PUTRAJAYA, Dec 7 — Malaysia is seeking reelection as a council member (Category C) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the ninth term, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong announced in his candidature speech at the 32nd session of the IMO General Assembly.

“Our candidature reflects our commitment to continue the present cooperation, as well as towards future undertakings, to advance and strengthen ties of various cooperation between Malaysia and the IMO and in return evolve and complement into a long-term mission to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping,” he said.

Malaysia acceded to the IMO Convention on June 12, 1971, and became an official member state of the organisation since then, and this year marked the 50th anniversary of Malaysia as an IMO member state.

In the speech, Wee said Malaysia in the past 50 years had ratified 26 out of the 58 IMO conventions, all in the spirit of ensuring the safety, security of shipping and the protection of the marine environment was given priority.

Since becoming an IMO member, Malaysia has played an active role in many IMO forums in particular the International Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), he said.

In 2013, Malaysia pledged financial support and in-kind contribution to the ITCP and since then, Malaysia has successfully delivered training programmes to over 500 participants from over 95 member states.

In continuing support on capacity building, Malaysia had contributed US$117,400 to the World Maritime University as a grant for scholarships, he said.

Wee said Malaysia also participated in the IMO Green Voyage 2050 Project, which is a joint initiative with the IMO and Norway, and disclosed that Malaysia has recently initiated work on pilot projects to support shipping’s transition towards a low carbon future.

During the trying times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Wee said every member state had faced a difficult situation and Malaysia is no exception.

“We too, have our struggles. Nonetheless, within the restricted scenario, Malaysia has ensured that seafarers rights are protected and the process for crew changes as well as medical treatment that they deserve, are provided accordingly,” he said.

In this regard, he said Malaysia has allocated £25,000 (RM140,370) to the IMO’s in its initiatives to support seafarers during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama