Malaysia has urged the regional nations to work together to fight the threat of pirate attacks in the East Sea.

“Piracy there is not conventional any more. Pirates feel that the countries don’t patrol the sea enough,” Defence Minister Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper.

Zahid said that state-of-the art technology adopted by the navies of some littoral nations were useless without cooperation in combating the high-seas menace.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were 22 attacks reported in the area for the first 11 months of this year compared to 17 for the whole of 2008.

Noel Choong, head of the IMB’s global piracy reporting centre, said the affected area lies in a triangle between Indonesia ’s Anambas Islands, Tioman Island off Malaysia and the eastern Singapore Straits.

Pirate attacks in the Malacca Strait, which was once the world’s worst piracy hotspot, have declined sharply in recent years thanks to large-scale coordinated patrols involving Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore./.