published: 17 Dec 2015
by: Halim Said
In its effort to be more efficient in monitoring the country’s waters, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is embarking on a plan to upgrade all its sea assets.
MMEA director-general admiral maritime Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar said part of its plan for next year was to make the operation and enforcement by the agency along the Malaysian waters more efficient. Ahmad Puzi said aside from focusing on open sea monitoring and along sea borders, the agency is also prioritising on surveillance along river banks, bayous, and shallow waters along the country’s coast line. “We are currently looking into buying airboats which is a technology that can work and be maneuvered along shallow waters,” he said.
He added the airboat technology, which is currently being tested, will enable the agency to improve it efficiency in combating illegal smuggling and protecting cockles farms which have always been at threat from thieves.
Ahmad Puzi was met during the test run of the airboat at the bayou area in Danga Bay yesterday. “The cost is about US$ 230,000 a boat and we might need about 10 units,” he said, adding that if the agency is satisfied with the testing, they will make the budget application with the Federal government.
He added for next year’s budget, the agency had been allocated RM1.2 billion for purchasing new large ships, patrolling boats and other maritime technologies.