SEMPORNA – The setting up of two sea basings will strengthen security control in the waters off east Sabah to combat cross-border crimes and militant elements from the southern Philippines.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the sea basings were the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Sea Basing in the waters off Semporna in the form of a static platform on a used oil rig, and the Tun Azizan Sea Basing on a used cargo ship.
Both began operations last May.
Hishammuddin said the sea basings were a new initiative using oil rigs as forward bases to enforce defence along Sabah’s east coast.
“The two sea basings are my own outside-the-box initiatives which do not involve any allocation from the defence ministry.
“Petronas has carried out its social responsibility by providing a used oil rig and a used cargo ship to be made into sea basings,” he told reporters after visiting the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Sea Basing today.
He said the concept of the sea basing in the waters off east Sabah were the first of its kind in the world.
Hishammuddin said the sea basings would be used to fight intrusions, gather maritime community and tactical intelligence information as forward operations bases and forward operations centres.
He said in view of current threats, he would share the concept of sea basings with neighbouring countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei.
“We are not the only ones facing current threats, our neighbours face them, too. There is no reason our new concept introduced in this country cannot be shared with neighbouring countries if they are good for them too,” he noted.
Hishammuddin said he was informed that the Police and the National Security Council planned to implement sea basing on a small scale in the waters of east Sabah.
Earlier, Hishammuddin viewed the ‘Op Pasir’ at the Pulau Pandanan control post.
Also present during the visit were Joint Forces Commander Lt Gen Datuk Baharom Hamzah and Commander of the Eastern Sabah Security Command, Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun. – BERNAMA