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New vessel to boost protection of our waters
Published on: Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Navigation and protection of the marine environment in Malaysian waters will see a further boost with Malaysia's newly-built multi-purpose vessel named MV Polaris. The idea to build the vessel came from the Cooperative Mechanism Forum and the Straits Project 7: Feasibility Study on the Emergency Towing Vessel Services in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

"The vessel is now ready to render assistance to vessels in distress," said Transport Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi in his opening address at the 10th Cooperation Forum under the mechanism between the littoral states and users of the Straits on safety of navigation and environmental protection, at Hilton Hotel, here, Monday.

He said its operation area may not be limited to the Straits of Malacca but also the whole of Malaysian waters, if required.

Meanwhile, Marine Department Director-General Datuk Baharin Dato' Abdul Hamid, in his welcoming address, said the new buoy tender vessel was commissioned on Aug 30, this year.

It is designed as a multi-functional vessel equipped with modern integrated Vessel Bridge Management System, Class 2 Dynamic Positioning System, Fire-Fighting Ship Class 1 and fitted with tween Azimuth Propulsion System.

"Although she functions mainly as a buoy tender vessel, her other functions include as a training vessel for Marine Department personnel and as an emergency towing vessel.

"I believe MV Polaris will provide great services to render assistance to the ships in distress such as emergency towing vessels and the fire-fighting services in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," he said.

The opening ceremony of the 10th Cooperation Forum also witnessed two important ceremonies.

First was the handing over of US$6,000,000 (RM25,401,000) from the Aids to Navigation Fund administration and chairmanship of the Republic of Singapore to the Marine Department Malaysia.

Second was the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding Joint Hydrographic Re-Survey of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore between the littoral states and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Japan.

Also present were Republic of Singapore Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority Andrew Tan and I.

Nyoman Sukayadnya, who represented Republic of Indonesia's Director-General of Sea Transportation.

The opening ceremony ended with an evening visit to Sabah Port where the MV Polaris is anchored until Tuesday after which she will sail out to sea. - Sherell Jeffrey



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