Malaysia asks Singapore to be observer of multinational patrols of Philippines's Sulu Sea

Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (pictured) met Singapore's Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen to discuss the joint patrolling proposal.
Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (pictured) met Singapore's Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen to discuss the joint patrolling proposal. PHOTO: THE STAR

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia has requested Singapore to be an observer in the multinational patrolling of the Sulu Sea in south-western Philippines following several kidnappings by militants, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Monday (April 18) according to the Malay Mail.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said he had meet his Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen to discuss the proposal, the report said.

"It is not a new thing for Singapore and Malaysia to work together as we do conduct joint patrolling along the Straits of Malacca," Mr Hishammuddin told reporters at the launch of the 15th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference.

"It would be good if Singapore can join us as an observer together with Thailand so they can help give us (Malaysia), the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia, input on how best to tackle the problem."

Four Malaysians from Sarawak were abducted by Abu Sayyaf-linked gunmen in international waters off Sabah's Pulau Ligitan on April 1. Four Indonesians were also believed to be taken by armed militants last Friday.

Mr Hishammuddin said after the latest kidnappings that the joint patrols in the Sulu Sea must be implemented quickly, the Malay Mail said.