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PASIR PUTEH, May 5 -- About 70 per cent of Kelantan Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel will be on duty during Aidilfitri as the leave of most of its staff have been frozen during the period.
“This has been the practice for our officers and members as security of the waters and borders will have to be tightened during the festive season,” said its deputy director Khairun Dalilah Baharin.
She said cross-border criminal activities such as smuggling of goods, firecrackers and fireworks, in the country's waters would see an increase, as this was the time for smugglers to reap huge profits.
"Kelantan MMEA will strengthen its level of patrolling and will implement job rotation to ensure staff are being deployed round the clock in the country's waters, especially in the East Coast areas.
"MMEA will also be increasing its assets in the border areas and a special operation dubbed Op Khas Pagar Laut will be implemented from May 3 to 23, throughout the peninsula as well as in Sabah and Sarawak," she told reporters, here, last night.
Meanwhile, when met by reporters, seaman Mohd Syazrul Hazim Md Rozi, 23, admitted that he felt sad because he has not been able to celebrate Aidilfitri with his family in Alor Setar, Kedah for three years.
‘I do get to visit them when I am off duty during the weekends but its different to be together during Aidilfitri, more so since I just got married this year and I really want my wife to meet my parents and siblings.
"I miss my sisters especially the youngest, who had always been asking for me,” said Syazrul Hazim who is the eldest of four siblings and has been with Kelantan MMEA for four years.
“I wish I could be with them but duty calls, so I will have to be content with video chats and calls,” he added.
Also longing for home is seaman Safrizan Jaslin, 28, who said he would miss the air of festivity with his family members in Ranau, Sabah.
"However, I am willing to sacrifice my time as I have been enlisted for the operations during Hari Raya. Besides there is no point going back now as the COVID-19 situation is getting worse," said Safrizan who is in his fifth year of service.