PORT KLANG: Hard work by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has made Malaysian waters and surrounding areas safer, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The MMEA’s new generation patrol craft (NGPC) launched yesterday was recognition by the people and Government of the agency’s ability to safeguard the nation’s waters, he added.
The Prime Minister said he was informed that MMEA owned 255 vessels obtained from the Royal Malaysian Navy, the police force, Customs Department, Maritime Department and the Fisheries Department.
“Of course, the MMEA is grateful to own these vessels but the ships are old.
“I have always listened to MMEA’s needs and pleas, and so the Government has given this new and modern ship to increase MMEA’s prowess,” said Najib in his speech.
The 44.25 vessel was launched and named KM Bagan Datuk by tbe Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Destini Bhd shipyard here.
Destini has been commissioned to build a fleet of six NGPCs for MMEA and KM Bagan Datuk is the first.
Najib said the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) 2000 annual report had identified the Straits of Malacca as one of the main areas of concentration for pirates outside Indonesian waters.
He said police statistics in 2000 showed that there were 57 maritime robbery cases in Malaysian waters.
“However, with MMEA’s efforts, the Straits of Malacca is peaceful and under control,” he added.
The event was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar and MMEA director-general Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar.