SANDAKAN: Rear Admiral Dato’ Ganesh Navaratnam has been appointed the new Naval Region 2 (MAWILLA 2) commander succeeding Rear Admiral Datuk Abdul Rahman Ayob.
The handover of duty ceremony was held at Dewan Mohd Azim of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Family House in Taman Samudera here today.
It was witnessed by Eastern Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Datuk Syed Zahiruddin Putra Syed Osman.
Ganesh was earlier RMN Inspector-General at the naval headquarters in Kuala Lumpur while Abdul Rahman would be taking the post of RMN Eastern Fleet commander based in Kota Kinabalu.
Meanwhile, Syed Zahiruddin will be the commander of the Joint Forces Command at the Joint Forces Headquarters (JFHQ) in Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking at the ceremony, Syed Zahiruddin said Malaysia is a maritime nation and RMN has been given the mandate to protect the sovereignty and maritime interests of the country.
He said the challenges RMN faced were from non-traditional and cross-border threats including robbery and piracy especially in the waters on the east coast of Sabah.
According to him, the transfer of MAWILLA 2 from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan last year had enabled operation, training and patrol in eastern Sabah to be conducted more effectively.
He said there were no incidents of intrusion and kidnapping in the area since early 2017.
Apart from that, he said additional RMN assets especially ships from the Western Fleet to the Eastern Fleet to protect the waters of Sabah raised the possibility of a new base as the existing base is too busy and is located too close to the town.
Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia