KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 – The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) plans to acquire new safety assets, following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 since March 8. RMN chief, Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said sophisticated technology assets were needed to protect the nation’s maritime territories, besides assisting in future search and rescue operations (SAR). “We already had plans to acquire them, depending on the financial allocation,” he said in a media interview in conjunction with the 80th Navy Day on April 27. He said the Navy already had various assets, including the KD Kasturi ship which began operating last year. “Besides that, we also expect to acquire training ships and the new KD Lekir ship this year, as well as the LCS ship in the middle of 2019.
“All these will enhance the capabilities of the armada, in line with the vision to make the RMN, a navy of international standard,” he said. Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz stressed that the RMN and Government had done their best in the SAR operations involving Flight MH370, without hiding any facts from the families of the passengers and crew. “In fact, we should be proud of the hard work carried out by the government as the SAR operations enters its 41st day today, and not accuse us of hiding anything. “As part of the team involved in the operations, I can assure that the government had given all necessary information to the families and public, so there is nothing to hide,” he said when answering to speculation that information was hidden in the SAR operations pertaining to MH370. Flight MH370 which departed from the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8, enroute to Beijing and carrying 239 passengers was reported missing from the radar screens one hour later while over the South China Sea.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 – 17 days after the loss of the plane – that Flight MH370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean.” In a separate development, Abdul Aziz said RMN would celebrate its 80th anniversary on April 27 at the RMN base in Lumut, with the theme ‘TLDM Siaga Perairan Terpelihara’ (TLDM (RMN) Preparedness to Protect the Waters). Various events have been planned, with the highlight of the celebrations being the launch of the coffee-table book, ‘Detik-Detik Kegemilangan’ (Glorious Moments) which records RMN’s achievements since its formation on April 27, 1934. The 276-page book is published in dual languages and accompanied by information and photographs obtained from verified sources. Abdul Aziz said the book was priced at RM125 and could be obtained from selected book stores nationwide from April 26, with the first print of 10,000 copies.