KUANTAN, Aug 12 — Almost all officers and personnel of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) involving 132,885 people have completed two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Minister of Defence, said the giving of vaccines to MAF personnel was seen as facilitating the frontline in carrying out their duties including conducting military training.
“All our military personnel have completed the two doses of vaccine injections except those who are abroad to undergo courses and others. Now, we are in the process of vaccinating the families of military personnel.
“They (MAF personnel) are involved in national defence operations, So, indeed, we give priority for vaccinations to them as we fear they cannot be mobilised if anything happens (if they contract COVID-19),” he told reporters after attending the Taming Sari Exercise 20/21 at the Marine Region 1 RMN Headquarters here, today.
Also present at the programme were his deputy Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz, Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, RMN chief Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany, Army chief Gen Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain and RMAF chief Gen Tan Sri Ackbal Abdul Samad.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri informed that two more Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) were expected to arrive at the end of this year.
“Actually, we could have received the assets including helicopters which were bought from outside much earlier but a delay had occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Commenting on the exercise which involved 1,080 RMN, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel, he said it was aimed at testing the capabilities of the equipment for detecting and tracking and the missile launching systems for RMN ships and submarine.
The biggest exercise conducted for six days in the South China Sea, according to Ismail Sabri too was in order to create a real maritime war atmosphere in the aspect of planning and implementation as well as to boost the readiness of the RMN assets.
“Our assets are ready to be mobilised if required to defend the nation from any threat,” he said.
Among the assets involved in the exercise were KD Lekiu, KD Lekir, KD Jebat and KD Mahawangsa, the submarine KD Tun Razak, Super LYNX helicopters and B200T aircraft while the MMEA assets were the AS365 N3 Dauphin and AW139 helicopters.
In conjunction with national month, Ismail Sabri also expressed his appreciation to RMN personnel and national heroes who sacrificed by being away from their families due to the demand of their duties for the sovereignty and peace of the nation.
Earlier, he handed over the Jalur Gemilang to the Naval Region 1 RMN headquarters personnel.