Daily Express
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Sabah gets 30 bullet-proof, high-tech boats costing RM50.7 million

Published on: Friday, May 30, 2014

Lahad Datu: The Federal Government will station Forward Operation Bases (FOB) in stages in strategic areas that have been identified as high risk and fixed route of criminals.

Minister in the Prime Minister Department, Dato' Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Government will use abandoned oil rigs owned by Petronas and is identifying these rigs, especially near the border with Philippines.

Shahidan said this in his speech at the handover ceremony of 30 RHFB (Rigid Hull Fender Boats) at District Marine Operation Base on Thursday to Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman.

He said the 30 boats that were handed to three security agencies under Esscom namely Police, Armed Forces, and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency have a high-end system and able to reach speeds of up to 50 knots.

The boats came bullet-proofed and with Forward Looking Infra Red which makes them very sophisticated and able curb any criminal activity if used optimally.

"However, sophistication of this boat is meaningless if it is not handled efficiently. Therefore, all members of security forces must have the courage and fighting spirit at all times and circumstances.

"The handover of this boat is part of strategy that implemented by the government to strengthen security and defense in Esszone," he said.

According to Shahidan, other measures that have also been identified will be implemented in phases.

He said the Federal Government always see and take whatever appropriate action that and can be implemented in order to guarantee the security and sovereignty of our country will remain protected.

Shahidan said, the responsibility to guarantee the security and sovereignty should not be shouldered by security forces only, but also the people.

Therefore, he added that people must cooperate with the government in strengthen the security of our country by conveying any information to the authorities so that immediate action could be taken.

Also present at the ceremony were the National Security Council secretary, Datuk Mohamed Tahjudeen Abdul Wahab, ESSCOM Director General, Datuk Mohammad Mentek, Silam MP, Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur, Lahad Datu Assemblyman, Datuk Mohd Yusof Apdal, and other community leaders.

Meanwhile, Musa said the establishment of Esscom and gazetting of Esszone would have no positive impact without integrated action to ensure that the land and waters off Sabah's east coast were free from all forms of threats and intrusions.

"The people must also help the security agencies, not only through providing moral support, but by channelling relevant information that could help to thwart any potential intrusion and threat to the country," he said.

National Security Council secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab said the Government had spent RM50.76mil to procure the 30 RHFBs supplied by four local companies.

He disclosed the companies as MSET Inflatable Composit Sdn Bhd which was awarded a RM17.64mil contract to supply nine RHFBs to the Malaysian Armed Forces; Kay Marine Sdn Bhd (nine RHFBs worth RM17.58mil for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency); Dalac Marine Engineering and Services Sdn Bhd (six RHFBs worth RM7.79mil for the Marine Police); and Destination Marine Services Sdn Bhd (six RHFBs worth RM7.75mil for the Marine Police).

He said the high-powered boats were bullet proof, equipped with modern specifications and had a speed of 50 knots (92.6 km) per hour.

"The boats are also equipped with a situation awareness system, which is a combination of the Forward Looking Infra Red system and radar that could detect and intercept intrusions," he said.

Thajudeen said the crew underwent training early last month and were ready to be mobilised at any time.