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KUCHING, April 7 -- The Sarawak Coastguard team launched today will ensure the safety of fishermen and protect the marine natural resources along the state's coastline.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said in addition, the coastguards have been tasked to look after the gazetted Marine Park area, which covers a 1.2 million-hectare site.
“The team was established to protect Sarawak's waters as the state’s coastline is a long stretch.
“Sometimes foreign fishermen encroach into our waters. But with the presence of the coastguards, they will be intercepted before they can get close to our coastal area,” he told a press conference after a ceremony to launch the Coastguard Unit, here, today.
The Sarawak state government had earlier allocated RM90 million for the purchase of assets to be deployed by the Sarawak Coastguard in the state's 2020 budget.
The team has so far acquired its first vessel, SC Tanjung Datu, which is a 'Catamaran' boat and six interceptor boats, which were received at the end of last year.
In addition nine fast patrol boats are expected to be delivered in stages in 2022 and 2023.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the assets belonging to the team were also suitable for use to help the people during major floods and search and rescue operations.
He said the coastguards would also be working with other state or federal enforcement agencies to protect the state's waters.
"The unit was also set up to create a safe environment and to attract foreign investors in efforts to bring development to Sarawak and in achieving the target of becoming a developed state by 2030,” he added.
The Sarawak Coastguard unit will be operating from five bases which will be located in Kuching, Tanjung Manis, Bintulu, Miri and Lawas.