PORT KLANG: Malaysia officially received two vessels from the Australian government that will be used to conduct security patrols in the Straits of Malacca.
The Bay-class vessels were handed over during a ceremony attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Australia’s Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton at the National Hydrographic Centre here yesterday.
The vessels will be based at Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) ports at Lumut and Johor Baru.
In his speech, Shahidan said the vessels would strengthen MMEA’s capabilities in protecting Malaysia’s maritime borders from security threats and also be used during emergency situations.
He added that the coastlines at Lumut and Johor Baru had been known to be used for illegal immigration.
The ships can be used to fight transnational crimes, particularly illegal immigration, Shahidan added.
“Malaysia recognises the need to work collectively with other countries to protect regional maritime security and safety.
“The fight against transnational crimes is the responsibility of every seafaring nation, and if the work is equally shared between ourselves, the threats can be addressed much more effectively,” Shahidan said.
Dutton said the cooperation between Malaysia and Australia had grown stronger as evidenced with the handing over of the vessels to Malaysia.
MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish thanked the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (ACBPS) for its continued assistance in dealing with the smuggling of migrants, where Malaysia had been used as a transit point for foreigners to get to Australia.
The vessels were formally handed over to Admiral Mohd Amdan by ACBPS acting deputy chief executive officer Nigel Perry during the ceremony.