KUCHING: A total of 550 cases involving four different ordinances under the purview of the Sarawak Marine Police were recorded in the past nine month (Jan-Sept) of this year.
“This is roughly a 31 per cent increase compared to the number of cases recorded in the same period last year, where 421 cases were recorded,” said Bukit Aman Marine Police commander, Dato Haji Abdul Rahim Abdullah told a press conference after a working visit to the Sarawak Marine Police Base here yesterday. He said that under the Sarawak Forest Ordinance, a total of 29 cases involving a total seizure of RM7.2 million were recorded. “These cases are mainly prevalent at sensitive areas where many syndicates operate especially in Sibu, Kapit and Sarikei.
“Hence, we will be working together with the relevant enforcing agencies to conduct more operations and arrest members of these syndicates as it involves both national and state revenues,” said Rahim. He also disclosed that under the Fishery Act, 1985, six encroachment cases involving illegal fishing by foreign boats in Sarawak waters were successfully brought to court.
“The cases mainly happened in the Beting Patinggi Ali shoals and that many of these fishing boats are from China and accompanied by coast guard ships.
“We have also found out that some boats which were licensed by the Fishery Department have also been used by the boat crew to smuggle illegal immigrants. “We have identified that these cases occurred at Tanjung Manis and Bintulu port. Hence, we will be collaborating with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to effectively address this issue in the future. “11 drug smuggling cases have also been recorded and this mainly occurred at maritime areas of Lawas and Limbang. These drug smuggling syndicates have been operating for a long time.
“Even with intensive operations, these syndicates are quite persistent. Hence, we will not stop and our operations will be more focused and aggressive than it is now,” said Rahim. On another note, Rahim disclosed that under the Sarawak River Ordinance, a total of 407 cases were recorded mainly due to misconducts such as handling boats without licence or not wearing life jackets. Rahim noted that the number of cases is increasing every year and that there are many incidents which resulted in fatalities. “What’s more saddening is that it involves many of our younger generation who are the bearers of our nation’s future.
This is quite similar to road accidents. “It is our indirect role to advocate the safety use of transportation and to abide by regulations. Such is our form of corporate social responsibility (CSR). This can also be shown through our many community policing programmes,” said Rahim.
He also said that the marine police would be recruiting more members to ensure the safety and peace of the people. “The recruitment has begun as it has to be applied under the 11thMalaysia Plan which focuses on outcome based result. “Hence, we have also proposed procurement for the replacement of many of our equipment and also new assets such as new engines to enhance the efficiency of the marine police force,” he said.