KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) wants authorities to destroy illegal trawlers in Malaysian waters to protect the rice bowl of local fishermen.
LKIM chairman Datuk Seri Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim said his department was pushing the idea to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) to be implemented.
“I would like to suggest to the government to destroy boats and vessels of foreign fishermen so that it is a lesson and shows the seriousness of our government in protecting our resources,” he told Malay Mail Online in an interview.
Irmohizam explained that most “pirates” were invading Malaysian waters especially in the East Coast which were eating into the profits of local fishermen.
“The invasion of foreign fisherman in our waters especially in the East Coast raises concern mainly fishermen from Vietnam because the local fishermen are often troubled by them while fishing.
“The local fishermen are required to be extra vigilant when going to the sea because of them,” he explained adding that some of the Vietnamese fishermen even resorted to burning ships of local fishermen.
“The foreign fishermen like from Vietnam are very fierce and daring that they even burn the vessels of our fishermen. Personally, I feel that this is a crime and these fishermen that invade our waters can be considered pirates,” he stressed.
The Kuala Selangor MP said that an engagement process is currently on-going with the other maritime agencies and the proposed amendments will be tabled in the next parliamentary session.
“One thing for sure I have raised it (sinking of ships). I have proposed to APMM to have severe action like confiscating the boats then after that is better of course one of it is to sink the ship.
“APMM still looking at it. They have to bring this matter to a special meeting. I think we are still waiting on a decision. I think we are going to do it by next parliament session,” he said.