MUKAH: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak Region will set up a forward base here. This was disclosed by MMEA Deputy Director -General (Operations), Rear Admiral (M) Dato’ Mohd Taha Ibrahim when he officiated at the opening of Mukah Maritime Base held at the compound of LKIM Complex here, yesterday.
“However, the set up of the forward base would depend very much on the availability of funds. At the moment we are in the process of identifying suitable site for it. Having a forward base here has been in our plan since the establishment of MMEA Sarawak Region,” he said.
MMEA is currently using the Fishery Development Board of Malaysia (LKIM) Mukah jetty for berthing their ships and boats when conducting operations in waters around Mukah. “As we do not have our own jetty right now, we hope the state LKIM would allow us to use it until we have our own. Currently, Mukah Division is under Bintulu District MMEA where we have vessels in operation in waters around Mukah,” he said.
Apart from thanking LKIM and Mukah Land and Survey Department office for proposing several sites for the establishment of MMEA base here, Taha also expressed his gratitude to the state Fire and Rescue Services Department for providing their quarters to MMEA staffers in its Bomba Complex here. Taha also revealed that since Bintulu MMEA started operation in 2009, about 70 arrests had been made in waters around Mukah Division.
“Out of the number, 69 arrests involved 27 Vietnam and Thailand fishing boats while one arrest was related to the Malaysia Shipping Ordinance (MSO). This year alone until now, five arrests have been made involving five Indian nationals, two Thais, five Cambodians, one Myanmarese and 45 Vietnamese.
All the cases were framed under the Fishery Act, 1985, MSO or Immigration Act,” he pointed out. Among those present at the function were Sarawak Region MMEA Director, Maritime First Admiral, Haji Ismaili Haji Bujang Pit, Mukah Deputy Resident, Jack Aman Luat, Mukah District Officer, Shafrie Saili, MMEA Bintulu District Maritime Director, Aminuddin Haji Abdul Rashid, Officer-in-charge of Mukah Fire and Rescue Department office, Bonny Martin Saging, Mukah Civil Defence Force Officer, Mohd Noor Ini, and heads of departments. For that he added, it was vital for a forward base to be established and operational in Mukah Division, not only to ensure the prosperity and security of the maritime community are assured but also to prevent any encroachment and robbery of our rich marine resources in Mukah waters.
“We also hope to have more Maritime Companions(Sahabat Maritim) which are not only amongst the local maritime community but also from the government and private agencies in Mukah Division,” disclosed Taha. After the speech, he and all those present move to LKIM Jetty to witness the APMM Vessel and Patrolling Boat demonstration and followed by the signing of the plaque to commemorate the Official Operational of Mukah APPM. At the end of the program most of those presents were given a joy ride in the APMM vessel cruising along Batang Mukah.