Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The new legal regime of the oceans has brought many changes in the Malacca Strait. The most recent one in the enactment of the Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1984 as corollary to its proclamation on the Exclusive Economic Zone in 1980. A year later, the Fisheries Act 1985 was enacted by Malaysia as a result of increasing needs to address new issues in fisheries protection and management in the Malaysian fisheries waters. The conclusion of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, among other things, has improvised the concept of transit passage in the straits used for international navigation between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone. From the geographical and legal criteria, the Malacca Strait falls under such regime but the relevant legislation enacted by Malaysia at certain points seem to exceed the Convention with regard to marine pollution control, the rights of foreign fishing vessels navigating in the Strait and enforcement measures. The conflicting provisions contained in both the Exclusive Economic Zone Act of 1984 and the Fisheries Act 1985 in comparison with the object and intent of the UNCLOS III are to be amended where necessary and its applicability rectified in the Strait. Such actions are shown not only to result in conformity with the UNCLOS III, but to benefit Malaysia in its effort to protect the resources in the Strait.