Celvin Sipahutar, Jakarta – Indonesia is planning to establish a coast guard to bolster maritime border security and effectively combat smuggling and other illicit activities, Chief Security Minister Mohamad Mahfud MD said on Wednesday.
Presently, these responsibilities fall under the purview of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), which directly reports to the president. However, the country recognizes the need for a central coordinating agency to streamline these efforts.
"The president has issued a directive for the future establishment of the Indonesia Coast Guard," Mahfud said during a maritime security seminar in Jakarta.
The coast guard will be assigned three primary tasks: enhancing maritime security, ensuring maritime safety, and enforcing the law within Indonesian waters.
Mahfud further emphasized that while Bakamla currently fulfills these roles, a more robust institution is required and will be developed based on Bakamla's foundation.
The Head of Bakamla, Aan Kurnia, confirmed that his agency is involved in the establishment of the coast guard.
He said that the coast guard need not be an entirely new entity but could potentially be formed through the merger of several relevant agencies.
"The key objective is to establish the Indonesia Coast Guard as the lead agency, whether it emerges as an existing institution, a newly created one, or as a result of agency amalgamation," he said.