PORT KLANG – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today gave the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) a pat on the back for having kept the Strait of Melaka, the world’s busiest waterway, almost free of pirates since 2006.
After the MMEA went into operation in that year, it had focused diligently on combating robberies committed against merchant ships in the strait, he said.
“As a result, no robberies have been reported in the Strait of Melaka since 2009 except for two in 2011 and the siphoning of diesel in 2014 and 2015,” he said in his speech at the naming of the first new-generation patrol craft of the MMEA here.
The vessel, named KM Bagan Datuk, was launched by Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Najib said police statistics for year 2000 showed that 57 robberies occurred in the country’s waters, including the Strait of Melaka, involving merchant ships and fishing boats.
He also said that the 2000 Annual Report of the International Maritime Bureau identified the Strait of Melaka as one of the major waterways that were the focus of pirates.
“Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), with the persistent efforts of MMEA, the Strait of Melaka is safe and secure,” he said.
Najib said the launch of KM Bagan Datuk was a recognition of the government and people of the capability of MMEA in keeping the country’s waters safe.
The 44.25-metre KM Bagan Datuk is the first of six new-generation patrol craft to be delivered to the MMEA by Destini Bhd under a RM381.3-million contract awarded in June 2015.
The Prime Minister said the patrol craft were an enhancement of the existing MMEA vessels that had been acquired from other security agencies. – BERNAMA