MMEA, Marine Police Collaboration

Marine Police Ungerin and MMEA STAR units. PDRM picture

SHAH ALAM: MMEA, Marine Police colloboration. MMEA and the Marine police signed a declaration of cooperation to work together to ensure the safety of the country’s shorelines. PDRM was represented by IGP Abdul Hamid Bador and MMEA was represented by by its director-general Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som at the signing ceremony yesterday.

Not much details of the collaboration have come out however.

One of the Watercat assault/landing boat of marine police. The vessel or the latest version could be offered for the RMN FIC tender.

From The Star

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said the strategic collaboration between these two enforcement agencies would be mutually beneficial.

“Through this collaboration, we can share intelligence, expertise, assets, training and human capital, as well as joint operations.

“I am confident we can strengthen our defences along the coasts,” he said in his speech after signing the declaration of strategic cooperation at the Marine Police Region 1 Base at Port Klang here on Thursday (March 5).

He said the cooperation was timely as the country was facing non-conventional threats and trans-border crime.

Hamid signed the declaration with MMEA director general Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som, witnessed by Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Zainal Abidin Abu Hassan.

Adm Mohd Zubil they would announce the cooperation notes soon.

“I believe this cooperation will lead to a positive impact as we have already proven last year.

“Together with the police and Customs Department, we managed to thwart smuggling cases as well as a huge drug trafficking case in Johor last year.

Mohd Yusof (seated on the gun) and other officials posed with the PC 32 manually operated .50 caliber HMG.

It must be noted that the talk of collaboration of some sort had been in the works in the last two years – mostly due to the need to reduce costs – by the Mahathir administration. I believed both PDRM and MMEA had agreed upon the details of collaboration but the document is being withheld as the matter probably needed to be reviewed first by the new government.
Marine Police Ungerin and MMEA STAR units. PDRM picture

Of course I will write an update about the collaboration when further details are available. By the way, DSA 2020 has been postponed to August 24 to 27, basically in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. The show was supposed to be held from April 20 to 23.

DSA 2020

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Actually MMEA and Marine Police are redundant to each other and basically robbing resources from the other. If they could combine both, the better.

  2. @joe

    Definitely. Agree with you.

    Just an idea. Maybe mmea star can be positioned as a proactive maritime law enforcement SOF much like uscg msst. As for the ungerin, position them as a reactive maritime law enforcement SOF like uscg msrt.

    Idk how the sop in our maritime safety. At least with this, their purposes are not superfluos. Instead, its complementing each other.

    I believe this can be done even before mmea and marine police will be combine (hopefully it will).

    Just a thought.

    Actually the MMEA people has lesser powers compared to police as PDRM personnel under the police Act. Yes the best way is to fold both agencies into one

  3. @Nihd
    Thanks for bringing up USCG. Our Government should take a leaf from how USCG are organised and their role &responsibilities defined between the Navy, Federal authorities and State authorities.

    Since MMEA powers are limited to MMEA Act, it could easily be strengthened on par with police level of authority (moreso if Marine Police is absorbed) but both parties roles can be clearly defined ie MMEA has jurisdiction of inlands 1km from shoreline and Police rule over anything more innards but both have authority to make arrest on behalf of each other. For example, if MMEA chased down pirates inshore >1km, they can still arrest the perps but need to handover to Police for persecution and this goes vice versa.

    OTOH MMEA should be trained and act more like a constabulary force so training-wise on Policing procedures will need to rely on PDRM.

  4. There were plans under Badawi to do away with the Marine Police. By right there should only one non military agency to deal with security at sea : the MMEA.

    In reality there are various bureaucratic complications in having the Marine Police absorbed into the MMEA. For one the MMEA would only have need for ‘x’ people of a certain rank and the ex Marine Police people will have to be places somewhere -demoting them is not possible. There are also questions of seniority and the fact that certain people in the Marine Police are only there waiting retirement.

    A cynic will also point out there there could be other reasons why members of the Marine Police – especially those deployed in certain area – would prefer that the status quo is maintained.

    The plan was for the whole Marine police to join MMEA but the police managed to get Badawi to give them the option to join at a higher rank or stay with the police. Most of them remained of course. Najib then moved ahead with the decision to give MMEA more powers in 2011/2012 but this was largely taken back in 2013 following the Lahad Datu incident

  5. Just a long shot.

    Is it possible that the merger is problematic in part due to the police reluctance to lose their ‘royal’ commission?

    Because mmea is commisioned through public service commision instead of royal commision.

    Not really about the commission but the fact that a police constable has more powers than an officer with MMEA under 1967 Police Act

  6. Nihd – ”Is it possible that the merger is problematic in part due to the police reluctance to lose their ‘royal’ commission?”

    There are various reasons why on paper a merger was needed but why in reality it was problematic. Some of the reasons are mundane but nonetheless a still problems that had to be addressed.

    The MMEA has places for only so many people in some many positions. What would they have done with the excess manpower that would have resulted from the Marine police merging with the MMEA? What would they have done with the senior Marine Police leadership? Some of who were bidding time until retirement. Some who were dead weight whose careers had reached a dead end.

    Given that all agencies rigorously guard their turf; hardly surprising the police would gave fought tooth and nail to prevent the Marine Police from being merged. Even within the MAF; the 3 armed services – despite the talk of ”jointness” – still engage in turf guarding and inter service fighting.

  7. Agree that one or the other agency (MMEA / Marine Police) is superfluous. Actually these doubts came before MMEA’s existence in Feb. 2005. A country our size simply needed a beefed up Marine Police OR a Coast Guard with extensive police powers, not both! IMHO, it’s probably best if the Marine Police were to be absorbed in toto by MMEA plus credible Police Powers. That will really remove duplication of authority on our shorelines.

  8. Another I suspect is while Marine Police (and PDRM in general) are supposedly loyal only to the Raja-Rajas, MMEA is specifically under the Home Ministry so basically a defacto police force for the Government of the day. Some of Police personnel and perhaps even Joe public might be uncomfortable at such discretion of powers under the Government.

    But as status quo goes, both are cannibalising whatever limited resources they each have and utter duplication of functions (such as above Marine Police Ungerin and MMEA STAR). Eventually one has to give or both will fail in their duties.

  9. What about the border agency? How does border enforcement works under the agency?

    Since both army & police are under the agency.

  10. @joe

    Most people dont care, a lot people cant tell the difference between air force, army and navy.

  11. Off topic

    Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob is been appointed the new defence minister.

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