KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plan as yet to set up another naval base in the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) area, the
Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Royal Malaysian Navy already had a base in Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu, and a small base in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
“It will be good to have an additional base, but the existing one will suffice,” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk
Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS-Kota Baharu).
Shahidan said the government, through the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, would establish more forward operating bases to tighten coastal security.
This was because MMEA was more involved in marine enforcement while RMN shouldered the greater responsibility of maintaining national sovereignty, he added.
“All these involved assets and took time to be established. It is anticipated that all these assets, including 92 speedboats, will be received by
February (next year),” he said.
Replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Dr Makin alias Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) on smuggling in the South China Sea, he said a meeting on the matter was held last week by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.
“The smuggling is related to the barter trade and the government is looking into the matter. In the past, barter trade involved the exchange of goods but now the goods are sold for cash and this has led to subsidised goods being taken out of the country,” he said. – BERNAMA