More Boats To Be Used In Riverine Enforcement Ops, Says SRB Chief

SIBU: Additional patrol boats will be provided to facilitate the enforcement operation on terminals, wharves and jetties as well as river blocks across the state.

According Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) chairman Dr Murni Suhaili these vessels include those supplied by other government agencies.

We (SRB) have three patrol boats here, while the Marine Department is allocating one boat for us � the Marine Police also (will be assisting in the operation).

I think there are about five to six boats, altogether, he told reporters after officiating at the launch of the two-phase integrated operation at the express boat terminal here yesterday, where SRB controller Richard Tajan, SRB Sibu assistant controller (region II) Hatta Morshidi, enforcement officer Zehegkiel Piree and assistant enforcement officer Jerry Lenggir were also present.

Phase 1 of the operation is aimed at preventing overloading of cargo and passenger boats plying the major rivers in the state and ensuring that boat operators abide by the regulations, will run till Chinese New Year’s eve (Feb 15).

Phase II will run from Feb 23 to 25.

On regulations, Murni warned errant boat operators that should they continue to flout the rules, they would risk facing a maximum fine of RM5,000 or a two-year imprisonment, or both, if found guilty.

Asked on additional express boat trips in view of the coming long holidays, Murni said the SRB would approve should there be requests from the operators.

In this respect, he anticipated that the Sibu-Kapit and Kapit-Balleh/Putai sectors would experience increased passenger movements.

On this, he reminded the boat operators: The maximum number that a boat may carry at any one time is 12 (passengers).

Operators of commercial vessels, cargo vessels, express boats and speed boats are also to reduce the speed when travelling during this festive season, and always be on the lookout for smaller boats.

The passengers, too, have a shared responsibility of safeguarding their own safety.

The ongoing integrated operation also involves the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK), Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), Civil Defence Force (APM) and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela).

Source: The Borneo Post