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Extra 'power' needed to tackle piracy, kidnapping issues: Shafie
Published on: Friday, September 28, 2018
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Extra 'power' needed to tackle piracy, kidnapping issues: Shafie
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government will need extra "power" to tackle piracy and kidnapping issues to boost security in Malaysian Borneo, particularly the waters.Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (pic) said this requires a new way of addressing the problem and it could be achieved if technology lends a hand.

He said technologies such as Front End Intelligence (FEI) Technology combined with Automatic Identification System (AIS) are required as these are in the form of an integrated system that could enhance maritime activities.

"The widely discussed Chinese tourists kidnapping in 2014 and recent kidnapping of Indonesian fishermen in Sept this year show a dire need to more carefully monitor waters around Sabah.

"Additionally, the large number of tourists visiting nearby islands require strong maritime safety measures. This is very apparent after the sinking of an island-bound boat carrying over 20 Chinese tourists in 2017.

"In order to address these issues, this system that enable real time interactive, intelligent and event-driven transport management that monitor, communicate, evaluate and respond to events dynamically is required," he said.

His speech that was read by State Infrastructure Development Assistant Minister Datuk Abd Muis Picho at the Borneo Centralised Monitoring Centre (BCMC), Thursday.

Aside from maritime, the land below the wind itself is covered by vast forest that houses biological diversity, a home to a diverse population species which should not be neglected, he said, adding that needs proper monitoring to tackle several issues that have been "haunting" this land.

He said round-the-clock monitoring over such large and remote areas are challenging but with the presence of technology, these issues could be overcome covering every inch of the State, producing satisfying results.

"Illegal logging has become a way of life for some communities with timber being taken from wherever it is accessible, sold to collectors and processed in huge sawmills. In the absence of sufficient alternative economic sources, this is an irresistible lure for the local communities.

"Protection laws are in effect throughout Borneo but are often inadequate or are flagrantly violated usually without any consequences as monitoring and enforcement over such large and remote areas are challenging," he added. Shafie said the State Government looks forward to the collaboration of KASI, Earth and Sea Observation System (Easos) and B'smart as they will bring together technologies into a dedicated secure monitoring centre.

He said the BCMC will allow monitoring around the clock to allow early detection and coordination of response to incidents that will assist the State Government with its rapid response teams being deployed within minutes of an incident once it has been detected.

"The BCMC will allow us to fulfil our mission to amplify the State's ability to monitor, detect and enforce in the marine and forestry domains and thereby enable Sabah to address these challenges," he added. The BCMC is a centre that holds a wide range of monitoring systems that covers vast area both for land and waters of Sabah which gives a view of the ongoing activities.

With the centralised monitoring centre, relevant authorities will be able to carry out marine watch, forest watch and also flood watch at the same time which will give the upper hand in responding towards any emergencies whether on land or at sea. - Jeremy S Zabala

Photo Source: Bernama


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