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Media practitioners get taste of life on navy ship

Published on: Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Some 20 media practitioners were given a taste of how it feels like to be on a navy ship during a small scale war exercise dubbed 'Borneo War' held in conjunction with the Royal Malaysian Navy's 80th Anniversary, on Monday.

The six-hour exercise involved a total of 200 navy personnel and four vessels from three different base, namely, KD Laksamana Tan Pusmah, KD Serang, KD Paus and KD Sri Perlis, which departed from the Sepanggar Naval base sailing within 130 nautical miles off at 6am.

The KD Laksamana Tan Pusmah is based in Lumut, Perak and has been assigned on duty in Sabah waters since a month ago, while KD Perlis is based in Sandakan and KD Serang as well as KD Paus is based in Sepanggar.

Sandakan Naval Base Commander First Admiral Ahmad Abdullah said in order to prevent the war, enforcement must be prepared for war.

"Thus, the exercise is to train and to test the ships as well as personnel, to see their professionalism and efficiency in implementing war techniques," he said during a media conference after the exercise ended at about 12pm.

Also present was Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad who is also Karambunai Assemblywoman.

"In times of peace, our command priority is to float, move and fight, but during war, the priority changes to fight, move and float," he explained.

"Media practitioners were given the opportunity to experience what we go through, however, what they experience is just five or ten miles from shore compared to the more than 200 miles of what real navy personnel have to go through while on duty," he said, adding that Borneo War is conducted six times a year, with the next expected to take place in July.

Meanwhile, Jainab expressed gratitude to the navy for keeping the surrounding waters off Sabah safe from threats.

"Even though our country is not faced with war, we must be ready for any possibilities of war because Sabah is surrounded by vast waters and has close proximity to two other countries.

"We face many challenges, with the kidnapping incidents and claims over Sabah by certain people, we hope the media can play the role in channeling assurance to the people, particularly with the navy presence because we must trust our enforcement," she said.

She also urged Sabahan youths to take up the opportunity of employment offered by the navy.