MISC Berhad (MISC) last Friday (Jan 22) handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) the Naval Auxiliary Vessel BUNGA MAS LIMA (BM5), joining the RMN’s current fleet that will be deployed to safeguard the safety of our Malaysian waters and strengthen the RMN’s future maritime defense strategy, MISC said in a press release.
A ceremony to commemorate the handing over of the vessel was held on Friday at the RMN Kota Kinabalu Navy Base, Sabah and attended by representatives from MISC and the RMN. The event was graced by the presence of YBhg. Admiral Dato’ Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, Chief of Navy and Mr. Yee Yang Chien, President/CEO of MISC.
BUNGA MAS LIMA, a 699 TEUs container ship was the first Malaysian vessel to be converted into an RMN Auxiliary Vessel and was tasked with escorting MISC ships sailing through the Gulf of Aden, a high-risk area that was rampant with piracy activities.
The Handing over Ceremony of BUNGA MAS LIMA reflects MISC’s dedication from end to end towards supporting the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) and RMN’s role in safeguarding the safety of our Malaysian waters.
“MISC’s collaboration with the RMN to convert the BUNGA MAS LIMA into a Naval Auxiliary Vessel was a significant milestone for the company and set a bold precedent for the shipping industry as MISC was the first and only shipping company that has implemented this unique security arrangement to protect its ships, crew and cargo against piracy,” said Mr. Yee Yang Chien, President/CEO of MISC.
“The decision to modify our container ships into Naval Auxiliary Vessels was testament to MISC’s long-term commitment as responsible corporate citizen to improve the security of our vessels, support the RMN in its military operations and most importantly contribute towards the nation’s security. We would like to thank RMN for their support to MISC though all these years as it has helped us in assuring the security of our crew, cargo and assets. The ceremony today marks a new journey ahead for BUNGA MAS LIMA and we wish the RMN all the best in its future endeavors,” Mr. Yee added.
BUNGA MAS LIMA was launched on 1 June 2009 and throughout her involvement in the RMN operations, codenamed OP FAJAR, she safely escorted over 415 vessels of Malaysia’s strategic interest plying the Gulf of Aden and its adjacent area.
Among the notable contributions of BUNGA MAS LIMA includes :
- Participation in OP FAJAR from June 2009 till May 2014.
- Mobilised as a sea basing platform in support of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) in July 2014 and was stationed at Sabah's east coast as part of the forward operational base for intercepting cross-border criminals.
- Played a supporting role in OP PIRAMID in the evacuation of Malaysian students out of Egypt during the 2011 Egyptian Spring revolution.
- Foiled the hijacking attempt against MT Bunga Laurel in January 2011.