MiDAS - KAS Conference 2021

02 & 03 November 2021

About us

The MiDAS – KAS Conference is a defence and security conference co-organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS) and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Malaysia Office. This is the 3rd conference hosted together by both MiDAS and KAS in which the theme of the conference varies conference to conference depending on the current issues faced by Malaysia and the region. This year the conference theme is “Towards A Peaceful Sea - Maritime Security Amidst Contemporaneous Challenges”


The objectives for this conference are to provide a platform for policy makers, academician, researcher, non-profit organisations and international organisations:

  • To share existing law, and practices;
  • To share impact of current sea policy development i.e. Code of Conduct; and
  • To share contemporaneous challenges and way forward in facing future maritime security.

Why Participate

The contemporaneous challenges in maritime security that the country, region and world is facing has been ever-changing especially since the Covid-19 pandemic started. This conference pools a group of experts that are willing to discuss key issues and provide their perspective on way forward that country and region could take from a practitioner,policy and academic angle.


First Admiral Fadhil

First Admiral Fadhil joined the Royal Malaysian Navy in 1988 and commissioned into the Executive Branch. He is currently the Senior Director of Plan Development Division at the Navy Headquarters. He has completed extensive sea service onboard a number of ships including Executive Officer of KD KELANTAN (Patrol Craft) and KD LEKIU (Frigate). First Admiral Fadhil has performed a wide range of staff functions at Navy and Joint Force settings including; Staff Officer Strategy at Navy Headquarters, Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Fleet Command Headquarters, Staff Officer Maritime Operations (J5) at Joint Force Headquarters, and Director of Human Resource Development at the Navy Headquarters. He holds a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from the National University of Malaysia and a Masters Degree in Management from UNITAR. He is an alumnus of Advance Command and Staff Course United Kingdom, and later the Malaysian Armed Forces Defence College.

Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud

Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud is appointed as Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence on 19 December 2020. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Permanent Secretary, he was Director for the Directorate of Defence Policy from 9 November 2017 and was the Head of Legal Affairs Unit at the Permanent Secretary’s Office, Ministry of Defence from 2003 to 2011 where he played the role as the legal advisor for the Ministry of Defence before he assumed the position of Acting Director of Defence Policy. As the Director of Defence Policy, he has been actively involved in enhancing defence diplomacy at both bilateral and multilateral level including through various initiatives in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Plus Meeting (ADMM-Plus) and was the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting Working Group (ADSOM WG) Leader for Brunei Darussalam. He was a legal graduate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London (1996) and was awarded his professional certificate of legal practice from the Legal Profession Qualifying Board, Malaysia in 2006.

H.E. Michalis Rokas

H.E. Michalis Rokas is the Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Malaysia. He has twenty-six years’ experience in the field of foreign affairs having joined the European Commission External Relations Directorate General in 1994. His prior postings include Chargé d’Affaires a.i. and Head of EU Delegation to New Zealand, First secretary of the European Commission's Office in Hong Kong and Macau, Head of the Support to Delegations Division at the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Deputy and Head of the China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia Division at the EEAS. Ambassador Rokas holds a bachelor degree in Economics and a postgraduate degree in European Economics.

Dr. Adina binti Kamarudin

Dr. Adina binti Kamarudin is the Director General at the Maritime Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. The Department handles issues relating to maritime boundaries negotiations, South China Sea, maritime securities and maritime safety, UN related law of the sea issues, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), IORA and ASEAN related issues. Her experiences abroad included a stint at the 55th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as Long-Term Delegate (LTD) in 2000, a member of the team which established the Malaysian Embassy in Dublin ( November 2001) and the Consul General of Malaysia in Frankfurt from 2104 to 2017. In her capacity as Director General of Maritime Affairs Department, Dr. Adina leads negotiations at technical and working group level for maritime boundary delimitation. She is also the Head of Delegation for Malaysia for South China Sea negotiations on the Implementation of the Declaration of Conduct and the Code of Conduct at the ASEAN – China Joint Working Group.

Dr Arron N. Honniball

Dr Arron N. Honniball is a Senior Research Fellow at The Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (Germany), working within the Foundation’s ASEAN and Indian Ocean projects. Prior to joining MPFPR, Arron was a Research Fellow (2019-2021) in the Ocean Law and Policy Team at the Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore (Singapore) and PhD Candidate (2014-2018) at the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, Utrecht University (The Netherlands). He defended his PhD at Utrecht University (2019), entitled ‘Extraterritorial Port State Measures: The basis and limits of unilateral port state jurisdiction to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing’ and has published on numerous oceans law topics. Research interests principally concern the law of the sea and state jurisdiction in international law.

