Malaysian armed forces per­son­nel not in­volved in war in Ye­men, says De­fence Min­istry

New Straits Times - - News - MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW KUALA LUMPUR darlyne@nst.com.my

THE De­fence Min­istry has dis­missed al­le­ga­tions that Malaysian armed forces per­son­nel were in­volved in mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions and the war in Ye­men.

It said in a state­ment the claims were un­true, slan­der­ous, base­less, and with neg­a­tive in­tent to tar­nish the good name of the min­istry, the armed forces and Malaysia.

“The De­fence Min­istry’s Of­fice views such al­le­ga­tions se­ri­ously.

“As men­tioned by De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein, our armed forces per­son­nel have not been in­volved in any Saudi Ara­bian mil­i­tary cam­paign against the re­volt in Ye­men,” the min­istry said.

It said the de­ploy­ment of armed forces per­son­nel to Saudi Ara­bia was, firstly, to pre­pare them­selves to face any pos­si­bil­ity, in­clud­ing mov­ing the re­main­ing Malaysians who were there, if the need arose.

“This is be­cause there are Malaysians in Ye­men.

“The mis­sion to move them is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to help Malaysians who are in dis­tress in a coun­try that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­rest.”

Se­condly, the min­istry said, the armed forces had been in­vited by Saudi Ara­bia to take part in the North­ern Thunder, a mil­i­tary ex­er­cise to foster unity among Mus­lim coun­tries.

The train­ing, it said, was to give ex­po­sure to and ex­pe­ri­ence of a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in an en­vi­ron­ment very much dif­fer­ent from Malaysia.

“Armed forces per­son­nel are tak­ing part in the train­ing for the first time. It will be use­ful to them,” it said.

The min­istry, how­ever, said the in­volve­ment of armed forces per­son­nel in both mat­ters was strictly in Saudi Ara­bia.

“This is be­cause armed forces per­son­nel are not al­lowed to cross bor­ders and en­ter Ye­men, more so into any rebel ter­ri­tory.

“As a mat­ter of fact, our pol­icy of not cross­ing Saudi Ara­bian bor­ders has not changed.

“The min­istry’s of­fice would like to stress that the is­sue, which has gone viral, is an al­le­ga­tion that is un­true.”

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