Tuesday, December 3, 2013



File:Malaysia (orthographic projection).svg          
Globe image Wikipedia Commons GNU Free Documentation License      , Detailed Map by the U.S. CIA

Malaysia is a federal constitutional elected monarchy in Southeast Asia. It is strategically located along the relatively narrow passage ways between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea / Pacific Ocean. Like India, Malaysia is a former British colony that has blended a basic British parliamentary system into their own unique and ancient traditions. Like Great Britain Malaysia has an official state religion, but its not part of the Anglican Communion . The official state religion of Malaysia is Islam. Like Great Britain ,  Malaysia has religious tolerance as state policy. Malaysia is a moral, democratic, and increasingly prosperous nation in a very strategic location. The official language is Malaysian (MalayBahasa Malaysia) or Standard Malay. However tourism and joint military operations are greatly facilitated by the widespread use of English, especially in certain professions and in the upper court systemTheir Navy, while small compared to the top five in the world is none the less large in terms of the national support it receives. It is also competent and formidable in its home waters and has been able to contribute to international naval exercises. Malaysia is non aligned, but like India is largely viewed by the U.S./Japan/ Philippines/ Australia alliances as a responsible and trust worthy agent of international law enforcement and peace. Neutral and peacefully inclined Malaysia follows a policy of open communications and friendliness towards all nations but spends sufficiently on defense so as not to be a target for thug states. And of course while the Malaysians wouldn't deviate from their polite political demeanor, we know they have a dragon living on the door step. The fact that they are not weak makes the global cross roads of the South China Sea more secure for everyone.
 A blue rectangle with a gold star and crescent in the canton, with 14 horizontal red and white lines on the rest of the flag Malaysia had a little over 28,000,000 people who support with their tax dollars military services typical of states with larger populations and land areas. Malaysia's military establishment is competent but non aggressive and a force for the rule of law and peace, respected, not feared by Malaysia's neighbors.

Crest of the Royal Malaysian Navy.svg The Royal Malaysian Navy swears allegiance to the King, the Head of State. The Royal Navy has over 15,000 uniformed members in active service. The service operates two submarines, 4 frigates, 4 corvettes, 6 offshore patrol vessels, 4 mine sweepers, 2 auxiliary ships, 
2 hydrographic survey vessels , 33 fast attack boats, a virtual "swarm" and a formidable force in the narrow straits, and  12 maritime helicopters. The Royal navy performs some of the traditional coast guard services as well as its national security role, though Malaysia also maintains a paramilitary civil service coast guard like service called the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to handle the bulk of maritime law enforcement chores and coordinate search and rescue. The Navy while a military branch, literally has marine safety as a mission. The Royal Navy has proven competent at sovereignty patrol,  counter smuggling, anti piracy, search and rescue , and numerous other missions normally associated with both navies and coast guards. The motto of the Royal Navy is  "Sedia Berkorban" (English: Ready To Sacrifice). We couldn't think of a better motto. It reassures weaker neighbors of the Navy's non aggressive intentions and warns enemies that they will be competently opposed at all costs. 
Royal Navy Boarding team
Royal Navy Surface ships
Malaysia's first Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine docked at its Naval base in Port Klang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on September 3, 2009.                      
Malaysian Royal  Navy submarine    
For a video look at the 2013 Malaysian armed forces including the Royal Navy and a little peek at the society that supports them click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etr--NrvTu8  We think that you will agree with our assessment that whenever so few people choose to spend this kind of money on quality military forces, while harboring no ambitions on other people's territory, they are making a statement to the world of their intention to retain their freedom and independence.  China may be surrounded by smaller powers, but Malaysia is an example of the fact that the Dragon's neighbors are not push overs.

THE MALAYSIAN MARITIME ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (civilian, but para-naval organized and armed law enforcement agency , a form of  "coast guard")

Flag of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.svg

No discussion of Malaysian sea power would be complete without a discussion of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA, officially "APMM")) , Malaysia's maritime police service and a formidable coast guard in its own right. This is a uniformed, armed, para-naval organized police service whose members are classified and administered as civil servants. The  MMEA or APMM answers to the Prime Minister through a cabinet secretary and its motto is "Guard Protect Save" .

