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A marine police (left) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessel during the LIMA 2019 Sarex in Langkawi, Kedah. Pic by NSTP/ courtesy of LIMA 2019 organiser

KUALA LUMPUR: A massive search-and-rescue exercise (Sarex) has been concluded in Langkawi to ensure the safety of multi-million ringgit properties and lives during the forthcoming Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) 2019 exhibition.

The Sarex, themed “So Others May Live”, burst into action with dozens of aircraft, maritime vessels, disaster and medical machinery, and highly-trained professionals from enforcement agencies for five days from Feb 25.

This year’s Lima, which is the 15th edition, is on from March 26 to 30.

Lieutenant-General (Rtd) Datuk Seri Sabri Adam said Sarex was necessary to test the effectiveness and preparedness of the agencies of the procedures involved.

“Sarex allowed us to access the applicability and compatibility of the various administrative instructions and standard operating procedures applied.

“It also allowed us to access the response from the agencies and the logistics support, as well as address any shortcomings,” said Sabri, a retired Royal Malaysian Air Force helicopter pilot who is Lima 2019 organiser EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer.

A Eurocopter AS 365N3 Dauphin of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency vessel during the LIMA 2019 Sarex in Langkawi, Kedah. Pic by NSTP/ courtesy of LIMA 2019 organiser

Sarex participants included the tri-services from the armed forces, police, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the Fire and Rescue Services, Civil Defence Force, Marine Department, National Disaster Management Agency, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), Meteorological Department, Health Ministry and several airlines.

Lima 2019 is expected to be officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Langkawi member of parliament.

The biennial exhibition, the brainchild of Dr Mahathir, was first held in 1991.

Sabri said Sarex involved two components – maritime, off the coast of Langkawi, and aerospace, at the airfield of the Langkawi International Airport in Padang Mat Sirat.

“Sarex was an excellent experience for observers from the Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore as well as those involved in the exercise.

“The exercise, which involved attending to victims of accidents and incidents, was professionally conducted and achieved its purpose,” said Sabri.

‘Victims’ of a capsized boat being rescued during the LIMA 2019 Sarex in Langkawi, Kedah. Pic by NSTP/ courtesy of LIMA 2019 organiser

Lima is seen as a significant gateway to the heart of the world’s most dynamic market region, bringing together top decision makers.

“These will include senior government officials to military and civil industry leaders, together with prominent manufacturers and suppliers from around the globe.

“Lima is an ideal platform where partnerships are forged and business opportunities seized,” he said, adding hat also on the cards were insightful roundtables, conferences and dedicated business programmes.

A total of 354 defence and commercial companies from 31 nations have confirmed their participation.

The big players include Australia, Belarus, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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