Close ties to Japan helped develop MMEA, says former CEO

KUALA LUMPUR: A strong partnership with Japan has created the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), says its former chief executive.

Admiral (Retired) Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar, met at the Japanese Ambassador’s official residence here, said the agency’s Japanese counterpart, the Japan Coast Guard, had been instrumental in the early years of MMEA.

“That was our benchmark because they (are)…world class. In this region, Japan has provided us with enormous knowledge and experience in search and rescue operations,” he said on Tuesday (July 19).

Admiral (rtd) Ahmad had received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from the Japanese government for his contribution to bilateral relations.

He noted that the award was one of his biggest accomplishments and he didn’t expect it.

There was an emotional moment when former armed forces chief Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, one of the guests, joined him for a photo and an emotional Ahmad Puzi could be heard thanking his brother for weapons.

The ceremony was presided over by the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Katsuhiko Takahashi.

“Japan and Malaysia are both maritime nations and we share common values ​​such as safe navigation and free trade.

“And those values ​​are reflected by the MMEA in Malaysia and the Japan Coast Guard in Japan.

“I think the fact that the head of the responsible agency has been awarded one of our highest honors shows that we really care about our cooperation.

“It is beneficial for both Malaysia and Japan and we have good reason to continue to (…) work more in the area of ​​maritime security,” the ambassador said.