Go ahead and set up marine patrol, IGP tells Sarawak

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador firing a shot into the sky to kickstart a marine police terrorism response drill in Batu Uban, Penang today.

GEORGE TOWN: Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said he agreed with any plan by Sarawak to set up its own marine unit to monitor its waters so long as it is legal.

He said the marine police, theoretically, could not comb every inch of the state’s waters and any additional surveillance was always welcome.

“If there are people who want to introduce boats or patrols to take care of their assets, we have no objections.

“If they want to form their own units, they can, so long as it is lawful under existing laws. This can complement the marine police,” he said at a press conference at the Batu Uban marine police jetty here today.

Coastguard ship KPD Setia at the Batu Uban marine police jetty on Penang Island today.

Last week, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said the state is planning to set up a Marine Coastal Unit to stop encroachment into its waters, replete with detention centres, arms and fast boats.

On a separate matter, Hamid said police had requested the chief secretary to the government to return two PZ-class patrol boats to Sabah’s Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom).

He said the two boats are currently loaned to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. Once they are returned to Esscom, they will serve as a “mother ship” to be on guard in the area.

A marine police speedboat intercepting a trawling boat in a mock terrorism response drill at Batu Uban, Penang, today.

Hamid, in conjunction with the marine police’s 72nd anniversary today, said the government should give these men a RM500 allowance monthly, in lieu of their tough job guarding the country’s waters.

He said the marine police have countered human smuggling, contraband, exotic wildlife and illegal forest produce in the waters, seizing over RM160 million in items this year.

“I served in Sabah for four years. I know how tough it is to be in the marine police. We need better boats and arms to protect the waters.”