Sarawak Coast Guard vessels to be built by Sibu shipbuilders

Abang Johari (third left) looking at the map on the distribution of peat swamps in Sarawak.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 22: The patrol vessels to be used by the Sarawak Coast Guards will be built by Sibu shipbuilders.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the operation date of the Sarawak Coast Guards will depend on how fast these vessels can be commissioned.

“We are assessing what size (of the vessels), but most likely it will be like the Marine police patrol boats, fast speed.

“The boats that we are going to procure have to be Sarawak-made because we have (the experience of making) made many boats. That will be assessed by the experts. Most likely (the vessels are) going to be built in Sibu,” said Abang Johari to reporters after officiating the Sarawak Agrofest 2019 here today.

A representative of Area Farmers’ Organisation receiving agricultural allocation from Abang Johari (second right).

On the coast guards, the chief minister said its personnel would be trained by a retired admiral.

He said one vessel will accommodate 12 coast guards and the Sarawak government will first start the coast to coast patrolling operation with three vessels and a total strength of 50 personnel.

When asked of the date the Sarawak Coast Guard will be operational, Abang Johari expected the delivery of the three vessels next year.

He said RM90 million budget has been set aside for the Sarawak Coast Guard for 2020.

On the weapons to be used by the coast guards, Abang Johari said he would leave the decision to State Security Council director.

Earlier during his speech, Abang Johari said many fishermen have complaint to him about foreign boats that have been encroaching and stealing Sarawak’s marine resources along the coastal areas.

As the fishermen were asking for protection, he said the Sarawak government has decided to set up its own coast guards.

“We will have small vessels to patrol our coast along Sarawak. We will help MMEA and Marine police,” he said. — DayakDaily