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Trilateral maritime patrols kick off at Taganak island in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The tripartite agreement to curb transnational crimes in the Sulu Sea kicked off with an inaugural meeting between Malaysian and Philippine navy vessels.
The KD Selangor and the Philippine navy's BRP Emilio Liwanag came together at the designated meeting point some five nautical miles southeast of Taganak island on Saturday for the joint patrols.
On hand at the first meeting was Malaysian Maritime Command Centre director Kept Pulendren Paramasivam and KD Selangor commanding officer Komander Khairisharizal Salehin as well as counterpart Lt Comm Leo Amor Vedal of the BRP Emilio Liwanag.
The meeting on board the KD Selangor was followed by an exchange of visits among personnel of both vessels, the Royal Malaysian Navy said in a statement.
Last August, Hishammuddin said Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines were expanding the joint maritime patrols to include aerial surveillance operations as well.
He said plans were also underway to invite Brunei and Singapore to join the security patrols as part of measures to stem the Islamic State (IS) threat.
He said it was imperative for Asean countries to prevent the IS from expanding in the region.
As for air patrols, Hishamuddin said Malaysia was considering acquiring the P8 Orion surveillance aircraft from Japan for this purpose.
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