KOTA KINABALU: The Royal Malaysian Navy, which has helped thwart pirates in international waters, is well placed off Sabah’s east coast to protect the country’s security against external threats.
Taking the role as the “mother ship” is naval vessel Bunga Mas 5, which will serve as a forward sea base equipped with high-speed interceptor boats, radar surveillance and helicopters.
The three interceptor combat boats (CB90) will be used together with the rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) that are currently being used by the navy’s elite sea commando unit (Paskal) and two new boats that were recently acquired by the navy – the Silver Brize and P38 craft.
“The Bunga Mas 5 is the right choice to be placed in the area as it has a surveillance radar system and is equipped with helicopters to carry out night operations over long distances,” said navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar.
He said it helped thwart the attacks by Somali pirates against ships crossing the Gulf of Aden.
Admiral Abdul Aziz said the navy would also be sending in warship KD Lekiu, which was equipped with a Super Link aircraft, to the eastern Sabah waters.
“I am confident with the presence of Bunga Mas 5 and the other assets, we will able to act against the intruders,” he said here yesterday.
He said the helicopters, capable of operating at night, were seen as the best option in protecting borders against unwanted elements.
On his earlier order of “shoot on sight” against intruders, Admiral Abdul Aziz said it “can be frustrating for our navy personnel to not shoot at an identified enemy during hot pursuit within the country’s waters”.
“This is due to constraints in operational directives,” he added.