08/04/2024 10:23 PM

TAWAU, April 8 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)'s noble intention to inspect and offer help when its personnel spotted a boat which looked "to have run aground in the waters of Kampung Pangi, Kunak took an unexpected twist, with for shots fired by boat's tekong (skipper).

Recalling the incident, MMEA Petty Officer Zainal Abad Komel, 45, said it happened very fast and they did not expect criminals to be on board the boat.

"Usually at 8.30 am, fishermen will head home. Furthermore, the location in front of Kampung Pangi is usually filled with villagers returning from fishing...the cargo on board the boat was covered with canvas.

"As I got near the boat, I saw the suspect aiming a pistol right at my face and two shots were fired. But I managed to turn my face away while pulling on the throttle to speed away,” he said when met by Bernama here today.

Yesterday, the media reported that two MMEA personnel, on duty under Ops Khas Pagar Laut with four others, were injured when four shots were fired towards them when they approached a boat to carry out an inspection.

Following the 8.30 am incident at 0.2 nautical miles northwest of Kampung Pangi in Kunak, Zainal was blinded in his left eye while Leading Rate Prayrie De Cuella Jimin, 35, was injured in both hands

Zainal said that while he managed to evade the first shot, the second shot hit him below his left eye and blood started gushing out.

"This incident will not dampen my spirit, if I am all right today, I want to get back to work and track them down,” he said, adding that he has come to terms with the injury to his left eye.

Zainal, who is from Negeri Sembilan, said this was the first time he had faced such an incident in his 19 years of service with the MMEA.

Meanwhile, the other injured personnel, Prayrie, said that during the incident, only the boat's tekong was holding a weapon and fired four shots at the MMEA boat.

"The boat tried to speed away, but I also fired five shots towards the boat, I saw two people collapse, but I am not sure if they collapsed because they were hit or were trying to avoid being hit. 

"After I fired the shots, the suspects’ boat stopped for about two minutes before taking off again,” he said, adding that they could not give chase due to the low tide.





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