MMEA plans to beef up security in northern Sarawak

MIRI: The Sarawak Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) wants to strengthen enforcement and monitoring along the northern coastline of state especially against encroachment by foreign vessels.

MMEA Sarawak Region director, Maritime First Admiral Ismaili Bujang Pit said MMEA was hopeful that the Budget 2017 to tabled next week would have an allocation for the much awaited MMEA Miri administration complex.

“It’s on the top of the list now (MMEA Miri administration complex) because we are competing with Kuantan, Pahang we hope we can get the budget,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Ismaili said the proposed site for the MMEA Miri administration complex has been identified at Pulau Melayu and if given the nod for implementation it would further boost the strength of MMEA in Miri. He said, one of the areas that MMEA Sarawak wanted to focus in Miri was the encroachment of foreign fishermen.

For the record MMEA Miri had been operating at a building in Waterfront Miri (Tebingan Sungai Miri) since 2006 and the new proposed complex would be on a two-hectare site in Pulau Melayu with its own quarters for staff.

So far MMEA Sarawak has only one administration complex and quarters located at Muara Tebas, Kuching.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also the Finance Minister would table the Budget 2017 on Oct 21.

Meanwhile, on the proposed MMEA airbase in Miri, he said, they were still awaiting a decision from the relevant authorities.

Early this year Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was quoted as saying that the government planned to increase MMEA Miri assets including the MMEA airbase to tackle encroachment problems. — Bernama