 Much of their patrol activity looking for illegal fishing, smuggling, and unlawful entry and other specifically criminal activities dove tail with Royal Navy sovereignty patrols. The two activities compliment and re-enforce each other. Together the Royal Navy and APMM produce a very steady and impressive presence for law and order in the Malaysian Maritime Regions. However there are no plans or discussions about integrating the agency and the naval service.  While the U.S. Coast Guard becomes part of the Navy in time of war, or individuals and units may be assigned to the Navy by the President, the U.S. Coast Guard is always housed in peace time outside of the Defense Department. This is because of U.S. sensitivity to the use of military personnel for law enforcement. Like the U.S., Malaysia was long a British colony and probably has a similar reluctance to use military personnel to enforce domestic law on their citizens.  During the 18th and 19th centuries the British didn't hesitate to use troops to enforce law in the colonies. An aversion to military law enforcement is typical in many former British colonies, and some serious degree of separation between coast guards and navies is common. But to the outside would be invader, such legal separation doesn't detract from the total national sea power that has to be dealt with. In considering deterrent effect both services should be taken into consideration.

 The APMM is a formidable maritime  force. Infused with para-naval discipline it is armed , trained, dedicated, and not small in terms of size to territory covered. The agency employs a little over 7,000 members , mostly commissioned law enforcement officers/mariners  to cover a region about the size of the New England Coast, Territorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zone. The APMM operates roughly 109 patrol craft, two larger offshore patrol ships, one training ship, and six helicopters and two fixed wing air craft. Like all Coast Guards the APMM is lightly armed with basic police type service firearms including pistols, rifles, shot guns, and sub machine guns. This force patrols a watery area comparable to the U.S. New England Coast and its adjacent Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) .

By contrast the U.S. Coast Guard with an active duty strength of about 40,000 personnel must cover thousands of miles of Atlantic, Gulf, Great Lakes, Pacific, and Arctic coast lines and millions of square miles of Exclusive Economic zones as well as thousands of square miles of overseas territorial waters. The U.S. tries to do all of this with a force only a little larger in terms of active duty personnel than the New York City Police Department. By contrast Malaysian tax payers provide themselves with a much higher policeman to maritime square mile coverage than the U.S. does. American tax payers often complain that they are burdened with funding "the world's police force" and it is true that America pays a disproportionate share of the global security bill. But we are not alone India and Malaysia pay for levels of security that benefit neighbors and the world using the regional sea lanes. Their non aligned status doesn't diminish their contribution to global security. These are peaceful, law abiding, and non aggressive nations their defense spending, like our own, benefits more than themselves. China by contrast uses it forces both naval and coast guard in a thug like manner and their military spending is a disruptive factor in the world at the moment. If China doesn't return to a soft power charm offensive they will have to be contained. Two of their primary targets the Philippines and Japan are our  treaty obligated allies who we have to back up militarily. The presence of Malaysia though non aligned, reduces the expense of containment. Though they may not coordinate efforts with  the U.S. and our formal allies , they don't tolerate aggressive behavior in their region and thus deny the Dragon a free ride into the southernmost waters of the South China Sea, and help insure safe innocent passage of the world's merchant shipping through their critical region. As long as the U.S. and her formal allies keep operations within the bounds of maritime international law non aligned but responsibly operated naval strength works to our advantage. Where the Dragon is not surrounded by offended and arming neighbors it is facing free, armed and naval operations competent societies. Coordinated or not, the responsible "non aligned" sea powers contribute to dragon containment even when that is not their stated intent.

Below is a link to the official website of the APMM in the Malay language.  https://www.mmea.gov.my/index.php?lang=en

Below is the link to the Wikipedia English Language description of the "Malaysian Coast Guard"


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