SHAH ALAM: Back to the future. It appears that the marine police will likely roll back its operations and return to its authorised role entrusted to it in June, 2011 to patrol up to the shoreline, rivers, islands and lakes.
Although the police has not officially announced that the marine police will revert to its 2011 role, a statement by Internal Security and Public Order Department director Comm. Zulkifli Abdullah that personnel from marine police will be stationed at urban areas to beef up security would likely have an impact on its coastal waters operations.
The security operations in urban areas starting on July 1 will also involved personnel from the general operations force and federal reserve unit.
“They will be stationed in big cities based on a study of the crime index in the area. This is among the efforts of the police to strengthen our hand in containing crimes in major cities.
“It is also aimed at increasing the presence of police personnel on the field,”he was quoted by Bernama.
Newly appointed Home Minister TS Muhyiddin Yassin during an official visit to Bukit Aman today (June. 4 2018) did not say anything on the subject nor was asked about the issue during a press conference.
The marine police in the aftermath of the 2013 Lahad Datu incident had been given the authority to patrol up to five nautical miles of the coast to back up the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).The authorities said then the involvement of marine police in coastal patrols was necessary as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) lack the capabilities to do so.
Following the reauthorisation, the marine police had embarked in a procurement drive buying new watercraft from RHIBs to amphibious vehicles and landing craft. There was also talk of buying Very Large Patrol Boats to boost its patrol fleet. Despite the talk, no funding was allocated for the project.
If indeed the marine police’s operational scope had been reduced, it is hoped that the equipment already bought and now redundant, will be re-allocated to other units like those operating in ESSCOM area of operations.
One the patrol/landing craft operated by marine police.
It may well be the marine police operations in ESSCOM will not be affected by the urban security patrols directive though.
As for the lack of capabilities of MMEA, it must be noted that this is mostly due to the budget allocations and how the the government treated the agency. For example, the MMEA leadership had repeatedly in the past asked for new assets from patrol boats to UAVs.
Only belatedly that this had been approved though the numbers of ships approved, NGPC and OPV, are well below the requirements.
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