Maritime agency stations unit at Pulau Pisang

  • Nation
  • Monday, 02 Jun 2008

KUANTAN: The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has stationed an intelligence unit at Pulau Pisang in Johor to curb smuggling activities including foreigners and goods from neighbouring countries.

Its director-general Admiral Datuk Amdan Kurish said the unit would be working together with the agency to ensure that there are no such activities being carried out on the island.

He added that the MMEA would also cooperate with intelligence units from other agencies and exchange information with counterparts as part of efforts to check that Pulau Pisang waters are not encroached.

``To date, smuggling activities detected on Pulau Pisang are not as serious as portrayed in the media recently.

``This is because the agency conducts patrols in the area at all times and as far as I know, Pulau Pisang is not used as a transit point for illegal foreigners nor for smuggling goods,'' he told reporters Monday after visiting the MMEA eastern regional office at Indera Mahkota here.

Amdan was asked to comment on a news report which appeared in a Malay daily claiming that smuggling of illegal foreigners and goods from neighbouring countries in Pulau Pisang had been going on for the past 10 years.

The activities were said to have occurred as there were no patrol boats from any enforcement agency making their rounds in the area especially at night.

It was said to be a cause for concern, prompting calls from Pontian residents for a marine police base to be set up there.

On this, Amdan said the marine police always monitor and make their rounds around the island.

Amdan also said MMEA was waiting for the outcome of a discussion between Malaysia and Singapore on the borders of Batu Putih and Middle Rocks following a decision made by the International Court of Justice on May 23, he added.

``When there is certainty about the borders of the two islands, we will station our patrolling boats in the said area.

``Even now, MMEA has already set off its patrol ship to guard Middle Rocks,'' he said.

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