The Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) proposed a joint agreement with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to combat terrorism in Southeast Asia during a meeting on Tuesday among national police forces of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The proposal made during the 34th Aseanapol Conference held at Sofitel in Manila will also address cross-border crimes.
PNP chief Alan Purisima cited the need for improved security and law enforcement in the region to prevent, suppress and combat terrorism in the Asean and Asia-Pacific regions.
Asean or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations groups Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to Tan Sri Dig Dato’ Sri Khalid Bin Abu Bakar, Inspector General of Police of the RMP, the agreement will facilitate exchange of intelligence information and establishment of a system of communication that would help the two countries prevent transnational crimes and deliver a quick response when they happen.
Police General Drs Suhardi Alius, Commissioner General of the Indonesian National Police (INP), suggested a joint exercise program for the PNP and RMP similar to the existing Philippines-Indonesia (Philindo) Joint Police Maritime Law Enforcement Exercise (Marlex).
Marlex aims to address transnational threats in Sulu in southern Philippines and Sulawesi Sea such as drug trafficking, terrorism, arms smuggling, human trafficking, illegal fishing, maritime fraud and other crimes at high seas, which require enhanced security cooperation, coordination and coordinated maritime law enforcement response between the law enforcement agencies of the Philippines and Malaysia.
Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines share a vast corridor in the Sulu-Sulawesi Sea, a vital sea lane for trade and commerce in the Asia-Pacific region.
On May 13, 2002, a memorandum of agreement was signed by representatives of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia on their common desire to strengthen cooperation, recognize the value of enhancing bilateral defense and establish a framework to facilitate cooperation and inter-operability.
The agreement deals with information exchange procedures and establishment of communication procedures on terrorism, money laundering, smuggling, piracy and robbery at sea, hijacking, intrusion, illegal entry, drug trafficking, theft of marine resources, marine pollution, arms trafficking and other similar matters.
It provides that the participating countries shall designate an organization to act as the communication cum liaison center within their respective territories, staffed by representatives from defense, security or police of these countries, for implementation of the agreement.