Build more naval bases to amp up Sarawak’s defense, senator tells federal govt

Dato Ahmad Ibrahim

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, March 18: A Sarawakian senator in Dewan Negara today has called on the federal government to build two or three more Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) bases in the State.

Senator Dato Ahmad Ibrahim said while the government has approved the construction of the naval base Maritime Region Headquarters 4 (Mawilla 4) in Bintulu, he stressed the need to review the number of naval bases in Sarawak especially when the Beting Patinggi Ali (or Luconia Shoals) located in Sarawak waters is currently under the supervision of TLDM assets from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.


“In Sabah, there are already 5 TLDM bases. Therefore, I consider the construction of two or three more TLDM bases in Sarawak to be appropriate given the current regional situation that enables the readiness of the national defence in controlling the waters and the sovereignty of the country.

“Areas like Kuching, Sibu and Miri need to have a new nucleus team from TLDM so that it is no longer necessary to depend on TLDM assets from Kota Kinabalu. The more bases in Sarawak, the safer the country’s waters are,” he said when debating the 2024 Royal Address in Dewan Negara which was broadcast live via the Malaysian Parliament’s YouTube channel today.

He also expressed concern over the recent presence of the China Coast Guard (CCG) in Sarawak waters whereby a CCG5403 ship was found to have illegally entered the State’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in January.

“This is an urgent matter and not something that can be taken lightly. We have seen this sort of provocation by CCG many times where we can see their ships are among the bigger and more sophisticated ships compared to ours. We seem to be bullied in our own waters by invaders.

“It is time for us to stand up to a leading country like China. Not as one country, but as ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). The combined group of Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines will be a force to be reckoned with.

“The sovereignty of our country should never be challenged,” he added. — DayakDaily