Senator proposes more naval bases for Sarawak to boost national security

KUCHING, March 20 — Senator Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim yesterday proposed that the federal government construct three more naval bases in Sarawak to better protect the nation’s sovereignty.

In his debate speech in the Dewan Negara yesterday, he said the new bases could be built in Kuching, Sibu and Miri to reduce dependence on naval assets being deployed from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

“What I know is that Beting Patinggi Ali is being protected by naval assets from Kota Kinabalu. Sabah currently has five naval bases.

“For Sarawak, the more naval bases we have, the better it will be for national defence. There has to be a need to ensure that Sarawak will continue to be afforded protection.

“I hope the Defence Ministry views my request in relation to the protection of sovereignty and security of Malaysian Borneo,” he said.

Ahmad also informed the Senate that the China Coast Guard (CCG) has been spotted encroaching Sarawak territorial waters on several occasions.

“For instance, last January vessel CCG5403 was detected encroaching into the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sarawak, illegally. Such a provocation is a serious threat to our national oil and gas industry, as well as fishing activities in Sarawak waters.”

He also said Asean nations must “act as one” in giving China a stern warning not to conduct any act of provocation in their respective waters. — The Borneo Post




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