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Armed forces, GOF increase presence at borders following fatal shootout

26 Nov 2020 / 08:16 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is always prepared to enhance and tighten the border security by increasing the frequency of patrols and through the use of assets like drones to detect any movement along the country’s borders.

Chief of Defence Force General Tan Sri Affendi Buang said the preparedness of MAF assets and personnel remains at the highest level so that the armed forces can perform its duties and prevent any foreign enemy that could threaten the peace and sovereignty of the country.

“The aspect of increasing security in border control operations is not solely focused on land but also involves Malaysia’s maritime borders, including Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a statement today, when commenting on the shooting incident in which a General Operations Force (GOF) personnel was killed and another injured, at the Malaysian-Thai border in Padang Besar, Perlis yesterday.

Affendi said the Armed Forces viewed the incident seriously and reminded border security heads and personnel to remain vigilant and in a continued state of preparedness, especially in hot zones used as smuggling routes.

“It is the Armed Forces’ priority to act as the National Task Force lead agency, together with the police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, along with other enforcement and security agencies, to enforce border controls through the implementation of Ops Benteng,” he said.

He added that cross-border crime, including smuggling, did not only involve locals but also citizens of neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, the GOF will mobilise mounted units, air units, armoured units and VAT 69 commandos (VAT69) to the Malaysia-Thailand border to curb smuggling activities there.

GOF North Brigade Commander SAC Abdul Ghani Mohamad Ji said all four units will ensure that the country’s borders were not easily breached.

He said the GOF would add another three armoured units with a strength of 12 personnel divided into three groups, while air surveillance would be done by the air unit with assistance from the VAT69 and trackers from the GOF 3rd Battalion, who will conduct scouting missions.

“We will also place three mounted units on patrol along the border, from Bukit Kayu Hitam to Padang Besar.

“Currently, six horses from the Royal Malaysian Police unit will be tasked with patrols,” he told reporters in today after inspecting the location of yesterday’s shooting incident in Padang Besar.

Abdul Ghani said the integrated patrols would begin on Nov 27, from the Bukit Kayu Hitam GOF tactical base, Kedah to Padang Besar, Perlis and from BKC 7 Command Post to Padang Besar.

He added that based on intelligence received, there were five to seven active smuggling groups operating in the area recently.

“We are always conducting patrols and have managed to foil around 10 smuggling attempts daily on average,” he said.

In the shootout, GOF Corporal Baharuddin Ramli, 54, who has since been promoted to sergeant posthumously, was killed while his partner Corporal Norihan a/l Tari, 39, who was also promoted to sergeant, was seriously injured. -Bernama

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