NA­JIB RENAMES SHIP KM ‘PEKAN’

Ves­sel a gift from Ja­pan to hon­our strong bi­lat­eral ties

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

LANGKAWI

WHEN Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak named the Malaysian Mar­itime En­force­ment Agency’s (MMEA) “new­est” off­shore pa­trol ves­sel (OPV), there were two sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments. In a cer­e­mony steeped in mar­itime tra­di­tion, Na­jib re­named the OPV KM Pekan. Here is the first sig­nif­i­cance.

To have the prime min­is­ter re­name a ship is not uncommon. But, the sig­nif­i­cance of this ship’s name was not lost. Af­ter all, Na­jib is Pekan mem­ber of par­lia­ment, a seat he has held since the death of his fa­ther, Tun Ab­dul Razak Hus­sein.

What may have been lost to many, though, was on the op­po­site side of the jetty where the OPV was berthed and the cer­e­mony took place, was a sleek­look­ing ves­sel.

It is the Royal Malaysian Navy’s se­cond Scor­pene sub­ma­rine, aptly named KD Tun Razak.

KM Pekan, a gift from Ja­pan, is a re­fur­bished OPV pre­vi­ously named JCG Erimo when it was in ser­vice with the Ja­panese Coast Guard.

Na­jib re­named the ship in a cer­e­mony on board the ves­sel at the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace 2017 (Lima) ex­hi­bi­tion.

He spent about an hour tour­ing the ves­sel to in­spect the mod­i­fi­ca­tions and up­grades done to it be­fore it sailed from Ja­pan to Malaysia.

The Ja­panese gov­ern­ment had re­fur­bished the OPV and pre­sented it to Malaysia as a mark of its ap­pre­ci­a­tion of their strong bi­lat­eral ties. They are re­fur­bish­ing an­other for Malaysia.

MMEA di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Seri Ah­mad Puzi Ab Ka­har said Malaysia ap­pre­ci­ated the gift as it was a mea­sure of the strong bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship and com­mit­ment from Ja­pan to en­sure that the peace, se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity of the wa­ters were pre­served.

SAALI PIC BY MO­HAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein (se­cond from right) at the re­nam­ing of KM ‘Pekan’ in Langkawi yes­ter­day.

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