Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Abbr.; MMEA; Malay: Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim MalaysiaAPMM); formally known as Malaysia Coast Guard for international identification,[3] is the coast guard organisation of Malaysia, and principal government agency tasked with maintaining law and order, and coordinating search and rescue operations in the Malaysian Maritime Zone and on the high seas.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia
Malaysia Coast Guard Racing Stripe
Malaysia Coast Guard logo
Malaysia Coast Guard ensign
Common nameMalaysia Coast Guard
AbbreviationMMEA / APMM
Motto"Mengawal, Melindung, Menyelamat"
"Guard, Protect, Save"
Agency overview
Employees7,000 Officers
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Operations jurisdictionMalaysia
Legal jurisdictionMalaysian Maritime Zone
Governing bodyGovernment of Malaysia
Constituting instrument
  • Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Act 2004 (Act 633)
General nature
HeadquartersFederal Government Administrative Centre Putrajaya
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Home Affairs
VesselsVessels list
Amphibious AircraftBombardier 415
UAVsThales Fulmar

The Agency and its members are part of the Malaysian Federal Civil Agency and report directly to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The MMEA however, can be integrated under Malaysian Armed Forces command during an emergency, special crisis, or wartime.[4]

The agency maintains close ties with the United States Coast Guard (USCG)[5] and Japan Coast Guard (JCG).[6][7]


The history of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) began with the report on the 'Feasibility Study on the Establishment of Malaysian Coastguard' conducted by National Security Council, Prime Minister's Department on 21 April 1999.[8]

The findings of the report agreed to by the Cabinet of Malaysia and on 16 April 2003, a Nucleus Team led by Datuk Abu Talib Haji Harun, was created with the objective of organising the creation of the Agency. The Agency was formally established with the enactment of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Act 2004 (Act 633) by the Malaysian Parliament in May 2004. Subsequently, the Act received the Royal Assent from the Yang Di Pertuan Agong on 25 June 2004 and was gazetted on 1 July of the same year. On 15 February 2005, the Act came into force.

The Agency is introduced to the public on 10 October 2005 by then Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib Razak and achieved operational status on 30 November 2005 with the commencement of patrols by MMEA vessels.[8]

On 21 March 2006, MMEA is officially launched as a part of a Malaysian government agency by the Deputy Prime Minister.[8]

Rebrand as Malaysia Coast Guard

On 28 April 2017, the MMEA is formally rebranded to the 'Malaysia Coast Guard' for international identification.[3] New vessels being delivered to the service, including the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) will feature this new name on their respective liveries. However the name 'Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency' will be retained in the meantime for working purposes.[3]

Reassigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs

In May 2018, under the Malaysian new government, MMEA was planned to be consolidated to the Ministry of Home Affairs.[9] In November 2018, under Malaysia's Budget 2019, the decision was finalised.[10]

Function and responsibility

  1. Enforce law and order under any federal law in the Malaysian Maritime Zone
  2. Performing maritime search and rescue tasks in the Malaysian Maritime Zone and in the high seas
  3. Prevent and suppress the commission of offences in the Malaysian Maritime Zone
  4. Providing assistance in any criminal matter at the request of foreign nations as provided under 'Mutual Assistance Act in Criminal Matters 2002' (Act 621)
  5. Conduct air and coast monitoring
  6. Establish and manage maritime institutions for Agency's officer training
  7. To perform any duty to ensure maritime prosperity and security or to do all things incidental thereto
  8. At high seas:
    • Perform maritime search and rescue tasks
    • Control and prevent maritime pollution in the high seas
    • Prevent and suppress piracy
    • prevent and suppress the illegal distribution of narcotic drugs
  9. During a state of emergency, special crisis, or war, this agency or any part of the agency is put under the control of the General Command of the Malaysian Armed Forces


Director General of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement

A Director General of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement appointed by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong (King) on the advice of the Prime Minister under Section 4(1) of the Act is responsible for the operational direction, command, control and supervision of the Agency. Administratively, the Director General reports directly to the Chief Secretary to the Government. By virtue of his office, he is also the head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Service. The Director General is assisted by three Deputy Directors General, each responsible for Management, Operations and Logistics. The post is an open one enabling any civil, military or police officer to be appointed to the post. For the purposes of discipline, the Director General is considered to be a member of the general public service of the Federation under Section 4(4).

Officers and other ranks

The officers and other ranks of the MMEA are appointed by the Public Service Commission as Maritime Enforcement Service officers under Section 5(1) of the Act and are considered civil servants under the Malaysian Civil Service. The Agency also consists of officers and staff from various other Services such as the Administrative and Diplomatic Service, Judicial and Legal Service, Information System Service and others. This personnel are primarily involved in matters of administration, finance, procurement, human resource management, legal affairs and prosecution, and information technology. With the exception of the Director, all other MMEA officers are not commissioned by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong (King). This means that Malaysian armed forces personnel may not give an honour salute to MMEA officers.


