KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 (Bernama) -- The government plans to have more places to keep foreign vessels that are seized by Malaysian authorities for trespassing into the country’s territorial waters as the existing one at the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) jetty is almost full, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“We are thinking of the next step on how to gazette other suitable places for the purpose because I believe there will be more vessels that will be detained, hence the need to provide more space,” he said during the oral question and answer session in Parliament today.
He was responding to a supplementary question from Ahmad Amzad Mohamed @ Hashim (PAS-Kuala Terengganu) on efforts to address the increase in the number of foreign vessels that were impounded for violating the laws of the country at the existing place.
According to Muhyiddin, 44 vessels were detained and 511 vessels were checked during an integrated operation, code-named Ops Naga, conducted by the MMEA, Marine Police Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, Marine Department and Fisheries Department between last May 2 and 31.
The second phase of the operation started last June 1, focusing the east coast of the peninsula to curb encroachment by foreign fishermen into the country’s territorial waters to the maximum, he added.