See You Soon

SHAH ALAM: See you soon. Since May this year as part of the government response to the pandemic, the National Task Force (NTF) was set up to coordinate operations dubbed Op Benteng to protect the nation’s border from intrusions from human smugglers to drug traffickers.

All of the security agencies including police, military and APMM are part of the task force with even the customs had been roped into the mix. Anyhow as part of the Op Benteng, agencies involved with the task force have been given clearance to procure new assets to boost their operational capabilities. Despite the urgent operational requirements, the results have been patchy so far with some agencies getting theirs sooner than others.

One of the Benteng class FIC of the MMEA. MMEA picture

For example, Bernama reports that ESSCOM will be getting scramblers and all terrain vehicles soon.

KALABAKAN, Nov 18 — The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) is in the process of acquiring additional logistical assets, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and scrambler motorcycles to strengthen patrols and security teams at the country’s borders.

ESSCom chief executive officer Dr Jamaluddin Mohd Ali said the request for additional ground assets was made through the Home Ministry and has been approved.

“The request has been approved by the government through leasing and we are waiting for the additional ground assets to arrive at any moment.

“We requested 18 ATV units and 10 scrambler motorcycles for the use of security teams at the district’s borders as the area is hilly and covered with thick forests,” he said.

He said this to reporters during an inspection to the country’s borders between Serudong, Kalabakan, Sabah and Simanggaris, North Kalimantan, Indonesia, which is the suggested area for the building of a security command post, yesterday.

Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri at the Gading Marine facility also in Lumut where the new RMN FIC are being built.

The MMEA as we know already got their FICs and it is likely that the RMN will also get their FIC later this year as well, together with their multi-purpose boats.

Army and police personnel on patrol in ESSCOM AOR equipped with quad bike or ATV. ESSCOM

The Army is also getting a number of scramblers and ATVs, purchased not leased soon, though I am not sure of their makes also courtesy of the Op Benteng UOR. RMAF meanwhile had taken delivery of three Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) which had been installed on one of the EC-725 with No. 10 Squadron.

RMAF chief Gen. Ackbal Samad checks out the LRAD installed on an EC725 during an official visit to Kuantan airbase on Nov. 19. RMAF

It is likely most of the items purchased for Op Benteng – by agencies in defence and home ministries – are likely to be paid by both the 2020 and 2021 budget allocation.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Scramblers and ATVs are useful for their cross country ability but one problem is they are noisy. Unless their engines/exhausts have been “silenced” they can be heard from a distance away.

    What all the agencies also need in numbers are night vision gear.

  2. We need LRADs on all of our patrol ships. it is a quick way to warn intruding ships from standoff distances. It can play prerecorded messages in Vietnamese, chinese, thai, indoesian or any languages to warn off those ships.

    The pic in the helicopter the LRAD is pointed into the cabin, to show the operating switches of the LRAD to PTU.

    As for night vision gear, one of the easiest way is to equip our patrol units with civilian grade FLIR systems. Good enough for border patrol duties.

  3. … – “We need LRADs on all of our patrol ships”

    We have loudspeakers on most of our ships; at least the ones likely to come into contact with illegal immigrants or shipping. The loudspeakers (mounted on masts or on bridge roofs are clearly visible on most ships.

    … – “with civilian grade FLIR systems”

    Whether it’s “civilian grade” or something else; we need them in numbers; man carried, vehicle mounted and on ships.

    “Civilian grade” only means it has less resolution; not an issue but we have to trial whatever we buy; in the past we got some “proven” systems which turned out to be problematic in our conditions.

  4. ” Unless their engines/exhausts have been “silenced” they can be heard from a distance away ”

    For border patrol and security missions, being heard by the illegal immigrants etc. can be a big deterrence factor. So that is not a big factor overall.

  5. Just wonder why we not get sea plane at Sabah coast as surveillance and transport? We do not need any landing place for it besides the sea. It easily can refill at the resort and fly to each patrol vessels for transports goods as well. I guess the cost to get them will be much cheaper than get a helicopter. We do not need get the size of of CL415 but much smaller passenger type which enough for transport and surveillance.

    Its much cheaper to maintain normal fixed wing platforms. Our sea patrols don’t go too far to benefit from seaplanes. Moreover seaplanes cannot carry to much cargo anyway to make it worthwhile

  6. … – “. So that is not a big factor overall.”

    If they have already landed in the coast or crossed a border; hearing approaching vehicles will alert them; leading them to hide or evade capture. So it can be a “factor” …

  7. loudspeakers blare out noise in all direction.

    LRADs directs the noise at a specific area, like a torchlight.

    so if there is like 5 ships on the horizon, you can actually send out message to each ship individually.

  8. Michael – “ We do not need any landing place for it besides the sea”

    A sea plane would be great if requirements call for a platform to be able to land at sea. If they don’t: no point getting such a platform.

    Michael – “can refill at the resort and fly to each patrol vessels for transports goods as well”

    That would mean that the resorts would need to have fuel in sufficient quantities on hand. As for replenishing ships; they don’t venture too far out or for long periods in ESSCOM.

    There’s various things we need but on top of the list would be manned and unmanned platforms (both complementing each other); as well as effective coordination between all the agencies.

  9. .. – “loudspeakers blare out noise in all direction”

    And are only good at certain (closer) ranges; I.e. a MMEA ship half a nautical mile away from an intercepted trawler or a helicopter playing a presence recorded broadcast (i.e. Alo 3s in the 1980’s) to people on the ground 2km away. They obviously can be heard 360 degrees but the sound would be more noticeable or pronounced at the axis the loudspeaker was actually pointed out.

  10. Just my view,the ATV is better to have 4 seater rather then a 2 seater…for 6-8 men patrol team,you need only 2 4 seater ATV,whilst if a 2 seater ATV u will need either 3 or 4 of them.Its your money and your planing .

  11. Depend entirely on why it was bought …. As a means of transport per see or as a fast reaction/scout asset?

  12. Anyhow be it for patrol,recon etc its good to have space for stores .you can never know either u can got lost in the jungle,your ATV breakdown anything can happen at the border,its best to be over prepared then not. Complacency will either u bring ur buddy in a body bag or u will be in the bodybag.

  13. RedSot – “your ATV breakdown anything can happen at the border,its best to be over prepared then not”

    Yes but to put things in perspective it’s the Malaysian/Thai border; troops (who have comms and water on them and who will be searched for if they fail to keep in contact) on patrol are rarely a considerable distance from the nearest army or police unit or the nearest kampung. It’s not like it’s the Western Sahara, Sinai or Inner Mongolia where the nearest friendlies or urban areas can be hours or days away ….

    Also; the routes travelled are often well used ones which are well known to units who have been deployed in the area for some time. It’s a very long and porous border but we know the area pretty well; it’s well mapped out and it in territory we’ve been operating in for a very long time.

    RedSot – “Complacency will either u bring ur buddy in a body bag or u will be in the bodybag”

    Which is something those in uniform are very well aware of ….

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