The headquarters of the Agency is situated at One IOI Square, IOI Resort, Putrajaya, close to the federal administrative centre of Malaysia.[11] The Agency HQ was formerly based in Cyberjaya before it shifted to the present address in April 2006.


The Akademi Maritim Sultan Ahmad Shah (AMSAS) or Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Academy is a coast guard academy. It is located at Gebeng near Kuantan, Pahang.

Operational areas

The operational area of the Agency is the Malaysian Maritime Zone which is divided into 5 Maritime Regions consisting of 18 Maritime Districts.

West Malaysia Maritime Zone
RegionOperational AreaRegional Headquarters
Northern Peninsular Maritime RegionLangkawi Island-Bernam RiverLangkawi, Kedah
DistrictOperational AreaHeadquarters
Maritime District 1Langkawi Island-Kuala MudaBukit Malut, Langkawi
Maritime District 2Kuala Muda-Parit BuntarBatu Uban, Penang
Maritime District 3Parit Buntar-Bernam RiverLumut, Perak
RegionOperational AreaRegional Headquarters
Southern Peninsular Maritime RegionBernam River-EndauJohor Bahru, Johor
DistrictOperational AreaHeadquarters
Maritime District 4Bernam River-SepangPort Klang, Selangor
Maritime District 5Sepang-Kuala KesangKuala Linggi, Malacca
Maritime District 6Kuala Kesang-Johor CausewayJohor Bahru, Johor
Maritime District 7Johore Causeway-EndauTanjung Sedili, Johor
RegionOperational AreaRegional Headquarters
Eastern Peninsular Maritime RegionEndau-TumpatKuantan, Pahang
DistrictOperational AreaHeadquarters
Maritime District 8Endau-Tanjung GeligaKuantan, Pahang
Maritime District 9Tanjung Geliga-BesutKuala Terengganu, Terengganu
Maritime District 10Besut-TumpatTok Bali, Kelantan
East Malaysia Maritime Zone
RegionOperational AreaRegional Headquarters
Sarawak Maritime RegionTanjung Datu-Tanjung BaramKuching, Sarawak
DistrictOperational AreaHeadquarters
Maritime District 11Tanjung Datu-IganKuching, Sarawak
Maritime District 12Igan-Tanjung PayongBintulu, Sarawak
Maritime District 13Tanjung Payong-Tanjung BaramMiri, Malaysia, Sarawak
RegionOperational AreaRegional Headquarters
Sabah Maritime RegionTanjung Baram-Pulau SebatikKota Kinabalu, Sabah
DistrictOperational AreaHeadquarters
Maritime District 14Tanjung Baram-Kuala PenyuLabuan
Maritime District 15Kuala Penyu-Kampung MendawangKota Kinabalu, Sabah
Maritime District 16Kampung Mendawang-BeluranKudat, Sabah
Maritime District 17Beluran-KunakSandakan, Sabah
Maritime District 18Kunak-Pulau SebatikTawau, Sabah


Ranks for officers and other ranks in the Agency are derived from the Royal Malaysian Navy. Officer and Warrant Officer insignia are similar to that of their naval counterparts. Chevrons are used to denote the ranks of Chief Petty Officer and below.

InsigniaRank AbbreviationMaritime Enforcement Service GradeEquivalent Civil Service GradeEquivalent Army/Malaysian Air Force Rank
Officer / Malay: Pegawai
Admiral Maritime / Malay: Laksamana Maritim Adm (M) / Lksmn (M) Premier Grade A Premier Grade A General
Vice Admiral Maritime / Malay: Laskamana Madya Maritim VAdm (M) / Laksdya (M) Premier Grade B Premier Grade B Lieutenant General
Rear Admiral Maritime / Malay: Laksamana Muda Maritim RAdm (M) / Laksda (M)Premier Grade CPremier Grade CMajor General
First Admiral Maritime / Malay: Laksamana Pertama Maritim FAdm (M) / Laksma (M)T26Grade 54Brigadier General
No Equivalent No EquivalentGrade 54No Equivalent
Captain Maritime / Malay: Kapten Maritim Capt (M) / Kept (M)T24Grade 52Colonel
Commander Maritime / Malay: Komander Maritim Cdr (M) / Kdr (M)T22Grade 48Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Commander Maritime / Malay: Leftenan Komander Maritim Lt Cdr (M) / Lt Kdr (M)T20Grade 46AMajor
Lieutenant Maritime / Malay: Leftenan Maritim Lt (M) / Lt (M)T17/X18Grade 44Captain (naval)Captain
Sub Lieutenant Maritime / Malay: Leftenan Madya Maritim SLt (M) / Lt Dya (M)T16Grade 42Lieutenant
Acting Sub Lieutenant Maritime / Malay: Leftenan Muda Maritim A/SLt (M) / Lt Muda (M)T13Grade 41Second Lieutenant
Other ranks / Malay: Lain-lain pangkat
Warrant Officer I Maritime / Malay: Pegawai Waran I Maritim WO1 (M) / PW1 (M)T12Grade 26Warrant Officer I
Warrant Officer II Maritime / Malay: Pegawai Waran II Maritim WO2 (M) / PW2 (M)T10Grade 22Warrant Officer II
Chief Petty Officer Maritime / Malay: Bintara Kanan Maritim CPO (M) / BK (M)T8Grade 20Staff Sergeant
Petty Officer Maritime / Malay: Bintara Muda Maritim PO (M) / BM (M)T6Grade 20Sergeant
Leading Rate Maritime / Malay: Laskar Kanan Maritim LR (M) / LK (M)T4Grade 20Corporal
Able Rate Maritime / Malay: Laskar Kelas I Maritim AB (M) / LK1 (M)T2Grade 17Lance Corporal
Junior Able Rate Maritime / Malay: Laskar Kelas II Maritim JAB (M) / LK2 (M)T1Grade 17Private

