‘AUS­TRALIA CAN HELP WITH KING SALMAN CEN­TRE’

Can­berra can share its ex­pe­ri­ence in deal­ing with Is­lamic State, says Hisham

New Straits Times - - News -

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

THE De­fence Min­istry yes­ter­day ex­pressed hope to see Aus­tralia help the ini­tia­tive by Malaysia and Saudi Ara­bia to set up the King Salman Cen­tre for In­ter­na­tional Peace.

Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop had taken in­ter­est in the plan dur­ing her cour­tesy call yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“I told her about the plan to set up the cen­tre as a counter nar­ra­tive to the Is­lamic State. It will see an ex­change of in­tel­li­gence in­volv­ing academia, uni­ver­si­ties, schol­ars and the pub­lic to win the hearts and minds of those in­flu­enced by IS and its pro­pa­ganda.

“Aus­tralia has dealt with IS and its in­flu­ence. I hope Aus­tralia can con­trib­ute to what we are do­ing with Saudi Ara­bia,” he said af­ter Bishop’s cour­tesy call at the Par­lia­ment build­ing here.

Malaysia and Saudi Ara­bia had said the cen­tre’s es­tab­lish­ment would in­volve a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the In­tel­lec­tual War­fare Cen­tre un­der Saudi Ara­bia’s De­fence Min­istry; Se­cu­rity and De­fence Cen­tre un­der Malaysia’s De­fence Min­istry; the Is­lamic Sci­ence Univer­sity of Malaysia; and, the Mus­lim World League.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak had an­nounced that the two gov­ern­ments had agreed to es­tab­lish the cen­tre in Malaysia, which would fo­cus on com­bat­ting ex­treme nar­ra­tives.

On the meet­ing with Bishop, Hisham­mud­din said they talked about how to en­sure Malaysi­aAus­tralia re­la­tions could be bet­ter utilised to face threats, espe­cially IS.

“The ties that go way back need to not just be de­fended, but fur­ther boosted.

“We talked about mil­i­tary to mil­i­tary joint ex­er­cises and shar­ing of in­tel­li­gence on new threats.

“We also dis­cussed for­eign and mil­i­tary diplo­macy on how we, be­tween mil­i­taries, can scale the new threats,” he said, adding that it was a very good meet­ing and he was sat­is­fied with it.

Later, he held a meet­ing with So­ma­lia Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­hamad Omar Arte.

PIC BY YAZIT RAZALI

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein dur­ing a cour­tesy call from Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop at Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

PIC BY AMRAN HAMID

China am­bas­sador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang with SRJK (C) Kee Chee pupils in Alor Star yes­ter­day.

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