Malaysia and Australia stress importance of maritime law enforcement cooperation

GEORGE TOWN: Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield, which was involved in the search for MH370, was at Swettenham Pier here during a Australia-Malaysia maritime law enforcement exercise, today.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director-general of operations Rear Admiral Maritime Datuk Mohd Taha Ibrahim said this exercise was the latest maritime security awareness initiative by the Malaysian Coast Guard (MCG) and supported by the Australian Border Force (ABF).

He said the exercise, which saw about 100 personnel from the two agencies exchanging theory and practical skills was launched at Boustead Cruise Centre, Port Klang on Oct 9 before ending in Penang today.

He added the country's maritime personnel received lessons on safe boarding techniques, fire fighting skills, and search and rescue operations.

He said it has also strengthened the relationship between MCG and ABF which will prove beneficial in the future.

"It helps our men a lot in terms of team work and experience, " he said at a press conference after closing the 9th Redback exercise in Swettenham Pier.

Eight such exercises have been run since 2013.

Australia's Maritime Border Command commander Rear Admiral Peter Laver explained the importance of regional cooperation between maritime law and enforcement agencies.

"Many smugglers seek to exploit any lack of cooperation across international borders," he said, adding that this exercise helped improve coordination and the transnational enforcement framework.