Mal­batt 850-5 to con­tinue with UN peace­keep­ing mis­sion

New Straits Times - - News -

PORT DICK­SON: Malaysian sol­diers on peace­keep­ing mis­sion in Le­banon will not be re­called, De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said yes­ter­day.

The 850-mem­ber Malaysian Bat­tal­ion (Mal­batt) 850-5, which is serv­ing un­der the United Na­tions In­terim Force peace­keep­ing mis­sion, will re­main in Le­banon, where ten­sions are high be­cause of a stand-off be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and Iran.

Le­banon Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri had an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion last week, stok­ing fears of es­ca­lat­ing ten­sion in the re­gion.

Hisham­mud­din said the min­istry was fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment in Le­banon closely to en­sure the safety of Mal­batt 850-5 mem­bers who were sent on the mis­sion in Septem­ber.

“A day af­ter Saad an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion, Armed Forces chief Gen­eral Tan Sri Raja Mo­hamed Af­fandi Raja Mo­hamed Noor had con­tacted our Mal­batt com­man­der in Le­banon to get de­tails of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in the repub­lic.

“At the mo­ment, the sit­u­a­tion is un­der con­trol and there are no sus­pi­cious in­ci­dents re­ported so far.”

He said the min­istry would con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion in Le­banon on a daily ba­sis.

Hisham­mud­din said this af­ter launch­ing the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM)-Cel­com special call and data pack­ages (Ti­gaTiga pack­age) and Deep­avali cel­e­bra­tion at the Army Ba­sic Train­ing Cen­tre (Pusasda) here.

The pack­age was part of the lat­est ini­tia­tive by the min­istry aimed at al­le­vi­at­ing the cost of liv­ing faced by ser­vice­men and veter­ans, es­pe­cially in telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion-re­lated mat­ters.

On an­other is­sue, he said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and armed forces sprung into ac­tion when mas­sive floods struck Pe­nang on Nov 4.

“To­gether with the armed forces chief, I went to Pe­nang to check on the flood sit­u­a­tion there.

“I am proud to say that the army went be­yond what was ex­pected of it by as­sist­ing vic­tims even be­fore in­struc­tions were given out.

“They had done their best re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion, race and re­li­gion.”

BER­NAMA PIC

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein (cen­tre) cut­ting a cake at the Malaysian Armed Forces’ Deep­avali cel­e­bra­tion at the Army Ba­sic Train­ing Cen­tre in Port Dick­son yes­ter­day. With him are Armed Forces chief Gen­eral Tan Sri Raja Mo­hamed Af­fandi Raja Mo­hamed Noor (sec­ond from left) and Army chief Tan Sri Zulkiple Kas­sim (third from right).

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