Stronger regional maritime security
Australia transferred the first of two former Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Bay class patrol vessels to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton attended the transfer ceremony at Malaysia’s National Hydrographic Centre in Port Klang on 27 February 2015.
Mr Dutton said the Australian Government was working with the Malaysian Government to strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s maritime security.
“Our relationship with Malaysia is strong and broad reaching,” Mr Dutton said.
“The transfer of these vessels shows the significance Australia places on its relationship with Malaysia, both in terms of people smuggling, transnational crime and in the broader regional maritime security context.
“Our bilateral cooperation has aided the Government in stopping the boats, with February marking 200 days without an illegal boat arrival in Australia.
“The Bay class vessels served well under the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service fleet and will further aid the MMEA’s ongoing efforts in combating piracy, maritime terrorism, people smuggling and transnational crime on the high seas.
“Our border agencies have also been working closely on Operation Redback, a targeted maritime operation aimed at deterring and disrupting people smuggling operations.”
Operation Redback has involved a number of critical elements, including intelligence and information sharing; community outreach programs targeting local Malaysian fishing communities; and a highly visible maritime patrol program led by the MMEA to dismantle people smuggling and transnational criminal operations within our adjoining maritime jurisdictions.
“The Australia-Malaysia partnership is strong and together, we will continue to combat international maritime security issues across the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Dutton said.