Technical Circular No: 016/2021

Subject: – Information on Operation Jangkar Haram by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

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  • Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has introduced an operation named ‘Operation Jangkar Haram’, in an effort to spot illegally-anchored vessels.
  • The MMEA is urging merchant ship owners to seek permission to anchor in the eastern waters of Johor (South China Sea). Failure to do so will result in them being ordered out of the area and the vessels may be subject to further legal actions including detention and imposing fines.
  • This comes following the MMEA announcement in March 2021 that eastern Johor waters has become a "hotspot" for foreign vessels to anchor illegally and conduct unlawful activities.
  • Many illegally-anchored vessels have been spotted in eastern Johor waters by MMEA. Some of them were ordered to move out while some vessels have been detained through Operation Jangkar Haram. The reasons for ships being detained, as opposed to being warned is unknown.
  • In support of these actions, the MMEA appears to be using territorial limits prescribed by a 1979 chart. In the waters of Southern Johor, often inaccurately referred to as Singapore OPL East, these territorial limits are as much as 60 Nautical Miles offshore.
  • In order to avoid above situations in the said area, Owners/ Operators and masters are advised to take note of requirement of the Administration and obtain necessary permission prior anchoring in these waters.

Enclosure: Nil.


This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority. 

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