Maritime agency to get 4 new choppers

Home Affairs MInister Muhyiddin Yassin says the new MMEA helicopters will boost its capability to protect the nation’s sovereign waters. (mmea.gov.my pic)

KUANTAN: The home affairs ministry has approved the procurement of four helicopters worth RM600 million for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Its minister Muhyiddin Yassin said this is to help the agency to carry out its duties to protect the nation’s sovereign waters through “white hull” diplomacy.

“Our economic assets such as oil and gas platforms, which are important contributors to the country’s economic growth, are located in our territorial waters,” he said in a speech in conjunction with the 15th MMEA anniversary and a graduation parade for MMEA officers at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Maritime Academy (AMSAS) here today.

The speech was read out by the ministry’s secretary-general, Jamil Rakon.

Muhyiddin said there were 349 oil and gas platforms in the country’s waters in addition to nearly 77,000 cargo and oil vessels passing through the Straits of Malacca annually.

He hoped MMEA would be able to maintain zero piracy activities in the nation’s waters as recorded last year.

He also said the ministry would provide an additional RM3 million for repair work at the academy, bringing the total allocation to RM6 million this year.

Among those present were MMEA director-general Mohd Zubil Mat Som and academy director Rozali Mohd Said.