and coordination of naval resources continue to limit the effectiveness of these efforts. This means that a flexible and inclusive approach towards the Gulf of Aden situation is needed until a more lasting solution can be found on shore.” The minister added. In his opening speech at the IMDEX exhibition in Singapore the minister stressed the need to eliminate this disruption to the security of the Sea Lines of Communication by cooperative international response. There are various naval groupings led Combined Task Force or CTF 151 operating off Somalia, from the European Union, NATO and the US, assisted by ships from various navies operating independently. Singapore has sent a Landing Ship Tank (LST), the RSS Persistence, with two Super Puma helicopters embarked, to be deployed under CTF 151 for three months.