GEORGE TOWN, Oct 10 — Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador today welcomed the Sarawak government’s proposal to set up its own marine police team to patrol its borders and guard its assets as long as it does not contravene any law.
But the inspector-general of police cautioned the state government to look at the legalities of setting up its own marine police.
“The marine police are not able to monitor every inch of the coast so we welcome their proposal to complement our marine police,” he said during a press conference at the marine police base in Batu Uban here.
“They have to make sure it is not against the law; if they can overcome this, we welcome them,” he added.
Abdul Hamid said Sarawak has not submitted any formal application to the police with regards to setting up its own marine coastal unit.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg mooted the Sarawak Marine Coastal Unit to stop encroachment into its waters, adding that he had instructed his lawyers to look into the technical issues.
Border patrol is a federal issue, but Sarawak has been increasingly flexing its muscle and is pushing for autonomy on certain matters.
Abdul Hamid also said police had approval to acquire two ships from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to strengthen the marine police’s presence in east Sabah.
“The two ships will be used as motherships to be based in the waters where incidents of robbery and abductions are often reported off the coast of Sabah,” he said.
He said the police have also highlighted the need for new assets and weapons for the marine police as most of its equipment is old.