Maria Pia V. Benosa

Maria Pia V. Benosa is a Research Associate at the Centre for International Law of the National University of Singapore. Prior to this she was a Law Reform Specialist for the University of the Philippines Law Center’s Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, and has acted as legal adviser to key Philippine government offices on maritime security and the protection of marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction. She obtained her LL.M. in National Security Law, and a Certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution from Georgetown University Law Centre in 2018 under a Fulbright Foreign Student Program grant. In 2017, she held the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Fellowship at the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. Ms. Benosa also taught Public International Law and Local Government courses at the UP College of Law.

Mr. Mohd Sufian bin Sulaiman

Mr. Mohd Sufian bin Sulaiman has been appointed as the Deputy Director General of Fisheries Malaysia (Operation) on April 12, 2021. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fisheries Science from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) and began his career in the Department of Fisheries Malaysia on 15 December 1986. During his 35 years of service in the Department of Fisheries Malaysia, he is known as one of the Senior Officer with extensive experience in the fields of enforcement, resource management, fisheries extension and training. Prior to holding his current position, he was appointed as the Senior Director of Marine Parks and Resource Management Division, Director in the Fisheries Offices of several states, namely Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. In addition, he also once headed one of the Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry as the Director of the Agricultural Training Division.

Datuk Dr Sabirin Ja’afar

Datuk Dr Sabirin Ja’afar is an experienced legal advisor, scholar, and community leader. He worked his way up from Magistrate (Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service) to Sessions Court Judge in Kuala Lumpur. Following this, he held numerous responsibilities – as the Special Officer to YAA Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Haji Abdullah, Chief Justice of Malaysia, as Deputy Public Prosecutor for Kuala Lumpur, Senior Federal Counsel (International and Advisory Division), Legal Advisor for the Ministry of Defence and Director of Legal and Investigations of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). Later, he was seconded to the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Authority (MTJA) as its Legal and Administration Manager before opting for early retirement in 2011. After his early retirement, Dr Sabirin took the time to join the academia as a Professor of Business Law and Ethics at the International Business School (IBS), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Most recently, he was appointed as Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) in 2019 for three years. He also actively champions maritime and environmental rights. He also held many leadership positions, as Chairman of the Terrorism Prevention Board, Ministry of Home Affairs (POTA), as a Member of the Board of Directors of Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB), and as a Member of Board of Directors of Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Melaka (PKNM). Since 2020, he has been the Director-General of the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA).Today, Dr Sabirin is often sought for advice concerning maritime and is actively involved in the London-based Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) Association.

Peter Horn

Peter Horn directs Pew’s work on ending illegal fishing, bringing together policy, technology, and enforcement initiatives to legislate against this practice and prevent or stop it at sea. Horn joined Pew in 2015 after serving for more than 30 years in the British Royal Navy, where he reached the rank of commander. He served in the Fishery Protection Squadron as well as strategic planning and intelligence. Horn commanded HMS Middleton and led deployments throughout the Atlantic, Middle East, and parts of Asia. He was invested as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1998. Horn holds a master’s degree in intelligence and security studies from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Naporn Popattanachai

Dr. Naporn Popattanachai is currently an assistant dean and a former director of Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Thailand. His research interests and expertise lie in the fields of Public International Law, International Environmental Law, International Law of the Sea, and Trade-related Environment matters. He completed his LL.M. in European Legal Studies at the University of Bristol, the UK in 2011, and LL.M. in Environmental Law and Policy at University College London in 2012. He received his PhD with a particular focus on Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution from Land-based Activities from Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, UK. He was an ITLOS/Nippon Fellowship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Hamburg, Germany. Recently his research article titled ‘Marine plastics: Fragmentation, effectiveness and legitimacy in international lawmaking’ (2018) co-authored with Professor Elizabeth Kirk in Review of European, Comparative, and International Environmental Law received an accolade for top-cited paper of 2018-2019.

