THE navies of Singapore and Malaysia have begun an 11-day joint exercise to be held in the Changi Naval Base and the Malacca Strait.
Codenamed Malapura, the exercise is the 20th in a series and hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) this year.
It started yesterday and will end on March 4. The exercise involves six warships from RSN and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), three from each side. The fleet includes patrol vessels, frigates and missile corvettes.
[The submarine portion of the exercise has been cancelled as the Malaysian sub is now incapable of diving. :-) ]
The naval drill will be officially launched by RMN Fleet Commander, Vice-Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, and his Singaporean counterpart Rear-Admiral Joseph Leong at Changi Naval Base today.
Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said both navies interact regularly in multilateral activities like the Five Power Defence Arrangements and have also been working closely to tighten maritime security through the Malacca Strait Patrols.
Mindef added in a statement that such interactions 'strengthen mutual understanding and professional ties among the personnel of both navies'.
[Singapore Navy Personnel were warned not to snicker at the Malaysians and to avoid mentioning submarines or diving. Nevertheless, MINDEF spokesperson played down the incident where the crew of a Singapore ship placed had Subway sandwiches delivered to the their Malaysian counterpart.]