PM’s wife names first offshore patrol vessel ‘Tun Fatimah’, to be based in Kuching

Wan Azizah (second left) flanked by KM Tun Fatimah commanding officer Captain Khairol Anuar Saad (left) and Saifuddin during an introduction session to the vessel's crew at the name-giving ceremony held at Kuching Port Authority Jetty, Kuching on March 2, 2024.

By Shikin Louis

KUCHING, March 2: The wife of the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, has named the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) first offshore patrol vessel (OPV1) after the female warrior ‘Tun Fatimah’ today.

Wan Azizah’s presence was to assume the role of ‘Lady Sponsor’ where, by tradition, a female civilian is invited to ‘sponsor’ a vessel, presumably to bestow good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard.

Wan Azizah (seated 12th left) in a group photo with other dignitaries and KM Tun Fatimah’s crew at Kuching Port Authority Jetty, Kuching, on March 2, 2024.

Minister of Home Affairs (MOHA) Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution said the name ‘KM Tun Fatimah’ was chosen based on the heroine’s bravery in protecting the nation’s sovereignty.

“This vessel is about 84-metre-long and is now MMEA’s biggest asset,” he said during the name-giving ceremony held at the Kuching Port Authority Jetty here.

KM Tun Fatimah photographed at Kuching Port Authority Jetty, Kuching, on March 2, 2024.

The KM Tun Fatimah conducted its maiden official patrol in Sarawak waters on Jan 18 this year.

Its main objective is to strengthen the security of national waters, especially in curbing the invasion of foreign vessels.

Saifuddin also disclosed that KM Tun Fatimah is one of the three OPVs that were supposed to be built for MMEA several years ago, but it encountered a delay.

“Therefore, I have requested Prime Minister (Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim) to expedite the construction of the vessels of which he had injected an additional allocation of RM153 million.

“This came with a condition where he wanted at least one of the three vessels to be completed in the same year of the request being submitted, which is last year (2023).

“For the other two OPVs, MOHA secretary-general Datuk Ruji Ubi is working hard to ensure the completion of the vessels so that we can increase our assets,” he added.

Also present were MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Hamid Mohd Amin and MMEA Sarawak director Maritime First Admiral Zin Azman MD Yunus. — DayakDaily