B-06-08, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 2161 2960
Fax: (603) 2161 4035
E-Mail: MIMA Email@mima.gov.my


The end of the cold war brought with it aspirations of a more peaceful world and then much touted "peace dividends". Almost twenty years on, the world remains a dangerous place and the so-called peace dividends are nowhere to be seen. The only discernable change is the issues which now shaped global security. Superpower rivalry is now replaced by asymmetrical warfare and the rise of non state players such as terrorist organisations and criminal groups. Granted countries continue to engage in the game of geopolitics and security but this is now often done in the background rather than at the forefront of global politics. The situation is reflected also in the changing face of maritime security, which was shaped and continues to be shaped by global events. Understanding these developments is crucial to the maritime security of any country especially a country with a vast maritime domain between the Indo-Pacific reaches like Malaysia. MSD's mission is to contribute towards enhancing Malaysia's maritime security through policy research on traditional and non-traditional security issues and providing timely inputs into defence policy development.


Key Stakeholders

  • National Security Council, Prime Minister's Department
  • Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Prime Minister's Department
  • The Attorney General's Chambers, Prime Minister's Department
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Marine Operation Force, Royal Malaysian Police
  • Royal Malaysian Customs, Ministry of Finance
  • Royal Malaysian Navy
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Marine Department Malaysia
  • Department of Environment
  • Department of Fisheries
  • Department of Marine Parks















Thrusts of Research

MSD's research thrusts include the following areas:

  • Regional Geopolitical maritime security seascape
  • Traditional and Non Traditional maritime Security
  • Maritime Search and Rescue





2014 Projects

For 2014, MSD carried out the following research projects: 

  1. A Systems Approach for Holistic Security in East Sabah – Towards An ESSZONE Committee Blueprint
  2. Systems to Deter and Suppress Maritime Crimes – Addressing Transnational Organised Crime Through A Whole Of Nation Approach 
  3. National Key Critical Infrastructures in the South China Sea – Offshore Installation Protection
  4. Malaysia and the Indian Ocean: Some policy options towards reaping the opportunities presented 
  5. China’s Defense Policy and Maritime Strategy: Implications for Malaysia 
  6. ASEAN Political Security Community: Identifying challenges and providing options for a Security Community beyond 2015

** To view the summaries of the projects, please click HERE










Capt. Martin A. Sebastian Royal Malaysian Navy (Retired)

Capt. Martin A. Sebastian Royal Malaysian Navy (Retired)

MBA (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

Capt. Martin A. Sebastian, Royal Malaysian Navy (R), joined MIMA in Nov 2011 as Fellow and Centre Head of the Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy. Prior to joining MIMA, Capt. Martin completed three years of Secondment with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), United Nations Headquarters, New York. He served in the Office of Military Affairs (OMA) as a Strategic Planner in the Military Planning Service (MPS).

In OMA, he was appointed as Team Leader for Africa Planning Team II covering West African peacekeeping missions. He pioneered the setting up of a maritime planning section in MPS and was appointed as the OMA Team Leader for the Maritime Working Group, which monitored planning requirements for the UNIFIL Multinational Maritime Operations in Lebanon and riverine operations in peacekeeping missions. Capt. Martin is credited for leading a team in the drafting of a UN Policy for Maritime and Riverine Operations in Peacekeeping.

During his tenure in the Royal Malaysian Navy, he held various Command and Staff appointments. Command appointments include Commanding Officer KD Handalan/ Squadron Leader of the 1st Missile Squadron, Commanding Officer of KD Lekir of the 22nd Corvette Squadron and Commanding officer of KD Sri Selangor of the 12th Training Squadron. He also held appointments as Commanding Officer of the offshore stations Lima and Mike in the Spratlys.

Staff appointments include Assistant Chief of Staff (Warfare) at the Fleet Operations Command Headquarters Lumut, Directing Staff at the Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Warfare Centre (MAFJWC) and Desk Officer UNPKO in the Defence Operations Room, Malaysian Armed Forces Headquarters, Kuala Lumpur. He held various other staff appointment ashore and the fleet.

Capt Martin attended the Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) specialist course in the Indian Naval Academy, INS Venduruthy, Cochin and attended Joint Warfare Course in the Australian Defence Force Warfare Centre (ADFWC). He also attended the UNPKO Instructor Course with the UN Staff College in Turin, Italy.

Capt. Martin holds an MBA from Charles Sturt University, Australia and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, United Kingdom. He studied French (DELF)) at Alliance Francaise Morocco, whilst serving as a UN Military Observer and obtained the Certificate in French Military Language (CMLF) from France.

He is country representative in the Regional Security Architectures and speaks on various foras on Maritime Security. His field of expertise on Maritime Security is in Regional Security Architectures, Conventional Operations, Law Enforcement, Security Sector Reforms, Maritime Terrorism, Security in the Maritime Industry and Maritime Search and Rescue.

Cdr Nur Azmel  Awaludin RMN KAT PPS PPA psc

Cdr Nur Azmel Awaludin RMN KAT PPS PPA psc

MMaritimePol (University of Wollongong (OUW), Australia)

Cdr Nur Azmel Awaludin RMN joined MIMA on the 1st December 2015 as a Researcher under the Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy (MSD). Cdr Azmel is in charge of Maritime Terrorism and Law Enforcement.

Cdr Azmel is a secondment officer from the Royal Malaysian Navy with over 24 years of service and experience. In the navy, he had served both Command and Staff appointments. Among his prominent appointment is as the Commanding Officer of KD KELANTAN of the 17th Patrol Vessel Squadron and the RMN Electronic Warfare Centre, Instructor at the Armed Forces EW Training Centre, Chief Instructor at the Naval College, Naval Advisor to the Chief of Navy and Project Team Leader for the RMN Training Ships.

