Navy deploys additional ship after encroachment into EEZ off Sabah, S'wak coast

SANDAKAN (Bernama): The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has deployed an additional vessel to monitor activities in Malaysian waters, following the presence of foreign vessels in Malaysia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off Sabah and Sarawak's coast recently.

The Navy's Eastern Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Datuk Sabri Zali (pic) said the vessel was an addition to two other RMN assets at Beting Patinggi Ali and near the Swallow Reef that had always been on 24-hour guard along the South China Sea.

"However, with this new development (encroachment of foreign vessels), a third ship was deployed to the surrounding area to further monitor any intrusion," he told reporters after closing the Operational Sea Training Exercise (Ostex) East here Wednesday (Oct 6).

According to Sabri, the presence of the foreign vessels in Malaysia's waters was nothing new, especially those that have ventures with Brunei as they would need to pass Malaysia's international waters.

However, he said the Navy observed that the movement of the foreign vessels recently was "more than just passing-by" incidences, and a report was sent to the Defence Ministry, which was then forwarded to Wisma Putra.

On Ostex East, Sabri said the 10-day exercise since Sept 27 also involved the Royal Malaysian Air Force here to improve the navy's competency and also to test out the capabilities of its assets.

"Most of our assets are more than 40 years old and we need to test them out to the maximum to see if they could deliver without experiencing major damage," he said.

On developments for a new base for the Naval Region 2 (Mawilla 2) here, Sabri said RMN was still awaiting the acquisition of a 2.2ha plot of land from the state government. - Bernama

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