AIRPOWER AND MALAYSIA’S MARITIME ZONES: REALITY AND RHETORIC
Keywords:Airpower, maritime zones, Malaysia, nonconventional security, defence and security cooperation
Airpower has been the “rising star” since the first World War due to military modernisation and competition in the aviation domain. Malaysia’s ratification of 1982 United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Indo-Pacific mise en scene drive Malaysia to multiple maritime security concerns. Nevertheless, could Malaysia, being a maritime nation, be able to address these maritime-related security issues with airpower? This paper serves four purposes, including define airpower, analyse airpower in the Malaysian perspectives, address airpower in Malaysia’s security complexity, and determining the maritime-related security concerns posed to the nation. This qualitative research explains the phenomena on Malaysia’s application of airpower in securing the broad spectrum maritime borders. Major primary data is obtained from official documentation, in-depth interviews and participation observation. The role of the researcher is also crucial as a key instrument for the study. The study has found out that no doubt Malaysia is facing maritime security issues, particularly non-conventional in nature. In this pursuit, airpower is used as the potentially effective approach for policing Malaysia’s maritime zones and sovereignty. The study suggests enhance application of airpower in Malaysia’s defence and security cooperation with natural partners, such as Australia.