Fish bombing: Malaysian MP calls for drastic action


he government has been urged to take more drastic measures, including shooting on sight, to curb the encroachment into Malaysian waters by foreign fishing vessels. — NSTP Archive

By Nurazimmah Daim, Teoh Pei Yung – July 9, 2019 

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to take more drastic measures, including shooting on sight, to curb the encroachment into Malaysian waters by foreign fishing vessels.

This follows the latest case of suspected fish bombing off Semporna, Sabah which claimed the lives of three people including two tourists from China, which is believed to be the doings of foreign fishermen.

Bagan Serai MP Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the “shoot on sight” method could be an effective way to tackle the menace.

“Indonesian authorities had sunk foreign vessels before to deter them from encroaching its waters,” he told the Dewan Rakyat during the debate on Fisheries (Amendment) Bill today.

Jelutong MP R.S.N Rayer said the problem was also rampant in Penang, where foreigners not only robbed the country of its marine resources, but also posed a danger to local fishermen.

Earlier, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the question-and-answer session said a total of 511 vessels were inspected with 44 people detained during Op Naga carried out between May 2 and 31.

He added the joint enforcement committee, led by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and comprises the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Navy, marine police, Malaysian Marine Department and Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) had commenced phase two of the operation on June 1, focusing on the east coast of the peninsula.

“The operation would continue until the encroachment activities by foreign fishermen on our waters are eradicated,” he said in reply to a question by Ahmad Amzad Mohamed @ Hashim (Pas-Kuala Terengganu).

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said in efforts to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants in Sabah, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) had taken several measures to step up security in the area.

“The security forces, especially those under Esscom will set up special lanes or sea check points/designated routes to monitor the movement of vessels or fishing boats in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

“(The enforcement agencies) would continue setting up Road Check Points (RCP) posts to deter the movements of illegal immigrants and criminals who attempt to enter the area, as well as making it a location or transit site to smuggle goods,” he said in reply to another question by Jonathan Yasin (PH-Ranau).

Muhyiddin said checks on ferries and merchant ships, with the cooperation of Interpol, would also continue, while intelligence gathering would be carried out in collaboration with neighbouring countries, especially Indonesia and the Philippines.

He added inter-agency cooperation would also be enhanced to identify illegal immigrants’ settlement and suspects, particularly those who could threaten the safety of the people and country.

Muhyiddin added based on information gathered, the security forces, particularly Esscom would continue the deployment of assets to curb the entry of foreign elements from encroaching and carry out crimes in Malaysian waters.



Malaysia losing RM6b to illegal fishing; Zahid calls for intensified action to stop encroachment

By Rosli Zakaria


KEMAMAN: The government has directed all maritime enforcement agencies to protect areas under the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from encroachment by foreign fishing vessels at all costs.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said encroachment by foreign vessels have led to massive losses in revenue and also threatened the security of the country.

“We lost between RM3 billion and RM6 billion a year from illegal fishing. I want all related agencies to intensify enforcement to protect our resources.

“This include ‘eye-in-the-sky’ surveillance to check encroachment in the Straits of Melaka and in the 200 nautical miles radius within our EEZ,” he said after launching the Gelombang Nelayan Nasional 2017 programme at Kuala Kerteh.

Zahid said fish resources were important source of income for fishermen and protein for the people and it was not fair for fishermen from other countries to steal the resources.

“I also want local deep sea fishing vessels not to encroach within the five nautical miles boundaries where coastal fishermen operates.

“They must respect the approved zones where they have been licensed to operate. This is important.

“In addition, all deep sea fishing vessels operating near boundaries must install the AIS system so that enforcement agencies can be kept abreast on their location in case they were caught by agencies from other countries.

“The system is also to enable rescue mission in case of accidents at sea,” he added.

Earlier at the Kuala Kemaman jetty, Zahid said he was happy with the turnout of nearly 12,000 fishemen, including from Sabah and Sarawak at today’s programme.

“You are the unsung heroes who provided the nation with the source of protein.

“This event is a manifestation of strong bond between the government and the fishermen community. It also reflected your appreciation of government aids.

“As such, you deserve protection. I want all related agencies not to wait for instruction protect our fishermen from being robbed of their income by foreign fishing vessels,” he added.

He later flag off a parade by 700 boats of coastal fishermen.

The event attracted more than 20,000 fishermen all over the country.

The public were also given the rare opportunity to buy fish, fruits, plants and livestock offered at below market prices.

Some stalls also put up live demonstration on how fish traps and nets were weaved to show visitors the apparatus used by coastal and deep sea fishermen.

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