Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The traffic movements in the Straits of Malacca (SOM) have been ever increasing over the past few years resulting in numerous marine casualties that have caused serious concern to the Government of Malaysia. Current characteristics of navigation in the SOM present a potential major catastrophe. The first hypothesis is that there is a positive relationship between traffic movement and the number of marine casualties. Thus, an increase in traffic movement will result in an increased risk of marine casualties. The second hypothesis is that the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) did not change the overall trend of marine casualties that occurred in the SOM before and after its implementation in May 1, 1981. The results of this study do not support the first hypothesis, but does support the second hypothesis. Although the open North Sea Area (in Europe) is among the busiest sealanes in the world, the frequency of its marine casualty rates is lower than that of the SOM. The TSS that is currently in place in the SOM is found to be no longer able to effectively cope with increasing traffic movements. Trends in marine casualties in the SOM remain the same both before and after the implementation of the TSS. The need to extend the existing TSS to cover the entire Straits is long overdue and other routing systems such as Vessel Traffic Services are needed to supplement the current TSS. The introduction of "Port Rationalization" in Malaysia will be an effective way to ease and reduce Malaysian generated traffic. This will in turn reduce the risk and also the number of marine casualties in the SOM.