KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s east coast security will be further strengthened as the navy received the support auxiliary vessel Bunga Mas Lima (BM5) that would act as a sea base for the security forces.
Navy chief Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said the vessel would be deployed anytime now in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) to work with all security agencies in the area.
Admiral Kamarulzaman, who officially received the Bunga Mas Lima from Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) at the Sepangar naval base near here, said it would provide various forms of support for ground forces in the area.
BM5 has a helipad for air surveillance and is also equipped with interceptor boats, he added.
There was also logistics support like fuel and food for ground troops, he said, adding that there would be communication equipment for rapid sharing of information.
He said the ship could accommodate a total of 70 personnel at any one time.
Admiral Kamarulzaman said the handing over of BM5 was a strategic partnership between the navy and MISC to ensure that the country’s security is maintained at all times.
“It is a historic day for us with the delivery of the vessel by MISC to the navy and its placing in the Esszone will bring more confidence to the people,” he said at the ceremony attended by MISC president-cum-chief executive officer Yee Yang Chien along with the navy’s Region II commander Rear-Admiral Datuk Khairul Anuar Yahya and Submarine Unit commander Rear-Admiral Datuk Abdul Rahman Ayob.
Admiral Kamarulzaman, who also visited the submarine base, checked on operational activities before checking out the refitting progress being done on one of the Scorpene submarines KD Tunku Abdul Rahman.