The government allocates RM1.3 billion to build nine more patrol ships for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to increase assets and boost its capability.
MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Ahmad Puzi Kahar said the first patrol ship was expected to be completed at year's end while the rest would be obtained in stages in the subsequent years.
He said three of the patrol ships were the bigger new generation Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) which were equipped with sophisticated Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
"The ships are being built in the country with the cooperation of a company from Germany. So, there is a transfer of technology which can boost the capability and benefits the national shipping industry," he said.
He said the new generation OPV is a bigger patrol ship measuring 80 metres and upwards, and the three would be built at a cost of RM740 million.
Ahmad Puzi said this in a media conference which was held in conjunction with the launching of Ops Pagar Laut at the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex Jetty (KOMTAS), at Muara Tebas here, today.
He said Ops Pagar Laut, which was started at the beginning of Ramadan, gravitated around controlling the territorial water and national entry points which were hotspots, around which monitorings were boosted with the presence of three MMEA assets daily.
He said the launching today was also held after the wife of the Sarawak Yang DiPertua Negeri, Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib, consented to hand over Aildifitri contributions to MMEA members this evening at KOMTAS.
According to Ahmad Puzi, MMEA always ensured that not more than 25 per cent of MMEA members were allowed to take leave during the holiday season, regardless of whatever celebration or festivity, to ensure its service would always be at its peak.