Malaysia navy to focus on security in South China Sea: Deputy navy chief

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) - The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is focused on security in the South China Sea and placing the area under key radar surveillance amid the ongoing sovereignty disputes in the waterway, the force's deputy chief said on Friday (Jan 20).

"RMN's armada is now split into two, the Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet to give more focus to maritime security in the face of geopolitical threats," said RMN Deputy Chief, Vice-Admiral  Anuwi Hassan.

He noted that five countries have also placed their military assets in the waters to stake their respective claims to the waterway.

He said RMN would expand its assets in the South China Sea for the same objective soon.

Anuwi was speaking to reporters at a handing-over of duties ceremony involving the Planning Development Assistant Chief of Staff and the Operation and Exercise Assistant Chief of Staff.

On Monday, RMN Chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin announced the fleet would be split in a bid for better security focus to look after the country's resources and interests including natural gas and oil.

He was reported as saying the base for the Western Fleet would remain in Lumut while the base for Eastern Fleet would be in Kota Kinabalu.

China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei have overlapping claims in the South China Sea.