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MMEA to Receive Remaining 2 Ships Within 2 Years

Home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail says the maritime force will also receive four new helicopters costing RM600 million within 18 months to help in patrolling.

KLANG The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is expected to receive the remaining two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) in less than two years, says home minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.


He said the estimated timeframe takes into account the current progress of the construction of OPV2, which is now 75% completed, while OPV3 is half completed.


“Although it deviates from the original delivery schedule, my ministry is committed to completing the project to ensure the readiness of the nation’s maritime security assets is at an optimum level,” he said after observing the Op Khas Pagar Laut operation onboard MMEA vessel Tun Fatimah in the waters of Selangor here today.


Saifuddin said MMEA is also set to receive four new helicopters involving an allocation of RM600 million within 18 months.


In January, home ministry secretary-general Ruji Ubi was reported as saying that the acquisition of these helicopters was expected to be completed within two to three years.


All of them are to be stationed at the Maritime Air Operations Centre in Sandakan, Sabah, to strengthen MMEA operations there.


Commenting on Op Khas Pagar Laut, Saifuddin said after its March 12 launch, 63 arrests have been made, involving seizures worth RM5 million.


He said those arrested were involved in smuggling of cooking oil, gas and contraband items such as untaxed cigarettes. Some foreigners were caught for fishing in Malaysian waters.


Op Khas Pagar Laut, which runs until April 30, is being conducted to curb cross-border criminal activities in the country’s maritime areas in conjunction with Ramadan and the Aidilfitri festive season.


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