Najib launches MMEA's New Generation Patrol Craft vessel

KLANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today launched the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) vessel for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

The 'KM Bagan Datuk' vessel is the first of a fleet of six vessels being constructed by Destini Marine Sdn Bhd to be used by the MMEA.

"The maritime sector is facing various challenges, especially in the 21st century where it is more conventional. I hope with this new vessel, it would fulfill the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency's request, especially in facing the maritime challenges which are more diverse and complex," Najib said during the launch held at Destini Marine shipyard here.

Also present at the event was Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister in the Prime Minister's department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, MMEA director-general, Maritime Admiral Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar and Destini Berhad Chairman Tan Sri Rodzali Daud.

Najib said the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are among the busiest waterways in the world with 83,740 ships having entered the area last year.

He added the globalisation, liberation and global economic restructuring has channeled international trade through seaways and Malaysia has to create a conducive environment at its maritime borders.

"With a sea area of 614,158.54km square feet ,and taking into account the nation's strategic geographic location, it important for us to ensure the safety, integrity and sovereignty are intact," said Najib adding that international companies have invested in the Rapid Petronas project in Pengerang, Johor, and it requires the maritime to have a conducive investment climate which is safe and free from the enemies.

Najib added Putrajaya had agreed to allocate RM740 million to MMEA to build three Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).

He said MMEA started off with only 59 vessels in 2006, and currently has 255.

Najib added the Japan government has agreed to reward Malaysia with two OPV through a grant aid.

"This was given to us after Japan had recognised the MMEA's capability and role in ensuring the water safety in the nation to be sustainable," he said.

The KM Bagan Datuk stands at 45 meters and is capable to stay above deep water for about 10 days.