Getting neighbours involved in sea-basing strategy
Published on: Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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Semporna: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein said Malaysia is pondering closer relationship with neighbours Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines to create sea–basing in their respective territories. This is because security threats are not unique to Malaysia and there is no reason why the new concept proposed by Malaysia cannot be carried out collaboratively with other countries.

According to Hishamuddin, the police and National Security Council (NSC) are expected to create sea- basing in smaller scales, which would add value to the existing two main bases namely Tun Azizan Sea- Basing (TAZ) and Tun Sharifah Rodziah Sea-Basing (TSR).

Hishamuddin said this during a press conference at TSR Navy Base in conjunction with a working visit to monitor the level of readiness of the defence system in Sabah as well as to meet with enforcement personnel involved in Ops Pasir and to assess the capability of sea-basing here, Monday.

Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Datuk Baharom Hamzah, Esscom Commander DCP Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun and Task Force 450 Commander Major General Dato' Zulkapri Rahmat.

Commenting on TAZ and TSR Sea-Basing, Hishamuddin said he is extremely happy with the platform, which is unique to Malaysia, because it was his brainchild and was built without any funding from his ministry.

"We used assets which are no longer in use such as the Petronas' unused platform and upgraded by Petronas. The cost to build and repair was borne by the company.

"The implementation of the sea-basing is an out-of-the box approach, a fruit of my own initiative and it was the first such approach in the world which is now a model of defence for other countries," he said.

He said the roles of a sea-basing are to act as the first line of defence against terrorist invasion, to collect tactical intelligence and on maritime community, to act as frontline operation base and to provide logistic assistance to interceptor boats.

Sea-basing also acts as frontliners in coordinating operations on threatened areas, helicopter operation platform and platform for fast response team.

They are equipped with radar communication equipment and CCTV jacking system, pontoon, air compressor motor, trouble shooting water marker parker and Maralia and HVC trouble shooting to ensure the functions of both sea-basing are maximised.

He added that the radar equipped is of the type CSS 1206, capable of detecting surface targets as far as 20km and will be improvised with the installation of Radar CSS AESA Spexer 2000 soon.

TSR Sea Basing is manned by 84 army personnel while TAZ Sea-Basing has 85 personnel. TSR Sea-Basing started operation since July 31 this year while TAZ commenced earlier in May.

Meanwhile, Hishamuddin said there is no direct threat from Islamic State (IS) militants in Sabah's east coast and no credible proof that there are elements of IS within the area so far.

However, the Government is not taking the matter lightly because the area is constantly faced with various security issues involving cross-border crimes and militia elements creeping in from the Southern Philippines.

At the moment, he said, IS influence is believed to have garnered a lot of interests among terrorist cells and separatists in the Southern Philippines because the leaders of the groups such as Abu Sayyaf (KAS), Moro Islamic Freedom Front (MIFF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Rajah Solaiman Movement (RSM) already pledged their allegiance to IS leader, Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi last year.

"Indirectly, these extremists' elements are capable of influencing a group in Sabah through an established terrorists' network. Other than that, this militant threat is also closely related to the five Malaysian militant members who are in hiding in the Southern Philippines," he said.


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