Vice Admiral Dato’ Aris Adi Tan bin Abdullah

Vice Admiral Dato’ Aris Adi Tan bin Abdullah was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 22 May 82 in the Executive branch and later specialised as a Navigating Officer, graduating from HMS MERCURY, United Kingdom. With his vast operational experiences, Vice Admiral Dato’ Aris Adi Tan was appointed Commander of National Task Force (NTF) on 6 May 20 by the National Security Council (NSC) a multi-agency organisation. His staff appointments include Commanding Officer of KD SULTAN IDRIS I, KD PELANDOK, Commandant of Malaysia Armed Forces Defence College, Assistant Chief of Staff Defence Communication and Electronic Division, Malaysian Armed Forces HQ, Commander of Naval Education and Training and Commander Western Fleet (CWF). He holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from Naval Defence University, USA and a Master of Defence Studies in Social Science from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). He is also certified as a Training Developer responsible for formulating the System Approach to Training in improving and enhancing the training system in the RMN. Additionally, he is also a certified Quality Manager from the American Society of Quality and an ISO Quality Auditor. He was the patron of the Navy Basketball Association and Chef de Mission in Regattas the Region.

Mr. François Kernin

Mr. François Kernin is the Head of the Regional Mixed Movement Unit in UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. In this capacity, he works on issues related to asylum and migration, smuggling and trafficking, and protection at sea. Before his current assignment, François was Regional Durable Solutions Officer with UNHCR Regional Office in Amman, Jordan, focusing on the Syrian Crisis, where he supported regional coordination efforts and provided legal and operational advice on issues related to access to asylum and voluntary repatriation. Previously, he worked with OCHA in the Philippines, and with UNHCR in Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Lebanon and Jordan. During these experiences, he led and coordinated activities aimed at addressing the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and stateless persons in contexts of natural disasters and armed conflicts. François Kernin graduated with BA in Political Science and MA in International Relations from Sciences Po Grenoble. In addition, he has a MSt in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.

Ms. Jane CHAN

Ms. Jane CHAN is a Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Her main research interests include maritime security issues in Southeast Asia, law and order at sea, regional maritime cooperation and confidence-building measures, and regional boundary delimitation and territorial disputes. She is an affiliated faculty at the Singapore Arm Forces (SAF)-NTU Academy (SNA). Her recent publication includes Christian Bueger and Jane Chan (eds.), Paving the Way for Regional Maritime Domain Awareness: Information Fusion Centre, Nanyang Technological University, 2019, Sam Bateman, Rajni Gamage and Jane Chan (eds.), ASEAN and the Indian Ocean: The Key Maritime Links, RSIS Monograph, 2017, Vijay Sakhuja and Jane Chan (eds.), China’s Maritime Silk Road and Asia, (VIJ Books India Pvt Ltd, 2016), Geoffrey Till and Jane Chan (eds.), ‘Naval Development in Southeast Asia’ (Routledge, 2014).




    NOVEMBER 2021


    NOVEMBER 2021


Participants Access


Welcoming Remark:
i. Mr Noor Hisham bin Rosle,
Director General of MiDAS
ii. Ms Miriam Fischer,
Director, KAS Office Malaysia

Keynote Address:
YB Dato' Sri Ikmal Hisham Bin Abdul Aziz
Deputy Minister of Defence Malaysia


Session 1: Challenges for a Maritime Nation Today

  1. First Admiral Fadhil bin Abdul Rahman, Senior Director Development Planning of Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN);
  2. Haji Adi Ihram bin Dato Paduka Haji Mahmud, ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM)-Working Group Leader (Brunei);
  3. Ambassador Michalis Rokas, Ambassador of the European Union to Malaysia.

Q & A for Session 1


Session 2: Existing Maritime Laws, Policies and Challenges

  1. Dr Adina Kamarudin – Director General, Department of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia;
  2. Dr. Arron Nicholas Honniball, Senior Research Fellow on Law of the Sea, Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, Germany;
  3. Mrs Maria Pia Benosa, NUS Centre for International Law, National University of Singapore.

Q & A for Session 2


End of Day 1


Participants Access


Session 3: Economic Impact of Maritime Security

  1. Haji Mohd Sufian bin Sulaiman, Deputy Director General, Department of Fisheries, Malaysia;
  2. Datuk Dr. Sabirin Ja'afar, Director General Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA);
  3. Peter Horn, Project Director, International Fisheries, The Pew Charitable Trusts;
  4. Dr. Naporn Popattanachai, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Thailand

Q & A for Session 3


Session 4: Human Security at Sea

  1. Vice Admiral Dato Aris Adi Tan, National Task Force Commander, Malaysia;
  2. Mr. François Kernin, Head of the Regional Mixed Movement Unit in UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific;
  3. Ms Jane Chan Git Yin, Senior Fellow, Coordinator, Maritime Security Programme, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

Q & A for Session 4


Closing Speech:
Dato' Sri Muez bin Abd Aziz
Secretary General Ministry of Defence


End of Conference

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Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS), Jalan Padang Tembak, 50634 Kuala Lumpur