MAF: Border surveillance more effective with drones

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) expects monitoring and control operations at the country’s borders to be carried out more effectively with the use of drone assets.

Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said apart from being able to move quickly at any time and monitor a wider area, the assets were also seen as very important in detecting suspicious activities in the border area.

He said the MAF has already been using the assets for border control, but its numbers need to be increased in order for all security agencies to use them.

“Our border areas are not flat but covered with forests and are hilly, and if we want to deploy our personnel, then surveillance will take time, and there are areas that we can’t even reach.

“However, with drones, we can observe the areas both day and night, and more importantly they are silent. As such, I would like to call for more drone assets to be added so that more agencies can use it,” he told reporters in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, yesterday.

Affendi said the use of drones can also reduce the cost of border control operations, especially those involving air assets which can be costly.

Meanwhile, he said since Ops Benteng was enforced in May, some RM58 million worth of smuggled goods were seized by the authorities in the northern region border areas.

“This is what we can do with our capabilities now, and I believe, if we were to enhance our capabilities in terms of drone surveillance, we can achieve bigger success,” he said.

Affendi said the MAF had requested for additional drone assets when the National Task Force was first set up.

“We understand this needs allocations, so, we will request that these assets be provided in stages, but what I want to emphasise is that the need for drones for border control operations is very important and critical,” he said.

Earlier, Affendi visited border areas under Ops Pagar 2 controlled by the MAF and also surveyed areas under the supervision of the General Operations Force at Bukit Kayu Hitam.