Cdr Azmel is specialized in Naval Warfare, Naval Communication and Electronic Warfare. Among the courses that he had attended are Principle Warfare Officer (PWO) in KD PELANDOK, Naval Communication in HMS COLLINGWOOD, United Kingdom, Electronic Warfare in PNS BAHADUR, Pakistan, and RANDOLPH AIRFORCE BASE, United States and Malaysian Armed Forces EW Training Centre.

In keeping up with the academic qualification, Cdr Azmel holds a Diploma in Information Technology from Tun Razak University, Diploma in Strategic and Defence Studies from University Malaya (UM), Bachelor Degree in Business Administration (Hons) at UNITAR International University and Master in Maritime Policy from University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia.

Mohd Ikmal Hisyam Bin Abu

Mohd Ikmal Hisyam Bin Abu

BSc Nautical Science (Hons.) (Malaysia University of Technology)

Mohd Ikmal Hisyam Bin Abu joined MIMA in Dec 2014 as a Researcher at the Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy. He is charge of Military Operation, SAR and HADR Section. Prior to joining MIMA, Ikmal Hisyam completed his 10 years of services with the Royal Malaysian Navy. He graduated from Technology University of Malaysia in Nautical Studies. He was commissioned as a seaman officer for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and served onboard 23rd Frigate Squadron.

In the RMN, he attended several courses and exchange programme such as Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) Course, Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) Exchange Officer and Strategic Management Course. He was also involved in various kinds of naval exercises and operation either bilateral or multilateral.

After joining MIMA, he shifts his career path from operation to policy making influencer as a researcher. He has presented papers at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Study Group and numerous regional/global conference. 

Nur Izwani Md Syukor

Nur Izwani Md Syukor


Dip OM (MARA University of Technology)






Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) of Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy (MSD)

1. What is the role of  Centre of Maritime Security and Diplomacy?

Malaysia is maritime nation with the Straits of Malacca, the South China Sea, the Sulu Sea and the Sulawesi Sea as its maritime domain. They are rich in oil, gas, fish and other marine based resources. The sea lanes of communication that link Europe, West Asia and South Asia with East Asia straddle through the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. They are the conduits for Malaysia's seaborne trade. Hense the seas play a vital role in Malaysia's good governance.

The resposibility of the Centre of Maritime Security & Diplomacy's (MSD) is to study the security situation of the Malaysian waters, identify issues that affect their security, conduct research on the problem areas and recommend policy measures to the stakeholders to manage or resolve those problems. MSD's researches are expected to enhance Malaysia's as well as regional maritime security.

2. What are other agencies have closed networking with maritime security & diplomacy?

MIMA networks with organisation that have interest in maritime matters at national and international levels.

At national level, MIMA closely works with those ministries and agencies such as Ministry of Transport (MOT), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Defence, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Marine Operation Force (MOF), Marine Department of Malaysia, Department of Fisheries and others.

At international level, it networks with international organisation that deals with maritime security such as International Maritime Bureau (IMB), International Maritime Orginisation (IMO) and other regional maritime enforcement agencies such as Coast Guards, especially in the ASEAN region.

3. What are the major maritime threats faced by Malaysia?

The maritime threat to Malaysia is both traditional  and non-traditional. The traditional threats come from territorial disputes with neighbouring states and they are of concern. However, Malaysia is managing it well by diplomacy.

Currently the major maritime threats to Malaysia come from non-traditional security issues such as piracy, maritime terrorism, arms and drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigration, illegal fishing and others that involve the maritime boundaries of many countries, making it more cumberstone to handle.

4. What are the implications of maritime threats towards nation?

The implications of maritime threats on Malaysia are many. They affect the law and order situation in the maritime domain. There is a need to commit more resources to the enforcement agencies, especially in terms of personnel, capacity and capabilities. Issues such as illegal immigrants and human trafficking have adverse implications on the stability of domestic society. Issues related  to human trafficking affect the image of the nation at national, regional and global levels. Issues such as illegal fishing, smuggling, corruption and others affect the financial resources of the country. There are also situation, they even damage Malaysia's bilateral relations with the neighbouring states, especially when it involves the maritime boundaries.

5. What are the laws / regulations and rules to deal with maritime security?

Sea encompassess a very wide area of maritime space covering the territories of many nations. Hence there are international and national laws that govern the managment of the seas. The United Nation Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 is considered as the constitution to manage the word's oceans an seas. Beside UNCLOS there are other international laws to deal  with maritime security such as International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) (London 1974), International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (Hamburg 1979), Conventio on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (Rome 1988) and others.

There are many national laws that deal with the management of Malaysia's maritime areas. Among them are:-

  • The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency Act 2004
  • Police Act 1967
  • Penal Code
  • Criminal Procedure Act
  • Merchant Shipping Act (Oil Pullution) 1994
  • Merchant Shipping Ordinance Act 1952
  • Fisheries Act 1985 (Amendment 1993)
  • Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1984
  • Petroleum Mining Act 1966
  • Environment Quality Act 1986
  • Continental Shelf Act 1966
  • Customs Act 1967
  • Immigration Act 1959 (Amendment 1963)
  • Petroleum (Safety Measures) Act 1984
  • Telecommunication Act
  • Dangerous Act 1952
  • Explosive Act 1957
  • Protection Places Ordinance Act 1959
  • Internal Security Act 1960
  • Firearms Act 1960
  • National Security Directive No 18























With these international and national laws and cooperation of other littoral and user states, Malaysia should be able to manage its maritime areas well.