KLANG: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) today received two new patrol vessels to help prevent the encroachment of foreign fishing boats in the country’s waters.
The vessels, KM Kota Kinabalu and KM Tok Bali, were part of an order for six New Generation Patrol Craft made at a cost of nearly RM400 million from Destination Marine Services Sdn Bhd.
Five of the vessels have been delivered so far while the sixth is under construction.
KM Kota Kinabalu will be stationed in Kuching, Sarawak, while KM Tok Bali will be based in Tok Bali, Kelantan.
In a handing-over ceremony at Destination Marine Services’s shipyard in Port Klang here, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said the government was committed to defending its maritime borders.
“As the main agency protecting the country’s waters, the capabilities of MMEA will be strengthened from time to time with the acquisition of new assets which are equipped with the latest technology,” he said.
He added that the home ministry is currently expediting applications for the sourcing of multi-purpose ships equipped with such technology.
“I am confident that with assets such as these, MMEA will soon stand tall alongside international coastguard agencies.”
Last Friday, MMEA detained four Vietnamese fishing boats masquerading as local vessels off the waters of Terengganu. Investigations revealed that the boats did not have permits to fish in Malaysian waters.
MMEA director-general Mohd Zubil Mat Som said then that the agency had recorded 88 cases involving Vietnamese boats since March 19.
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