MMEA to enhance control of national waters with new assets

PASIR PUTEH: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will enhance the control of national waters with the acquisition of nine high-tech patrol vessels worth more than RM1 billion.

MMEA director-general, First Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar said three patrol vessels equipped with advanced equipment worth RM376 million are under construction and due for completion in two years.

"The rest are offshore patrol vessels (OPV) worth RM740 million and expected to be completed at about the same time," he told reporters after a ceremony to dispose of 10 tonnes of Quran ash and the construction of Taman Tukun Keputeraan by the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V at Tok Bali here, yesterday.

Ahmad Puzi said the acquisition of new vessels shows that the government gives priority to peace and security, especially that of fishermen who make a living from the sea.

"In addition to the control of national waters, the assets are intended for search and rescue operation at sea."

Some 200 artificial reefs had been built using old and abandoned foreign fishing boats in order to raise the income of the fishermen.

He said the artificial reefs would become the habitat of marine life to breed, thus increasing the fish resources. — Bernama