PORT KLANG, May 19 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is using the Malaysian Maritime Sea Surveillance System (Swasla) to monitor the movement of all vessels in national waters at all times.
MMEA director-general Admiral Maritime Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the Swasla System functions as a radar network system (24 hours seven days a week) and is fully utilised throughout the Strait of Melaka.
He said the system which was developed on September 25, 1994, is used by the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Maritime Department to determine the flow of international cargo ships and the security of national waters.
“The Swasla system acts as a maritime information centre for the main control centre and region control centre. It also aids the coordination of operations for all maritime enforcement agencies and analyses maritime security activities,” he told reporters at a briefing on Op Benteng here.
In a related development, Mohd Zubil said the MMEA had conducted 60,584 inspections, 11,585 raids and 343 arrests for various offences in the waters of the Strait of Melaka since early January until May 15.
“The majority of the arrest cases involve the Fisheries Act 1985 (174 cases), Immigration Act 1959/1963 (47 cases), Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 (39 cases), followed by other acts,” he said.
On the standard operating procedure for enforcement relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mohd Zubil said stern action is taken against the boats of foreign fishermen who encroach, including confiscating fishing equipment, throwing out the supply of ice and water before the boats are escorted out of national waters.
“During the movement control order (MCO), action has been taken against 50 boats of Vietnamese fishermen who encroached the waters off Terengganu,” he said.
Mohd Zubil said the cooperation between maritime communities especially fishermen has also been enhanced.
“This is because the fishermen can be the eyes and ears of the security agencies by providing information,” he said. — Bernama