Tuesday, March 2

Repair of rundown facilities at Penrissen Army Camp a priority — Mat Sabu

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Mohamad Sabu (centre) during his visit to Penrissen Camp. — Bernama photo

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Defence Ministry is prioritising the repair and upgrading of several rundown facilities at the Penrissen Army Camp near here.

Minister Mohamad Sabu said the repair is part of the federal government’s commitment to upgrade facilities of army camps in Sarawak, using the RM50-million allocation under National Budget 2019.

“We have the funds ready (for next year) and priority will be given to some facilities at the Penrissen Camp which are 40 years old,” he told a press conference after a working visit to Muara Tuang Army Camp, here yesterday.

According to Mohamad, if the allocated funds are not sufficient to meet the needs of improving the facilities, the government would come up with additional grants.

It is learnt that a technical team will be dispatched to the ground to engage in assessment work before funds are approved to repair and upgrade the rundown facilities.

On a separate matter, he said the recent discovery of three AK-47 rifles buried near a village in Kelantan is currently being investigated by police.

“All the weapons have been handed over to the police in order to identify the source and ownership.

“The ministry will wait for the outcome of the investigation before issuing any comments on the matter,” he said.

The weapons were discovered last week during an operation by armed forces personnel, and are believed to have been smuggled into the country from Thailand.

Mohamad also said the armed forces will beef up patrols along Sarawak waters to curb encroachment by foreign vessels, saying the nation has been losing a lot of its marine resources to foreign fishermen.

“We will have joint operations with Indonesia and the Philippines to patrol our waters as well as to monitor and stop any encroachment,” he said, adding the ministry will also collaborate with other agencies such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on the issue.

Present with Mohamad at the press conference was Eastern Field Command commander Lt Gen Datuk Wira Zamrose Mohd Zain.