Special forces

The MMEA currently have its own elite special forces unit called the STAR (Special Task And Rescue).[12] It is composed of members from the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) PASKAU and Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) PASKAL. Their task is to perform hostage rescue operations in shallow waters that are under MMEA's jurisdiction. They are also tasked to do counter-terrorism missions in Malaysian waters alongside the RMN. The STAR is considerably well trained as its members are taken from RMAF and the RMN special forces units.

On 2 July 2009, the first batch of fresh commando units graduated from Basic Commando Selection alongside the Royal Malaysian Air Force PASKAU. They were given American-styled ACUs (Army Combat Uniform),[13] maya blue PASKAU's berets and also the Malaysian Army zebra woodland camouflage uniform.

Malaysian maritime zone

Internal waters and territorial sea

  • Territorial Sea: 12 nautical miles (22 km) from baseline
  • Sovereignty: part of the territory of Malaysia.
  • Subject to the right of innocent passage for all vessels

Contiguous zone

  • 24 nautical miles (44 km) from coast.
  • Jurisdiction to prevent or punish infringement of customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

  • 200 nautical miles (370 km) from coast.
  • Sovereign rights over the management of the resources of the seabed and water column.
  • Jurisdiction in respect of: - construction of artificial islands- marine scientific research - protection and preservation of the marine environment.
  • Subject to the rights of other States including: freedoms of navigation, overflight, and laying of submarine cables.

Continental shelf

  • 200 nautical miles (370 km) or to the extent of the continental margin.
  • Sovereign rights over the management of the resources of the seabed but not the water column.
  • Jurisdiction in respect of: -construction of artificial islands - drilling on the continental shelf.
  • Subject to the rights of other States including freedoms of navigation, overflight, laying of submarine cables and revenue sharing.


Present Development

In 2015, Malaysia signed a contract worth MYR 380 million (US$96.8 million) to order six-ship known as the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC).[14] The ship was design based on German-based Fassmer Shipbuilding Company. The first ship is expected to be delivered by December 2016 while the last ship is expected to be delivered by June 2018.[14] The ship will also be equipped with Spanish-Aerovision Fulmar UAVs.[15] In September 2016, the Japanese government through its Prime Minister Shinzō Abe have promise to give Malaysia patrol boats that will be sent in the first half of 2017 following similar agreements with the Philippines and Vietnam. The military vessels, which previously used by the Japan Coast Guard will be handed over free of charge to Malaysia to counter Chinese military activities in the waters of Malaysia.[16][17] Three new 83m OPV based on Damen 1800 also ordered by Malaysia to boost up patrol capabilities.


  1. "Zulkifili dilantik KP Maritim". Utusan Online. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. "Perutusan Ketua Pengarah".
  3. Rahmat, Ridzwan (28 April 2017). "MMEA rebrands service as 'Malaysia Coast Guard'".
  4. "APMM Laporan Tahunan 2014". Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia: 13. 2014.
  5. "Kursus Small Boat Operations Instructor Training Di WILSAR". 1 July 2013.
  6. "Maritim Malaysia – Japan Coast Guard: Tingkatkan Kemahiran Penguat Kuasa Dalam Aspek Keselamatan Maritim". 1 February 2016.
  8. "APMM Laporan Tahunan 2014". Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia: 12. 2014.
  9. Gerard Lourdesamy (24 May 2018). "Merging, consolidating and abolishing federal gov't bodies". MalaysiaKini. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  10. Yassin, Muhyiddin (4 November 2018). "Kenyataan Media YB Tan Sri Dato' Hj Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin, Menteri Dalam Negeri - Bajet 2019". Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  11. "APMM Laporan Tahunan 2014". Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia: 84. 2014.
  12. Mahmud, Hairulazim (3 July 2009). "Maritim Malaysia ada komando".
  14. Ridzwan Rahmat (19 April 2016). "DSA 2016: Destini Shipbuilding reveals design of new MMEA patrol craft". IHS Jane’s 360. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  15. David Ing; Ridzwan Rahmat (21 March 2016). "Malaysia's MMEA to equip new patrol vessels with Thales España's Fulmar UAV". IHS Jane’s 360. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  16. Gaku Shimada (7 September 2016). "Japan to grant patrol boats to Malaysia to counter China". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  17. "Japan gives Malaysia two patrol boats". Japan Today. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
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