Back to top

Written Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Parliamentary Question on Number of Piracy Cases along Singapore Strait in Last Three Years and Measures to Protect Merchant Ships

03 Feb 2020 In Parliament

Mr Desmond Choo asked the Minister for Transport

a.     over the last three years, what is the number of piracy cases along the Singapore Strait; and

b.     what are the measures taken to protect merchant ships using the Singapore Strait.

Reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan:

1.     Over the last three years, piracy and armed robbery against ships incidents in the Singapore Strait numbered 8 in 2017, 7 in 2018 and 31 in 2019.

2.     The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) works with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Singapore Police Coast Guard to closely monitor vessels around and within Singapore territorial waters. Should any suspicious vessel enter Singapore territorial waters, our maritime agencies will respond robustly to safeguard Singapore’s security. MPA regularly broadcasts alerts to vessels to be vigilant when travelling along the Singapore Strait, and issues shipping circulars to advise them on measures to prevent and counter piracy and armed robbery. Such measures include surveillance and detection systems, access control measures, and radio and alarm procedures in the event of an attack.

3.     As the Singapore Strait does not only include Singapore territorial waters, the fight against piracy and armed robbery is a shared responsibility that requires strong collaboration among all regional partners. The RSN conducts joint coordinated patrols with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand through the Malacca Straits Patrol (MSP), to ensure the safety and security of the Strait of Singapore as well as the Strait of Malacca. The MSP holds regular meetings to enhance coordination, review the conduct of operations, and share intelligence and information.

4.     Singapore is also part of a region-wide initiative, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, or ReCAAP, which serves to be the information hub for combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. We encourage the shipping community to provide timely and accurate reporting of incidents to ReCAAP focal points and the nearest coastal state or authority, so that remedial actions can be taken promptly by the respective littoral States.