TMP must be permanent — Naval Region 2 chief

Rosales fourth left) shakes hands with Malvar onboard Tun Azizan Auxiliary vessel at the Lahad Datu water border. — Bernama photo

LAHAD DATU: The cooperation between the Malaysian, Indonesian and Philippine security forces in the Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) to address terrorist threats and cross-border crime elements in the Sulu Sea, should be maintained.

Royal Malaysian Navy, (RMN) Naval Region 2 commander Rear Admiral Datuk Ganesh Navaratnam said the TMP initiative had a positive impact when no incident of intrusion or kidnapping had occurred since the co-operation was introduced in 2017.

“This shows that TMP patrols, which are not only at sea but also in the air and intelligence sharing between the three countries, have been successful as well as proving TMP is beneficial to the maritime community in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone),” he said.

He said this when met by reporters at an Aidilfitri celebration on the Tun Azizan Auxiliary vessel in conjunction with the TMP meeting between RMN ship KD Todak and the Philippine Navy (TLF) vessel, BRP Miguel Malvar here on Tuesday.

BRP Miguel Malvar was headed by Commander Richard Rosales.

The event was also participated by representatives from security forces including the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom), Felda Sahabat and villages.

Meanwhile, Ganesh also hoped that the cooperation could be further enhanced through joint military exercises.

“In addition, such a meeting (Aidilfitri) is expected to boost confidence between us (security forces), residents and outside observers,” he said.

He said the RMN, especially the Naval Region 2 Headquarters, with its operational partners, would not compromise on security and continue to improve their preparedness and surveillance of the waters off the east coast of Sabah.

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The meeting between KD Todak and BRP Miguel Malvar was the first after the 11th TMP patrol.

Meanwhile, Rosales concurred with Ganesh that since TMP was implemented no intrusion or kidnapping occurred.

“The collaboration between Malaysia and the Philippines on maritime security is very
effective in tackling the rising maritime security challenge and, so far, for almost six to eight months of (BPR Miguel) patrol with Malaysia, no kidnapping incident has happened,” he said. — Bernama

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