1,140 MAF personnel deployed to Sabah to help contain COVID-19 pandemic


A total of 1,140 military personnel have been deployed to assist the authorities, in particular the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MoH), contain the COVID-19 pandemic which has now entered its third wave.

The Malaysian Armed Forces headquarters in a statement Saturday said personnel from the Malaysian Army (TDM), the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be involved in roadblocks duties and multi-purpose vehicle patrols.

“Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang has stressed that the MAF remains committed and ready to help other relevant agencies to contain the COVID-19 pandemic which has now entered the third wave,” the statement said.

According to the statement, through ‘Op Penawar’, military personnel have been mobilised to enforce the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), the Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO) and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

“The military will help security control such as the installation of concertina wire in high-risk areas such as the ones implemented in Kunak and Semporna, Sabah.

“This includes the implementation of the Compliance Operations Task Force in assisting the police to monitor and ensure compliance of the RMCO standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been set,” according to the statement.

Personnel will be increased according to need from time to time, especially in the EMCO and TEMCO areas in Tawau, Kunak, Semporna and Lahad Datu as well as CMCO areas in the Klang sub-district.

“For example, until yesterday, the Malaysian Army has added 40 personnel to be assigned to the red zone areas in Klang,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the National Task Force (NTF) in collaboration with other security agencies such as MAF and the Malaysian Border Security Agency (AKSEM), Immigration Department and Customs Department through Op Benteng will continue to strengthen maritime and land border presence.

Sabah’s east coast will be given focus to curb the entry of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, the statement read.

“This also includes strengthening border control cooperation under the purview of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM),” the statement read.

In this regard, the MAF through its Royal Medical and Dental Corps is committed to working with the MoH and would operate in an integrated manner providing technical advisors at the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC).

“It also involves medical and dental officers and military paramedics officers who provide Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests.

“Also, disinfection, post-treatment, medical asset management arrangements services at field hospitals to assist the Ministry of Health’s operations in dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic,” the statement read.

At the same time, the RMAF will also have special flights to transport medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and RT samples, using the A400M aircraft from the Subang Air Base.

The RMAF has carried out flight missions to transport medical items and equipment to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport and the Tawau Airport, it said.

“This flight is a collaboration between the ministry and the MAF to channel aid and medical supplies as part of efforts to contain the pandemic,” the statement read.