The Malacca Strait is a critical and strategic waterway in the global trading system. It carries more than one fourth of the world's commerce and half the world's oil. The security of the Strait is important for the countries in the region as well as the international community.The security of the Malacca Strait cannot be tackled by any single country alone. The littoral states, user states and the international community need to co-operate and work together to ensure security and safety for all legitimate users. The Malacca Straits Patrol or MSP, which comprises the Malacca Strait Sea Patrol (MSSP), the "Eyes-in-the-Sky" (EiS) air patrols as well as the Intelligence Exchange Group (IEG), is a concrete set of practical co-operative measures undertaken by the littoral states to ensure the security of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.With the implementation of the MSP, the overall security situation in the Malacca Strait has improved. The number of piracy incidents has declined in the last few years from a high of 38 in 2004, 11 in 2006, and 7 last year. Since August 2006, Lloyd's Joint War Risk Committee has dropped the classification of the Malacca Strait as a war-risk area.
To enhance security in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore as well as to bolster existing bilateral arrangements, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore launched the trilateral Malacca Strait Sea Patrol in July 2004. Under this arrangement, the participating states conduct co-ordinated patrols while facilitating the sharing of information between ships and the Monitoring and Action Agency (MAA).
To reinforce the efforts of the sea patrols with air surveillance, the "Eyes-in-the-Sky" or EiS initiative was launched in September 2005. The initiative provides combined and co-ordinated aerial surveillance over the straits using maritime patrol aircraft of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
MSP Intelligence Exchange Group
An MSP Intelligence Exchange Group (IEG) was formed among the three participating states in 2006 to support the sea and air patrols, leading to the development of an information sharing platform called the Malacca Straits Patrol Information System or MSP-IS.