MMEA’s Perkasa Timur exercise achieves aim of creating omnipresence at sea


A section of the 14 MMEA ships involved in the exercise in the South China Sea. – MMEA photo

KUCHING (Nov 4): The Perkasa Timur Maritime Exercise 2023 conducted by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) came to a close at the Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex (Komtas) in Muara Tebas, near here today.

The exercise, which started in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on Oct 28, involved a total of 652 personnel, 14 ships and two aircraft.

“This exercise has met its objective as we have managed to create our omnipresence in the South China Sea,” said MMEA deputy director-general (Operations) Rear Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Hamid Mohd Amin.

Addressing a press conference after the official closing ceremony of the exercise, he said the presence of the 14 ships saw a foreign-registered vessel fleeing after it was located some 15 to 20 nautical miles south of Amboyna Cay – an island within the Spratly Islands.

Hamid added such exercise would enable MMEA in Sarawak and Sabah to better safeguard the nation’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.

“We have also managed to strengthen our capabilities to protect the country’s offshore oil and gas facilities, besides deterring the encroachment of foreign fishing and military vessels.”

It was informed that there are close to 300 offshore oil and gas facilities in the South China Sea which plays a vital role to the nation’s economy.

Hamid (centre), flanked by Rosli (left) and Zin Azman, speaks to reporters after the closing ceremony of the Perkasa Timur Maritime Exercise 2023. – Photo by Chimon Upon

At the same time, Hamid said the presence of MMEA assets at sea will also protect the nation’s food security against illegal fishing by foreign vessels.

With him at the press conference were MMEA Sarawak director First Admiral Zin Azman Md Yunus and MMEA Security and Surveillance Division director Rear Admiral Datuk Mohd Rosli Abdullah.

The exercise, carried out over 850 nautical miles, covered areas of Gugusan Semarang Peninjau, Beting Patinggi Ali, Hampasan Dang Ajar, Beting Raja Jarum and the sea near Kuching.

During the exercise, the 14 ships together with MEMA’s amphibious aircraft and helicopter performed a series of training involving navigation, deck landing training, communication systems, shooting and emergency services at sea.

Currently, MMEA Sarawak has a total of 15 ships and 19 boats in its fleet.

At the end of this year, two more ships – KM Marudu and KM Kemanis – and an offshore patrol vessel (OPV) will be deployed to and stationed in Sarawak.